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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's my situation: I recently moved to SD and have never hunted before in my life. I have always been interested in it, just never had the opportunity or friends that hunted. I am probably going to be Turkey hunting this spring, Prarie dogging this winter, and pheasent hunting next fall. I just got a yellow lab about 5 weeks ago who is very smart and I would like to train to hunt someday. He is alreay good at fetching and bringing back, although he loses interest after about 5 fetches. He is about 13 weeks old. My question is what can I do to ensure that in about a year he will be able to bring pheasent hunting? What specific commands should I work on and what type of actoins should I reinfirce as awell as expect from him. If I decide to wait untill my second season (to get a feel for whatto do my first time out) will I hae waited too long to train him?

Thanks for the help.
 

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Bryan,

I trained a couple labs using Dick Wolters book, Waterdog. For the hunting you will be doing I would recommend either Gamedog or Gundog by Wolters. Someone else here that hunts upland with labs can probably make a specific recommendation for one or the other.

Good luck, and hopefully you'll get great enjoyment from your dog.

Evan
 

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I agree with Evan. Richard Wolters books http://www.fetchbook.info/search_Richar ... uthor.html are great for the home trainers. Do everything just as he says and you and dog will be fine.

The commands that are needed:

Sit, Stay, Come, Whoa, Heel.

After that your polishing.

13 weeks is a great age. Every second you're with your dog is a training session. Don't undo your real training session by for instance telling him to DROP IT in the house if he picks up a slipper. Tell him to bring it to you, don't chase him, then what a good boy he is for bringing it to you.

Good luck and tell us how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's a great idea for when he grabs the occasional shoe, I'll have to make sure that I do that from now on. I guess that means that I need to really put an emphasis on coming on command. He has been doing pretty well. The only time he really doesn't like to come on command the first time is whe nhe is eating grapes in the backyard that have fallen off of the vines we have.
 

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Bryan,
Buy one of those Wolters books and it will explain how a dog learns and why you should do things his way.

Getting him to come may be as simple as changing your body language when you say the command, this is covered in his books, but if you bend your knees slightly, put your hands on your knees and say come with a smile on your face, he'll always come. If you do the same thing stand straight up hands on your hips and YELL come he probably knows an asswhooping is coming and is a little more reluctant to come.

Get the book, best $15 bucks you'll ever spend.
 

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Wolters first book is okay but he is a writer, not a dog a trainer.
You can read that for some basic stuff but your best bet would to consult with a pro-trainer. Most will charge about fifty bucks a lesson but they will teach you not the dog :wink:
Books are fine for basics but it's best to consult a trainer for the advanced work such as blinds, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all of the advice. It was pretty cool today, a while later after I wrote in the first time I took Brady for a walk and noticed the retrieving really click for the first time. He retrieved more that 3 times in a row, I think like 7 or 8, and I was able to throw the ball about 30 yards at one point. He's starting to become pretty good at it. I just hope that he really gets into it.

AS far as introducing him to wings and dead birds, I've seen that its a good idea to do it early, but is there ever a time when its too late? Should I go out and get him a wing now? Can I wait untill spring and work on getting the basics under control?

Thanks again for all your help.
 

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Introducing feathers, wings, live birds is good when they are young but anytime is a good time. If you can't find any wings find a duck or quail bumper and put some bottled bird stank on it. Too old is like 2 or 3 years old. Your pup is good to go. I bet a good trainer could even work with a 3 year old. Some trainers say don't even start until they are a year old. I think that training starts when the walk in the door the first time.

Good luck with the puppy.
 

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Hey All,

Just familiarizing myself with the site as I am new. I have a couple of labs and used the Water Dog book, by Wolters. My first lab, who is now 4, seemed to be 'textbook'. I started training her at 7 weeks and she has been a great dog. I don't use my dogs for any competitions so I have never felt the need for professional training. But by following the Wolter's book I have been able to satisfactorily train the female to hand and whistle signals although we seldom use it practically.

It just depends on how much time and patience you have and what you want to use your dog for.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I got some pheasant wings from a friend, how should I go about training him with them? What kinds of games should I play, and what kind of behavior should I be encouraging / discouraging?

Thanks again for the advice.
 

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Never too late to begin training. Think about it, could you be trained to do something new if you were over 10 yrs, 20 yrs or 30 yrs old? Of course, dont be silly. A dog can learn anything anytime. It is easier to train them when they are a puppy and very submissive, but thats just the best time...

Train that birddog, spoil them with love and work the heck out of them till retirement.

Best of luck...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
WEll now I got a new problem. I gotone of the wings out for Brady to play with and he was doing okay about fetching it and bringing it back. He would go get it right away, but he was a little reluctant to bring it back. Then he decides that he is not going to give it back to me and it becomes a game of keep away while he chews on the wing and eventually eats it. Does anybody have some suggestions for how to get him to not eat it? Will this hurt him? Should I wait untill he is really good at returning what he fetches before moving onto a wing?
 

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Okay, so here is how most people introduce a young pup to wings. Get a pole or fishing rod and tie the wing to the fishing line. Flick the wing near the dog, but do NOT let him get it. If he does take it away immediately. Just start over and dont let him get ahold of it this time. As the pup starts to move toward the wing flick it away. Flick it across his line of sight and allow the pup to point it or stalk it. The idea is to 'tease' and build up the prey/point drive.

Keep in mind many dogs find this boring after the first few times. Its not something you will do everyday for the next 6 months like playing fetch. Its just to get him to show you he can point...

Best of Luck...
 

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Hi!,

He would go get it right away, but he was a little reluctant to bring it back. Then he decides that he is not going to give it back to me and it becomes a game of keep away while he chews on the wing and eventually eats it.
Well, yeah, he's just a pup. They will do that. Look at it from his point, retrieving is a game to play. And being "chased" is about the most fun :D .

There are a couple of different methods you can use. First, if you have a long hallway in your house do your retrieving drills there to start. That way he has to come back to you and can't get around you. The length of retrieve at this point isn't that important. And get down on your knees and be at his level. You will be far less imposing to him. You can also build a small pen outdoors like a "hallway" to achieve the same effect.

You can also put him on a checkcord and use that to "reel" him in. And that works well also, but for me, I prefer the above methods. I think I get a better retrieve in the long run.

Once he's coming back and delivering it to you, you can start working outside the pen. If he wants to dilly-dally around with you then, the first thing I try is to simply turn my back to the pup and start walking away from him. 9 out of 10 times the pup will come running to you. He dosen't want to be "left" behind. If this doesn't work well, then go back to the "pen/hallway" drill for more work there.

I would not use just a wing for this. Just a dumbie will be just fine. If you want, you could tape a wing to the dumbie to get the pup used to the mouth feel of feathers. I've tried both, and it dosen't seem to matter much either way. The thing you want to teach here is, "bring it to me".

Remember, keep your sessions short, fun, and always end it on a positive note so you can praise your dog!

Dale
 
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Peltzer,
PUT THE GUN DOWN! Neither I nor any of your friends trust you with any type of firearms. I think back to that cold January night when you shot me in the ***! I still have a scar. Teach Brady to chase squirrels or something. South Dakota is clearly wearing on your brain please move back to civilization as soon as possible.

Your concerned friends.
 
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I concur with Brother Chris. I think back to times of rage, like after the Calculus test freshman year, when you trashed your calculator. Or when Chris and Rich moved the furniture around and you smashed the table. Arming such rage may not be the best idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I do remember you asking me to shoot you with that pellet gun so you could see what it was like. Besides, how was I supposed to know that you took your wallet out, I was gonna just hit that "costanza like" wallet and scare you. You thinking about coming out here with the big D still?
 

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Bryan,
While you here again, hows that pup doing. Post some pics and give us an update on his training.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
He's doing really well, he's very smart, and I emphasise that. I really don't need to tell him stuff too much before he gets it. He is really enthusiastic about fetching. He does really good out at the park and whatnot after he has been give some time to sniff stuff out and get used to the smells, toherwise he gets distracted by them. One thing that I haven't really started with is a "whoa" command. He fetches and comes when called, even stays by me well, but sometimes he gets on after something and I don't have anything other ethan a leash to stop him. Any ideas on how to teach him "whoa"? Also I'd love to post some pics but have no idea how, tell me how and I will.
 
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