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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
yea hi, my dog is a black lab and loves to hunt. I can't go visit my parents without having him almost knock me over when I get out of my bronco. The thing is, shes getting a little old, arthritis, and a little deaf, fromt he gun shots. But worst of all she isn't too clued in as to what her job is. as soon as i lift my gun to shoot, she takes off into the water, even if i don't shoot or shoot a bird in the other direction, into the water she goes! its kinda funny i guess lab's love water but... i can get her to stay and sit as long as i want, but as soon as the gun comes up... SPLASH.. cya... and also, when she brings back a bird, she rarely brings it right to me, usually swims it to shore, and leaves it at the edge of the reads. The dog also NEVER puts her nose down and smells for birds, she'll run around like a god dam idiot looking for a fallen goose, i have no clue how to teach her to sniff. I don't feel like fetching a goose with my mouth and showing her the correct way to be a hunting dog. any suggestions???

7,182 Posts
It's gonna be a long haul and you might just want to let her be and try it with a puppy. But the book "Water Dog" by Wolters is a great place to start.

Before you get started though, let me share with you an age gauge and put your dogs age in and see if it's just not better to enjoy her remaining years and not try to teach her too much.
Think about trying to train a person of similar age. Not to say that 60 year olds haven't taken up hunting at that age, but it's the rare one that does. Here is a great quote from Dave Duffey (noted dog guy).

"Whether classed as children, adolescents, adults or senior citizens, hunting dogs will be better trained and more appreciated if their owners/trainers view them within a framework that mirrors our own life experiences."
"Understanding and treating sporting dogs with the consideration and empathy that sportsmen and women would extend to fellow hunters increases the satisfaction enjoyed while gunning, and decent hunting dogs deserve no less."

Dog's Age Human Age
7-8 Wks 1.5 - 2 yrs
2 months 2-3 yrs
4 months 5-7 yrs
6 months 9-10 yrs
8 months 11-12 yrs
10 months 13-14 yrs
1 yr 15-16 yrs
2 yrs 21
3 25
4 30
5 35
6 40
7 45
8 50
9 55
10 60
11 65
12 70
13 80
14 90
15 100+

2,699 Posts
I find that the Wolters is a writer not a dog trainer.If your lab is very old don't all of a sudden become a germanic trainer and ruin your realtionship with her. let her enjoy her seinor years but if you want her to find upland birds and not search for downed this is what you should do.go to a local preserve where you can plant your own birds or buy some strong flying pen raised birds such as pigeons,chukar or pheasants and plant them about 15 yds from your car then kinda show her where the bird is with the first bird clip the wings (for this I highly reccomend pigeons or chukar beacause they won't fight like a pheasant) and let your dog chase it and have fun.then do the same thing but don't clip the bird shoot it and tell her what a good girl she is then plant about 4 or 5 birds in a zig-zag pattern and put her on a checkcord, 20' is fine and guider her to the birds when she has scented it drop the checkcord so she can chase and fetch the bird then repeat on the othe birds and keep doing it until she gets the idea then take her off the checkcord and hunt with her and when she is ready you can move on to wild birds.also with pen-raised clip some once in a while so she can give chase have some fun. hope this helps.
have fun
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