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Training a Dog to Hunt

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Bobson, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Well-Known Member

    There's some delusion going on in this thread, but it ain't in the heads of those of us with bird dogs. I've had GSPs and GWPs for over 40 years....sometimes more than one at a time. All of them have been great house pets as well as exceptional bird dogs. Some of the GWPs were also trained to blood trail wounded deer while on a leash. They excelled at that also. My two boys grew up with a great emotional attachment to the dog we had at the time, had them sleeping at the foot of their bed for protection and shot many birds from behind them. No delusion there. Sorry, but to many of us, that beats the 'ell outta just honkin' the horn at em' when they got lost. But then, none of my bird dogs ever got lost.
  2. Pilot

    Pilot Well-Known Member

    Really sir? Please read my previous post. My German Shorthaired Pointer was an exceptional house pet. I like that fact that this breed aren't "barkers", meaning they don't bark at ever little thing in our outside the property, and only bark when it means something. To ME that is essential in a dog as a house pet and family member.

    Pointers just need exercise, and since I have some land, I could run him on the property every day, so he'd get his exercise. After that they are just like any other dog.
  3. T.R.

    T.R. Well-Known Member

    These books were very helpful to me when we trained our springer spaniel. If you're interested, I'll sell both for one price of $15. which includes shipping.



  4. 41magsnub

    41magsnub Well-Known Member

    +1 on the comments regarding a hunting dog can also be a house dog. I have an 8mo GWP who is turning out to be a phenomenal hunting dog so far. She points like a champ and is a natural retriever. She has plenty of drive out in the field.

    She is my buddy who sometimes goes and finds birds for me... she lives in my house and is perfectly manageable as a house dog as long as she gets some exercise most everyday. That can be a run out in a field or if I work late the chuck-it thrower and glow in the dark ball in the little park by my house gets it done just fine. I can get away with skipping an exercise day if I have to and she is fine, I skip two days and she complains about it.
  5. mnhntr

    mnhntr Well-Known Member

    I have always had and trained labs. I currently have a Lab and a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. I have always used my dogs for waterfowl and grouse/pheasant hunting. Having lived in AZ my opinion would be different if I still lived there. I would actually take a German Shorthair over a lab for the awesome quail and dove and upland bird hunting there. Can the lab do it? Yes is it his primary purpose in life? No A good short haired pointing dog can take the heat better and do a better job upland hunting. If you were going to waterfowl hunt and hunt the cold north I would say get a Lab. But in your situation I would definately be looking for a German Shorthair.
  6. mnhntr

    mnhntr Well-Known Member

    This is partially true. If you are speaking of bird dogs you are way off base. If you are talking about hounds you are right on target. Hunting hounds are not tolerent of small children or other animals. They are bread and trained to not be nice or they would not be good at their job. We hunt with an uncles Blue Tick hounds for coyotes and bobcats and I would not want them in the house around my kids.
  7. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Well-Known Member

    I was asscociated with a professional trainer for quite some time awhile back and the gleaned knowledge was priceless.
    The dogs were pointing breeds, mostly English Pointers and I have fond memories of some great bird hunting.
    Teach a dog?
    Actually, a well bred dog has the hunting/pointing instinct at birth.
    (ever see a pointer pup point a butterfly?)
    TRAINING amounts to the dogs disapline as in not "breaking" birds and being steady to "flush,wing and shot".
    A BIG thing was/is teaching the pup what the word "WHOA" means.
    Really GOOD dog work is a pleasure to behold.
    Why don't I own a pointer today?
    Simple, there are no birds anymore.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  8. Deer_Freak

    Deer_Freak Member.

    Zeke is dead on. When I look at puppies I take a frozen quail wing with me. I hang the quail wing on a stick. If the puppies will not point the wing I am not interested. We are talking puppies that have just been weaned. We also have the same problem of no birds in this area. I am getting a few birds on my property by releasing pen raised quail. Their survival rate is very low but I still release 10 or 20 every time I find cheap birds.

    In my experience hounds are actually better pets than pointers. I used to keep a large lemon pointer in my racing stable. No one could get in the barn until I caught the dog. My current dog is half Australian Shepard and half pointer. You would not want your kids near my dog. As a matter of fact, you would not want to be left alone with the dog. I have had to bail her out of doggie jail more than once.

    Known Felon​
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  9. 03Shadowbob

    03Shadowbob Well-Known Member

    Just depends on the dog. Our family has had more than one dog meet its maker because they weren't tolerant of people, got out of the pin and tried to chase someone down. They ate a bullet and rightly so. If anyone's dog comes at me that way, there won't be a need for doggie jail.
    Our labs have always stayed in the house.
  10. Bobson

    Bobson Well-Known Member

    Well there have been a few questions I haven't addressed. I'll get specific on what I have in mind, and whoever would like to address these points can feel free. These are in order of priority, BTW.

    - A great pet. Will do well with my two year old daughter (not alone or anything, just in general).
    - Will be socialized with other dogs, and with strangers, both at a young age.
    - Will alert us to unwelcome visitors at any time of day or night.
    - I'd like to bring this dog along on the occasional hunt. Maybe once or twice a month at most, likely for rabbits most of the time. Maybe some type of upland bird on occasion.

    The thing is, as I said before, I don't know anyone who hunts with a dog, nor have I ever. So aside from bird dogs pointing or retrieving, I don't know what the dog is supposed to do. Particularly on rabbit hunts. I know a lab would be best for most (if not all) of those four factors, which is why we're more or less set on a lab at this point.
  11. Deer_Freak

    Deer_Freak Member.

    The way I see it is the dog lives here and you don't. In NC I have the right to protect my property. Anyone even brandishing a firearm around my dog is subject to have a bad day. To start off with you had to knock down a locked gate to get near the dog. I would just assume anyone who broke down my gate to be looking for trouble. They will definitely be looking down the barrel of shotgun until a deputy arrives to take them to jail.

    I crawled under a junk car to drag that dog out when she was a puppy. She turned out to be worth the effort. I got her because I knew she would grow up to be a good watchdog.
  12. 03Shadowbob

    03Shadowbob Well-Known Member

    Deer freak I agree 100% when it comes to your dog on your property. When it is not on your property then different story
  13. Patocazador

    Patocazador Well-Known Member

    It sounds like you just want a dog for your family that might hunt but it's OK if it doesn't. I had a stray poodle/terrier cross come up when it was abandoned at about 5 months old. I eventually trained it to retrieve by using "force-fetch" techniques. It was exceptionally smart but was wacko when stressed and would bite anyone when in the "trance".
    I suggest you go to the pound and pick out a non-pitbull, non-rottweiler, non-ankle biter type puppy and raise it in the house and see if it will hunt later. Either that or buy a hunting stock Labrador or Brittany and send it to a trainer early on. Stay away from in-bred show dogs or puppy mill dogs.
  14. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Well-Known Member

    Bobson, I suggest you don't get a lab if you want to hunt rabbits. Not that a lab won't chase a rabbit, but it's kind of a big dog to send into a brush pile after them.

    I'd suggest you look into getting a Brittany, specifically a French one. There's a breeder in Scottsdale. Sending you his email in a PM.
  15. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Well-Known Member

    That dog in the pictures IS an English Pointer , a breed VERY close to my heart.
  16. bailer

    bailer Well-Known Member

    Since you're in az, google desert point kennel. The guy is doing a heck of a job breeding gsps that are also good, calm family dogs.

    My pup is almost 1, and doing very well on birds in his first season. As I type, he's curled up at the foot of my 10 year olds bed.
  17. Bobson

    Bobson Well-Known Member

    I talked with a few different people regarding French Brittany Spaniels (came highly recommended by sixgunner) and GSPs, which a few of you mentioned so far. Because we live in an apartment, and will until I finish law school (four years from now), I was advised to steer away from those two breeds, as they are much better suited to a home with a big backyard or even acreage. As a result, we came back around to a lab... and we found one!

    We picked up Piper on Saturday night. She's a purebred lab, registered with the AKC. Dad comes from English stock, mom comes from American. No champion blood here, but this is the smartest puppy I've ever met. She walks at heel naturally, learned to sit on Monday, and is doing outstanding on house-breaking; definitely picking it up faster than any other dog I've known or heard of. She's had just a few accidents in the apartment so far, and she can already "hold it" around three hours while awake during the day, closer to six hours at night. Yesterday she went to the door and let me know she was ready to go out and pee. For three days in the home, that's stellar as far as I'm concerned. She was born Dec. 20.

    All three of us love her. She's a joy to have around, and she loves our daughter. Here's the two of them, taken this morning.

    ETA: Here's a picture of the terrain we've been hunting. Sorry about the Sun filling the picture so much. I'm no photographer, and this is the best picture I took Saturday morning. As a point of reference, the cactus in the middle of the picture was about up to my knee, maybe a bit shorter. Point is, there aren't many brush piles where we hunt - mostly just loose undergrowth.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  18. bailer

    bailer Well-Known Member

    Nice pup. I agree on the apartment. I love my gsp, but without a yard, pool and doggy door I would have second thoughts.
  19. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Well-Known Member

    Gun Dog/ House dog?
    If we had birds, I would have a "pointer dog" and I would name her Kim II.
    She would be a constant companion and sleep at my feet.
    BUT, when we got into birds, KimII would function as an EXCEPTIONAL "Pointer Dog" as in steady to "flush, wing and shot" and retreive at my command.
    English Pointer of course.
  20. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Well-Known Member

    Didn't realize you were in an apartment.

    Cute pup and kid.

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