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Training a Dog to Hunt

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

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  1. mnhntr

    mnhntr Member

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    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.
     
  2. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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    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
  3. Deer_Freak

    Deer_Freak Member.

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    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.

    princess.jpg
    Known Felon​
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  4. 03Shadowbob

    03Shadowbob Member

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    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.
     
  5. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    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.
     
  6. Deer_Freak

    Deer_Freak Member.

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    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.
     
  7. 03Shadowbob

    03Shadowbob Member

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

    Patocazador Member

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    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.
     
  9. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

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    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.
     
  10. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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

    bailer Member

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    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.
     
  12. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    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.
     

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  13. bailer

    bailer Member

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

    Zeke/PA Member

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    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.
     
  15. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

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    Didn't realize you were in an apartment.

    Cute pup and kid.
     
  16. JW1969

    JW1969 Member

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    Hello all. I hunt jagdterriers and a DD. I have working champions that stay in the house from time to time. I'd be happy to post their credentials to prove their accomplishments.

    But working titles have as little to do with a dogs hunting ability as where a dog sleeps. I think it's important that people do what works for what they do. But I can hunt upland game, rabbit, varmits, hog and blood track with a dog under twenty pounds that sleeps in the house.

    These dogs will retrieve with the best of them on land or in the water. They have a soft mouth, and will retreive to hand with manners that would impress most. I can take the same dog out at night at heel while spotlighting rabbits and sent them into the briars after the shot to fetch them. They will push canecutters through whatever it takes and sometimes circle them right back to you. They are outstanding hogdogs and on balance beat any cur or hound I have ever hunted. Most will work to ground and some even tree. But best of all, it makes no difference where they sleep.

    They do not have the type of off switch that some breeds do, and are not what I would call a good pet. Sometimes they sleep in the kennel, and they don't seem to mind. What they want most in life is work. I believe a dogs drive, instinct and training have more to do with how a dog will perform in the feild that where it sleeps. But I respect the difference of oppinion.
     
  17. grubbylabs

    grubbylabs Member

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    JW1969 I also have a DD and so far he is an outstanding dog. He is a 4 legged tracking machine. He also loves to retrieve, and hang out with me in the house.

    I have also done a lot with labs, they are the first dog I started with, and I think they make wonderful pets. So long as Bobson got his from a reputable breeder he will be happy.

    The fact that they are one of if not the most popular breeds means that they are also some of the worst. People breed them indiscriminate and care nothing about improving the breed. Not to mention the AKC show people who think a lab needs to be 100lbs plus.

    As far as the AKC is concerned the only qualification for breeding is that both are papered. Well that is horse pucky, a dog needs to have something to contribute and fit the breed standards before it is considered for breeding stock. The fact that people don't think about this is the reason why when I breed one I do hundreds of dollars worth of genetic and health testing on a dog before they are considered for breeding.

    I know of two many people who have bought a lab for hunting only to realize after the wife and kids are attached to it, that it will never be able to hunt because of one or more genetic issues, or bad hips or elbows.

    I strongly encourage any one who is in the market for a dog of any kind to find a breeder who not only hunt tests their dogs, but also get the health clearances for the common issues found within their breed of choice.
     
  18. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Just heard on the radio yesterday that Labs were the #1 most popular breed in the U.S., and have been for the last 27 years.:eek:

    Says a lot for the breed and it's versatility. But Grubbylabs is correct, being popular means everyone and their sister is breeding them....many times indiscriminately. But no popular breed is immune. One reason that if a pup is acquired from anyone other than a reputable breeder with a money-back/different pup guarantee, one needs to be prepared to get stuck with a stinker.....either behaviorally or health-wise.
     
  19. JW1969

    JW1969 Member

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    Well there's two posts I can agree with. I remember years ago there were some old timers that said a hunting dog shouldn't ever be in the house. I'm pretty sure it had more to do with their old ladies not wanting them indoors than it affected their performance. Works better for me if I invite them all in...It never takes very long before my better half is insisting that I drop everything and take the dogs out.:)
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  20. JW1969

    JW1969 Member

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    Sleeps in the house

    Here's a video of a ten month old gyp and her first exposure to duck. In fairness she's been hunted on dove some... but had no formal retrieve training. She weighs about fourteen pounds soaking wet and sleeps in the house.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPTPJZTdyMw&feature=youtu.be
     
  21. 303tom

    303tom member

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    I have Med. to Small Hounds 4 of em & everyone is just as much a house dog/pet as they are hunters, each & or any of or all of them will go hunting in a heart beat............
     
  22. Brian Olsen

    Brian Olsen Member

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    I have always had a bird dog. I like using springers. I guess thats because the first dog I had was a springer and have gotten new ones ever since. Springers are flushing dogs so it is important that they work at a close range.
    I received a tip from someone once and its the only training I ever had to do. When the puppy is old enough (maybe 3 to 6 months) take it to a field or woods and just walk along. When the puppy starts to get to far away hide behind a tree or lay down so the dog can't see you. When he turns around he will come running back to find you. Just get up and do it again. My dogs only venture out about 30 yds or so. The rest is dog instinct and reading the clues the dog gives off. (Acts birdy ect.). I say this to you because litterly its the only training i do and you only have a short time frame to do it when it still a puppy. Even if you have a pointer or flusher and you don't have time to train the dog if you do this you will have many years of fun hunting. This should work with most dogs. If you can't or don't get the rest of the training done you will still have great hunting.

    ps I do get the dog used to gun shots starting with .22s etc.
     
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