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Lab does not want to hunt for the gun...

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Lab does not want to hunt for the gun...

Old 10-08-2009, 04:46 AM
  #1  
Typical Buck
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Default Lab does not want to hunt for the gun...

My brother bought a lab two years ago to hunt grouse, wood**** and the occasional duck.

I was speaking with him yesterday and he's having a problem with the dog. As soon as the dog senses the presence of the bird, she will charge in and take the bird off. This happens well out of gun range, so my brother never has an opportunity to shoot at any birds.

He has worked with the dog on some basic obedience commands, but I don't think he has worked with the dog in the field. I would like to be able to help him, but I have no idea how to train a flushing dog.

My thought is that he should work with the dog to shorten her range, so that when she takes the bird out, it can be taken.

Does that make sense or this there another method.
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:41 AM
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JW
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I hunted with a lab for years until I switched to pointing dogs.

Yes shorten the range will help as that is what I did. When I hunted with my labs I walked trails with the dogs working in the edge. That way when a charge and flush happened usually the bird came out to fly the trail. Gave me better shots.

But the lab is traditionaly a flushing breed.

Dog could be taught to do a sit to flush. That is when the bird goes up the dog sits and waits to be released. That might help with multiple birds if coveyed.

Just some thoughts

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Old 10-08-2009, 06:00 AM
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Thanks for your response JW. I would think the dog needs to sit to flush regardless. Otherwise, he'll be shooting at birds with the dog in chase. Or are you saying that the dog should sit upon scenting a bird? Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of having a flushing dog.
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:36 AM
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Sit to Flush definition IMO - dog its upon the bird is pushed (flushed) into the air.

Dad had a Springer trained like this. And this is the same as Steady to Wing and Shot that we use on our pointing dogs. Difference is the dog flushes the bird we do not.

Reason I like this. Provides a safe shooting for the gunner and protects the dog no matter what level the bird is flying and thus you can take just about anyone hunting.

Been long time discussions that people want the dog to chase the bird for cripples upon the shot - however again IMO (ain't starting no doggy fights here) it is up to the owner.

Me I want that dog to stay put and I release the dog for the retrieve - it is not the dog's decision. Release can be done verbally on a well trained dog but to get there I actually tap the dog on the head as this is black and white to the dog. I need to touch dog to send the dog for the retrieve.

That is how I train and I train like I hunt and Hunt like I train. There is no difference.



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Last edited by JW; 10-08-2009 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:52 AM
  #5  
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I hear what you're saying JW, but the problem is that the flush is taking place too far away. The dog is flushing the birds well out of gun range. It's sounding more an more like he just needs to get this dog working closer to him.
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Old 10-10-2009, 05:14 AM
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Well we use a tethered pigeon on a weight that will allow it to fly some but stay in place.

I would work the dog in wind to this tethered pigeon on a 50 ft check cord that is attached to a good pinch collar around the dogs neck.

Upon the dog showing sign such as lunging at the marked bird location I would pull back on the check cord and command Sit. Hold tension on that check cord and work your way to the dog - to dog’s side.

You need a buddy - Your buddy’s job is to go to the pigeon and toss it to make it fly.
Your job is to watch the dog at all times making corrections and commanding the dog to sit using a quick snap of the check cord/pinch collar.
Once you have control of the dog - your buddy tosses the bird again at angles to the dog.
Repetitions with lots of praise when the dog does what is required correctly.

Short 10 to 20 minute happy sessions.

I would start with that.

Field

In conjunction you need to shorten the range - again a 30 to 50 ft check cord/pinch collar and work the dog in a field where you can see it at all times. Keep the dog in gun range. As the dog gets better you can let go of the check cord but keep it there and could add an e-collar.

Bird
As the dog gets better at sitting to flush as you work it in to that tethered bird add remote release traps away from that tethered bird.

Again as the dog lunges I'd pull back on the check cord commanding Sit and then have my buddy fly that bird away, at angles and then back at the dog. You keep the dog sitting. Your buddy can even take the tether and fly over the dog's head to make it break. Making the dog break is your buddies job. Yours is to watch the dog and correct. Then at times pop a bird or two in conjunction with the tethered bird

Dog stays sitting well….
At this point I add the shot or shots - all blanks.

Then pop a few traps - when the dog sits there patiently not standing - shoot a bird and send the dog for the RTV. If it moves on a shot bird as it falls I would correct the dog and have your buddy pick up that dead bird while tossing it back at the dog. Dog moves you correct but the dog does NOT get the RTV.

That in conjunction with field running with no birds working on a field zig-zag pattern should help the dog fix its range and work for the hunter and not itself.

To me what you describe is a young dog with High Desire and the dog may well be a self hunter.

Not a problem but with training and hunting experience I feel your friend can get the dog to hunt for him.

Hard to write about this and I don't do this much as because of all the doggy bashing that results.
WARNING- Disclaimer
There is no set constant training method to train each dog the same every time but training methods do work when adapted to the abilities of the dog.

What I tried to describe above is a method. It may be an adaption of parts of the above will work.

But I have seen your handle Mustad on other doggy boards I read regularly.

Hope this helps - any questions PM me.

JW
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Old 10-14-2009, 06:15 AM
  #7  
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All great ideas. A buddy's Lab would range out too far and he worked with it where it wouldn't range too far out ahead of him....something that's usually more of a problem to pointing breed owners. If the dog listens good to voice (or whistle commands), keep it within your shooting range at all times and don't let it get that far away. If it doesn't...you'll need some work with a check cord and will probably want to start over again working in an environment without birds until pooch has got it down that it has to range closer to you.
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Old 10-15-2009, 06:23 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Canned Heat View Post
All great ideas. A buddy's Lab would range out too far and he worked with it where it wouldn't range too far out ahead of him....something that's usually more of a problem to pointing breed owners. If the dog listens good to voice (or whistle commands), keep it within your shooting range at all times and don't let it get that far away. If it doesn't...you'll need some work with a check cord and will probably want to start over again working in an environment without birds until pooch has got it down that it has to range closer to you.


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Old 10-23-2009, 06:45 PM
  #9  
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First be thankful that the dog can find and flush birds.This is the first and most important quality of a good hunting dog.Now you want him to like hunting with you.
Usually the better their nose is, the harder to keep them in check hunting close because when they go in they already know there is that bird there. Training them to be close while walking on the field can help but you have to give them freedom to follow that scent also.
One of my best flushing dog who is 16 yrs old and still hunts used to flush grouse way far off while I ride the ATV.It took a lot of planted game and shooting at the ones next to me even when the dog was not there, that it dawned to my dog that being close to the shot(which is me) is where it counts, not just flushing.Somehow you have to make your dog like to hunt with you but you don't want him watching all your moves and depending on you all the time.One thing that worked for me, whenever you hunt game planted by you for training, start the dog away from the game and if he takes off, go to where the game is planted and call, as soon as he is close enough try to flush the game yourself and shoot it for him. This association reinforces the hunting together as a pack and works for most dogs, but unfortunately not all.Some are so independent having very good nose that your best recourse is to have good legs to catch up to them.They bred them that way for years to compete in field trials.
Anyway I hope some of this helps.
louie
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:57 PM
  #10  
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most labs naturally hunt close.other breeds hunt way off.labs FLUSH and dont point mostly.you have to have you gun up and ready to shoot with a lab .put a bell on your lab so you can hear them and try to position yourself for flushing shot.
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