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When is it to late to start a dog?

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When is it to late to start a dog?

Old 01-01-2010, 04:44 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Default When is it to late to start a dog?

I've got a 6yr old English Setter that loves to hunt squirrels, sparrows, meadowlarks and anything else that lands in our barn.

She has had zero training. Is it to late to actually train her to hunt?
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Old 01-02-2010, 01:42 PM
  #2  
Nontypical Buck
 
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At this stage, there's probably more un-learning to do than learning... But I don't think its too late. Look up your local NAVHDA chapter, they'll be able to get you started in the right direction, or a local setter group...
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:07 PM
  #3  
Spike
 
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Hi,

I don't think it's too late. Your dog might be a bit old to become a field champion, but that doesn't mean it can't provide many years of enjoyment afield for the both of you.

Look at it this way, your dog already hunts. What we do when we train our dogs to "hunt" is nothing more than obedience - When, where, and how we want it done. So do you think you can teach your dog some simple obedience work?

One last thing, unless you are interested in playing doggie games, i.e. trials and such, don't get so hung up on how some book or anyone else thinks your dog should hunt. Your dog should please you in what it does and how it hunts. And remember, it's a partnership between you two. There needs to be give and take in the relationship.

Good Luck!
dalee
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:07 AM
  #4  
Spike
 
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I've also tried it in the past with a quite old dog, but it was much harder then a young dog.
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Old 01-03-2010, 03:58 PM
  #5  
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if your dog listens to you when called ,thats almost it.
is your dog gun shy.if so, its over.......
start out with a 22 pistol in off season on birds in woods..........
then if not gun shy, have fun and go hunting........
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:18 PM
  #6  
Spike
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She does come when I whistle and will mind "most" of the time. I'm sure with a little work I can get her to obey the basic commands. If I can get her to hunt close and not bust a covey that would be a good start.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:38 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by VAriverman View Post
She does come when I whistle and will mind "most" of the time. I'm sure with a little work I can get her to obey the basic commands. If I can get her to hunt close and not bust a covey that would be a good start.

Thanks for the help.

BASIC commands are most important and actually the only thing i would be concerned about with GUN SHYNESS being a close second........nothing worst than a dog that does not listen or runs away scared of a gunshot.
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:49 AM
  #8  
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I would try and get the basics down pat before going ahead with anything else first. Then try a check cord and have her out with another dog if you know of anyone. She will pick things up from the other dog that is hunting and learn from it..This will help to teach her to point from the other dog as well as honer another dog that is pointing. Then try her on her own using the check cord at first. But teach her the basics first.. Even at that age I think it would be alright to train her.
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Old 01-07-2010, 02:28 PM
  #9  
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Hunting close is not what setters do. They stalk/point long enough for you to get there. Retreiving breeds like the traditional lab (Springer Spaniel, ****er Spaniel, etc.) stay close and flush birds, pointers (such as English Pointers, Setters, German Shorthair, etc.) will want to range alittle (or alot depending upon terrain) but point birds til you get there (steady to wing).

Has your dog ever hesitated from scent before? Or has she always busted (chased) after birds, squirrels, etc.? If busting birds, this might take awhile as she has her way set (or it maybe she's never had the experience of a bird setting/hiding).

I never had to train an older dog before but personally, I would buy .22 blanks or a starters pistol, put her on a check chord (about 25-30' length with a simple slipknot at the end), and go to a game farm and buy a few birds and see how she does. Bring someone who knows what their doing. Much easier than trying to explain what I would do to a pup which would be very different from a mature dog.
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:36 PM
  #10  
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If it makes you feel any better. I just got a friends 6 yr old GSP out in the field this year, it took him a while. But he ended up finding, and locking in on birds. It isn't exactly a "point" but he did an awesome job the last time I was able to get him out. He found a pheasant that had ran and hid under a clump of grass about 50 yards from where he went down.

Here is a pic of me, him and the bird. I would have never found the bird without him. All I saw when I got up there was about 2-3" of his Tail feather.



EDIT -
Like somebody said above, if you can take her out with a dog or two that is experienced, it may make a huge difference. That is when this guy caught on. The weekend after we went out with some Labs and got him on some birds, he got pretty birdy.

Last edited by Buck_Slayer; 01-07-2010 at 07:38 PM.
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