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Is my dog too old to train to hunt?

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Is my dog too old to train to hunt?

Old 02-24-2010, 09:10 PM
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tsaxybabe's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 117
Talking Is my dog too old to train to hunt?

I have a Golden Retriever named Beau, who is 5 and a half years old. I am just starting to get into hunting (this was my first year and I shot a few ducks, pheasants, and geese). My fiance hunts a lot but can't have a dog. It would be awesome if we could get my dog to retrieve ducks or flush pheasants. He has a very soft mouth, is very interested in birds. He's caught lots of small birds on his own (he even caught a hummingbird once) and while he does kill them (one chomp and its over), he doesn't mutilate them. After its dead he's content to just lay next to it. He also "stalks" birds and animals in the yard. It's almost like a point. He will freeze with one paw up and his tail straight out behind him. He'll very slowly creep up on his prey until it bolts and then he chases it. He is not gun shy. We tested him out at my uncle's farm. My fiance held the dog's collar while I was about 30 yards away. I shot and the dog immediately bolted over to where I was standing and was extremely interested, ears up, excited looking. We got a dummy and zip-tied a pheasant wing to it, and he will retrieve that about 10 or 12 times in a row before he gets bored and decides he'd rather chew on the pheasant wing. Do you think it will be possible to teach this dog to retrieve ducks and maybe even to point or flush? If so, what advice do you have for me? Thanks a lot! It would be so fun to get him out in the field with us.

Last edited by tsaxybabe; 02-24-2010 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 02-25-2010, 06:44 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 32

The only time its to late to train a dog is when there ashes are in a jar above the fireplace.

Intro to birds and gun is biggest hurdle. Theres a way to do it that 99.9% of the time is fool proof. but it has to be done right or you wind up with gun shy.

Sounds like the dog wants to be a hunter, you just need to guide him thru it.

My advise is to find a trainer in your area to help you train your dog. Most trainers only charge about 50 dollers an hour plus birds. With just a few trips it will get you of in the right direction and get you well on the way to a fine hunting partner.

You will be amazed at what a pro can do with your dog in short time frame.
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 17

Pro would be great. If not there's some really good dvd's out there. There's one called duck dog basics by Chris Akin. It would give you a good idea of what your getting into and then you can take it as far as you want. I used Evan Grahams smart works series dvd's. They are very detailed and easy to follow.
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Old 03-01-2010, 02:18 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 860

Stop testing the dog. Its sounding like you are making him gunshy. It could be that he's running to you for protection and looking around for what made the sound. A gundog that is not gunshy will ignore the sound; a gun conditioned dog will look around for a bird in the air immediately after the sound. Personally, I would spend as much time as needed for gun introduction b/c gunshy is harder to cure.

Pick the DVD mentioned by TakemDrake (I've also heard alot of good things about it) and look at it before you do anything.
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