When to take him on a hunt ?
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Thread: When to take him on a hunt ?

  1. #1

    Default When to take him on a hunt ?

    I have a 16 week old lab. Been doing good on obedience training Following commands. just doing basic retrieves. I know he is not ready yet but at what point do you decide it is time to give it a go ? Just wondering when everyone else took out there hunting partner and at what age ?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member jacduck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Middle of Michigan


    My 9 y/o meat dog with a JH title at age 8.7 went hunting at age 4 months. Of course she laid in the layout blind in a snow goose field while the real dog got the retrieves, but it showed her a good time. And me too. Mostly slept under the head/back rest. At 16 months she got some retrieves of fresh shot birds that she had to share with her mentor dog. I guess it all depends on what you have in mind but you can spoil a young dog in a hurry by rushing things.
    John Cottenham aka jacduck in many circles before the internet

    "Duck hunter's minds are like concrete. All mixed up and permanently set."

  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013



    Cheers Mate,

  5. #4


    don't rush it! a big hunt with all the shooting can blow ones mind!!!

  6. #5
    Senior Member Zach Taylor's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Central Ohio


    Every dog is different. Read the dog and make sure he is rock solid before taking him on any hunts. My dog is 10 months old and a bit on the younger side but he is solely trained to be a meat dog and has had a lot of training in his short life. He still had a VERY LONG WAY TO GO!!! But he's solid in a mutt hutt with me shooting and waits to be released until given the command. If he wasn't steady to shot we would spend more time training. Even though he hasn't broke "yet" doesn't mean it wont happen, there's always room for improvement and training should NEVER end. Take it slow and easy.... this may not be the season for him since he will be teething soon also.
    Great Ballz of Fire QAA (Maverick)

  7. #6


    Yea I know we have a long time before he is ready. I was just sitting around wondering how would I know or what signs to look for to see that he is ready. Other than the obvious of course.

    I'm using Tom Dokken's retriever training book. This is my first lab and first time training one. So far so good. I'll post a link to my YouTube and you can see how he is doing so far with basic commands.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Bruce MacPherson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Jewell, Ore


    The infamous "it depends" Is appropriate here I believe. Prepare correctly and the dog can start fairly early. Frankly I am always more concerned wit the amount of time some spend hunting a young dog than the age of the dog when they start, go slow is appropriate. Remember it takes a long time to make a good dog and a short time to screw one up.
    "The longer you let a dog go in the wrong direction the more they think they are going in the right direction" Don Remien.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Jon Hass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Maysville, NC


    I think a little different then some but this makes sense in my head. This dog will be your hunting partner for hopefully the next decade. In my Opinion there is no reason to rush him into hunting this season and blowing his mind or taking a chance of him getting in a situation that you can not control. Train, Train, Train, and hunt with him to your hearts content next year.
    "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."

    HRCH Wag'in Codie Jo SH
    HRCH Mossbend's Remington Deluxe
    HRCH Double Barrel's Dust Cloud JH
    HR Doc's Heavy Artillery

  10. #9
    Senior Member grnhd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013


    I look at different than some. If its a hunting dog, hunt it. In my lowly opinion no amount of training can prepare a dog for what it sees in true hunting situations. A dog is going to have to learn to sit for long stretches of time with no action. I know I cant sit beside my dog for two hours teaching it to stay in a blind,on a stand etc. I can while hunting. I cant get 4-5 guys together and unload on a group of ducks at 30 yards.Swat cripples.Hoot and holler.I can while hunting. But you have to make it all about the dog and it does have to have the basics down.Sit,here,heel and I feel deliver to hand. Don't let it break,run wild etc.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011


    Quote Originally Posted by jwatson81 View Post
    I have a 16 week old lab. Been doing good on obedience training Following commands. just doing basic retrieves. I know he is not ready yet but at what point do you decide it is time to give it a go ? Just wondering when everyone else took out there hunting partner and at what age ?
    I really believe that understanding your dog and let your dog understand you will be a good start, but a small one...The waterfowl or upland game will not go away anytime soon...Make a commitment to have your dog that will have the required abilities to make you proud in a hunting situation. Give the dog the tools that you will teach so that your dog will shine...

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