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Thread: need advice

  1. #11
    Senior Member Cass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    ON, Canada


    I have hunted my young cocker a lot this year (his first season) and he is only 10 months old. You have been given great advice - focus on the dog, not on the hunt (let's face it - the dog work is the best part of hunting anyways). For me it has been a bit easier as we haven't done any duck hunting just upland so far so if its just me and the dog and he flushes a bird and breaks I simply don't shoot. What I generally do though is have a friend with me and they do all the shooting and I just keep an eye on the pup so I can ensure he doesn't ignore his training. If you decide to send her back to the trainers there's no shame there - this is only 1 season... she's got at least 10 left in her, you're not giving up anything and only good can come of it.

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  3. #12
    Senior Member Steve Shaver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Cornish Utah


    Quote Originally Posted by ndk3819 View Post
    At some point you are going to introduce her to hunting situations. My best advice is if you choose to hunt with her, leave your gun at home and focus on the dog. Breaking can become a bad habit really fast and is definitely hard to break. Spending more time with the trainer will definitely translate well to the field, but all in all you have to maintain control in new situations and pups first hunts are definitely new situations. Bring a leash along if nothing else and make sure she cant break.
    Excellent advice above. Even after 4 months with a trainer your dogs is NOT fully trained. Training is not hunting. Your whole first season is just extended training and your responsibility and you are correct, you can undo that 4 months of training REALLY quick. Dogs can learn bad habits 10 times faster than good ones. I think the dog should be ready to hunt at 1 yr old with 4 months of training but it is up to you to uphold the standards your trainer has set for the dog. I would compare that dog to an engineer in construction fresh out of school on his first job, He is very well educated but he don't know s**t. Keep in mind what you do now will set the stage for the next 10 or 12 year hunting with that dog.
    Last edited by Steve Shaver; 11-16-2013 at 08:59 AM.

  4. #13
    Senior Member Daren Galloway's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012


    What sort of hunting do you do? Sitting on the bank, boat, dog stand, dog blind etc? I hunted my dog last year, then 9 months old, out of a duck boat. I was fortunate enough that it had a very nice dog box in it and we put a piece of rope, tied it to the box put a clip on the end and clipped it to his ecollar. He couldn't break if he wanted. I only let him get simple marks, insured success and if there was a bird he didn't see we pulled anchor and went and got it. Later in the season I hunted by myself on the river, took a leash and tied him to a tree, same story simple marks. Only at the end of the season when he had a bunch of hunt under his belt did I test fate and not stake him out. And he was fine. During the week I kept training doing FTP TT etc and maintained all obedience standards. I don't think hunting affected his training at all. This year it is his responsibility to be steady or he'll pay a stiff price. I am a firm believer if a person upholds the same standards while hunting as training, and don't ask the dog to do more than he has been trained to do, it won't do any damage to the dog. But had I thought it was damaging his training, I would've stopped hunting immediately.
    Daren Galloway

  5. #14
    Senior Member swampcollielover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012


    I have my new girl back after 3 months of training and I am sending her back in January. I will not hunter until she is handling well. Then when I hunt her I will not hunt, I will work her while others hunt. Once I see she is calm and focused understanding the same rules apply when hunting, then and only then will I hunt with her. She turned one year yesterday...

  6. #15


    You've been given good advice I have a 2.5 yer old that I can't hunt because he isn't steady he gets too excited it sucks !
    missing a hunting season but having a steady dog is more than worth it. If you want to go don't take a gun and focus on the dog. If your young dog isn't steady then all you will do is creat bad habits that will take a long time to undo. Good luck

  7. #16
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013


    Thanks for all the help. I hunt from a boat on big water, from the shore on big water, and also in the swamp. I think all these different scenarios are playing into the confusion. I think Im leaning towards sending her back to the trainer.

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