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Thread: 1 year old too late?

  1. #1
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    Default 1 year old too late?

    Hello,

    I am new to this forum and have been researching getting a bird dog and training it myself. My father in law recently purchased a pup from reputable breeder in Houston. Well I have a chance of getting a 1year old black lab male from that same breeder for free. These dogs come from Master hunter bloodlines. I don't know how trained the dog is currently. I was wandering if a 1 year old dog is too old to train. Forgive my ignorance I have no clue. I can't afford to train the dog professional like my father in law did. 550 a month is a little much for me. I know there are tons of books out there and probably everyone has there opinions. I don't plan on my dog to compete and just want a simple bird dog that minds, marks, stays on its spot, and is a great companion. I probably need a basic obedience dvd and beginner hunter. What do you recommend and how should I go about this.

    Thanks in advanced sorry for the long post and rambling no coffee this morning.

  2. #2
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    there is no reason a one year old couldnt be trained. id just wonder why hes giving the dog away (no prey drive or something).
    by the way set your goals high in training. and you never know you might just like the hunt test game if you try it.... good luck
    Jeff S.

  3. #3
    Senior Member redleg06's Avatar
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    I would be questioning why this dog is free. Ive never seen anyone give away a truly good dog or one they have invested any amount of time productively working with so I guess I would be asking alot of questions before considering this. Bloodlines are great but they dont always mean your dog will turn out, especially if its not developed to its potential by training.

    trust me when i tell you...THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FREE DOG!!!

    the training equipment will cost money, A good training program will cost money, the dog food, vet bills, time & effort etc...will all cost money and the cost of the dog will be one of the least expensive investments you make in this deal and if your priorities are to have a long term hunting buddy and companion as you say, I would save up money and get a dog on your terms that has the traits you know you want in a dog...research the parents for ability, temperment, health clearance etc and then make your selection. This is a 10+ year investment in most cases and not one that I would rush into because you feel like you are getting a good deal on the price. Like anything else, you usually get what you pay for.

    As far as training goes, I dont think you can go wrong with Smart Work system from Evan Graham or Total Retriever Training with Mike Lardy. Ive also had friends successfully use the "fowl dogs" dvds with good success and a lower price tag than some of the other programs.

    good luck and welcome to the forum

  4. #4
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    The reason they are giving it away is because I believe he is in the military and shipping off. This dog has not been trained for birds at all. There are some good training sessions on youtube do you recommend following them?

  5. #5
    Senior Member redleg06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shu View Post
    The reason they are giving it away is because I believe he is in the military and shipping off. This dog has not been trained for birds at all. There are some good training sessions on youtube do you recommend following them?
    As stated before, I would recommend getting a sequential program and following it. This site and others can be supplemental for helping you with questions that you have along the way but training a dog starts from the base up with each step building to the next to the next etc... You may pick up a drill or set up from youtube or articles online but without a program to follow or someone with experience guiding you, you are going to have a difficult time putting together the pieces to the puzzle and make things much more difficult on you and the dog.

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    You is the dog out of. Someone on here might be able to give you some info on what to expect from the dog from other pups or their parents. Remember all dogs are different and there is no guarantee.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Socks's Avatar
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    Good advice so far. Now, don't be scared off by all the costs associated here. Keep in mind that the vast majority on here train their dogs to very high levels. It sounds like you're wanting a meat dog. Some may consider that a derogoratory term, but I don't. It's what you want and it's your dog and who knows you may really get into the training like I did. With that being said stay the hell away from youtube unless someone on here recommends a link. Here's why, I looked on there shortly after I got my dog and there was a "Professional Trainer" on there that had his dogs doing really short water retrieves and said how good his dogs were doing. They weren't doing well at all, trust me on this. I'm a newbie and I could tell they weren't doing well.

    As far as training materials. I've heard good things about the 3 "Fowl Dogs" DVD's. You'll be able to get all those for a little $100. The Mike Lardy stuff and Evan Grahams "Smartworks" are a lot more, but I would imagine are way more in depth and both have been used to get dogs titled in the higher hunt test levels(not sure about the field trials stuff though). I'm trying to use the Mike Lardy stuff and it's high end and sometimes hard for a new trainer to understand. Now if you go to a book store more than likely you'll find "Water Dog" and/or "Game Dog". A lot of people don't like these books for various reasons. It's basically a really old book with outdated training methods and the timeline SHOULD NOT be followed exactly. To tell you the truth I own "Game Dog" and I taught my dog how to quarter a upland field using it, but that's about it.

    There are costs though that shouldn't be neglected like vet and food and care. I'm sure you'll do those.

    One other piece of advice. Do proper gun fire introduction! My last dog was gun shy and it made the 4th of July hell. It's easy to make a dog gunshy so look up how to do it properly. No sense in doing all the training and then ruining the dog.

    Welcome to RTF and if you get this dog I hope you both have fun!
    Joe Dickerson

    R.I.P. 4xGMPR HRCH Hunters Marsh Jack Daniels Bubba Jazz MH
    Call Name: JD

  8. #8
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    Money is not the problem. I don't have an issue spending money on proper training my dog. I was just saying I don't have the 550 a month car note type of money to get my do trained. Plus I believe that I will have a better bond with my dog if I train it my self. How much time do you devote a day training your dog? Do the dvd explain this?

    I believe I am going to get the Smart Work system from Evan Graham. I was looking at Obedience, SmartFetch, Basic Handling, Water Force & Swim-by; Basics Pack $105.00. It looks like a good start and is nicely priced.

  9. #9
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    I had a similar opportunity (free dog, 9mo, owner moving overseas) and I got the same warnings. I was also only wanting the same thing as you- a good gun dog. I decided that the worst case scenario was that she wouldn't work out for hunting and I would have a good pet. Four months later, I am so glad that we got her. She is turning into a great gun dog and I have been able to do all of the training myself so far. The cost hasn't been astronomical especially once I got done with puppy food. I am so thankful every day that I made the decision to get her.

    I would recommend buying Smartwork vol 1 (book) if you are not wanting to spend a ton on training material. I think it is about $25. When you get ready to force fetch, order Smartfetch. That is all that I have used and so far, I have been thrilled with the results. Also, if you choose to use Evan Graham's material, one HUGE bonus is that he is a member here and on Duck Hunter's Refuge and is always available to answer questions in threads.

    EDIT: Just saw your last post. I am also a first time trainer so I understand where you are coming from. As far as time, I can only speak to my experience. I train 15 min before work in the morning and 15-30 after my kids go to bed at night. I have been very pleased with the progress we have made in what I feel is a short amount of time.
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    Last edited by ducknwork; 04-21-2011 at 05:20 PM.

  10. #10
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    I would not have time to work in the morning due to work. Is just training one times a day ok. Also, is it everyday or you need a break?

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