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Thread: Young dog out to Hunt waterfowl

  1. #1
    Junior Member jleve206's Avatar
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    Default Young dog out to Hunt waterfowl

    Hello, my name is Jeremy and I have a male golden retriever that is going on 7 months old. I have had him in the field a bunch of times and he is really good when we get to move around and walk. I set up a blind and just wanted to see how he would do for an hour or so and he is very naughty! I expect that during this stage of his life sassy is going to be normal, but what I am wondering is if I should be expecting him to sit for hours( with a little fetch play every once in a while), or if I need to go back a few steps and continue extending his sit and stay commands. I always am working on those two commands and he does really good in the field and out but when I am sitting for an extended period of time he wants to eat and chew everything in the swamp. Has what I call selective hearing when called... I have a dog hut for him to lay in. Should I start that? So... I guess as a new dog owner that is going to try and teach my dog to hunt with me, what should I be expecting of him at this age?

  2. #2
    Senior Member KwickLabs's Avatar
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    Do you feel lucky or would you rather be good to go?

    You will have posts that run from "take the pup early and maintain control....it works" to the other end of the spectrum which is described in this link.

    Gunny's First Hunt (link)
    Jim Boyer www.kwicklabs.com
    MPR UH HRCH Kwick Taffey of Joemac's MH
    HR Kwick Daisy's Spirit Keeper SH
    Kwick Kooly Dew It Allstar SH
    HR Kwick Draw McGraw SH (June, 2007 - May, 2014)

  3. #3
    Senior Member Daniel J Simoens's Avatar
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    you are going to have more problems than not if you bring him out there right now.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Howard N's Avatar
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    At 7 months he's got a very short attention span.
    Howard Niemi

    You really gotta be careful about how high a pedestal you put your method, your accomplishments, your dog on. There's usually someone who's done more, somewhere. And they may have used a different method than you did! Chris Atkinson 2013

    get your dog out and TRAIN! caryalsobrook 2013

  5. #5
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    I don't think its necessary his age but the time you put in to him and his maturity level. If he is what you described I wouldn't do too much with him this year. Keep his training going and maybe a few hunts with just a buddy, yourself, and the pup; I wouldn't think about taking a gun either. I have found out through trail and error it is better to wait until the dog is ready not when you wishes he is, too many things can go wrong in a hunt that can be very damaging to a young dog.

  6. #6
    Senior Member jacduck's Avatar
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    Personally I feel I ruined a potentially good hunter by taking her hunting at less than a full year. Actually it was when the Tigers won game 7 or the world series against the cards. Anyone know the year without looking it up?
    John C aka jacduck


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

  7. #7
    Junior Member Coffey's Avatar
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    I Just took my 7 month old CBR out this past week for the early duck season in Iowa. I dont see it being much of a problem if you have a good foundation in SIT and they are not gun shy. In the past month of her life we have been dove hunting. Early goose hunting in south dakota and duck hunting. She has learned that her place is right next to me. its like after her first real hunt in the dove field she really understood what all the training is for and is now very watchful of the sky. But she is still a pup and will get a little bored, so I dont see any problem with letting her laydown or chew on a couple of reeds as long as she is sitting there quietly by your side. But as soon as she hears a bird or a call you better believe she is up and ready for some action. One thing that I have found though is that it is still best to have a lead on. She has been super steady in training from even when she was very little. but really wanted to break in the real action. I dont have to pull on the leash at all just having it on her seams to keep fer from breaking at all. but I still have ahold of it. I guess though in reality Age really has nothing to do with it you should ultimately know if it is time or not. But I would not have mine out there if she was not excellent at sit/stay

  8. #8

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    If it was me I would take my PUP, but remember he is still a pup. Keep the pup staked down so he does not break if you plan to shoot. Don't be afraid to take him for some walks when gets bored. This year is about teaching and having fun while in the field. Anything positive you get from him is great, and make everything as easy as possible for him. I try to take my pups on easy hunts, small farm pond, field hunts that provide cove for squiring pup. I avoid real cold water, big open water with big chop and long retrieves. First season is slow and easy no matter what age.


    Good Luck

  9. #9
    Junior Member jleve206's Avatar
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    Everybody, Thank you all sop much for your input. I decided to take my dog this weekend and I am so glad I did! Since in Wisconsin duck season opening day starts at 9:00am I had some time to work and play with my dog. I started with a good 45 min walk on lead and at heel to reenforce good manners and structure. I also brought out his little blind that I built for him and I played with him and a 50 foot lead some fetch into the weeds with goose wings from earlier this season. I also threw out a couple of tosses into the water and he was all over it. With water he has no temptations of trying to not come straight back so I don't use any type of lead for those exercises. I did keep a lead on him for most of the day, but there were definitely times when he was behaving so well that I took the lead off and just let him poke around. This was the fifth time that he was out, but the first time he had to hang out for hours. He held very steady when I told him to hide in his blind. For the most part, even when he was in his blind looking out onto the water I had his lead on to make sure he didn't break. I posted a picture of him waiting in his blind for the next round of ducks. I may have been lucky that he was so well behaved or the training that I have been working on is paying off and he is starting to grasp the concept of what we are doing out there. I would still have to agree with all of you. Take the dog when sit and stay are very well tuned and make sure that if your going to have your puppy out all day, bring some games that resemble his job. Fetch, find, retrieve... By the way, we shot 15 ducks on Saturday and he retrieved 14! There was one duck that fell too deep into the weeds that he could not find. I couldn't have been happier when my hunting buddies were praising my dog for doing such a great job! Oh yeah... and for training the fetch after that first marked bird, bring rocks that you can throw in the direction of the bird so they have a general direction for multiple retrieves. I did the rock thing the first two times and after that he just needed to be pointed in a direction and he went! I can't wait to continue this journey of learning and playing! Thanks again everyone!
    JeremyIMG00347-20120929-1316.jpg

  10. #10
    Senior Member Dustin D's Avatar
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    I brought my pup on his first hunt this Teal Season @ 9 months old.

    He's been through Basics and finished with Ear Pinch FF. Not yet CC/Fetch.

    He did fantastic, his blind manners were superb and he did two Blinds, one @ 65 yds through medium cover (Rice Field) and one in the decoys. Also three Marks, one in the outer decoys, one @ around 60yds and one @ 75 yds(Thrown).


    He also had a BARELY wing broke dive and swim and flop away from him, something he’s never seen a duck do before, and he DOVE under the water too and chased it down quickly. Scooped it up and bought it back to me without a feather missing. On another MARK the same. He scooped up a live bird and delivered to hand like he’d been doing it all along. He’s never had LIVE Ducks before, but did have Live Pigeons. So I was super impressed he snatched them both up and delivered to hand without eating, crushing, biting or anything of that sort.

    It was a fantastic day and we both learned a lot.

    I will say though I only did so b/c conditions were near perfect. I was in the blind with only one other hunter and we viewed the day as a Training Day so we were prepared to be patient and get out of the blind to let him work etc. etc. The blind also wasn’t known for HIGH numbers so we weren’t expecting to swarmed on by Teal.

    Turned out we both limited out by 0800 and pup had a completely successful experience. 100% Positive.

    Now he's not likely to make too many more of these this year. Not unless the situation arises again where the conditions are just right. But I'm confident he learned from it, enjoyed it and it benefited him. Now we'll focus on finishing his training, hitting up some HT's from now until next Fall and Lord Willing by next season he'll be 1 1/2 and should be ready to Rock for the most part.

    Here's the two different birds he bought back alive;



    Last edited by Dustin D; 10-01-2012 at 09:40 AM.

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