Hunting too soon?
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Thread: Hunting too soon?

  1. #1

    Wink Hunting too soon?

    I have a 8.5-month old YLF that is wrapping up walking fetch, but has not yet started doubles or pile work. However, she does successfully retrieve a freshly killed duck thrown 20 yards away-- steady at heel to a shotgun.

    I decided to take her hunting last weekend with my 4-year old BLF thinking she would put 2 and 2 together. While she remained on the stand and went when I sent her on 4-5 easy marks, each time she stopped at the water's edge and turned around and looked at me. I did not apply any pressure, just called her back to heel and tried to send her again. After 4-5 separate ducks (easy marks within 25 yards), I gave up and let her watch her big sister the rest of the hunt.

    Questions-- I assume I did not mess her up any (long-term)? I also assume that pile work and completing training will fix that issue?

    My BLF was pretty much finished with basic training by the time she went on her first hunt at 13 months old, so I have little experience taking a younger dog hunting.

    thanks in advance

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  3. #2
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Souf Joisy


    You won't know what kind of problem you created, if any, until swim-by. I wouldn't do that again until I was sure she'd go.
    Darrin Greene

  4. #3
    Senior Member BigKahuna13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Pearl River, NY


    Unfortunately unlike people dogs do not really learn much from each other. I'd not take the pup hunting until all of your work is completed. It's easier to teach a behavior than to train one out. Good Luck!

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  6. #4
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Kansas City, MO


    It's been a very long time since I hunted a dog that wasn't through Basics; at least through T work, but preferably also through water force & swim-by. To do less is a needless gamble.

    "Prepare your dog in such a manner that the work he is normally called upon to do under-whelms him, not overwhelms him." ~ Evan Graham

    “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

    ― George Bernard Shaw

    The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)

  7. #5
    Senior Member grnhd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013


    How much work have you done in the water with her? Sounds like it might be a water issue?
    Also,the difference between a 8.5 month old and a 13 month old is huge.

  8. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    Has she been introduced to water?? Also how much water work??? If not and its cold out, I would wait. Keep everything posative , simple and fun and she will be fine.

  9. #7


    She is a 'beast' in water. Loves to swim and has retireved many times in water as well.

    However, it is probably just due to her hunting too soon. Thanks for the advice!

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