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Thread: Hunting a 10 month old pup?

  1. #11
    Senior Member BlaineT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by straightsix View Post
    looking forward to this years dove/duck seasons. the pup will be about 10 months old then and I am planning on hunting with him as long as the situation is good for a puppy. I feel after some good dove hunts he will have a good idea of how to hunt and should be ready for ducks.

    Any thoughts on this? Would most people hunt him or sit him out till next year? We still have our 12 yr old BLF but she's getting slower but still loves to hunt.


    I also plan on focusing on the dog for the most part and will be not taking my gun for the first few hunts.


    it is a yellow lab too, and we all know yellows are the smartest.
    Since you asked...without really knowing your dog and what it will be capable of doing at that point, I'd wait. Sort of our unwritten rule between me and the few guys i like to hunt with is we want the dog steady, want him/her handling on cold blinds, and quiet. I just havent seen the advantage of hunting them early. My last dog to start hunting (last season) was around 17 months old and it was a great season for him. Nothing happened that he wasn't going to be able to handle. Gonna hunt a dog next year and she will be around 16 months or so old and she will be thoroughly prepared before we take on a full season. If you have an older dog that will do the work, take him and train the pup, and the next season he'll be way more prepared for it. Just my .02 cents.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Matthew J. Ries's Avatar
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    It sounds like a small hunt on private land could be a good environment for a successful experience for pup, as long as you are focused on pup and maintaining high standards from training. The feathers could be an issue, unless you have spent time training with pigeons in the yard? Heat could be a factor depending on your location...some of the temps down south in September even at sundown are still in the 90s.
    Be honest with yourself and your pup, you see pup more than any one person on RTF...you will be the best judge.
    You can hunt pup young and potentially do damage (commands/breaking/physical injury/even death) or have a poor hunting experience, or if you know pup's not quite ready you can be patient and have pup prepared for years of great hunts.

    Took me a couple of dogs of hunting them too quick before I was more patient with my most recent. It's not easy though because after all we love to hunt, they love to hunt, and that's what we got them for!

    Best of luck
    Matt
    Matthew Ries, Pharm.D.

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  3. #13
    Senior Member HNTFSH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by straightsix View Post
    I feel after some good dove hunts he will have a good idea of how to hunt and should be ready for ducks.
    That's the part of your post that would make me think don't. Just as easy to give them a 'bad' idea as a 'good' one.

    If anything - I'd pop a few doves with the old dog and use them to train a few retrieves with the young dog. Those feathers do make a difference as suggested by others.

    You can only be so far along by 10 months. I'd guess waiting till duck season your better bet from an exposure perspective - assuming the dog is ready and experienced some flyer cripples in training.

    Opinions vary - but think all agree a 'let's see what happens' approach makes things out of your control.
    We shoot dogs with a Canon

  4. #14
    Senior Member polmaise's Avatar
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    I never put any of my kids into University before they had gone through kindergarten and primary school,then on to High school. But hey'?...I've heard of them one off' young scholars that could play a violin at the age of 8 !!! can you believe it?...I met one of them once ,and they couldn't tell me where the Toilet was,even although the sign was right in front of them?...what's all that about?
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  5. #15
    Senior Member Erik Nilsson's Avatar
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    I would base it more on the dogs level of training and maturity then any specific age plus if you think it may cause problems then most likely it will so don't set yourself and the dog up and regret it later on
    IMO we are rushing dogs to get what we want at the sacrifice of fixing things later on which is really unfair to a dog--
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  6. #16

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    Hunt him - but don't expect much. Expect him to chew on the first dove he gets, and they are "tasty" to a pup and much different than ducks. Be close for corrections - but he certainly won't learn anything in the truck or at home. The more time together in the field the better.

  7. #17
    Senior Member polmaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpws View Post
    Hunt him - but don't expect much. Expect him to chew on the first dove he gets, and they are "tasty" to a pup and much different than ducks.
    Help me out here 'Copterdoc'?..Having a whole lot of trouble figuring you guys out?...I am trying!!! honest!!...but it sure is 'Uphill' !?
    One Shooter One Spaniel One Retriever

  8. #18
    Senior Member HNTFSH's Avatar
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    Always easier to say "go for it" than be the bad guy. First hunts, pedigrees, you name it.
    We shoot dogs with a Canon

  9. #19
    Senior Member Mary Lynn Metras's Avatar
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    Don't hunt him. An accident waiting to happen. IMHO
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  10. #20
    Senior Member BonMallari's Avatar
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    I see this question asked every season at least half a dozen times from first timers with a young pup who is a "tweener"...OP gets good advice from people who have been there in the same situation, and then OP tries to justify that their dove hunt will be different because they are going to put the gun down and just hunt....

    To the OP, dove hunting can be fast and furious or dove hunting can be boringly slow...both extremes are very hard on a young dog in the Sept heat...everyone wants to hunt, after all its why you probably got a dog..If you decide to hunt your dog you take a real chance of undoing any training you may have already done, and if you have never even killed a fresh pigeon over the dog you are asking for problems down the road

    Hunt the dog..dont hunt the dog..the choice is yours, just give your dog the best chance to succeed and have a long career afield

    bring lots of cool fresh water for your dog both for inside of the dog and his outside too
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