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What was your first dog like? If it wasn't trained, was your first trained dog as special?

My first bird dog isn’t really a bird dog. I picked him up in 2nd grade in a corn crib. He is a lab/collie? mix. I named him Duke after John Wayne, who is my favorite actor of all time. Duke is a farm dog to the core, and amazes me everyday with his resiliance and skill. He often shows up with pheasants and deer legs as presents. He is somewhat a legend amongst my friends, much to my pride. I didn’t get into pheasant hunting until my sophemore year of high school, as nobody in my family did any hunting. I went out with a few guys with purebread labs, shorthairs, brits, you name it. We always put Duke in the barn so he wouldn’t interrupt the hunt. Once I left for college, there was almost no time to be with my beloved mutt, who was 11 and slowing down after being hit by cars 3 times (including me wrapping him up in a double axle trailer). So when I went home for Thanksgiving, my goal was to be with Duke as much as possible. I decided to take him to the back 40 and go for a quick hunt. Nobody was as surprised as me when he flushed quite a few birds, even though Iowa has been having extremely low numbers. This last year has been filled with memories of Duke running craziily around enjoying the hunt with me.He even points occasionally! Duke will never be replaced, but when he passes I know when the next dog comes, no matter what color or line, I will focus on taking advantage of this website in training it. Thank you in advance.
While I am buttering you all up, is there any trainers in Iowa or NW Missouri that wouldn't mind me tagging along to wrap my head around what this is all really about? I got in contact with Mr. Sheppard and am planning on helping him out late summer but one can never get enough exposure:p
 

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My very own first dog was a 8 week old lab mix that my brother picked up from the county shelter the day before she was to be put down. He was doig some community service there and saw the litter of 6 pups. He decided to take her home before she was put down. I was in my 1st semester of college after getting out of the Army. I lived on the beach and we had a blast together. She was one of the most gentle dogs I have ever seen except for her hatred of wild animals. Especially ***** and possums. If they came into the yard they didn't make it out. When she was 6 I got married and that next year we had my son. The day we brought him home Chelsea, my dog, slept under his bassinet and later his crib. I remember one day we had walked over to my mothers and brought Chelsea with us. My son was playing by the patio and had fallen down and started to cry. He was only 14 months old at the time. Chelsea looked over at him and saws my mother running to get my son. Chelsea ran over and stood over my son. I had to tell my mother to back up. She asked why and I told her that Chelsea was getting ready to bite her. Thankfully she did back up. It wasn't the dogs fault. All she saw was my son crying and my mother running to him. She was protecting my son. There were days when they would both be laying down on the floor next to each other watching TV. Everywhere he went she went. 2 years later we had my daughter and Chelsea started pulling double duty watching over the kids. They could do most anything they wanted to her and she'd lay there thumping her tail on the floor.

The only training she received was regular OB. She'd retrieve all day long. At the time I hadn't even thought about duck hunting much less having a trained dog. She died 10 months after I got my 1st dog that I had real plans for. She was almost 13.
 

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My first was a Purebred Rough Collie, I named "Goldie" because, well I was 5 and he was Golden!. He was a big teddy Bear and loved us all very much, I remember other kids being afraid of him because he was huge, but I didnt realize why. He was poisoned with Anti freeze and although my parents fought it for a few minths, his organs were too damaged and we had to put him down. Next up were a Sheltie and then we moved to a farm and another Rough Collie followed. His name was Bobo, and not being rude or trying to be fuuny, he must've had doggy special needs.... dumb as a bag of hammers, but soo sweet, everyone loved Bobo, he died of old age at 11.
 

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First dawg, a pink butterfly nose Britt, at age 25. Milo was named from a hunt I never forgot as a kid, with Chicken's coming up everywhere in a milo field in Walnut Grove Ca. I was about nine years old. My dad was not much of a hunter, and I was the retriever and the flusher--too young to shoot.

It planted a seed. Fast forward 16 years.

I was no trainer! Read Gundog, and did my best. Great hunting dog, but no formal OB. Though he was not polished by any means, he learned in order to retrieve a bird, he better be staunch to point. The one thing I knew, was Don't shoot if your pointer bumps a bird. It wasn't easy back then, but it worked. Hard headed dawg, with a handler that had zero experience.

That dog pointed a few hundred wild pheasants over the years and the the guys started to want to hunt with me. Kinda cool for a rook.

I will never forget the last bird he pointed at age 12. In my heart, I knew this was his last hunt. Pretzel point--bird in ditch. I was alone, and shooting a side by side. Missed on first shot( 20 yarder). The bird got right in the middle of a ball of sun. I pulled the second trigger, said a prayer and aimed for the sun. I caught feathers.

Milo, with nothing but heart, crossed the ditch, stiff and soar, brought back his last bird.
I have learned a lot since then. Both about training, and for the animals we love.

Nice post, My walls adorn pictures of some fantastic points---Milo, my first, will never be forgotten.
 

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I grew up with my first lab. We got him when I was 2 years old. I just pulled out the book we used to train him called "You and Your Retriever" which was published in 1963. It lists all of the active field trial clubs and many different test scenerios for field trials. The sport has come a long way because they all look like hunt test scenerios...most under 125 yards!

Back to my first pup...he was more like my brother, companion, hunting partner, a true best friend! He lived for 15 years and was a big 90 lb retrieving machine! Named my first child after him...still can't talk about him without shedding tears. What a dog!



I miss you, Sam!
 

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My first real hunting dog is right next to my side right now. He's a 3 year old black lab/German shepherd (maybe, not sure on the second part). He is my pride and joy, my brother, my buddy, my best friend, my most reliable hunting partner, and the only thing in the world that can piss me off to the max and then make me smile. His name is bubba.

I got bubba when he was around 12 weeks old. I remember seeing that puppy at a quick trip in Bixby, Oklahoma, and I knew he was gonna be my best friend. He was a big old boy, and he put my legs to sleep on the ride home. We've done it all together since day 1. He went with me everywhere as a puppy, and he still goes everywhere with me. I started training him with a mix of jackie mertens, Evan Graham, and a lot of my own little style. He picked up quickly and has been the most amazing mutt ever since. I trained him out to the level I wanted him, and he does the rest.

Bubba is a 115 pound giant, and he towers over all the other dogs. Despite his size, he is the most loving and gentle dog in the world. My 2 year old nephew plays with him all the time. He is an amazing dog. I love him more than I love myself. He is always with me when i hunt, and I never get tired of seeing him everyday. I've never seen him fail to love me and be loyal as the day is long.

Bubba is a wonderful dog. I love him now, and I'll love him until the day he dies. He is my big buddy. No dog will EVER take Bubba Gump's place. That big giant has my heart, and he knows it.

P.S. If anyone in or around the Tulsa, OK area wants to see what this behemoth mutt can do, give me a pm. Ill show you what a mixed breed dog is all about.
 

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Charlie was about the best dog i ever had-too bad I wasn't as good a trainer/hunter as i am now- i was only 23 or 24 and was given this son of Cork of oakwood lane dog at 1 yr when we left Univ. he was super but i stank- not much time or knowledge but he got me through several hunts OK-
 

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my first dog was a Brittany (spaniel, in those days) named Tanya. i got her from a guy who was thinning out his kennel for $75. She was 5 years old at the time. he said she pointed and she seemed to like me, so i bought her on the spot. She couldn't get in the truck fast enough! she seemed to be real happy to be out of there.

we hunted stocked pheasants together here in Ct. for the next 7 years. her last 2 years she was on 3 legs due to a little run-in with a truck which required amputation of the right front leg. she didn't seem to care and could still run quite well. she hopped when she walked, though.

although she was a really good pheasant dog, the thing i remember best and miss the most was the greeting i always got when i came home. she would run at me full tilt and launch herself chest high, twisting around so that her chest was pointed up. it was my job to catch her. i always did. hopefully, i'll get the chance again some day.....
 

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We had a german shepherd when I was real young, don't really remember it, as well as a minature schauzer that I don't really remember all that much. The current family dog is another minature schauzer that is currently 14 years old and belongs to my sister. I never really had a dog that I could call MY dog growing up but there always was one around. My family isn't the outdoors type so there was no hunting or fishing growing up.

The past 7-8 years of my life I've gotten into hunting and fishing and decided last year it was time to get a dog. Everybody always asked me 'when are you getting a dog?' An opportunity came knocking where I could get a litter mate of the puppy my friend recently received and I jumped on it. Sure it's had it's up and downs (he's only one year old!) but I'm enjoying every second of it.
 

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I grew up with my first lab. We got him when I was 2 years old. I just pulled out the book we used to train him called "You and Your Retriever" which was published in 1963. It lists all of the active field trial clubs and many different test scenerios for field trials. The sport has come a long way because they all look like hunt test scenerios...most under 125 yards!

Back to my first pup...he was more like my brother, companion, hunting partner, a true best friend! He lived for 15 years and was a big 90 lb retrieving machine! Named my first child after him...still can't talk about him without shedding tears. What a dog!



I miss you, Sam!

Awesome story! very sweet pic!
 
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