Hunting Lab/Gundogs??

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by sillysally, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    I am wondering if any chazzers are or have been in the past involved in hunting with gundogs. I'm toying with the idea of hunting with the next lab we get (won't be for a long while), but have never hunted, no longer have family that hunts, and just generally don't know where to start.

    Any experiences, tips, ideas, etc, would be appreciated....
     
  2. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I can see if I can convince Denis (my OH) to come on, he grew up with field and trial labs in Alaska. I don't know a ton myself but I think Shai does?
     
  3. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    I know we have a few infrequent posters with working gundogs and amber's husband is hoping to get a working gundog. A few members (pops and I think releasethehounds) hunt with dogs but I believe they have coursers?
     
  4. Miakoda

    Miakoda New Member

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    We hunted (ducks) with our male Lab. His sister, Snowflake (black Lab...she earned that name -_- ), failed as a duck dog, but she did well with rabbits (along with bringing live pissed off Kildee birds back to our back dog before gently depositing them into my hands).

    I was just 14 at the time, and with us not having any experience, we sent them off for training at 6 months and again at 18 months. Snowflake was entirely too ornery and independent, so she "failed".
     
  5. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    I do not have Gundogs, and haven't for a long time. I do have a few friends that do, they hunt with Brittany Spaniels, Wirehair pointers, German shorthairs and Pudle pointers.

    I've never trained a complete hunting dog. I'm sure there are some tricks to the trade, but mostly it's just dog training. My friends with the Brittanys , wirehair and pudle pointer all bring their pups out and do training with us at our "bite sport" club :) Of course later they do some different stuff, but the bonding, the foundation, the OB, retrieves, etc are all pretty much the same.
     
  6. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    I think I confused with someone else, oops. We had a member at one point who had some cur dogs and I think some lurchers, and I believe they hunted with them. I can't remember the username, though.
     
  7. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    I have had mostly fur hunting dogs, including curs, bulldogs, mixes & my one greyXsaluki. The only bird dog I had was a Boykin Spaniel. My brother & his dad have had ALOT of English pointers & setters. My BIL has had a couple of GSPs and currently has one & a GWP. I have also hunted hogs w/pointers & pointer mixes.
     
  8. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    Ideally what I would want is a good "go anywhere" dog that I could hunt casually with as well as other outdoor activities, plus dabbling in agility.....that could be too ambitious though.
     
  9. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    All are generally equal in the field & sport potential. My BIL's GSPs seem(ed) more handler oriented than the English dogs I've dealt with. So far his GWP is also.
     
  10. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    I know people who do agility with their bird dogs. It's certainly possible. Labs, of course, are typically retrievers, so their work at hunting is confined to bringing the bird back. However, there are pointing Labs. I'm not knowledgeable about hunting dogs, though.
     
  11. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Just really seeing this now. I'm not really sure what you're looking for though, to be honest.

    But regarding the hunting + other activities thing, there's no reason why not, depending on how much time you have and the dog in question. It's not uncommon to see hunting dogs doubling over in agility or obedience or even conformation, though how frequent that is does depend on the breed.
     
  12. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    Most retrievers will work upland game similar to a spaniel.
     
  13. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    Do you hunt with Mira? I guess I'm trying to figure out how you go about getting involved in hunting with a gun dog if you've never done it...
     
  14. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    No unfortunately I don't. Grew up in a hunting family but I have no place to hunt over a dog. About half of Mira's sibs hunt, mostly upland, but we just go out and train with a group when we can and will be doing some hunt tests this year.

    The biggest thing is finding someone who does hunt who can show the ropes with the hunting style/dog you choose. And finding a place to hunt which, depending on your area, can be the more difficult thing.
     
  15. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    I love labs, and would most likely stick with that breed. Can a dog do well at both upland and duck hunting or does it tend to be one or the other?
     
  16. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    Another question I have is about the actual training...Are ecollars pretty much the only option for hunting retriever training? I'd really prefer to avoid that if possible....
     
  17. GraceTW22

    GraceTW22 New Member

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    I duck hunt regularly, though I have never personally had a gun dog- we usually pay a fellow with two goldens (go figure, the rare hunting golden) to come out with us on days we wanted a dog. I'm sure that you can do all sorts of things with them in the off season, but I will warn you I have never taken out a good retriever who wasn't professionally trained by going away to the trainer, and I have seen many a dog ruined by the wrong trainer who was too heavy handed with the ecollar or too light on the work with actual ducks. I kid you not we took someone with us once who had a lab that BARKED AT THE DUCKS. :mad: I'd definitely work on finding a trainer just as much as you work on finding a breeder!

    Edit: E-Collars are not the only option, though I have to say I much prefer a dog trained with a light hand on the remote than a heavy hand using other methods. My stepdad is a guide doesn't do ecollars (though he does not have a dog these days), but he also is a native american and I am fairly certain he speaks dog. And duck. And clouds. And swamp english. Trained his last dog to bark at the scent of the game warden... :eek:
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  18. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    Wirehaired pointing griffons are well known for being very versatile in both hunting and sports. There's a local griff breeder who is a 4H leader, several of her puppies are successfully being used by the kids as agility dogs.

    I like that they're very handler oriented. They were bred to be close working so don't range too far from you while in the field and on walks.

    I don't have any specific gundog training know how. Charlie was very natural so I didn't have to do much. He was pointing for the breeder by the time he left them. Totally fearless of gunshots. Had a built in recall. He pointed quail and grouse every day. He pointed my ducks at home. He naturally retrieved birds with a soft mouth, like the dead owl he found. He was so gentle with it that the researchers at the Burke Museum were able to mount it for display.

    Anyway, griff people are really proud of their individual dogs being able to hunt upland birds on Monday, then go out for waterfowl on Tuesday, do an agility trial, conformation show, and chill out with the kids in between.

    Charlie was extra awesome because he taught himself to dive for butter clams at high tide. He used to bring me piles of clams. :cool:
     
  19. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    A single dog can do both, it's just that a fair number of people prefer one over the other or have one more accessible than the other. Fairly common for FCRs, don't know much about hunting Labs. They are somewhat different skill sets though and need to be addressed thus. Best would be to find a breeder who does both or has dogs go on to do both.

    No they are definitely not the only option. Across the pond ecollars are apparently far less common than here but especially for a hunting partner there are plenty of folk who train without an ecollar and end up with a fine partner. And plenty that train with. You do have to watch your lines though -- I've heard a lot of Lab folk complain that ecollar use has gotten so widespread especially in the field trial heavy lines that the dogs have gotten harder in general and it's more difficult to train them without an ecollar now. There are some interesting articles out there on the subject as well.

    Like any training the main thing is to know what you want and build a good obedience foundation. Work with someone who hunts the way you want to hunt so you can see what the end product looks like. If you can train with them too, even better.

    If you get involved in any gundog/hunting retriever forums be forewarned: the ecollar debate is one of the hot topics in that world. Tread carefully. Just walking in and saying "I haven't trained a gun dog before but I am/am not going to use an ecollar!" can be like walking into the BC boards and declaring you can't decide whether to buy a sporter collie for your first BC.
     
  20. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    yes 45
     

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