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winona walleye

4 month old chocolate

14 posts in this topic

would it be ok to take him on a dove hunt? hes got all the basics down he comes to hand on retrieves comes back to the whistle sits and stays but has never had a gun shot over the top of him. Would it be to big of a jump to go straight to the dove hunt?

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Maybe... Maybe not! You a gambling man?

Myself, I'd make sure my dog is through his bird and gun intro. before I'd even consider taking him on "fun" hunts.

This can go only one of two ways... it will leave no scars or ill effects and have a positive influence on him, or you can totally sour him on hunting, birds and produce a gun shyness problem... it's a roll of the dice.

Hunting is always uncontrolled situations. You do not know what each bird and shot is going to bring. Training is setting up situations to expose your dog to what his life is going to be.

So my recommendation is to go hunting without him, have a good time. Bring a dove or two home whole for the freezer to start the gun - bird intro. Get him liking the frozen birds and slowly start working in his gun intro. Buy a starter pistol for this portion. Go slow, you have 10-12 years ahead of you to enjoy hunting with your buddy!

Good Luck!

Ken

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yes..too big of a jump. Your dog needs to be conditioned to gun fire first. I also recommend to some of the owners of dogs i've trained is to skip the dove hunt with the pup the first year. Doves shed feathers real bad, will get caught in dogs mouth forcing them to spit bird out. This can, (not necessarily though) lead to retrieving/holding commands. I have seen it many times but again isn't always the case. Others may have a different opinion but those two suggestions are what I follow. Once your pup has mastered the retrieve of other game..doves will be acceptable.

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Everything Labs said multiplied by 10. The risk is much greater than the potential upside. Slow down and be patient. You have a lot of good years ahead of you with your pup.

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I currently also have a 4 month old lab and would NOT take the chance of having somthing go bad that would sour the pup towards hunting. I would however go out and shoot some birds and train with them in a controlled enviroment where you can have a buddy throw the birds and use a blank gun to closely duplicate a hunting situation while you have control of the dog. That way your total attention is on the dog and not on shooting the birds. I would also use ducks or pigeons instead of doves as training birds, as even my older dog(and AKC Senior Hunter with two Master Passes) does not dig all the dove feathers left in his mouth. Pups are a blast and enjoy every minute of it. It will be soon enough that you will be dropping six ducks in the decoys and you will look down at you dog sitting there with ever muscle in his body quirvering and waiting to be sent.

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thanks for all the help guys!!

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I had my lab out around guns when she was 4 months old and it didn't bother her at all. We would walk around my CRP and as she was playing, I would shoot at sparrows as they flew by. She had a blast and retrieved the sparrows. Maybe I got lucky...

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Lot different sitting out there dove hunting and having multiple shots being shot over your head 5 feet away while you are trying to be kept under control, than allowed to run around and play in CRP with an occasional shot ringing out from a dozen or two yards away... The difference is apples to oranges.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Good point but I dove hunt by walking tree lines so it was pretty similar for me.

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Gonefishin.....Are you suggesting he would probably be fine to just go out and start shooting over his 4 month old pup without any gun intro?

I would sure hate to hear someone follow that advice (if thats what your suggesting with your first post) and come back asking why his dog is gun shy. I would not be willing to bet my gun dog in a game of poker....but I personally don't have good luck either.

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I would not take her on a hunt unless she has been trained for it. I shot pheasants over my Chocolate Pointing lab at 4 months but i put in hours of training her for the sound of gunfire. Started out right away the day i got her home with a blank from a longs ways away and worked in closer. when she got old enough i let her chase a pigeon with the wings clipped, the second time i tossed it i shot the blank pistol that she had heard many many times before. after doing that a few times every time she heard a shot she was looking for the bird and liked to hear a bang as she knew it was game on then. i also got a dummy launcher and she loves bangs now. the other night when we got a loud thunder clap from west of my house she took off to the west looking for the gun. She was disspointed when there was nothing there. At game fair when she heard gunfire in the distance she was PUMPED and wants to run towards it.at 5 months i had her huniting in ND for pheasants. She did very very well! each dog is different and you have to take it slow! any sign of fear and you have went to fast!!!

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311Hemi... I said that my dog was okay at 4 months with gun shots. His dog is obviously different and may not have the relaxed personality that mine did.

Like I said before, I probably just got lucky that she isn't gun shy now.

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When my pup was 4 months old i was shooting barn pigeons and she was tied up with someone holding her some distance away. She slipped the collar and as I pulled the trigger realized she was directly underneath me. That was her gun intro and I would not reccomend that or ever do it that way again. She is fine, and loves guns but I was scared to death when I realized she was right there.

Even though in this instance it worked out fine, I would still start with small calibers and work up to something larger and then decrease the distance between you and the pup. As others have said, its a 12 year imnvestment, dont wreck it in a few minutes.

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I've got a new Brit pup and am wanting to put him on some birds. I live in the Twin Cities and don't have any contacts to get pigeons. Does anyone know where you can buy a half dozen for training?

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