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  1. #1
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    Default Hunting Dog advice

    Hi All

    I went pheasant hunting on Sunday with a old guy with a GSP. This was the first time I saw a pointing dog in action and it was very impressive. She managed to find and flush 2 pheasants in about an hour. The first one I forgot to take off the safety catch of teh shotgun and when I had it off it was too late to shoot but with the second one I were ready and mananged to drop my first hen pheasant. The dog then found it as well as it fell into heavy bush. Was quite a lekker fat one as well. I skinned it and it is now in the freezer waiting for some more mates to join before I make a nice dinner.

    So that decided it for me - I'm getting a hunting dog. Since I were small I wanted a labrador. I love their looks and the few that I met were lovely dogs.

    So now my questions.

    1.) Will a Lab be able to find and point or flush a bird like the GSP did?

    2.) I obviously don't want to use it for pig hunting but chances are very good that we'll cross pigs when hunting. Is that OK? I don't want to invest time into training a dog and then losing it to a pig.

    3.) How do I train the dog to hunt?

    4.) I would prefer a female - for having pups. Dogs here in France are super expensive. Labradors start at around €900. So I would like to sell a few pups if I can.

    5.) We already have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel - obviously not for hunting although she loves feathers. She isn't trained or anything. How will that impact the Lab?

    6.) How does the Labs handle kids. I have a 2 and 7 year old.

    Regards

  2. #2

    Default Re: Hunting Dog advice

    There is a old shooter in Wellington Called Oupa Jasper. Who use to help with training dogs.
    Cant say if he currently still does.

    Just know its alot of time you have to be willing to put in.

  3. #3
    Moderator SSP's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hunting Dog advice

    Find a dog training club.

    Dog sports are huge in Europe so will not have trouble.

    As to training, you get out what you put in. You are also not going to learn how to train a gundog, or any other type of dog on the internet.

    As to breeding, it is expensive and not as easy as you might think.

    As to children, I recommend shock collars. If your children don't listen to you and treat the dog with respect, shock the crap out of them. Kidding, sort of. There are no such things as dogs that are good/bad with kids. Dogs do not bite without warning or without reason. Train your children, and them and the dog will get on just fine.
    Cattle die, kindred die, every man is mortal:
    But I know one thing that never dies,
    the glory of the great dead.
    Havamal

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Hunting Dog advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Methos View Post

    6.) How does the Labs handle kids. I have a 2 and 7 year old.
    If there's one breed that you can rely on to be good with kids (& adults & other dogs & even cats), that breed would be a Labrador. They are loyal and highly intelligent. They are tolerant and very sociable & happiest when they have lots of human company & interaction. The downside to this is that they don't like being alone so you can't leave them at home without company every day while you're at work because they get bored and chew stuff & dig and use their intelligence to find inventive ways to escape. Then when you get home they're so excited to have company that they are just about unmanageable.

    As for your other questions, like SSP I would also suggest you join a club where you can learn from people that have been in the game for years and be prepared to put in a staggering amount of work. A half-decent gun dog of any breed from a good working line can be trained to do just about anything you want provided you put in the effort.

    Disclaimer: I own a Labrador x Golden Retriever (or maybe she owns me) who is a house dog, not a gundog. To the best of my knowledge she doesn't come from a working line but she definitely displays hunting instincts that can only come from 150-ish years of breeding. Before we got her I looked into what goes into training a dog but quickly realised that I wouldn't have the time to do it properly so we got her instead of paying the premium to get a pup from a proven hunting line. Once you've been owned by a Labrador I don't think there's any going back.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Hunting Dog advice

    I have a Springer Spaniel and a Lab that I hunt with.

    The as far as I am aware the lab will never point it’s not in their nature or breeding. I have hunted with a friend who only has a lab and he does flush a little but really a little.

    My Springer has a really high work rate when we hunt and she does all the flushing and the lab does most of the fetching. They are unbelievable at marking birds.

    With children you can’t beat a lab. What I would say is make sure you spend a lot of time in the first two years training discipline. They must walk at heel and must know sit (train this with a whistle in case the dog gets a bit far from you) train the children to do exactly what you do with the dog. They love to please and making them sit and fetch is “service”


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Hunting Dog advice

    Read up on the breeds. English Pointers are great on finding and pointing game birds, but are poor retrievers, or basically not at all. The GSP's are dual purpose pointer/retrievers but have German obstinacy entrenched - very hardheaded. Spaniels flush and retrieve and normally hunt close by.

    For buck and boars there are other dogs more suitable. Google should be your friend in your research.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Hunting Dog advice

    Quote Originally Posted by bruce.patience View Post
    The as far as I am aware the lab will never point it’s not in their nature or breeding. I have hunted with a friend who only has a lab and he does flush a little but really a little.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    The first time I ever went hunting over dogs was with a mate that owned a Lab & a GSP. The Lab had learned to point by watching the GSP (and probably other pointers too, as my mate hunted in groups a lot). The Lab wasn't anywhere near as good as the GSP, but honoured the GSP's points and every now and then she pointed a bird herself. She couldn't hold the bird to point though, and flushed them before we could get to her.

    My Lab/Golden points moles in a basic way without any training and without having ever watched any pointers in action. She does this by lifting front right paw, standing still & staring intently at the ground, then suddenly she dives at a spot and starts digging. Occasionally she even catches one. I have encouraged her to catch rats and I think she regards moles as being the same thing so hunts them for me.

    I think Labs are just so eager to do anything to please their people that they are willing to learn anything.

    Having said all that, if I wanted a dog to train as a pointer, I would get one of the pointing dogs. A Lab can't be relied on to be a pointer.

    I've also seen pointers that are pretty good at retrieving..............

  8. #8

    Default Re: Hunting Dog advice

    There is lab blood lines in the states that piont.But iv never seen it here im sure they could be trained to back(honouring) the other dogs piont.
    hunting dogs dont get taught to hunt they just have it in them its pasted down in the lines thats why its important to try get out with other dogs from the kennel you intrested in.
    the only thing you need to teach them is the breaks . So i good sit and a recall is a good start walking on heel with out a leash is also nice stops your arms been stretched

    if you in france you will have access to some proper german wired haired pointers i would go that route more versital than a lab and less full of shit than a high drive GSP

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Hunting Dog advice

    Thanks for all the advice guys! I'm going hunting again on Sunday and will have a look at all the other dogs on display ;)

    Working on SWAMBO to allow the purchase of another dog

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Hunting Dog advice

    Pointers hunt and point well AND also retrieve.
    The misconception that pointer do not retrieve is attributed to the fact that field trials for pointer do not require a retrieve , hence most top dog from the field trail community do in fact not retrieve. this is attributed to training and not breeding
    There are many great hunting pointers that retrieve. Any true hunter will demand that his dog retrieve
    The only drawback the pointer has is that due to their big running style they can be difficult to train, but if you want to train a big running pointer, a Ferrari, you must have big balls

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