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gun dog advice(please)


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As any one got any good tips or advice etc, for the training of my 7 month old lab, i'd like to use him as a gun dog eventually if poss.

He's got a good pedigree from Drakeshead and flashmount socrates lines, and i've been watched him work/play and can see he has potenial.

I like to start him on basics and see how he goes, are there any good videos or books you all could recommend.

ATB

Darren .

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Over the past 25 years I have had 6 labs. There are many books on the subject of gundog training, but since getting my first lab I have used PRA Moxon's guides to gundog training. I certainly would recommend Moxon's books if you are seriously considering training your lab. Below is a link to one of his books at Amazon, I hope this helps:

 

www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1853105015/ref=sr_aps_books_1_2/026-5721246-6410052

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Darren you wont get much better advice than that offered by our "resident" dog training expert N.T.T.F.

Many members have benefitted from his expert advice.

I am sure he will respond to your post when he reads it, but don,t ask him round to show you as he lives in Canada and i am sure his expense account might be a bit steep. :yp:

:lol:

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Darren:

 

If you would like me to give you some help I would be more than willing to type something up for you. Please let me know where your dog is at. Does he come when called, sit on command and whistle, stay for extended periods of time, gun broke, steady to shot and fall and any thing else you can think of. Let me know where he is at and where you want to take him, and I will see if I can come up with a plan to help you.

There are a number of training related posts in this thread that you can read over in the mean time that might help you.

 

Good Luck and remember to have fun.......NTTF

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Thanks chaps for your reply's.

NTTF -- yes i would be very greatfull for any help and advice.

Here is the story so far.

Black lab -- Jack , 7 months old.

walking to heel on lead only, will retrieve dummies and toys , but looses interest quickly.

Off lead will recall to whistle, and sit to verbal command (sometimes) and stay (sometimes) when close, though not when afar.

Have taken him out with blank firer and to local shotgun club, and is fine with gun fire.

Uses his nose very well searching out ***-bits, rabbits etc .

Thats about it really , not much i know, i realise it will take time , but not sure where i/he should be at this age anyway.

 

The biggest problems at the moment are :-

he will not retreive 100% and deliver to my hands, sometimes he runs straight to the dummy sniffs it and leaves it , and comes back to me with out it expecting praise.

Also distractions are a major problem , when i'm trying to train him, how can i make more keen to stay focused on me :yp:

How do i get him to stop in his tracks (off the lead ), and listen to me for instructions example, stop, sit, change direction etc .

As i said not really sure what to do, if i need to start all over again , thats fine , but please tell me,

Advice and help most welcome.

Darren .

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Darren:

 

You need to start all over again. However do not dispair it is not all that hard. First off you need to get your dogs obedience up to snuff. This means he must sit, lay down, come when called, wait, stay, and heel reliably before you can expect to do field work. His retrieving problem can be fixed in one of two ways, we develope a strong natural retrieveing desire, (SNR), or we force break the dog,(FB), personally I perfer the (SNR).

I will deal with the retrieve now as I am going to try to take some pictures to go with each of the obiedience lessons.

I would imagine that Jack has a weak retrieve as a result of having a constant supply of toys or items to pick up and carry around when ever he desires. If this is the case pick up all his toys, his play time will now only come with you. All retrieving sessions now should be limited to 6 to 12 throws. Get Jack as excited as you can, do not make him sit and wait for the retrieve, let him go as soon as the bumper is thrown. As he comes back with the retrieve praise him, good boy thata boy. We will instill manners and control over his retrieveing after we develope his drive. If he leaves a retrieve on the ground and wanders off or returns to you put him away and call it an end to that session, when you bring him back out remember if he only did 4 retrieves before he quit, then only do 4 retrieves this session.

A second method to help build his desire and drive is to have a friend come over with a ball, or bumper crazy dog. One that will play retrieve for hours on end. After the dogs have been introduced properly start tossing a ball. The high drive dog will naturally get the ball in the beginning, however you will find Jack is going to chase along with this dog and before long his desire will be to beat the other dog to the retrieve. Everytime he goes out whether he completes the retrieve or the other dog does praise him as he returns, lots of good boys, way to go Jack, thata boy, etc.

You have to make his retrieving fun and something that he looks forward to so for the next little while try to fit in 2 sessions a day of around 20 minutes each session. This will having him looking forward to going out to play and should create the drive we require to build your hunting companion.

 

 

Remember........KEEP IT FUN

 

I will start the obedience post in the next couple of days.

If you have any questions please ask.

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NTTF -- Thanks for the help , you are so correct in saying he has lots of toys lying around which he carry's about ( i did,nt realise it was a bad thing) from today i will put them away and only use them at play time for retrieves.

All the best

Darren.

ps .looking forward to your next advice .

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Darren:

 

Don't give up on me, I am trying to get some pictures together, that I can put with the training text for obedience. It will make things much clearer and easier to understand. Hopefully I will have it all together by the weekend.

Have you noticed any improvement in his retrieving and attention since picking up his play toys?

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NTTF or anyone

 

Any cures for car sickness (i know nightmare) :yp:

 

She drools badly and if more than 2ish miles is sick (I don't feed her before any journey)

 

She is in the back of my VW golf and it dosn't matter if she is in the front or boot or in a car trailer.

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Jonnyni

 

Check with your vet to see what travel sickness pills are availabe to you and a correct dose for your particular dog. Over here we have two over the counter travel sickness drugs to choose from Graval and Travel Aid. Using medication such as this should help get her over it.....she knows right now that if she gets in that car she will be sick...let her travel for a while with out being sick and she will soon be able to travel without medication. Car sickness in dogs is no differant than car sickness with children.

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When I bought my pup the guy had taken them for journies with mother and pups before we picked her. The result was that after just 3 or 4 trips these pups were perfect in the car, in fact my dog still loves being driven about in a car.

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A way i have used in the past is to just put the dog in the car for short periods, without moving the car. Then after a while start the engine, and just have the dog sitting in the car with the engine running.Finaly just go for short drives at first no more than a couple of mins. Progesevly get longer on the drives it has worked for me in the past. Best of luck.

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NTTF your spot on with the fact that she knows that she is going to be sick she hates the car which restricts the areas where I can train her. I did goto the vet and she told me the travel sickness pills where for long journeys and the dog would be very drousey or nearly knocked out which aint much use. I could try another vet in my area in fact I will call him today.

I really want this problem sorted out as im sure you's all can imagine as I travel anything up to 300 miles in a day to go fishin and shooting. That might sound extreme mileage but Southern Ireland has it's rewards both for shootin and fishin.

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over the counter travel sickness drugs to choose from Graval and Travel Aid

 

NTTF I take it when you say over the counter you are talking about a chemist

 

Sorry for soundin thick but I had a late night :)

 

Ive heard of the likes of 'sea legs' might work but I will ask the vet first

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jonnyni

 

If you are thinking of useing the travel aid drugs to help get your dog over her car sickness, then dont worry about hunting her while you fix this problem. Worry about getting her over the problem first. This will mean you are taking some drives with your dog where she will be tired and drowsey at the end of the trip, but she will also be calm and relaxed and will have learned that the car is not the big scary monster that she believes it is at present. So instead of taking her hunting go fishing that way she can sleep it off while you are still enjoying your day.

Whether you decide to go with the method TC posted, (which is another good solution), or with the travel aid,(available from your chemist) these solutions take time and are not an immediate fix. You must take the time to wean the medication off slowly, allowing the dog to adjust. If you are looking for something to get the two of you through the hunting season with few side effects ask your vet about

" attrivet" tabets they are a sedative made for dogs. Given at the correct dose, around 10 to 15 mg for a 45 pound dog this drug will calm the animal down but will still allow it to work.

Jonny I know what you are going through I use to own a setter that would get sick if she looked at the car too long. It took me around 8 months to get her over this phobia.After that I had 10 years of hunting her with no travel problems.

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