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JHays1

Pups first waterfowl Season

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This is my first time training my own dog. I have a 9 month old female black lab who I am attempting to train on my own. She will be coming out to the blind with me this opener. I am pumped but a little worried about how the whole thing will play out. Anyone else gone through this experience? I have worked with her hard over the summer but I am by no means an expert.

At the same time I just want a dog that will sit in the blind with me and go bring back whatever is shot. She doesnt have to be perfect [for the 1st season anyhow wink ] but just good enough.

Any ideas suggestions for me to work on be prepared for before the big day!?

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I went through the same thing three seasons ago. I brought a 9 month old chocolate lab into the blind with me. I had trained her with a frozen duck at the lake during the summer and had worked on obediance with her as well.

I think the biggest key is to have fun with the dog. Don't expect perfection. Praise, praise and more praise when things go right. She will make some mistakes but thats no big deal. The dog will learn fast and will get better with every bird you shoot. Just have fun with your buddy!

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This is my first opener with my 1 year old yellow. Done all training myself and I too am a little nervous, but excited as well to take in his 1st hunting experience. Thanks for the advice for me as well.

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only let it retrieve if it is dead-my labs first retrieve was a huge goose in ND it was a great moment but over the years seeing what a wonded goose will do to a dog (shes a moose now a she dosnt miss a beat when a goose is fighting for its life) but that could do some mental damage to a young pup getting smacked with those wings,pecked,kicked.

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Couple of things I would do that worked for me, one of which was a lesson from a pro trainer who happened to be a big time waterfowler.

1)Bring a short lead, maybe 3' long and stake the dog down in the place best available for the dog to see what is happening. At the same time as close to you as possible. By doing this the dog gets comfortable sitting in one spot and not roaming. Also, with you close enough to the dog you can keep her calm and relaxed by scratching her ear, praising her or just petting her.

2) Bring a bucket of train track rocks. Throwing shells gets to be a bit expensive.

3)If you are with 2-3 other hunters try to remember that this is good training for your dog. What is learned NOW at this very impressionable young age will stay with her forever. Meaning, don't get caught up in YOU doing the killing but instead take the time to TEACH your dog good blind habits. I have no doubt that if in fact you hunt in a 3-4 person party the birds will be divided equally.

GOOD LUCK, BE SAFE & HAVE FUN!!!!

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Thanks for the info... good information.

At this point I will be happy if she successfully marks one bird off the gun as it splashes in the water and then goes and does her thing. I think from that I will learn that at this point I was successful because from there to me the sky is the limit.

Thanks for the advice. I can't wait!

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Couple of things I would do that worked for me, one of which was a lesson from a pro trainer who happened to be a big time waterfowler.

1)Bring a short lead, maybe 3' long and stake the dog down in the place best available for the dog to see what is happening. At the same time as close to you as possible. By doing this the dog gets comfortable sitting in one spot and not roaming. Also, with you close enough to the dog you can keep her calm and relaxed by scratching her ear, praising her or just petting her.

2) Bring a bucket of train track rocks. Throwing shells gets to be a bit expensive.

3)If you are with 2-3 other hunters try to remember that this is good training for your dog. What is learned NOW at this very impressionable young age will stay with her forever. Meaning, don't get caught up in YOU doing the killing but instead take the time to TEACH your dog good blind habits. I have no doubt that if in fact you hunt in a 3-4 person party the birds will be divided equally.

GOOD LUCK, BE SAFE & HAVE FUN!!!!

I agree with DB here. In addition to what he mentioned keeping the lead on the dog at all times while in the blind will keep him from breaking.....thus another part of teaching good blind habits. You may even go as far as to not carry a gun for the first hunt and strictly focus on the pup all the time. Let your buddies do the shooting and your pup do the retrieving....with you making sure it's done properly.

One other thing...and it may be fairly obvious but I will mention it since there have been a few posts of this nature recently and it was not mentioned.....you have done the proper gun intro with the pup....correct? It's one thing to shoot a starter pistol once while sending on a retrieve in training. It's a whole different ball game when your 2-3 buddies open up with multiple 12-gauges at that first flock that comes in!!

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Yes she has been shot over. I havent had a chance to get multiple gunfires from multiple guns yet but that is in the the near future. This last weekend she had a couple of 3 1/2 BBB shot right next to her when we were out for early goose. I didnt bring her out just let her sit mostly sleep in my truck then brought her out to play around with a clipped wing when a nice flock came over the top and I had my dad and his friends shoot while I watched the dog. No problems.

I am concerned about her marking off the gun a little bit though she doesnt seem to watch to much where the point any pointers on that?

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