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Training an Adult Lab

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I couldn't find this conversation, hope it is not a repeat...

I am considering adopting a yellow lab that is 3 years old. She has not been trained to hunt and does not come from a known blood line. The dog has displayed some natural hunting instinct and understands basic commands.

If I were to adopt her, it would be a relief to the current owner as they can no longer provide care. I have been contemplating a hunting dog and think this could be a win-win situation since I would not have to pay for the dog and it has been spayed and well taken care of.

Anyone with any experience in this area have any advice for me?

Thanks in advance

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If I were you I would go ahead and adopt. Labs are bread to hunt, just because there are no bloodlines to prove it is a proven dog, does not mean it wont hunt. All it takes is one trip where she flushes up some roosters. My 4yr old lab came from a pound, and is a great hunter. Good luck!!

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I would definitely get her. Labs are born to hunt. I would suggest taking her out by herself to see how she does. If she doesn't get it, maybe see if you can go with some guys that have a seasoned dog that she can learn from. Good luck!!

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I would suggest going slow, and using a lot of encoragement. A LOT.

I got my lab at 3.5 years. She was not a hunter and a little gun shy. But she is commming around. Once you get them on track the instinct comes out and they will suppries you.

It can be done. Get the dog. You never know, it may be the best hunting dog you ever had.

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Thank you for the encouragement and advice. I did choose to adopt her and just brought her home this afternoon. She has been wonderful so far and listens to my basic commands very well. She even played fetch. I am excited to begin training and also am happy to have a new friend. I am sure I will be posting a few pics of her soon...

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I think the best is to go slow, like what was said above. A guy told me while feeding her, bang some pans together to simulate loud noises. It is best to introduce while she is doing something she likes. Also get a cap training pistol and while training in the field shoot in the opposite direction of her. This may give an indication if she is gun shy. I have no idea of what I am doing and my dog (yellow lab) can hunt better than I can shoot. So it is my belief anyone can do this. Another guy told me you will get out of your dog what you put in, meaning time.

Good luck.

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I certainly don't have my expectations set too high. She is well behaved and personable so even if she never hunts we will still love having her around. Your stories and advice are encouraging and I am definitely going to put forth all the effort I can to give her an opportunity to let her hunting instinct out. I have made connections with a few people who have well trained hunting dogs and will be seeking their advice regularly, as well as, gathering sound advice from people like you.

I've attached a couple not so great pics of her (I am bad with the camera)

Lola.jpg

LolaSprawled101208.jpg

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I know you said she is not out of any known hunting lines....just curious if you have any idea what lines she is out of?

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I know you said she is not out of any known hunting lines....just curious if you have any idea what lines she is out of?

Unfortunately, not... I do not even know from what area she came. We picked her up in Winthrop, MN.

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I also adopted a lab with no expectations of having a great hunter, but I was able to get him out with some other well trained hunting dogs and a couple of patient friends who were willing to us out to get my dog on some birds, once he started to put it all together he LIVES to hunt now and is never happier than when he is jogging back to me with a pheasant in his mouth. He couldn't be any prouder and I couldn't either. They are such a joy to have around, in the field and at home. Best of luck!

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Train her like you would a pup - do the basics, sit, heel, stay, COME. Do dummies and BIRDS, throw in a wing tied to a bird. Be careful with the intro to guns, there is no quicker way to ruin a dog! Good luck!

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Originally Posted By: 311Hemi
I know you said she is not out of any known hunting lines....just curious if you have any idea what lines she is out of?

Unfortunately, not... I do not even know from what area she came. We picked her up in Winthrop, MN.

Cool. In the pics you posted she looks just like my older lab (3.5 yo)...so I was curious if you knew where exactly she was from.

KashSleeping.jpg

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Oh, well no I really have no idea where she is from. I see the resemblence...that is a really good looking dog.

Things are going really well. I have taught her sit and heel so far. I am picking up a book from a friend who has offered to help me through the process.

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After reading this post I have some relief. I to just took in a 1.5 year old lab that was going to get put down. The couple was going south for the winter and one of their kids that was living at home for awhile took in this lab from a dog pound as a pup, then moved away. So this couple was going to go south for the winter and didn't want the dog. Anyhow, now I have hime and he is a wonderful dog. He has never hunted, so I to am hoping on training him. I have tried with a dummy and he will retrieve 5 to 6 times then loses interest. So I quit right away and I don't force it on him. Question for anyone out there, how do I get him interested in it or it will just happen eventually? When he brings me the dummie I award him with praises and how good he is. He seems to get easily distracted with scents in the air and on the ground. Anyone out there with some experience on this issue? I know some of you are thinking "that is why I buy a puppy so I can train him from the very beginning" but I feel that some dogs really just need a home, so if it takes some extra work on our part so be it. He has a home and a family that loves him.

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Why do you need to do more than 5 or 6 retrieves? That is usually plenty in a training session. Unless you are working on a complex type of scenario for a trial or test...

Try some frozen pigeons or chuckars to wake up his instincts. Get him excited about the birds. Start planting the birds when he can't see them and teach him to 'hunt dead'... lots and lots you can do. You can teach him the same as you'd train a puppy. Get a good book and follow it.

Have fun with your new pal and just keep exposing him to different hunting scenarios.

Good Luck!

Ken

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