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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a lab that's 6.5 years old now. We started hunting last year a bit and really got into this year. She has no formal training but unbelievable natural ability in the field. She doesn't range to far and she isn't a boot hugger, however, I get the feeling she doesn't really know what she's looking for. We made a connection late in the first season and I'm really looking forward to the second. I'm wondering what steps I would take in the off season to teach her to "know what she's looking for"? I have zero knowledge in the dog training area so I suppose some books and maybe a few videos over the winter...but, can an old dog learn new tricks?
 

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Get the dog a lot of birds. Don't count on a finished dog, but there's no reason the dog can't be a decent hunting companion.
 

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:yeahthat:

The more birds the dog's on, the quicker he'll get it.
 

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Let's get together after the deer season. I know where to find some birds around here, and my Lab is also a slow/close worker. But he is birdy as hell and knows what the game is all about.
 

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Dogs are never too old to learn. I think that in many cases the older dogs catch on quicker than young ones. I work a lot with older rescue dogs, and it is always amazing how much the older dogs love to learn new stuff. And, like everyone else is saying, birds, birds, birds.
 

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You can teach an old dog new tricks. While not quite as old as your lab, my GSP is 4 and in the middle of her first season (started training her a year ago at 3). Alot of people told me she was to old, you gotta start em from a pup etc... But I think she's is doing great. She's consistantly finding birds for me. She still has a long way to go, but hey, so do I:lol: . Like others said, put her on lots and lots of birds, she'll figure it out. Keep at it, the worse that can happen is you spend some quality time with your dog.

Al
 

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When you say "old dog" are you talking about the Lab or the owner?...Just kidding!!!...As you are able to put the "team" into good grouse/woodcock cover and flush some birds, I'm sure it will fall into place. Our 5 yr. old Lab is starting to "get it" and it's fun to watch his body language when he gets a snootful of bird scent...Watch out!...Best of luck...Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Al W said:
She's consistantly finding birds for me. She still has a long way to go, but hey, so do I:lol: . Like others said, put her on lots and lots of birds, she'll figure it out. Keep at it, the worse that can happen is you spend some quality time with your dog. Al
She actually has done really well locating birds in the first part of the season. The last day of the (1st) season we were out and my buddy says suprisingly (and almost laughing) "Dood....I think Lily's getting birdy...somethings going to happen here." I didn't buy into it but I look over and her nose is sealed to the ground and her tail was going a mile a minute and sure enough Ruff came bustin out. I think it started to click with her right then. We were both so suprised that it happened there were no shots fired but it was just as fun watching her. I think it's more ME that needs to learn how to keep her in tune in the off season working with birds. But your right, birds or no birds it's awesome to be out there with your friend.
 

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even If your doing it all wrong you and the dog are having fun. keep playing. if you need hit the preserves and have them put bird out . if you can use training pigeons. some dogs will let you use the same birds over and over. mine wont. but the more you play the bigger the rewards.
 

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ok heres my take on it. your right when you say you need some help. that dog has the skills and desire. now you need someone to show you how to bring that out. get thee to a trainer lad! a good profesional trainer will get your dog started, and more importantly teach you how to continue on with the dog. it will be money very well spent.
 

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Get some live birds. Plant them in the field then walk your dog downwind from your planted birds. When your dog flushes these birds..........shoot them for her. Half a dozen of these exersizes will drill your dogs job into her head. If you flush birds and dont shoot them, she'll never know what her job is.
Chuker Partridge are very hardy training birds, and pretty inexpensive too.

Good luck to you and the ole' lady!:p
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Brydog said:
Get some live birds. Plant them in the field then walk your dog downwind from your planted birds. When your dog flushes these birds..........shoot them for her. Half a dozen of these exersizes will drill your dogs job into her head. If you flush birds and dont shoot them, she'll never know what her job is.
Chuker Partridge are very hardy training birds, and pretty inexpensive too.

Good luck to you and the ole' lady!:p
Thanks...I guess this is part of the learning process for me that I don't know. Is this something that is common practice in the off season? This may sound dumb but I didn't know if it were legal or not. So I can get birds, plant them, get her on them and shoot them? Can I do this on state land or does it have to be private?
 

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You'll have to get into your hunting reg's to find out for sure. Whoever you get your birds from can usually tell you the in's and out's of training with birds. How to dizzy them, how to plant them and so on.
If you have any more q's,, just ask away. I'm sure you'll get some good feedback.
 
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