Golden Retriever... new to hunting


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By Zack_DeWolfe - 8/14/2012 8:01:06 PM
Hi all!

I am brand new to this forum, although I have been donating to DU for years. I have a one year old Golden Retriever that loves to retrieve. I have been training her since she was 5 months old and she definetely has the drive. She will sit by my side while I throw her bird (bumper) and then wait for my command before going after it. Needless to say, she understands her duty.

However, I am running into a problem. She has yet to been on a hunting experience. She has been swiming in lakes with ducks and geese but whenever I try to show her that they are indeed the "birds" she simply looks for me to throw a bumper. I'm hoping she will simply adapt and understand when I shoot my first bird with her around.

Any suggestions?
By Pit Boss - 8/14/2012 9:43:58 PM
Saturday and Sunday we trained with live ducks and we let one dog that hasn't seen many cripples chase a duck around the marsh. We use dead ducks every day we train. Do you train like you hunt. Has your dog been introduced to live birds, shotguns, duck calls and decoys? Why not go out and set out decoys, blow your calls and shoot popper loads? If you do that before the season you will know what to expect once the season starts. Keep in mind that not every duck will fall in your pocket so throw some birds where he will have to put a little effort into it. 
By Mallard Mugger - 8/15/2012 12:20:25 AM
Has she been properly introduced to gun fire?  Do a search for intro to gunfire.  kghops has some good stuff.  He even put together a video for it.  PM him and you probably can get it for a reseanable price.

As PB said, train with birds.
By blizzardhunter - 8/16/2012 9:43:32 PM
Pit Boss (8/14/2012)
Saturday and Sunday we trained with live ducks and we let one dog that hasn't seen many cripples chase a duck around the marsh. We use dead ducks every day we train. Do you train like you hunt. Has your dog been introduced to live birds, shotguns, duck calls and decoys? Why not go out and set out decoys, blow your calls and shoot popper loads? If you do that before the season you will know what to expect once the season starts. Keep in mind that not every duck will fall in your pocket so throw some birds where he will have to put a little effort into it. 


I totally agree. Once or twice a week I've been taking my pup to a pond and doing a hunting set up.  Decoys, mojos, layouts/ boats, calls, guns, multiple shots/hunters, ect.  Anything and everything your dog might encounter on a hunt.  Its a fun change of pace and he loves it.  And if you go thru all the gear you own and even borrow some you don't from your buddies then there shouldnt be any suprises come hunting season.  A flea maket is a great place to find birds.  Most have some type of duck or atleast pigeons.
By Pit Boss - 8/17/2012 6:37:43 AM
An even better place to get birds is to volunteer at a local hunt test or field trial. Offer to throw birds in exchange for some dead birds after the trial/test. I would not go if you expect to work one hour and walk away with some birds. On the other hand, if you are helpful I would think the club would be happy to give you some birds in exchange for throwing dead birds or shooting live ducks. It saves the club from paying help. Plus it is a great chance to watch good dog work.
By Swamper - 8/22/2012 3:55:18 PM
Pit Boss (8/17/2012)
An even better place to get birds is to volunteer at a local hunt test or field trial. Offer to throw birds in exchange for some dead birds after the trial/test. I would not go if you expect to work one hour and walk away with some birds. On the other hand, if you are helpful I would think the club would be happy to give you some birds in exchange for throwing dead birds or shooting live ducks. It saves the club from paying help. Plus it is a great chance to watch good dog work.


yeah..........what he said.  great way to learn training tips, meet some good folk and maybe leave with some birds..  :)
By taxlaw1 - 8/28/2012 7:38:35 PM
May I seriously suggest joining a North American Versitile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA) ASAP. Theybareca great group,of people and love to train together. 
By dito - 8/28/2012 8:26:09 PM
Taping some duck wings to the bumper wont hurt either.