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Liberty or death Jr.

Tanks getting BIG

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This dog is getting HUGE, thats my 20# jack russel he is standing next to. He is also retreiveing like no tomarrow. 10-50 yard retrieves 2-3 times a day and I'm still leaving him with wanting more. Its great.

 

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At that age they remind me of being a teenager, kind big and long legged they move a little awkward in their growing bodies. Dont worry he will get much bigger before you know it, my yellow is 2 1/2 yrs and he is just starting to fill out nicely although he was always a little on the thin side. Have fun, hunting is coming soon.

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Do you think I'll be able to use him this fall? For pheasant and waterfowl? What can I expect from him?

 

You've got that right, he is still clumsy as can be, any time he tries to turn sharp while running its like his legs stop working, and he just hits the dirt and does a full summer salt. Its quite funny.

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How old will be be come September?

 

I think dove hunting is a good starter. Gets them used to gunfire and what not. Set it up so you are doing the handling the first few hunts and not the shooting. That way you can control/handle him (with a lead) a little better while getting him some opportunities to find some birds. I wish I had done that the first time I took Mocha. She ended up running across the 80 acre plot we were all hunting around. I was not able to control her bacause I wanted to shoot. Bad Idea. She got eveyones birds but that's not exactly what I wanted. I wanted her to hunt for me, not herself. I'm still fighting that a little bit today.

 

I think the first time I had Mocha out was right around year. I introduced her to gunfire earlier with a .22.

 

I think if he's obedient and minds there's no reason you could not take him earlier. Like I heard someone else say, set him up to succeed. Don't make it hard for him and to easily fail. Maybe plant a few dead birds, add some gun fire and get him excited about hunting. See where it goes and make adjustments accordingly.

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He is 4ish months old now..... So I guess 7 months until dove season, which was exactly how I was going to start him on hunting. 2 days ago I started adding obedience with retrieving, now, he will sit next to me, stay, watch the dummy hit, then wait for the "Tank" command, then he will get it and bring it all the way back to me, and even "Give" he is doing really well.

 

He isn't gun shy thats for sure, I'm gonna introduce him to gunfire in the next week while retrieving with him.

 

Does he look skinny for a puppy to you guys? Him and his sister are both that way, and I still feed him 3 times a day, 1 cup of Purina Puppy Chow per feeding. Or 2 feedings of 1-1/2 cups. Is he getting enough?

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Can any of you trainer guys tell me why there are several people on the gundog forum that think I should not be doing any OB training right now? They keep telling me to wait until he is at least 6 months old, and that if I don't I'm hurting his potential. I should just play with him, I don't see how a 10 minute session in the morning and a 10 minute session at night is hurting his potential. Mostly its just a 10 minute session in the afternoon, I'm not getting in both sessions lately.

 

He already has his OB down, it just needs to be sharpened. I don't feel I should stop now, what do you guys think?

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There are no doubt different schools of thought on how to train a puppy to become a hunting dog, some say start later and other like myself say start right away. Take all that for what is worth.

 

I would go along with what Webfoot said, and most definitely consider hunting him this fall - you have time to evaluate him before opener. Like webfoot said to is may be on the first few shots you handle the dog and let others do the shooting to teach him to hunt for you, I too still struggle with this from time to time.

 

Him looking a little skinny isnt too much to worry about, rather see that then have him fat. He is young so it will take time for him to fill in.

 

Keep up the good work.

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Thanks, I'm going to stick with your method, as I like it myself, and it is working great. Many people on the gun dog forum think I am hurting his potential, but opinions are opinions, and only that.

 

Thanks

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He looks good.As far as obedience I started Rascal's when he was 12 weeks old and by the time he was about 5 months old his obedience was excellent. All retriever training is built off of obedience. An uncontrolled dog at a dove shoot will make some people ill. I sent Rascal at 7 months to a pro trainer for force fetching and he could not believe the control I had over that young of a dog. He's never had a e-collar on never been any trouble to train. His drive is awesome and I contribute some of that to not using the collar. Just work some everyday on here,sit,stay and heel and you will be suprised how quick he becomes very obedient.

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What I would recommend if you are going to start working him around a gun is to make sure that you not be the one to shoot the gun. Try to get someone else to do the shooting and do it from a distance. 30 to 40 feet. That bang right next to a puppy could startle him and cause him to become scared. However, have a training dummy with you and after you calm him down (if needed) then throw your training dummy. And I would definitely start with a .22 and as time goes on if you have it work up to a .410 or 20ga. As he gets used to it you can shoot closer to him. However, just like your training for his retrieving I would only shoot a 2 or 3 times and then hang it up for the day. Last thing you want is a gun shy dog on opening day.

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I've already introduced him to gunshots, I'm even to the point where I can shoot clays while he is sniffing around, doesn't bother him at all. But, when retrieving, if I shoot at all, he will stop and look at me, it distracts him from the bumper, and he won't get it.

 

I can't do any retrieving now, he is starting to lose his puppy teeth. Yesterday, he had all the enthusiasm, but would drop the bumper right after he picked it up. He was trying, but just kept dropping it. I noticed blood on the bumper, and looked in his mouth, a tooth was missing and he was bleeding a bit.

 

So do I stop for now? Or try to use something softer?

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What kind of bumpers are you using? I could see the rubber bumpers with the numbs on them being a little painful like you described.

 

If rubber bumpers are all you have I would wait a few days or until he's able to comfortably pick it up and carry it. If not, canvas bumpers might work.

 

Maybe he'll develop a really soft mouth because of all this?

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I have a rubber one with pheasant wings wrapped around it. Then I have a tennis ball with duck scent and a tennis ball with pheasant scent. And then I have a frizbee, and 3 canvas bumpers, but they are too big for his mouth. I also have a dokken duck, which is also to big. For teething anyway.

 

He did all right with the tennis balls, but didn't have a lot of enthusiasm today. I left him home all day while I was working. First time I've done that now that I have a new job. He was excited for the first two throws. Then he went off and chewing on something.

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Make sure you get him on long retrieves too. On water they will do wha they have trained to do and stay short. Sometimes a cripple could go 100 yards or more.

 

And he is a good looking dawg !

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