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Epiphany customs Keron Religious Discussion 3 01-04-2018 02:41 AM

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Old 04-08-2018, 03:36 AM
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Bobcat In The Woods Bobcat In The Woods is offline
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Default My Labrador has a had an Epiphany

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Hello interneteers.

This past week I have had a great "awakening," I guess you could say. Or more precisely, my dog did.

I have a two year old Lab/collie that is "my baby." She sleeps on my pillow, rides in the front seat of the truck, always gets a bit of my food, etc. But, she is a Labrador, and it shows.

Despite not having the retrieval part of being a retriever down, she has a nose and is good at using it. Ever since the first time I took her for a walk as a two month old puppy, she has been able to track, and do it without any training. She just did it. Once, at nine months old we trailed a coyote who was carrying a dead rabbit for over a mile. Another time, she found a grouse in a bush and pointed, then flushed it.

Her biggest flaws are stubbornness and gun shyness. The stubbornness I blame on the border collie, and we're working through that. But the gun shyness is ridiculous. She gets scared and hides under the bed when the neighbors use a hammer: he's a hobbyist furniture maker, so it's frequent.

To break her of this, I've been working with an air rifle. It has variable pressure/velocity capabilities, so I've been shooting it with her on a leash next to me. I give her a treat before every shot (beef jerky), and have worked up in pellet velocity and volume incrementally over the past year.

Thursday, I decided to test her. We went out for our daily walk, but I brought the 22 this time. She knows what a rifle is, and is used to me carrying one when we go out (two and four legged predators lurk our woods), so everything was normal. When we got back to the truck, I had her sit at my feet and burned ten rounds into the mountain. She responded by nudging me for a treat. A small victory, but a victory none the less.

Friday, I took her out to another one of our places that I know has squirrels for days to see how it would work. Normally she just chases them when they're on the ground, then runs off when they get to the trees. We found the first squirrel and that is what happened. So I called her back to the tree and put her on the scent. While she was sniffing the base of the tree, I tossed her a treat and took a shot (I missed). It took a moment for her to figure out what just happened, but then she was back at the scent. By then the squirrel was barking at us, and it got her attention. I shot at it again (and missed again-I blame excitement), and she got even more excited.

Eventually, I gave up on that squirrel because it had gone into a hole in the tree, so I called her over and we went on. The next time she crossed a squirrel scent, she barked and took the trail. I followed and when I got to her, she had another squirrel treed, jumping up and barking, then coming to me and trying to bring me over. I never got a shot at that tree rat, but for the sake of consistency I put a round into the dirt and gave her a treat.

This went on for a few more squirrels, until I was low enough on ammo to call it a day. Gotta save a few rounds for the walk home, you know.

I was content with this development for the day, but she had more surprises for me. On the way back to the truck we have to go through a big open area where we normally see deer, coyote, ground squirrels, and jackrabbit. Normally she just chases them indiscriminately (not coyote, which is fortunate) until they get into a hole. Well, this time she got on a jackrabbit scent and starts tracking, and barking at me to follow. So I follow out after her, and she leads me to a thicket of blackberries. She then pointed, and flushed a jackrabbit. I burned through a few round trying to get it, but never did. But I realized when I looked back that she had not moved to chase the rabbit after she flushed it. Instead, she had returned to me and was sitting excitedly at heel. I told her to go get it and she took off after it. This time she tried herding it back to me, which I think is the border collie again, but I didn't complain.

I was out of ammo by then, but I let her chase the rabbit anyway until it found a hole. Then I called her off and gave her a treat.

So there you have it. The story of how my dog literally went from exuberant puppy to a squirrel treeing, rabbit running hunting dog over night. I have absolutely no explanation for this, but I'm not complaining.

To be continued, I suppose.
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Old 04-08-2018, 07:52 AM
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ManyFeathers ManyFeathers is offline
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You can teach a dog to hunt but the hunting is in the dog.......or not!

A true hunter loves to hunt just as much as you do, that doesn't mean that the dog doesn't need some training, it still does, mainly manners

If he's gun shy, you may be screwed, this is one of the hardest things there is to try to cure.


Let the dog go hungry, then give him some real good food to chow down on, while you beat on the bottom of a large metal cooking pot with a large spoon. Start softly initially for each feeding session and work up to louder for each session

Do this over and over every time he eats, until he becomes accustomed to it

Then work up to a .22 rifle. make sure you give him lots of petting and loving when he does well.

If he responds well, then, instead of feeding him. Shoot your 22 and if it doesn't bother him, give him a good treat after firing. Continue until he's accustomed to it.

This takes time and patience on your part, don't try to do this too fast, take your time .

If he responds well, then work up to larger calibers

Set aside a time of the day for training, then give him training at that same time everyday. Just like when you went to school....

By doing this, you teach him the ability to learn, instead of just teaching him tricks or whatever

There is a book, Gun Dog by Richard Wolters is one of the best books I've ever read for training, it's old but very good! I'm sure it's available on Ebay and the like
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:14 AM
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Mattsn Mattsn is offline
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Great story. Dogs are awesome. I have a lab. (pure bred) and shes obsessed with hunting.
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Old 04-08-2018, 11:32 AM
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MI.oldguy MI.oldguy is offline
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Our border collie/lab mix will track also.she always has her nose to the ground.we also taught her hand commands,sit,turn,heel,lay down,stay..she turned 10 years old easter sunday.

Funniest thing we have ever seen,we will be walking her on trail and I can say,.....,turn left,or,right.and she turns that direction,freaks people out.I do believe she is a person trapped in a dogs body.she really is the best dog we have eve had.border/labs are GTG!.
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Old 04-08-2018, 01:48 PM
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I have allway,s had labrador,s. To me they are the best family and hunting dog combo.
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Old 04-08-2018, 02:40 PM
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Fillzee Fillzee is offline
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I agree that hunting is either in the dog or not. My best "bird dog" was my cocker spaniel. He had zero training, never raised near noise and a gun but he would never give up on a pheasant. You could put him in the nastiest briar patch, surround it and wait. He would be in there crawling around, yelping as stickers got him and sooner or later, presto --- birds would come out. He would exit with his ears sticking straight out --- imbedded with stickers. Nothing would stop that dog.

Next up, years later my hunting buddies bought me a Brittany spaniel while we were hunting at a preserve. The parents of "Jessie James" were both champions, mom was the dog that got rented out by hunters if they didn't have a dog. Amazing dogs. Jessie has so much potential. I dragged pheasant scented dummies around the yard, crossing over my path to confuse him, and then hid them as he waited in the house. He came out running with his nose up like a dart and found them every time within seconds, perfect point. Sadly, my son and buddy took him to a pheasant preserve where they let out some birds. The dog NEVER was exposed to gun shots until that day. He got on the first bird like a magnet, did a rock solid point and they jumped the bird. It came out running towards the truck on the ground. As the dog was hot on his tail, they both shot. Jessie looked back, then ran under the truck and never came out. THAT was the end of his hunting career. They ruined him with a few shots. If you picked up your gun, Jessie would run for cover. We tried taking him out again after that but the dog never had the confidence or the desire to chase the birds --- he was always watching us lol. That's how to ruin a great gun dog. Take ManyFeather's advice on how to get the dog used to noise. It's not rocket science but it takes patience, reinforcement, and a good background on how to train dogs. There's nothing better than watching your best friend hunting.
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:51 PM
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My Labrador has a had an Epiphany
Next time you'll know to keep her penned when she's in heat.
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:05 PM
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Go to trap/skeet range. Start far away with the dog on leash. Work your way slowly there with lots of treats and love. Have another dog/person with you that isn't gun shy can help.
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:34 AM
Mr. Sockpuppet Mr. Sockpuppet is offline
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Originally Posted by charliemeyer007 View Post
Go to trap/skeet range. Start far away with the dog on leash. Work your way slowly there with lots of treats and love. Have another dog/person with you that isn't gun shy can help.
Agreed. Dogs learn a lot by watching other dogs do what they are supposed to do.
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:36 AM
Mr. Sockpuppet Mr. Sockpuppet is offline
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My 100 lb. Lab loved to swim and retrieve. Of course, that is what they were bred to do.

He wasn't fond of gunfire, but he didn't run from it either.
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dog, hunting, lab

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