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Some of you may remember my question concerning hypoallergenic hunting dogs a few months ago. Well, depending on the Holliday my

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  • Some of you may remember my question concerning hypoallergenic hunting dogs a few months ago. Well, depending on the Holliday my

    Some of you may remember my question concerning hypoallergenic hunting dogs a few months ago. Well, depending on the Holliday my family will be getting a goldendoodle either the 3rd or the 5th. She will be 8 weeks old. I would like to train her to hunt. I realize that the goldendoodle is not the most ideal hunting dog but I have done some research and found videos and articles that support the breed as being a decent bird dog. I figure I'd train her to be a bird dog. The pheasant and quail numbers around here aren't great but there is a huntable population. Anyways, what steps do I need to take to turn this pup into a decent bird dog. FYI she is 8 weeks old.

  • #2
    Don Quixote -

    Swamp collies that hunt are bred for it a-purpose.

    To dilute thet with a poodle and expect the dawg to be trainable may be asking a bit much.

    Gitchocef an English Pointer or Setter from field trial stock and enjoy yore dawg and yore time indy field!


    • #3
      I think the briers will tear her-up,I'm with Blackdawgs on this!


      • #4
        Most of the swamp collies these days are better at Frisbee and hanging out the window of a Volvo or Subaru than much of anything else. You should get one of the Gun Dog DVDs and give it a whirl. She might surprise you. Mine died last year after 13 years. She was a rescue pup and a great pet, but a PITA to train to do anything but shed or retrieve a tennis ball.


        • #5
          Bayouwoff, you have to realize this is a family dog. You think if I had the opinion to get a dog specifically for hunting I wouldn't have? I'm just glad this dog may have the ability to hunt. It sure beats the hell out of a yorkipoo. I barley phesant hunt anyway, I'm usually busy bow hunting and waterfowl hunting. That being said if I had a dog that would make my time worth while then I would make an effort to go out a few more times in a season.

          Treestand, I don't know if your talking about her coat but if you she has a short wavy coat (1-2 inches long). It's closer to a golden retriever than that poofy teddy bear look that you see in most golden doodles. Was that why you think the briers might tear her up?


          • #6


            • #7
              Ncarl -

              Labradors make great family Dawgz.

              Git a good one, and ye kin train him to do ennything.

              Go to a local field trial and see who's got the good dawgz.

              The purchase price of a dawg is very small compared to the cost of feeding and maintenance.

              It averages mebbe $1,200 a year for food,plus veterinary care.

              Never mind Ah got Woofie for a bargain price.

              I knew his pedigree.

              In 8 yeas, I know I have spent mebbe $14,000 on him, including training and typical veterinary care.

              Ah trained him with live birds: Pheasants, dux,chukars, and quail.

              Is a mixed breed thet won't hunt worth it?

              Easy enough to git a smart Lab to do anything a pointer can do.

              Mah dawg did it without training; just watching bird dawgz work.

              Ah took him to a hunt test and he wuz the best retriever there.

              Pointed all the birdz, too.

              Woofie is sickeningly sweet.

              He wood have been a great pet fer a ittle girl.


              • #8
                Poodles were originally bred to hunt and are great in the water. They also have been trained to hunt truffles. I think the dog will be fine for hunting.


                • #9
                  Standard poodles were originally hunting dogs, so that cross could produce a pup with very good hunting instincts. It’s always hit or miss on genetics, and training obviously plays a huge role. I’ve seen purebred dogs from top hunting lines that were worthless and I’ve seen mutts with lots of non-hunting genetics in the mix that made great hunters. There is lots of training info available online and elsewhere. Only thing I’d offer is to start slowly, initiate basic obedience training at the appropriate time and make early hunting training fun.


                  • #10

                    People here who offer suggestions without any backup experience (only conjecture) can divert your attention and cause someone to make a costly error.


                    I'll not argue with someone like that.

                    I'll only try to help someone who is willing to accept the advice of a very experienced person.

                    Woofie came from a very small kennel thet produced 24 field champions and a National Champion.

                    He is great for a good reason ; he is descended from the best dawgz (see my photos).

                    97% of all NFC's are black Labrador retrievers.

                    See thet photo of Tar of Arden posing with the field and Stream perpetual trophy that is awarded to the best retriever in the country?

                    All competitive Labradors today are descended from her.

                    Every dawg trainer or handler out there knows that champion retrievers make the best hunters.

                    Field and Stream is about the best hunting and fishing.

                    I'll not waste my time rebutting the idle chatter of those seeking warped entertainment.

                    signing off...


                    • #11
                      Gun break your pup starting as soon as you get her home. Get Wolter's 'Gun Dog' or 'Water Dog' and try her out. If she will steady at the shot, she might make a dandy retriever. My big black dawg is from a line of field trial dawgz out of Conway Kennel, WA. His pop was a big Chocolate Lab. My little blonde girl's sire is Tri-Labs 1x5 Grandmaster titled pointing Labrador Blackjack’s Tiger. Good dawgs come from good dawgs. That said, one of the best retrieving Labradors was Rocky, a mixed breed lab IMO. He was without pedigree and was a rescue puppy by a friend of mine who hunted him for 11 years. Like the Duck Commander sez: Take 'em hunting, if they love it they are easy to train. Good luck with that dawg.


                      • #12
                        Exactly, Black Dawgs! If you haven't had any experience with hunting dog crosses then you shouldn't be condemning them. The finest dog I ever owned was a small lab/golden cross that looked every bit the black Labrador. She was a veritable guided missile in the field but the sweetest dog in the world at home. I have seen a lot of multi-thousand dollar dogs that couldn't compare to Ethyl.

                        I have said it before, the labradoodles are going to be a serious threat to the Labrador retriever very soon. They have a wonderful disposition, are great in the water, smart as a whip, and don't shed (much). I know of several that are fine hunting dogs. Unfortunately for goldens the hunting traits have fallen by the wayside in recent decades due to their popularity as an SUV dog. Still, I believe that a cross with poodle could produce beneficial results.

                        Back to your question now that the "idle chatter" has concluded: raise the pup in the house. Period! Sounds like that's what you intend to do but make sure you stick to it. Raise it in the house and it will stand a better chance of knowing how you think. Get a fold-up wire cage for those times you have to leave it alone at home (or get ready to spend a lot of money replacing shoes and furniture). Give it a treat and it'll pile right in there. Any time I pull the cage out from under the couch my Brittany pup can hardly wait for me to get it popped up before she's already crawling in it.

                        For now mostly just work on basics. Sit and stay are the first commands and the dog should learn these within days. My dogs are required to sit and stay in the doorway to the kitchen while I pour out their dog food a few feet away. They will stay at the edge of a field while I walk a quarter mile or more to hide a bird for them. And they don't move till I release them. Also work with teaching the pup to heal without using a leash. Point down to your side whenever that's where you want it to be. If my Brittany pup is working in the field and I whistle and point to the ground at my side, she better be their pronto (and she almost always is). I have never used e-collars and my dogs are great. But I have a lot of time to spend working with them (and I don't pick bonehead pups either). Your pup should start retrieving stuff fairly early. But don't push it. I find they like the flapping of my cap in their face and will start bringing it back to me right away. Picking up your cap is a great thing to teach them anyway if you hunt in windy situations. I wouldn't expect this pup to be much of a pointer but you never know. It would be a mistake to try to "teach" it to point. If it happens, it happens and then maybe you can work on polishing it up a bit. If it doesn't happen on its own, it's not going to happen no matter how much effort you put into it.

                        Good luck. I'm sure this dog will work out fine for you. You're attitude is already great. And if your attitude is great, the dog's will be too.


                        • #13
                          I have never had any issues with gun-shyness and never made any effort to train my pups to overcome it either. However, I do know it can be a problem (and seems to be more and more so with the SUV goldens). If the pup starts out being jumpy about loud noises early on, then maybe you have something to worry about. Some dogs can be pulled out of gun-shyness relatively easily with just a bit of effort and some are hopeless forever. In any event, I would say just watch its reactions for a while and don't think about doing any testing until it's at least three or four months old. Build up a good foundation of love and affection first in case it initially does react badly to gunshot test. You'll want to be able to settle it down quickly and that's easier done if the pup is "bonded."


                          • #14
                            Better to introduce your pup to gunfire by using a starter pistol during feeding from a distance as Wolters' techniques describe.

                            Contrary advice is taking a chance on ruining YOUR dawg. Sorry Honker, you're all wet on that one. Be safe rather than sorry.


                            • #15
                              Oh well. Difference of opinion, WAM. I just don't see any point in potentially frightening the crap out of a new pup who is already trying to adjust to a new home, etc. A couple of months shouldn't make a huge difference and I certainly wouldn't think that waiting would present any potential to "ruin" a pup.

                              At four months Pearl took off for the truck when I fired my first shot over her when goose hunting. I brought her back with lots of encouragement and we got right back in the saddle. She was fine by the end of the day and in less than two weeks she was picking up honkers too. She's the only dog I have owned that's even shown a hint of being gun-shy. At three months Opal never batted an eye when I first shot over her with 12 gauge. She was absolutely fixated on the birds. I doubt she would have paid any attention if a meteor had fallen in the next field. Pups will have lots of opportunities to encounter loud noises in the natural course of things. Thunder, f*&#ing noisy motorcycles, etc. The pup's reaction to that stuff will probably give you some idea about possible gun-shy problems. If a pup doesn't mind being outside in a thunder storm then that's a very good sign (however, I have owned great hunting dogs who hated thunder storms). If the pup jumps every time you hit a key on the piano or runs under the bed whenever the screen door bangs, then get ready to tackle some serious issues. And probably sooner than later.

                              My experience has been that gun-shy issues are rare in hunting dog breeds (makes sense!). Personally, I wouldn't be overly concerned about looking for a problem that's probably not going to surface in any event. I wouldn't pick up a starter pistol unless there was some indication that it might be necessary to start shooting over the feed bucket. Be more concerned with establishing control. I brought Pearl back and she made it through the first day of hunting because I was in control and she had confidence in me.

                              One of the best ways to familiarize a pup with gun noise is to take it hunting with an older dog that knows the ropes. It's often monkey-see, monkey-do. The pup might be initially startled and frightened by the gun noise (as my Brittany pup was) but as soon as it notices the other dog is all excited about something else, the fright element disappears. It focuses on what the other dogs are focused on. And that's the end of it. The classic example was my buddy's nine year-old chihuahua. A sweet little dog (that never barks!) but deathly afraid of guns or the noise they make. We took Hershey and Pearl deer hunting with us and spotted a bunch of sharptails in a pine tree. I got out and shot one with my shotgun. Came back to the Jeep and of course Pearl was going ape wanting to chase the birds. And little Hershey was just as excited whereas usually she crawls into some crevice under the seat.

                              I would probably recommend taking a pup out in the field for some plinking with a .22 before subjecting it to shotgun noise (though I'm not sure I have ever done this). Back home many guys, including my dad, started pups hunting out of a truck for grouse. The pup can watch the bird from the confines of the cab while the shot is fired. Even if they do panic a bit, there's no place to go. And grouse shot with a .22 tend to flop around a lot and that really gets the pups attention immediately. The next time out take a shotgun instead of .22 and the pup probably won't even notice the difference in noise. Of course, only do this where it's legal and safe to shoot grouse on the road.




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