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Thread: Labrador/stalking

  1. #1


    Hi All,
    I currently own a Sussex spaniel bitch, she is a great little dog and for fills most of my hunting requirements, but as I get more involved in stalking I have started to think about getting another dog. And have been looking at the HPR's, particularly the GWP.However a good stalking friend of mine with years of experience, and has owned the breed before has suggested that a Labrador would be a better option.My question is does anybody have any practical experience of using a Labrador for stalking/rough shooting.

    Cheers Will

  2. #2
    I'm in the process of training a 6 yo lab thats been used for picking up and rough shooting/beating line duties.
    During her first stalk I confused her a bit because I wouldnt allow her to range ahead but now she knows the difference between a shot gun and the rifle and switches mode entirely for the rifle.
    My new lab will be initially trained for stalking and then introduced to feathered game, from what Ive read this appears to be the optimum way of getting the best from a dual purpose dog.
    If you are only going to use your dog for stalking then I'd go for a GWP or some other proven stalking breed.
    Below is a link to my website.
    Quad sticks

  3. #3
    I've got a 6yr old lab and he is fine. He is actually a family pet but still good enough to find/track deer. Needless to say training was minimalist but the results good enough. Thoroughly recommended.


  4. #4
    horses for courses, the GWP is the most popular hunting dog in Germany. Red deer,boar,foxes ect, they can be a bit aloof and head strong but will come good with a firm hand. I have 4 of them and swear by them. I also have a black lab who has never seen a deer and never will. The GWP will never have the style of a lab for retriever work but for deer they are great. Take your time with them, let them get all the HPR skills before you start any deer training.

  5. #5
    Thanks guys,
    I really appreciate all your comments

    Cheers Will

  6. #6
    had a huge lab called sam,would retrieve a bird from the jaws of hell itself.But, as a peg dog he was fine. as a rough shooting dog all civilised behaviour disapeared and the ranging became further and further away.Labs tend to start hunting for themselves if allowed to hunt when shooting, as a deer dog this drive is useful ,as a shooting dog it is a pain in the a@@e.If you want to have an alrounder get a HPR breed.

  7. #7
    I have a yellow lab that i use mainly for flushing and retrieving but i have trained her on deer aswell.

    I have used a yellow lab before, mainly for deer and that dog was absolutly fantastic, walking beside me amd stopping when i did, he told me when there was deer about and also found shot deer after running into woodland.

    My lab isn`t anywhere near as good as that, but she does tell me when there is deer about and finds shot deer for me. If i had my time again with training her i would just concentrate on retrieving, get that spot on, then move her onto scenting deer.

    Good luck


  8. #8
    I personelly would not use a lab as a beating dog as they are really built for that sort of work
    but some lines are now turning out that style of dog
    even for rough shooting they are not that good unless kept for more for the picking up side of it
    HPR's again I found are not true rough shooting dogs although they make good allrounders , because they range to far and flush birds out of range if they hav not been taught to point, but then I don't class pointing as true rough shooting

    I suppose that is the springer man inside me talking

    I now use a lab for stalking and find them easy to train aswell as very quick learners
    mine has been fully stalking with me since she was 10 months old , with her first proper find at 11 months old
    Now just starting into her 3rd season on deer and also this season she has just started picking up and to be honest as took to it very well with several driven days under her belt and just a few very minor gliches which are dissapearing with each driven day
    one mistake I did make in training is as Wada's has pointed out
    the retrieving side
    I should of taught her this from the start along with the deer work but with just using dummies for picking up
    as long as you hav the dog rock steady while stalking with you, the transferformation to shotgun shooting will be quick and simple
    just keep the discipline up

  9. #9
    I have a lab and he does a little bit of everything. Retreiving from water and tracking is what he loves the most.


  10. #10
    Hi Pru,
    The main thing is to get a dog you like. No dogs are true masters of all things so select breeds that can fill your requirements and then get the breed that you like and think you can get on with. Specialist breeds can be more of a challenge , but then so can some labs. Pick a breed which suites your temperament then break in down to dog or bitch. Think of your handling style then try to match it to the pup, not always easy but if you choose a good breeder they will be able to tell you how they think the pups temperaments will develope.
    You can use labs for rough shooting and they make excellent tracking dogs. I have used duel labs for thirty years but then that is a personal choice as i enjoy working them along side the bavs. You get out of any breed what you put in and they are as good an all-round dog as you will find, however just as with the specialist dogs if you don’t put in the effort they will not behave as you want.
    Ring breeders up and talk about the breeds you are thinking about and be honest about what you need, about your style of handling and
    most of all your ability and experience in relation to the breeds requirements. All breeders and owners will tell you their dogs are best, gundogs will all be an asset on the rough shoot, to different degrees, all dogs will track, to different degrees. Do your homework, pick what you like, put the effort in and never be afraid to ask questions. Realise from an early stage that with tracking you will be constantly humbled by you chosen dog, whatever breed, and that you will never stop learning
    Happy training whatever pooch you choose
    Last edited by paintandpins; 26-09-2010 at 15:51.

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