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Thread: Young Black Lab Bitch, is she ready??

  1. #1

    Post Young Black Lab Bitch, is she ready??

    Apologies if this is not the exact correct place for this post but I just want any opinion on weather my 11 month old bitch can have he first day out wildfowling.

    Now when we got her at 8 weeks I was absolutely adamant that she would not be taken out until she had come of age. My previous two dogs where both Weimaraner bitches and by comparison to our lab where hard work. To cleaver for their own good!

    Millie, our lab pup, is something else. She displayed fantastic characteristics from the off. Her stay is impeccable, her retrieves are carried out with no nonsense, the cap gun is just like a shot of adrenaline for her. We have carried out retrieves with mallards, widgeon, pigeon and rabbits. All of which she has duly presented straight back to us. BUT! But as soon as another dog is in the equation forget it! But that’s just the age in my opinion. What I want to know is can I take her out, just by myself, for the ducks, occasionally? I know she'll sit by my side for hours on end and pays 100% attention to the skyline. But she doesn't behave around other dogs so she's not ready there yet??

    Do I have to spend this years season on my own in the cold?

    P.S. Thats her in the picture at about 4 months, she's about 30Kg now
    Last edited by aliS; 18-10-2010 at 02:43.

  2. #2
    at 11 months old she is still a baby,her joints and body are still developing.I have two pups of 13 months they MAY! have half a day each in January on a quiet day.Like yours these pups sit,stop retrieve and are ready for more advanced training.
    Your dog will give you many years of companionship my first lab died at 16 (only time I ever saw my father cry) why rush and risk ruining all your hard work?
    Looks a nice dog

  3. #3
    I often find that although many owners spend the time and effort to train a dog they forget one of the most important factors - socialisation.
    That I see is what your dog needs so that other dogs just become that and not something which distracts him. When I have a young dog I often take him out to shoot days. Not to hunt/retrieve but just for him to get used to the atmosphere of the day, other dogs, people etc.

    I note that you say she is used to a cap gun - what about gun shot? Is she ready to progress to the real thing with the introduction being done properly.

    At 11 months I certainly would have no problems taking her out with me (just me and the dog so that you have total control) for a evening flight. A couple of simple retrieves - all the better. Dogs can learn so much under a training programme but IMO real development starts out in the field. A steady quite introduction paying more attention to the dog than shooting too many ducks should do no harm.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the replies lads. Your right Kit I wouldn't want to ruin her at all. Gazza, I'll definitely be taking her out for an evening flight just me and her and only for a short period putting the enthuses on her development rather than a large bag of ducks, one or two outings this season max. She has no problems with the 12 bore and was happy lying beside me when I was checking my .243 for zeroing last week. I've heard alot of people say its the crack of a rifle that is more likely to put a dog shy than the boom of a shot gun. From day one we have been socialising her when ever we can with other dogs and she has meet plenty of dogs that put her in her place. But she is persistant. I think the problem with her is maybe not her herself but the way in which we have been correcting her behaviour, or maybe not correcting! Time for a change of tact on that one.

  5. #5
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    Well here she is with a duck, and look how steady she is, I managed to go get the camera and take a photo, while I was gone she never even went near it... Not even a sniff...

  6. #6
    That picture has given me a massive grin thank you

  7. #7
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    For those that may be interested...

    My god what a year it has been, the speed and age at which black labs gain the ability to become a working dog has left me dumbfounded, how come the previous Weimaraners took years to show the level of ability that my lab at 13months has attained!?! I know HPRS are smarter but my god labs are fantastic. No wonder they are the most popular breed.

    We'll despite the wildfowling ban, a very bad phantom pregnancy and a interdigitary cist that laid her up for a few weeks Millie has managed about a total of 10 good solid retrieves. She had about one outing per week and each time she preformed amazingly. She sits up alert, ears perked, watching the ducks and the geese move about the foreshore. A gentleman about 100yards from us on one outing shot a goose one morning, Millie watched the skein, heard the shot watched the fall and marked the bird for about 10minutes until the gentleman retrieved it himself!

    Although it has not been plain sailing all the way. On one particular night I had a crack at a low and fast mallard drake, missed - as I am not that good a shot with a shotgun - before I knew it she was into the river and away. Where are you going? Well If I wasn't going to pick up the ejected cartridge she was. How do you correct that?! Change from the semi auto to the o/u.

    She has also began to hone her skills on tracking deer, her stay and heel is excellent so it seemed like a waste not to let her have a go. So far 2 out of 2 roe. It wasn't hard though. After shooting a beast, I quickly went and got her took her to where I fired the shot and issued her command when I saw she had locked onto a scent. I have been laying blood trails to a tied up foreleg and she gets on OK with that too, with her 'free reporting'.

    I'm looking forward to developing her as a dog for tracking wounded/shot deer and to her, it seems, they are her preferred quarry.

    Some one on this site said once 'And on the 8th day god created the black lab'. Put perfectly really
    Last edited by aliS; 03-02-2011 at 09:19.

  8. #8
    Sounds like she's a cracking dog, trying very hard to convince the wife that I need to get a lab pup, we have a lab who is now ten and the last couple of times he's been out he struggles to move for a couple of days, he's a great dog but I think its starting to be to much for him. Wife doesn't understand the reasons for a second even though I try and explain the time it will take to train it before it can go shooting. Doesn't help that the girl that sits next to me at work has 3 lab pups left that have a good pedigree and a lot of field champs in it... Saying that she is off for 9 days soon. Visting a friend in Ghana.. Good amount of time to settle one in, while the cats away and al that..lol

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Bdswest View Post
    Sounds like she's a cracking dog, trying very hard to convince the wife that I need to get a lab pup, we have a lab who is now ten and the last couple of times he's been out he struggles to move for a couple of days, he's a great dog but I think its starting to be to much for him. Wife doesn't understand the reasons for a second even though I try and explain the time it will take to train it before it can go shooting. Doesn't help that the girl that sits next to me at work has 3 lab pups left that have a good pedigree and a lot of field champs in it... Saying that she is off for 9 days soon. Visting a friend in Ghana.. Good amount of time to settle one in, while the cats away and al that..lol
    GET IT WHEN SHE'S GONE! I would but my other half would have my nuts for such a thing. It'd be worth it. Poor old boy, I bet he still loves to come out with you though. If I where you I'd get the pup now, your older lab will keep him straight and in his place. We are planning getting a Dog come the summer when we feel she is ready.

  10. #10
    She. Told me to go and see them yesterday and to take our five year old boy!!! Lovely looking pups. And to quote "it's your desiscion" so new pup it should be.....
    Cheers Jon

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