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Thread: Niels Sondegaard - Working Dogs for Deer.

  1. #1

    Niels Sondegaard - Working Dogs for Deer.


    I was given a copy of the above titled book for Christmas, and for a novice ( me ) is a excellent read, which has really opened my eyes.

    However, and suprisingly many pictures show Labradors gripping / baying / chasing roe and fallow does, and there is narrative stating that `50% of the 200 dogs on the Danish tracking register are evenly split between Labs or GWPs`. Reading previous SD threads, I know there are very experienced deer managers on here using labs, so my question is :- how do you train a generally good natured breed like a lab, in to a deer dog capable of the aggression needed for taking on and possibly bringing down a roe / fallow doe ??

    I really don`t want to start a bun fight on breeds - but I am genuinely trying to find out more info, are GWPs more easily aggresive in this work, or is it purely how you train the individual - even if it is a lab ??

    Thanks in advance


  2. #2
    ah, got that too for xmas, but in Danish :-) good to keep up on the old grammar I guess.

  3. #3
    I bought the book off deerhunter270 recently and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    The working lab pics were also quite surprising, but when you follow his training techniques in the book it becomes apparent he spends a fair bit of time inducing the more aggressive behaviour required for his dogs and follow up work. Swinging the skin on the pole for example.

    I was reading The Specialist Gundog and Training Deer Dogs for Woodland Stalking by Guy Wallace recently too, where he seems to endorse the GWP as an excellent choice for deer dog due to the natural aggression and capability when working with the larger species of deer.

    I'm sure others much more qualified than I can answer your training questions as I too would be interested in how others do it.

  4. #4
    I personally think being keen enough a hunter to grip prey, shouldnt be confused with aggresion. Should have called it prey drive really.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Hill Stalker View Post
    I personally think being keen enough a hunter to grip prey, shouldnt be confused with aggresion. Should have called it prey drive really.
    Fair point HS, "prey drive" is probably what I should have used.

  6. #6
    it would surprise you what pushes a dogs buttons. My GWP was on the surface gentle and soft, she had never seen a deer before i shot my first and once she came across it dead, she proceeded to rag it as though she had a life long hatred for them.

  7. #7
    My lab pup is a real softie, but even a 7 weeks he was attacking deer pelts like he was possessed! I asked wolverine (who has amazing labs) if I needed to do any special training to bring down injured deer - he said they'll do it naturally when they're old enough.

    I got the same gift - think it says let them build up to it (don't set a 6 month old on an emperor I guess!)

  8. #8
    this is reassuring, my 1.5 yr gsp can track and point and even lay down at close quarters with roe while i take the shot, but she is still cautious up close to even dead deer. while she goes mental on a training skin at the end of a blood trail. my question is how can you train a dog to hold a deer down, ideally on the throat to kill it quick too? is it nesessery to stuff a skin and have her fight it with you and train her to go for the neck or do they do this naturally given age and confidence?

  9. #9
    i dont think you will put aggression into a dog that is not there but 18 month bitch is still young enough to mature into what you want. I found with my bitch she had no real interest in foxing until a rather large and not too badly wounded dog fox got a hold of her one evening. She seemed to put two and two together at that stage that some things in the field could cause her a little discomfort if not handled correctly.

    one point to keep in mind also that some dogs are physically able to handle pressure at young ages but mentally they can be too young to cope with some stressful situations if found in one.

  10. #10
    That is my dad with the lab, photos taken in Scotland a number of years ago
    Last edited by RedChunks; 20-02-2013 at 21:14.

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