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#2028182 - 10/26/11 07:49 PM when to start
emeraldterriers1 Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 08/22/09
Posts: 697
Loc: kansas
we had such a good talk on the last one lets start another...

how young do you start a pup? does it matter if its a decoy dog? or a terrier? how about a hound pup? i think some of the smaller breeds mature faster than large breeds what is your take on the subject.
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#2028359 - 10/26/11 10:20 PM Re: when to start [Re: emeraldterriers1]
gonzaga Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 01/22/02
Posts: 4365
Loc: Raton, NM U.S.A.
I started both of my dogs at around 3 months. I kept them on a check cord at all times until they learned the come command, and this helped them learn who was the boss.
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#2028532 - 10/27/11 06:34 AM Re: when to start [Re: gonzaga]
emeraldterriers1 Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 08/22/09
Posts: 697
Loc: kansas
sound advise,
with the terriers i will start as early as 10 weeks letting them know (gently) right from wrong. one of the 1st things i do is stockbreak,(i know thats sounds crazy) but a 10 week 3 or 4 pound pup fuzzed up barking and raising [beeep] at a 1200 lb cow will lead to trouble down the road in a hurry.lol i go about it the same way on lead with a sharp tug to tne neck and some catch on real quick some i think like to challenge me.
i also seem to have a unlimited supply of packrats in this area. around this same time i live trap the rats and turn them loose in a cut brome field and let a pup or two hunt for it, at first its all sight chase but them little guys figure out in a hurry to use there nose.
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#2028543 - 10/27/11 07:35 AM Re: when to start [Re: emeraldterriers1]
moss330 Offline
New Member

Registered: 06/14/11
Posts: 6
Loc: NH
stockbreaking happens early for me cause i keep livestock, pretty much from 6 weeks on.. i like to get the pups used to small children around the same age.. as far as hunting them goes i'll take them out with the older dogs around 4-5 months to watch. around 8-12 months i'll let them hunt. i do try and get them an easy set for there first couple trips out.

i did have a dog once that all he wanted to do was be a puppy till he was about 18months, it was pretty frustrating. but eventually decided he was a digging dog. he was almost 2years before i had my first dig on him.

Moss

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#2028601 - 10/27/11 09:15 AM Re: when to start [Re: moss330]
knockemdown Offline
suburban redneck

Registered: 02/19/03
Posts: 4744
Loc: NY
I don't know 'chit and this is my 1st hunting dog, but I've never used a leash in the woods. For street walks, absolutely, but never in the woods...
Started taking the pup before he was 9 weeks old. At first, he wouldn't go far. But every day, he'd get more bold, yet always 'check back' with me for reassurance. I'd pet him up when he returned on his own & say "good come back!", then encourage him to "go find em!"...

Constantly reinforcing that behavior taught him "come back" pretty quick. And saying "go find 'em!" when he left again helped to solidify that command in his little pea brain.



A month later, he sight chasing squirrels and treein' em!


Once he had a handle on "come back", I put the e-collar on him & began hitting the 'tone' when I called him back. Soon, he was coming back to the 'tone' only... smile
Pretty basic stuff and puppy treats definintely help wink
When I was confident that he'd 'tone' back to me, I took him on his 1st coyote stand & I luckily shot one over him. He didn't have a clue what happened, but seemed like he put the pieces together after the fact & wooled that sucker up good!

He trashed on his 1st deer @ 5 months & about gave me a heart attack finding him! That's when I got a Garmin Astro/DC 30 for him.
Since then, that GPS collar has been invaluable, as it allowed ME the confidence to let the pup range out & hunt without worrying about him getting out of sight.
Now, a year later, he covers ground like a heat seeking missle and the 5 sec refresh rate on the collar is waay to slow to keep tabs!!! He'll be gone for 10-15 minutes, then come back on his own. It's fun just to watch him on the Astro screen. And when he trees, I know exactly where he is...

Anyhoo, basically to start my pup, all I did was drop him in the woods & let him do his thing. Like I said, I don't have a clue about training hunting dogs, so I got really lucky to have a dog that didn't need much help...

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#2028749 - 10/27/11 01:42 PM Re: when to start [Re: knockemdown]
Jesse lackey Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 11/28/09
Posts: 1909
Loc: Michigan. Go Blue
This should be a good one.

I start all my dogs the day they are weened. The very first thing is a collar. I once they get used to the collar, its time to tie them out...................

Im no pro on terriers, but the way I have figured to work for me is to get thin into the field early. I take them on walks and when they start to hunt its time for game training. When I say start to hunt all I mean is chase grass hoppers, sniff around, check out the deep grass, stop to look at for the source of a sound...... I let them tell me when they are ready.

Hounds are different. Though they get the same treatment with collar, leash, and tie out, they are on a more strict program. Around 3 months old I will start with small things like coyote hides, and some drags, I don't over door this, I focus more on just spending time with them, and obedience training. Once they grow out of the awkward puppy faze and start to developed some muscle and good bone structure, then its do or die time. Time to hit the woods with the big dogs. My theory is why try to teach a dog when they can learn it from the big guys.

I don't preach the whole controlled environment thing, because in the real world there are no controlled environments. If a pup screws up, I turn it into a training opportunity. Once they have the basics down, and are starting to run pretty good, then I will take them to a pen and let them stretch their legs, and give them the opportunity to run their own coyote and see what they have. This is more training for me than them, it gives me an opportunity to learn what each dog has and how they will fit in to my pack, and how I should use them.

I always try to have a pup in on atleast one catch by the time they are 10ish months old, usually get it done before that, but that's my deadline.

That's pretty much it, if a hound can't perform for me with a start like that he gets culled.
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If our wives were more like our dogs...... There would be a lot more happy men in this world.

"six potato chips all at once? wow, guess he is gonna make a decoy dog!" hahaha just kiddin guys!

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#2028894 - 10/27/11 04:57 PM Re: when to start [Re: Jesse lackey]
Norcalkyle Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/28/10
Posts: 472
Loc: California
My best dog ever was crap for the first year, but then he really turned it on. I have a dog now that has done more in 6 months than any dog I have ever seen. All my dogs have started with just time in the field and watching them to see what their instincts are like.

My best advice is to get them out there once they are immune, but keep an eye on them for their own safety. Don't have your expectations be unrealistic, as all dogs progress differently.

I have seen dogs peak at 2 years, 6 years, and 12 years... and the only explanation is that all animals (like people) mature and learn differently.

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#2028915 - 10/27/11 05:16 PM Re: when to start [Re: Norcalkyle]
emeraldterriers1 Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 08/22/09
Posts: 697
Loc: kansas
[quote=Norcalkyle

I have seen dogs peak at 2 years, 6 years, and 12 years... and the only explanation is that all animals (like people) mature and learn differently. [/quote]

thats a good statement.. except a dog peaking @ 6 yrs or 12 i probably would of passed on. in a terriers i want to see something by 18 to 24 months. i start mine early according to others (game that bites back) some wait till the teeth set while others just sit on them till they think they are mature enough to handle the game. mine usually see some action around 6 months old(limited action) and i like to pull them wanting more... i want them thinking they can whip the world grin
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#2028972 - 10/27/11 06:36 PM Re: when to start [Re: emeraldterriers1]
DoubleCK Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/15/09
Posts: 3485
Loc: Wauneta, NE / Gold Canyon, AZ
Early but with age appropriate activities.

I believe that a very important thing is to avoid teaching them that they don't have to do your bidding.



Here is a great book, full of developmental, behavior science. Geared to Versatile hunting dogs, but puppies are puppies and hunters are hunters. (they do hunt fur with these dogs)
http://swanvalleypress.com/pages/gundogs/gun_dogs.html

The Richard A. Wolters stuff is also useful.
http://www.amazon.com/Richard-A.-Wolters/e/B001ILMAGM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1/181-4010276-2868823

Coyote Dogs 101 is also a must see if you are starting a pup.
http://www.shootersservicesunlimited.com/page17.php
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#2029106 - 10/27/11 09:43 PM Re: when to start [Re: DoubleCK]
Hoier Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 10/23/10
Posts: 607
Loc: Colorado
Hey guys thanks for all the help I am getting a pup in early December and this has been a great read.

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#2029581 - 10/28/11 04:42 PM Re: when to start [Re: Hoier]
Jesse lackey Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 11/28/09
Posts: 1909
Loc: Michigan. Go Blue
Norcalkyle, I know what you are saying, how do you know when a dog peaks? When he starts to go down hill? In that case, a hound should learn and grow netter with everything hunt, so technically some hounds will never peak! I don't expect all dogs to be finished by one year old, but at the same time a guy who doesn't cull because that dog may be good some day, probably isn't looking for the same thing from his hounds as I am.

There are obvious signs as to what a hound is all about, and most of them will come out at a younger age. I have never had a hound that didn't get to hunting good until it was 6dad years old simply because they don't last that long with me. That's not exactly the dna I want mixed back into the jean pool ether.


Not bashing you in any way because your post was very true, just putting my opinion out there.
_________________________
If our wives were more like our dogs...... There would be a lot more happy men in this world.

"six potato chips all at once? wow, guess he is gonna make a decoy dog!" hahaha just kiddin guys!

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#2029611 - 10/28/11 05:28 PM Re: when to start [Re: Jesse lackey]
Norcalkyle Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/28/10
Posts: 472
Loc: California
I understand your point, and don't disagree at all. The area I hunt is very steep, very brushy, and for lack of a better term [beeep] hard to hunt. I have seen some exceptional dogs look like fools on very fresh tracks. I guess my point was that I like to give a dog some slack and I have been rewarded with great results... granted sometimes it has required a couple of years of patience, however worth it in the end.

I don't disagree with you about wanting quick results given the opportunities you give your new dogs. And I also don't blame you for wanting to move on. I do not agree with killing dogs if they don't perform though... as I feel like some of the blame should always be placed on the owner of the dog who is not performing.

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