A (possibly) great opportunity

Discussion in 'Wisconsin Flyway Forum' started by jreif14, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. jreif14

    jreif14 Refuge Member

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    A3D1112C-8726-45A7-A9DC-7A93203D702C.jpeg So a close friend of my wife texted her the other day, asking if she knew anyone looking for a dog. Her friend explained that her cousin and his wife had a purebred chocolate lab who just turned a year old, that they did not have the time for due to having a newborn baby and were looking to rehome to a good family, for free. The dog, Petey, is house/kennel trained, great with kids and is low energy. Today, we went and met with the family and was introduced to Petey. When we walked in the door, I was expected to be met by a super hyper, crazy tail whipping, lab, but that wasn’t the case. He simply walked up to us, sniffed us and gave us some kisses and went and laid down. He did not seem to mind my two boys (3 and 1.5 years old) who were playing and being loud in the house and even didn’t care when my 1.5 year old accidentally fell on him. To say I had love at first sight, was an understatement. So far, this seemed way too good to be true. We then learned that the only command Petey knows, is sit and he is stubborn about that, which they completely blaim on themselves to lack of training. I was also told that he’s not a fan of retrieving and has never been in water, apart from getting a bath. Both bummers. Well, my wife and I decide to bring him home for a “trial” day and see how he is. The whole ride home, he either sat or laid down on the floor. Once we got home, I got a bumper out for the hell of it to see how he would react. To my surprise, he completely loved it! We have to work on the whole release to hand thing, but that will come with time. This seems like a great opportunity to get a great dog, but I find myself stressed out at his lack of training, both basic obidence and hunting. I currently have a deposit down on a chocolate lab pup, planned to be born later this year and my question would be, should I ditch the deposit and go with Petey and hope he will be receptive to training, or stick with the puppy plan and start at square 1?
     
  2. coyote hounder

    coyote hounder Senior Refuge Member

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    I trained a untrained 2.5 yo half yellow lab half shepherd to pick up ducks when I was 13yo. No live birds, just me, a bumper, and some wings. He was never perfect per se but I found a lotta ducks I never would’ve without him. I’m guessing you have more access to training tools than I did.

    That dog will hunt inside 60 days a year (probably unless you travel) but will be with your kids and wife 365. It seems you know he fits the bill on this already.

    Take the dog.

    But that’s just my long winded opinion.

    If you do I’m curious to hear the progress.
     
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  3. Banded1

    Banded1 Elite Refuge Member

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    He seems like he’d be worth having as a pet if nothing else. I’d work with him and see how he works out for hunting and hold off on a new puppy for a year or so. One thing I’d start working on right away and very cautiously is gunfire. I’d find something that the dog really likes, even if it were only treats right now, a dead pheasant or duck would be ideal if it was something he could focus on more than the gunfire. Go to a shotgun range (trap or sporting clays where there is a moderate number of shots) and start out a 1/2 mile from any shooting, get the dog out and whatever you found that gets him excited and just play with him. If no reaction to gunfire, move closer to 1/4 mile away and see his reaction. If still no reaction and you know he hears the gunshots, I’d leave at that point and come back a day or two later. Make it fun for him and leave while he is still excited and not bored so that he’s eager to go do it again, 15-20 mins max. Keep working closer until you see he either doesn’t care at all about gunfire or actually is interested in it. Taking someone who has a dog that gets excited about gunfire would be beneficial for your dog to see another dogs reaction.

    If he does react negatively, leave. Then find something that really does get him excited and work with him without gunfire. Then go back to near shooting and see his reaction. I’d still stay at least a 1/2 mile away to start with. If he doesn’t like it, it may take months to get him acclimated or he may well never get acclimated. I didn’t hunt when I got my first dog and when I started he didn’t want anything to do with gunfire. Eventually he liked pheasants more than he disliked gunfire and was a good pheasant dog. However he didn’t want anything and I mean anything to do with any other bird or gunfire outside of pheasant hunting.

    Whatever you do, DO NOT try to acclimate him to gunfire with fireworks.

    Good luck!
     
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  4. jzee

    jzee Elite Refuge Member

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    Rescued a 2 year old, no training of any sort, once that dog was shown some attention all she wanted to do was please, became a hunting machine.

    If you don’t take Petey I have a retired friend looking for a dog like Petey, we are local and he would come p/u him up. Good luck
     
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  5. jreif14

    jreif14 Refuge Member

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    90FC12CC-2EA4-40E7-A467-AF75AEB01BEC.jpeg Well here is update #1. Buck (his new name given by my 3 year old) is now a member of the family. He is so far a great member of the family, he loves the boys and respects their personal space and listens well. He is so low energy in the house, it’s almost scary haha. I took him to a local dog park today with a big pond in the middle and threw the bumper around a few times. He was a natural! Got super pumped up and retrieved it perfectly! Brought it right back to me and gave it up easy. He then noticed the water and bolted to it and dove right in. For the next 30 minutes he pranced around the water, swimming around and chasing dragonflies. I could totally tell he was in his happy place doing what he’s meant to do! I feel that he’s meant to please and will do great in training! Damn I got lucky!
     
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  6. gunut

    gunut Senior Refuge Member

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    if he turns out to be gunshy down the road….id take him....have a 3 year old gunshy female....who seems to need another K9 companion...our older lab passed late last fall ….
     
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  7. jreif14

    jreif14 Refuge Member

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    If he turns out to be gunshy, then I guess we just have a good house dog. Plus, you would have to fight my 3 year old if you tried taking Buck away from him, and that little ******* is relentless! Haha. I pray it don’t come to that, and I plan to start to introduce him slowly to gunfire soon. I would be devistated if he turned out to be gunshy! Both my brother and my buddy introduced their dogs to gunfire by going to a field, having the dog sit next to them and just shooting a round out of their shotgun. Obviously nowhere close to ideal, but lucky for them, neither of their dogs cared. I would be a complete fool if I attempted to cut corners training this dog and running the change of ruining him!
     
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  8. road kill

    road kill Senior Refuge Member

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    Great story, sounds like Buck is the lucky one!
     
  9. jzee

    jzee Elite Refuge Member

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    Congratulations to all 3 of you, introduce him to noise gradually, and make it fun, while feeding and playing, etc. I followed GunDog to the T, 25 plus years ago and my first pup would try to eat the cap gun at feeding time. My guys would sleep thru the Fireworks, or at the gun range.

    92668E40-F01F-4569-BB2D-94F71B10978C.jpeg
     
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