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    • Brad Eden

      WELCOME NEW UJ MEMBERS   06/25/2017

      It seems the word is out and UJ is enjoying a steady stream of newly Registered Members. Welcome to all of you, and we are all looking forward to your positive participation. I strongly suggest you review the Board Guidelines that have been in place since 2002. The most significant thing being that UJ is a NO POLITICS BOARD. LInk:  UJ BOARD GUIDELINES   Also UJ stays afloat mainly through Member Donations. Once a Donation is made you are placed in the Contributing Member Group with extra Priviliges. I am getting very few new Donations so hopefully this will spur that on a bit. Link:  New Members/Donations/Priviliges
Cedar Swamp

"Bridge" puppy?

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Cedar Swamp

It’s hard for us to believe that our ECS Gordie will turn 12 this September. It seems like just yesterday that we got our first peek at him (By the way, those hands belong to the late Harold Bixby, well known to many in the spaniel community. I was privileged to have him as a mentor and friend.)

 

gord.jpg

 

Our old dog then — some of you may remember Bean the AWS — had serious health issues. His hunting days were nearing an end. I bought Gordie in large part to cheer me up about the tough luck that Beanie had had and was daily going through. And while Gordie has done that job admirably every day since, I’m afraid that his puppy antics didn’t cheer Bean up at all. Maybe it was a bit opposite to that, in fact.

 

Gordie’s, my wife’s, and my life now proceed quite hassle free. Our back yard is fenced in, there is a pet door leading to it, and otherwise Gordie has the run of the house. He happily sleeps in his crate every night. Barring sudden disaster, he will be well able to enjoy a vigorous fall hunting schedule. Life for Gordie and me is humming along just fine.

 

I write all this as background to help make my quandary clear. We will get another pup some day. However, our decision making time frame has just shrunk dramatically, as a friend’s ECS bitch has just whelped. I like the idea of having a new pup as a bridge dog as our old dog goes into decline and beyond. OTOH and IMO, Gordie has absolutely earned the privilege of living the rest of his life relatively stress free. If, down the road, I have to miss a week or a month or a season of hunting, it’d be no big deal.

 

So I ask anyone still reading this and who has reflected upon this question whether, when the opportunity arose, they passed on the bridge dog and elected to let their old pal enjoy all the birds and ear scritches he could handle in his twilight years.

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scott in ohio

Cedar Swamp,I passed on a bridge dog against the advice of a lot of my friends. My old girl Sis a 10 yr old Brit. Roy and Don and KBD all told me I should get a pup as my girl was getting old. She was the queen of the house and jealous of other dogs. I thought that she had earned the right to be the one and only queen. I had to put her down 4 weeks ago and it took a piece of my soul. I had to snap out of it and get a pup to help ease the pain. I will pick up my new girl on the 26th. I am glad that I made the decision now. I will be training and hunting a pup this fall. Not as many birds will be shot. So be it. Scotty

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Coalman

If I had an older dog who was a good hunter and companion and I was considering the same breed I wouldn't think twice about getting a "bridge dog".

 

My thinking is I want the old timer to teach the new comer.

 

While my older yellow lab, Bay didn't work out to be the hunter I desired she took Belle right under her wing as protector, guardian and at times the instigator.

 

They are a match made in heaven.

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Fire Marshal Bill

Personally, I would do what Scott did. I didn't. Got myself a bridge dog and it tormented the old dog until he died. No amount of scolding worked. Pup just wanted to play, play, play and the old guy just wanted to be left alone. It still makes me sad just thinking about it. I won't do it again.   

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RalphBeagle

Depends on the dog(s), but you can manage that to at least to some extent.  We got a Golden retriever pup when our first Golden was 10.  Turned out the older one had cancer and the pup wanted to play.  The pup eventually learned to leave the older dog alone and they kinda sorta became buddies,  but it took awhile and stressed the older dog for  the first few weeks of its last year.  Have always regretted that move.  Two years ago we got a 1 year old English Setter 'puppy' when our 8 year old setter went blind.  I told the breeder what i was looking for in a new dog (out of, or close to out of, the real puppy stage and not aggressive /assertive) and he sold me the dog on 1-month approval.  The 'puppy' accepted her role as the nonalpha dog immediately, and became the older dog's best bud for the last year of the older dog's life.  It made the older dog's life and mine easier and is something I'm glad I did.  Just be picky in what you get for a new dog, and build in a trial period if possible.

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ANF grousin

Get the puppy, Gordie will adjust. Life is to short to miss out hunting because you dont have a dog to put on the ground.

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Keith E. Carlson

Have done it both ways with results both good and bad

Did it three times with no problem.

Both the older dog and pup got along fine and hunted and lived in the house together with out problems.

The last time did not  work at all in the house, altho they hunted together fine.

"Chipper' the older male Brit, was a sensitive dog and very devoted to us both.

When "Charlie" entered our life, things went south in a hurry.  Pup wanted to play, 'Chipper" snapped at him and I scolded him and gave "Chipper" what might have been the only smack (lightly) on the rear he ever had.

Until his death, "Chipper" resented the new guy and avoided him around the house.  We had to go out of our way to love them both, but separately

I would not do it again..

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Brad Eden

I've always had two sometimes three dogs at one time, in the past. As is a common practice, I liked to have a backup started when my top hunting dog turned 6 or so. Puppies torment older dogs, or any dog older than them. They just do. Sometimes the older dog will let the pup know in no uncertain terms to knock it off. I always let mine work it out, even if the puppy got roughed up a bit. Cash is only 5 and has had to tolerate our new Cavalier KC spaniel, who is like an annoying mosquito to him, but he is the most sweet disposition dog I've ever owned and puts up with her...unless he catches her in a wide open area where he runs her down and rolls her. Never hurts her but he gets his licks in. But I think Cash likes having his little sister around and she adores him and mimics him and he has been instrumental in training her.

 

As Cash approaches the age where I normally get a second hunting dog, I'm not sure what I'll do. I enjoy one dog even though I risk injury and downtime during hunting season....but Im slowing down too so not as big an issue.

 

Its a crapshoot, wish I could give a more definitive opinion. Go with your gut, I guess.

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Steve Hunts
4 hours ago, Fire Marshal Bill (SNL) said:

Personally, I would do what Scott did. I didn't. Got myself a bridge dog and it tormented the old dog until he died. No amount of scolding worked. Pup just wanted to play, play, play and the old guy just wanted to be left alone. It still makes me sad just thinking about it. I won't do it again.   

 

Same here. My poor 16 yr old ES is tormented by our 10 month old chessie.  Our house interior is a series of fences, blockades, etc to keep them apart. It has not been fun.

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3Mutts&Me

We are going thru this right now.  Lei-a is 12 and Lucy is 7.  Lucy is my yellow hunting lab.  The goal is that the puppy is hunting well by the time Lucy isn't able to anymore.  How is it working out?  We've had Bella since Saturday, so it's too early to know but I hope that Bella has come along at a time that Lucy is still young enough to be Bella's playmate and old enough to be a mentor.  We'll see!

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Greg Hartman

As with most things, it all depends.  Normally, I like to have two dogs, for many reasons.  Frankly, if someone is serious about upland hunting, I don't know he can get along with just one dog.  Maggie was 15 and I didn't want to get a third dog as long as she was alive.  As a result, The Chaser was 11 when super-energy Joy arrived.  There were some times when the my older buddy got very tired of being bugged by the pup, but overall it went quite well and it was a good thing.  Watching Chase at work in the field helped Joy learn her trade quickly and Joy's constant activity has helped keep Chase young and active.  Of course, it is certainly possible for things to go the other way, which would be a terrible situation for the older dog.

 

The ideal solution (yeah, I know all tooo well it doesn't always work out this way) is to get a new pup when the older dog is 5-7 years old.  That way, one alwsys has a younger and older dog.

 

Below is a pic of puppy Joy getting a lecture from Chase after busting a flock; the puppy "helping" with a retrieve; and "helping" Chase keep an eye on an incomer while dove hunting:

 

B&W Dog - 2.jpg

10-4-14 - Chase retrieving phez with Joy helping.jpg

10-1-14 - Chase and Joy watching for birds - 3.jpg

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Brad Eden

image.jpeg

 

Im not suggesting Cash wouldn't have preferred to be an only child...but it's worked out good getting Luna the Woods Rat.

 

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Craig Doherty

When we had to put my old dog down last fall I already had three more.  Now I've added two more to the string but then i Hunt 70+ days a year and field trial when I'm not hunting.  One dog just would never be enough for me.  When I'm guiding a borrow a couple more so that we start each day with six fresh dogs on the truck.

 

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Clueless1

Got a 9 year old lab and 8 month old lab.  Mostly good.  Every once in awhile have to let the older one go upstairs with a child gate so the puppy can't bother him.  It's obvious when it needs to be done and hasn't been a problem yet.  Although the first couple of weeks the older one would just give us a look like "What the h*** did you do to me?"

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terrym

My Britt doesn't play well with other dogs and is crazy attached to us. This issue could be mine next year if my dog doesn't recover well from a TPLO surgery. It's not that he dislikes all dogs, he goes great with some but there have been enough situations happen to make me wonder about bringing in a second dog. Those he knows and hunts with are best buds. Others not so much. 

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