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snood

Training a Lab for Upland

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snood

My son has a 4 year old Lab that he's trained for duck hunting. He handles pretty well and is steady in the blind, and he's been trying to train him for some upland hunting as well. It's been difficult, as the dog basically wants to walk right next to you 90% of the time.  I've tried a couple of things with him and I'm not sure how well we're doing so far. One is we're standing about 30 yards apart and attempting to get him to quarter ahead & between us using the whistle and hand signals. We've also put out a couple of birds while doing this, dragging some scent around as well through the field before hand. I'm afraid that he worked on steadying the dog so much that he won't ever venture very far away from him when hunting. We had some other hunter's lab join us last year during one of our hunts (he got away from his owner) and it was  amazing to watch this dog work, he was like one of our pointers covering ground, although a bit shorter ranging.  Any thoughts from the Lab guys on here as to what has worked for you in this situation?  Thanks

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Canuck

Birds. Finding birds. Even accidentally.

 

What will you be hunting? If pheasants, then there is a good chance that a dog walking (or working) even quite close to you will find or bump, tight sitting birds and will definitely help with bird recovery.

 

Once the dog catches on to the game it will expand its range as it more actively hunts for game. A dog that already handles will be easy to cast at this point.

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snood

Thanks. Unfortunately that's an issue here - not many birds. We're buying a few pheasants to work him on so we'll see if that helps. Once he gets scent he hunts well, but it's getting him out and casting consistently that's the problem. A nice month long trip to the prairies would fix that.

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J_ellard

Plant the birds staggered left to right 40-50 yards from a center line with some in the middle every so often. Walk the field zigzagging, keep the wind in his favor. Set him up for success. He'll figure it out. 

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DocE

Get the book, "HEY PUP -- Hunt 'em up"  by Hickox

.

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bmeador
On 8/26/2018 at 10:29 AM, DocE said:

Get the book, "HEY PUP -- Hunt 'em up"  by Hickox

.

And if you have access to homing pigeons and auto launchers use them!

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Cass

I think you'll have a very hard road ahead of you.  Not impossible but you'll need to plant a lot of birds for the dog to get it wanting to quarter and it probably won't ever hit the hard cover eagerly.  I started teaching my guy to quarter from the time he was a pup so it's his default mode.  If he's not on a leash he's zig zagging in front of me even if we're aren't hunting.  A lab that's trained primarily as a non slip retriever from the start will default to walking at heel or close to it.  Get yourself some pigeons.  Cheap way to get him lots of contacts and encourage questing. 

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Tony Moore

run him with an experienced flusher..

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bobman
On 9/8/2018 at 11:36 AM, Cass said:

I think you'll have a very hard road ahead of you.  Not impossible but you'll need to plant a lot of birds for the dog to get it wanting to quarter and it probably won't ever hit the hard cover eagerly.  I started teaching my guy to quarter from the time he was a pup so it's his default mode.  If he's not on a leash he's zig zagging in front of me even if we're aren't hunting.  A lab that's trained primarily as a non slip retriever from the start will default to walking at heel or close to it.  Get yourself some pigeons.  Cheap way to get him lots of contacts and encourage questing. 

 

close to impossible IMO

 

if you want a lab for upland you need to train that first it’s easy to reel them in but very hard to do the opposite especially after four years of waterfowl type handling

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The King

It would depend on the dogs breeding, and how he acts.  A four year old could be tough. If he has the build of some ducks dogs I've seen (certainly not all) it might not be worth trying.  How much does the dog weight?  What is his drive like in the field?

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snood

Thanks for the responses guys, here's an update. We were able to get a few more birds to plant and we worked him back and forth between us. He did ok when he picked up scent, but he wasn't hunting well prior to or after that. He wasn't getting it. Fast forward to a few weeks later, my son took him to an area where the state releases pheasants, and it just so happened that the release took place earlier that day. He got into several birds, and my son shot a couple over him. He said the dog was really hunting well. He took him again yesterday and the dog was a machine working the cover and put up a few more birds. Hopefully the light is on for good with this guy. The real test will be when he heads West with him later this fall.

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Rick Hall

Good to hear.

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