Testing hunting ability in rescued dog

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Testing hunting ability in rescued dog

Postby drakeduckhunter » Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:19 pm

I am interested in being able to test duck hunting ability in a shelter or rescued dog. I am trying to talk my hubby in to getting a young dog that way but I need a good way to test if they have any natural instinct. We have always had Chessies which have tons of inborn ability, but we are wanting to get a lab next for a pet/hunting companion. Is there a good test for this? There is always tons of labs at the shelter and I think at least some must be trainable. Also is there a good age range we should be looking for? The dog has to be able to tolerate children and other animals too! It a lot to ask for, but there are so many abandoned dogs out I feel like we at least need to try this route before we buy a puppy. Thanks for any help.
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Postby Bruce Schwartz » Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:32 pm

Going the route you describe is noble, but hardly the way to insure you'll have a decent hunting companion. Once you get the dog into your hearts you'll be stuck with it. I'd get a pup from known hunting stock and go from there, which will save yourself some disappointment down the road. I know of no way how to test for what you want with a young or sheltered animal. JMO.
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Postby orhunter » Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:01 pm

Sort of agree with Bruce. About the only thing you can do is spend time with the dog before making any commitment. See if it'll fetch, use it's nose for something other than finding its food bowl and like to run a bit.
You also need to ask why the dog was given up by the original owner. Dog might not be menatlly stable or????? Make sure its got the personality a person can live with.
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Postby Kiger » Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:02 pm

Orhunter is doing pretty good on this one.

Not sure if the shelter folks will let you take a bird wing in, but you might try rubbing the wing on your leg and see if the dog reacts to that.

If it will enthusiastically chase a ball 9Doesnt need to bring it back )or whatever and reacts to the bird smell and has all its mental conections connected correctly, youll probably be OK.

But like Bruce said it may not be the best way to get a good hunting companion.
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Postby Round River » Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:16 pm

I think they would let you take a bird wing in...if it will help get a dog adopted, why wouldnt they, just ask. I used to work in a shelter for about 6 years, and I wouldnt have a problem with that at all. We had a guy come in looking for a hunting dog. He asked if he could take one out and work with her a little in the yard...we agreed.The dog had been there quite some time, and the shelter was getting FULL, but I hung onto her, as she was such a NICE dog, very sweet & calm choc lab probably around 4 yrs old or so. He brought a ball with him to see if she had any retrieve drive, which she did. He later left and said he will think on it. A couple days later came back and spent more time with her and ended up adopting her. We were all sooo happy that she finally got a home. Later that fall he came back, with pictures of her and a lineup of all the birds she hunted sitting on the ground in front of her. He sat and told us all the stories of what a wonderful house dog she was and how good of a hunter she was. He was thrilled!! They were an inseperable team. Just gave us all goosebumps :D

Alot of shelters have an excercise area that you can take the dog to,and get to know, away from all the distractions of barking dogs etc. Take a tennis ball with you, and maybe a rag with some bird scent on it, or a wing even like kiger said. I would think any shelter that cares about their dogs would honor this.
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Postby drakeduckhunter » Sat Feb 02, 2008 5:59 pm

Thanks. I might at least go by the shelter and check out local rescue groups. In this area of NE Arkansas everybody has a duck dog (even if it never goes hunting). Its worth a shot, but I will follow some of the tips you all recommended. LOTS of duck wings this year so that part wont be hard. I know I can always get a pup in the spring if this doesn't pan out.
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Postby Round River » Sat Feb 02, 2008 11:32 pm

Best of luck in your search for that special dog....would love to hear what comes of it. :wink:
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Puppy

Postby drakeduckhunter » Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:55 pm

I went to the shelter and explored the all rescue groups anywhere close.
The shelter staff while very friendly did not help me at all with what I was looking for. They kept trying to show me very Unretriever dogs. So we got a yello lab puppy this week from good hunting stock. At least I can feel better because I did try the other route. I might have been able to find a good rescue dog if we were willing to look for a year but we really wanted a dog to work with now to get ready for next duck season. Thanks for all the advice.

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