can an older lab be trained and work as a young started dog

Retriever breed specific questions. Kennel information requests, etc.

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Postby terryg » Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:29 pm

if you're asking can this dog be taught everey thing as you would teach a puppy ofr finished retriever work, it certainly can.

it will have its pros and cons.

the pros are the dog can learn and move much faster through the training.

the con is is has never had to do this and may not be inclined to do it voluntarily. howver it could just love it also.

in either case it it doesn't make much differeence.

labs are working dogs and love to work. all you have to do is show the dog what you want and how it gets to work all the time. show it and he will do the rest.


start buiding the drive to retrieve until the dog is nuts over it and then build the rest of your training form there.

same as a pup! :wink:
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Postby KYgsp » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:14 am

terryg wrote:if you're asking can this dog be taught everey thing as you would teach a puppy ofr finished retriever work, it certainly can.

it will have its pros and cons.

the pros are the dog can learn and move much faster through the training.

the con is is has never had to do this and may not be inclined to do it voluntarily. howver it could just love it also.

in either case it it doesn't make much differeence.

labs are working dogs and love to work. all you have to do is show the dog what you want and how it gets to work all the time. show it and he will do the rest.


start buiding the drive to retrieve until the dog is nuts over it and then build the rest of your training form there.

same as a pup! :wink:


I agree with Terry.

The only real negative I have seen with older dogs is if they were with less than careing owners. Not necessrily abused animals per se but owners that just left them kenneled and never had any contact. I have seen some dogs that were ruined because of that, simply too nutty and scared of things to fool with training.

The only other thing that you might have to contend with is bringing out the dogs desire if it has never been introduced to a hunting situation and birds. It might take you a little longer to get him interested and started than it would a puppy. If it is a well bred dog it shouldn't take very much at all though.
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Postby Kiger » Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:56 pm

I concur with Terry also,

Take it and throw some bumpers. Then plant a pigeon or two. Odds are it will be just fine.
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Postby KY Duck Hunter » Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:08 am

You should definitely be able to train an older dog. A lot of older hunting dogs become service animals or therapy animals later in life. The only problem (and it's not really a problem) is going to be drive. It may take a little creativity to spark that, but if it's a good dog, it shouldn't take too much effort.
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Postby Doc E » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:37 am

Good info and advice so far.
Another possible negative about training an older dog is the "untraining" of bad habits or bad prior training. Otherwise, go for it. Just pretend the dog is a puppy and start on page one.


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