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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:47 am 
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The fiance and are getting ready to move to a place where we can get a lot more of our food from hunting and fishing and I have heard a lot of good things about how helpful a good hunting dog can be however I do have a few issues in this department... I already have three dogs (two great danes and a pitbull that is almost a year old) so getting a fourth dog would be a little problematic for right now, also the only boat that I can afford to get right now is a kayak to fish and hunt from so size matters here, also I won't be able to buy water front property so things such as setting up duck blinds and all that really isn't practical. My pit is very smart and energetic but has a stubborn streak in him and his bite isn't hard so I don't see that being as big of an issue as his training and waiting would be. The main tasks that I want him to do is wait and then retrieve based off of a kayak on the water and/or detect game and/or scare fowl up into the air from the brush and then retrieve them. Like I said it would be difficult to get a fourth dog so I would like to try with my pit... what breeds do you guys like to use? Labs?
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:04 am 
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This is just my experience watching and owning dogs over the years, with few exceptions, most of them haven't really been working dogs.

Dogs will generally do what their genes tell them to do, training really only enhances and hones this. If you have a herding dog, it will herd. In the absence of sheep, goats or cattle it will herd children. In the absence of children it will herd dirty laundry or anything else it can find to stay busy. If you have a retriever it will retrieve ducks or tennis balls or sticks or dirty socks or even a cold beer. If you have a guard dog it will guard. Some are better at guarding property,like dobermans and some are good at guarding people and livestock, like Great Pyrenees.

There are varying skill levels within the types and breeds. Some retrievers are better at retrieving, some labs are better than others etc. There is some overlap I suppose. Herding dogs can be good at guarding, but I haven't seen a guard dog that was good at herding.

I can see no harm in trying to train your Pit, but I wouldn't get upset if it doesn't work the way you want. I just don't see a Pit having the same enthusiasm for having a shotgun go off over its head,jumping into ice cold water and tasting feathers but not flesh in exchange for a scratch behind the ears. I know I'm going to piss someone off here, but I really think that Labs are good at what they do because they aren't very bright.

I think your best bet is to make friends with someone that has a hunting dog.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:05 pm 
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Biggest thing you may have an issue with is the Pit getting into water. That and the gunshot. Some dogs love water:

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Some dogs hate it:

Image

I have a lab mix. Cant keep her out of the water. I think she has gills. Couldn't tell though cause she hates the bathtub. I give serious thought to bringing the shampoo to the local creek and just washing her there...

Now allowing for the fact that your dog likes water, and isnt gun shy, please dont forget about poor Mr. Newton. firing a shotgun from a kayak is one thing. Having a 60# dog launch off a kayak to retrieve is something else. If you do this, please have someone filming, cause, you know... Science! :)

Try to talk to some of the local hunters, Go to a DU meeting and ask around. There are folks that will train dogs to retrieve. And if that fails, you can always buy the wife a poodle, cause, you know - you love her and all that.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:08 pm 
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yossarian wrote:
I know I'm going to piss someone off here, but I really think that Labs are good at what they do because they aren't very bright.

I think your best bet is to make friends with someone that has a hunting dog.


Nice post, I think we posted about the same thing, same time.

I have a Lab mix. I dont think you are very far off the mark. There's times when she will amaze me, then there's times when she's about as bright as a blown light bulb.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:53 pm 
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I could be wrong but I can't think of a single short haired water retriever. Especially considering cold stormy conditions are conducive to the best duck/goose hunt.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:56 pm 
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Cocker and Brittany Spaniels are great bird and water dogs. I have never used dogs for hunting but I always thought you had to teach them young?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:56 am 
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yossarian wrote:
This is just my experience watching and owning dogs over the years, with few exceptions, most of them haven't really been working dogs.

Dogs will generally do what their genes tell them to do, training really only enhances and hones this. If you have a herding dog, it will herd. In the absence of sheep, goats or cattle it will herd children. In the absence of children it will herd dirty laundry or anything else it can find to stay busy. If you have a retriever it will retrieve ducks or tennis balls or sticks or dirty socks or even a cold beer. If you have a guard dog it will guard. Some are better at guarding property,like dobermans and some are good at guarding people and livestock, like Great Pyrenees.

There are varying skill levels within the types and breeds. Some retrievers are better at retrieving, some labs are better than others etc. There is some overlap I suppose. Herding dogs can be good at guarding, but I haven't seen a guard dog that was good at herding.

I can see no harm in trying to train your Pit, but I wouldn't get upset if it doesn't work the way you want. I just don't see a Pit having the same enthusiasm for having a shotgun go off over its head,jumping into ice cold water and tasting feathers but not flesh in exchange for a scratch behind the ears. I know I'm going to piss someone off here, but I really think that Labs are good at what they do because they aren't very bright.

I think your best bet is to make friends with someone that has a hunting dog.



As a breeder/trainer of Labs,I say this----
Labs have been introduced to more and more jobs. Many of these dogs are used in the police force as bomb sniffing or drug sniffing dogs. Any dog that can be trained to do this is most definitely smart. These dogs are also used as rescue dogs. Many are trained to help the disabled, especially the blind. Labs can be trained to lead a human around while ignoring any type of distraction. The Labrador Retriever is a loving, obedient, and patient dog that can be trained to do almost anything.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:22 am 
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It's an important decision. You'll rely on each other for the rest of your life. Labs are awesome animals. Lots of hair, and the chocolate can sometimes be loopy. Every single one I have lived around has been great with people. I've raised Redbones, Blueticks, Beagles, Bird dogs and Fox dogs, an Airedale, and a fine Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Where I grew up there was a dog box in about every 3rd truck you would pass. Furs were highly valued then. The hunting dogs were actually my father and grandpa's, but he lived across the fields and I spent every day with them. The Airedale was my mothers. It was moody, but it sometimes liked to run with the coonhounds trying to figure out why the smell was so important to them. It would try to get into ground dens, and would tear a coon apart when we knocked it out of the tree. Ever see a coonhound standing all the way up on a tree and clawing at the bark while singing at the animal it smells in the tree? It's a beautiful sight.

The Chesapeake was the only one that lived indoors. A person would have had a hard time keeping up with her in a kayak. Icy water, ocean swells, didn't matter. She cried to go out when it rained. She grinned when she saw floods, and swam upriver. Her favorite holiday was hurricane day. She walked long walks and camped well. Best dog I have ever had. Bought her from a good kennel at a month old. The breed is known for being very stubborn. My dog didn't much care for anyone that did not live under our roof. She moved with me 6 times. She could hear a single-wrapped piece of imitation cheese being unwrapped from 2,500 miles. From the time they were born she loved my children as if they were her own. Damn. I miss that old girl. And that's all I have to say about that.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:52 pm 
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You can train any dog to do what you need it to for the most part. The main question is how much time are you willing to take training and maintaining that training? A lab for example may retrieve from a tiny puppy, but you want it to only retrieve on command. Do your basic obedience training and see how receptive your dog is to learning commands from you. Then, teach them the forced retrieve if he seems capable. We start our forced retrieve from a take command, where we tell the dog to take an object they have no interest in for us and hold it in their mouth. After, we start setting in on the floor in front of them and doing the same thing. Then, we just move that distance out to where they start losing sight of it and that's where the fun starts. Once that is done just move on to the next part of your hunt and recap to old training as needed. I had a lab/pit mix that took commands very well and was the best trained dog I had. He had a bit of a wild streak in him but it was something snuffed out quickly after the first time he snapped at me.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:58 am 
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As a life long water fowler, I have owned and hunted over all manner of dogs. For jump shooting or using small sneak boats, imho a Toller is the best dog out there. Mid sized, very social, and get along with other dogs. Officially known as a Novia Scotia Tolling Retriever. They are bred to duck hunt, and were bred to lure ducks in by tolling, hence their name. Their weirdest trait is the "Toller Scream" which is a load high pitched yelp that sounds like a fox yipping or a squealy mouthed walker hound.

You would need to start early on their training, and my success was always following the "respect" method. They are very high energy, so if have some acreage you can let them roam. They are also good upland dogs and can be trained to flush and point in addition to the retrieving.

A good article about them: http://www.gundogmag.com/breeds/gundog_ ... ever_1009/

An honest assessment of the negative traits from a very good breeder: http://www.calibertollers.com/toller/topten.htm

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:14 am 
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Best coon dog I ever saw was some kind of cocker spaniel mix.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:30 pm 
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You'd probably have better luck getting your pit involved with hunting on the ground than with retrieving waterfowl. If I remember correctly, one of the main things pits were bred for was hunting large game, mostly feral hogs/wild boar, stuff like that. They're still used for that pretty successfully throughout the Southeast, where feral hogs have been (and are still) a pretty damn big problem. Tracking prey is what they enjoy, and your pit might do okay for flushing birds out of cover, but jumping into an icy lake? Probably not...at least, I've never seen a pit that had the coat or the fat to be able to jump into damn-cold water and then come out completely fine--they've been miserable and completely unwilling to work since, you know, they're freezing their ass off. Another thing to consider is the condition of the bird when it gets back to you....I've always heard it called training the dog to have a "gentle mouth." Some dogs, mostly retrievers, are pretty good with it...others are absolutely terrible at it. Considering that pits were bred to latch on and not let go regardless of what's happening, I kinda doubt you'll be getting much of the bird back, or at least the condition of the bird, if you can get the dog to retrieve it to begin with. It might be harder, but if you're set on hunting waterfowl, either get a dog that's got retrieving in its genes (labs, Chesapeake Bay retrievers, American water spaniels, Standard Poodles, Portuguese Water dogs, etc) or make friends with some local folks who have them...if there's good hunting spots around, it's a pretty sure thing there's a hunting club around there as well, which is probably a good place to start.

And if you're doing this from a canoe or kayak, might I suggest adding an outrigger or two to compensate for Mr Newton and his laws every time the dog launches from the boat...that or make certain all of your stuff really is waterproof, cause it's probably gonna get tested.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:31 am 
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We had several pits when I was a kid growing up.

IMO, as a rule, pits are terrible swimmers and excellent sinkers. I had one jump out of a boat and I watched him dogpaddle perfectly all the way to the bottom of the lake and begin jumping back up toward the boat. I had to rescue him. It may be additional bone and muscle mass vs low body fat. I don't know.

As for ground hunting, our pits would chase rabbits with the other breeds but if the rabbit juked left and the healer juked right, the pit would notice the rabbit and follow the other dog. The pits would be running because the other dog was running and excited although he or she really didn't get the picture.

Our pits tangled fearlessly with coyotes, cougars, other dogs, coons, armadillos, skunks, ect that came around the house. However I assess that as guarding instead of hunting.

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