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Goose Dogs

Prepare your retriever for the special challenges of goose hunting.
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“Dogs absolutely must be under control and camouflaged,” Vandemore says. “There’s a safety aspect involved. When we hunt snow geese in a field, I can let Ruff out of the truck and he’ll immediately go to his dog blind and sit there. He knows it’s his place.

“I would advise putting the dog blind behind your layout blind to discourage the dog from breaking. Unless the dog is 100 percent steady, use a tie-down to keep it under control. If set up behind you, he’s looking down your gun barrel and that allows him to follow the barrel and mark birds quickly. It sets the dog up for success.”

It would seem logical that the bigger the dog, the better equipped it would be to tackle goose-retrieving chores. But does size truly matter? Vandemore says no. Ruff weighs 60 pounds. “I don’t think the size of the dog matters at all,” Vandemore says. “If you get a dog with drive, he’ll get it done." 

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