6 year old lab problems :/

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By Mikeyford3 - 12/18/2013 9:46:53 AM
Ihave a six year old yellow lab named gunner. He is very active and mostly acts like a one year old pup! Now as a puppy he was around guns as never was gun shy.He always retrieved until the day my parents got a Jack Russell. After being beaten to the ball or dumbly being thrown day after day by the fast little Russell he lost interest in retrieving. When I bought him I was on summer break high school and trained him with sit, stay, come, and heel. I planned on using him as a duck dog. Well that wasn't my best bet considering that when summer was over I was always at school or at work. So a couple years went by I got into my career and purchased my house in January and was able to being gunner to my house where I started to see if I was still able to get him to duck hunt.

So this is my problem I kinda fixed the retrieve problem when I brought a fresh harvested teal home to have my gsp retrieve. My lab who usually sits on the deck and watches out of nowhere got up and retrieved the duck. After this I Put my gsp inside and had my lab sit and stay and tossed the teal and commanded fetch. I was working with force retrieving for a little while before this so he knew what I expected with fetch. So the very next day I decide to bring him duck hunting.

The next morning I woke up got my gun out and put the vest on my dog he was all excited! I brought him out to a local pond we hunt with my buddy to see why he could do. To make a long story short he retrieved two ducks but is very skittish about the shots of the gun. Which I can not understand he's   been around it his whole life. He heard the first shot and jumped idk if it's because he didn't expect it but the is the last thing I would thought would happen. He also retrieved two of our ducks but the other ones he retrieved but only half way. After hunting he was fine he was happy an I praised and praised him. Any advise?

By duckman57 - 12/18/2013 5:19:46 PM
You need to get a reply from a guy on here called kghops and then do exactly what he tells you.  Search him on here and read some of his back posts about gunshy dogs and what to do.  Good luck!
By Mikeyford3 - 12/19/2013 6:08:43 PM
Thanks I emailed him. I'm waiting now. Te day we took him hunting I was having my buddy shoot and just praising him and holding him and he wa fine but when I wasn't doing that he wanted to just haul tail it back to the truck lol. We ended up cutting our hunt short and took my buddy home. He did retrieve the duck the two ducks we shot that day tho
By Mikeyford3 - 12/21/2013 9:23:34 AM
By talley2191 - 12/21/2013 2:47:57 PM
Because you asked for any advice, I'll look at it from a different perspective. If your desire is to train this dog, then stop reading now. 
Perhaps you could look at it from the perspective that your 6 year old dog will be 7 before the next season starts. That seems to me to be an advanced age to begin a waterfowl hunting career. Gasp I know, as I am sure the "pros" would disagree. I think most would concede that it takes a lot of hunts to produce a truly proficient retriever. So maybe your lab is now 8-9 before it is really working for you. I think that's a lot of pressure for a dog already in what is considered the prime of retriever's career with prime based on age, and supposed prior retrieving experience. 

Can you add another dog and train them together? I have a lab I've hunted with for 6 years and a 9 year old Golden that makes a great pet. I had previously planned on hunting with the Golden, but it was not to be for her. She's great and we love her, and actually found that we would always want a couple dogs. 

Since you bumped your topic, I thought I would offer a different perspective. 

Good luck with whatever you choose. 
By Mikeyford3 - 12/21/2013 10:34:12 PM
Actually yeah I'm kind of tossing that in the Air now. I have two dogs as of right now. My lab which has been my best bud since highschool and my 9 month gsp who I use for upland and his a amazing dog. I love the way my lab looks and behaves he isn't fixed yet and My aunt has a lab who she want to Breed with mine. I might do thAt or just spend the money on a lab with a good hunting background  and bloodline. Idk why I'm so worried about getting another lab lol. I just see how excited he gets when I get my gun out and actually take him on a hunt . He was my very first dog. We'll not my first dog but the first dog I trained and bought myself.  I know one thing I do want a chocolate lab if I decide to get another pup!

Thanks for the advice no offense was taken lol 
By Mikeyford3 - 12/23/2013 7:35:27 PM
So another questions does it matter if you get a lab from a master gun tested dog or from a littler of two labs in my family? It is all in what you put into the dog am I correct? I understand hunt tested also has that extra jump because of the blood line. But can't I have just as good of a dog if I put hours and hours into a pup from him
By ducker - 12/25/2013 7:12:38 AM
Anything is possible. What you put into the dog means a great deal but so do things like drive, desire, temperament and trainability. These are inherited qualities that you are much more likely to find in well bred field dogs than the LIL MISS COUCH POTATO X RUSTY FROM DOWN THE BLOCK breeding that you are talking about. 

Since you are talking about labs, let's focus on them. Labs have been bred for many wonderful uses. From show champions to service dogs to great pets to field dogs, they are the poster k9 for versatility. It is this versatility that has made them the no.1 registered dog in the U.S. for the past several years. This popularity and versatility is also the reason you should be careful when selecting a lab breeding for a specific purpose.

 You would no more expect a high powered, driven field dog to lead a blind person carefully down a busy city street than you would a dog bred to lay at your feet all day waiting to answer a door to run down a crippled goose or break ice to get to a dead mallard on a near frozen lake.

The problem lies with the fact that, unless you know for a fact that potatoes and rustys ancestors were great gun dogs, your chances of getting the inherited traits desired by a gun dog owner are slim.

Todays reputable hunting lab breeders look for all of the desired, inherited, traits in their breeding stock. They are also careful to select breeding stock free from genetic health disorders such as hip dysplasia. 

There are no guarantees that you will get a great dog if you start with great breeding, just as there is no guarantee that potato and rusty wont turn out a great gundog pup. However, if I were going to invest hours and hours into training a dog as you say you are, plus the money in vet bills, food and training expenses for the life of a dog,I would want to start with the best possible pup that I could afford.
By Mikeyford3 - 1/10/2014 10:10:06 AM
Ended up buying New puppy chesapeake bay retriever 
By ducker - 1/11/2014 2:11:02 PM
Congrats on the new pup. Hope it turns out to be everything you are looking for. Chessies tend to be great natural retrievers that show promise at a young age. 

The best advice I can give you is to look for training material developed by people who specialize in raising and training chessies like Butch Goodwin. They should have insights into the breed that the usual training methods may not.