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Age to start gun dog training?

Discussion in 'Gundog Training, Fieldwork, & Field Trials' started by ayres, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. ayres

    ayres Registered Users

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2018
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    I'm interested in some training with Alfie and have spoken to the local club. I was informed that they would not be running any training until spring next year. Alfie is currently 7.5 months old would waiting for their classes be to late?
    I am now based in Abergavenny.
     
  2. Anne123

    Anne123 Registered Users

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
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    Location:
    The Netherlands
    I don’t think so! I started gundog training this year in March. Finn was 4,5 years old....He was the oldest in the group, but most of them were around 1 or 2 years of age.
    In the mean time you can always start a training during winter, such as sent work...
     
  3. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    7,196
    Are you looking to work in the field, or just for fun? :) I don't think 7.5 months is too late at all!:) I didn't do any classes with Bramble until she was 8 months, and then just one class, and nothing until the following spring. Mainly because of a rather protracted season she had.:rolleyes:

    What I did work on was a nice delivery to hand, working in reverse, so the hold first...then the retrieve. I also used a clicker in my training. We made it fun, breaking down the retrieve into stages. If you think about it, the retrieve from start to finish is quite a complex pattern. In the early days, we worked on a lot on placement, meaning where was my dog in relation to me. A placeboard helped enormously! Placeboard training can be great fun, not too strenuous for a dog, thinking about young joints here, but mentally quite challenging.

    One mistake a lot of people make is rushing into gundog training, then get over-awed by the rate of progression of other dogs, and simply ask too much, too soon of their own. Always look at the dog in front of you, and not worry about what the other handlers are doing. So no, 7.5 months is fine, but in summary there is quite a lot you can do on your own.

    Just a final note, a lot of clubs are quite "traditional" in their approach to training, and this really can be quite rough on your dog, especially the sensitive dogs, so look out for a positive reinforcement trainer.

    Some links here for you:

    thegundogclub.co.uk

    thelabradorsite.com/gun-dog-training-for-labradors
     

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