Pre-Season Dogs

Ponscm

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So when do you guys (and gals) start your dogs on their preseason training to get ready for the ducks?  I got my pup last year and he is now 14 months so his obedience and bird training has been pretty continuous since 8 weeks old.  

Currently, his training schedule is 3 nights a week with frequency to increase after I shoot my deer and duck season approaches.

Start 'em early, keep it fun, and keep 'em stocked with pigeons to play with!
 

mudroller

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I am currently less worried about my dogs shape and more worried about mine. I turned 40 in January and I'm getting fatter by the day. I started jogging last week on the 4th of July and run with the dogs. They can whoop my butt all day long. 6yr old chessie and a 13 month German shorthair. The GSP beats up on the chessie all day, chasing and biting rear ankles. Then it is off and running thru the house, garage, out the dog door, around the back yard and in thru house again and so on ALL DAY. Dogs are skin and muscle. That's it. Wish I was. Professional training made them better hunters than I am. GSP was in back yard pointing at tweety birds in apple tree today. Kept doing it on different birds flying in and out of tree for about an hour. Funny as heck to watch. Stood there quivering waiting for me to come outside. Chessie took a well deserved nap under my feet. She hides from devil dog. I think they can't wait for hunting season more than I. Hard to concentrate and work with all that fun going on. Don't you wish you were a dog?
 

BigDog

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In a perfect world, you never stop training your dogs. But, most of us have to work for a living so that is not always possible.
You should still work them as much as possible during the off season. Retrieving in water is probably about the best training you can do. Using a dummy with the proper scent on it and feathers attached. This not only keeps them in practice for retrieving birds, it is also the best excercise with the least impact. Unfortunately, you can't really join in to get yourself in shape. So, I usually use a mixture of swimming them and running them.
And as always, fetch, fetch, fetch.....makes a retriever happy. Mix it up in what you toss for them. About this time in the off season, I start attaching feathers. I have found that if you only throw dummies or balls, at the beginning of season, they are not too keen about those feathers in their mouth.
 

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