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Old 11-27-2013, 01:03 AM
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meepitsmeagan meepitsmeagan is offline
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Default Purchasing a Started Gun Dog

Just something I mentioned to DH. By purchasing an older (maybe even retired breeder dog?) who has either been started or is seasoned on waterfowl and is being sold would allow us to get his bird dog faster, spread out the ages of our dogs, and since neither of us have consistently worked or trained a gun dog that would kind of get our/his foot in the door as to how to handle them vs bringing a puppy up and training on his own the first time around. Whew, that was a long sentence.

I know the gun dog population isn't huge around these parts, Shai is basically the only one I can think of tbh, but hopefully somebody has some insight.

What to look for in a started or retired dog. What to beware of when purchasing them. Where to begin a search/gain the right contacts. Pros and cons of started vs puppy that I may not have thought about. We/he would be looking for waterfowl (ducks/geese), maybe a touch of upland. Not looking to trail at this time and would be just used for recreational hunting.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:48 AM
stardogs stardogs is offline
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Raegan on here would be a good resource or will at least know of some folks you might get some good info from - you should be able to message her, though I know she's not on Chaz super regularly.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:45 AM
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meepitsmeagan meepitsmeagan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stardogs View Post
Raegan on here would be a good resource or will at least know of some folks you might get some good info from - you should be able to message her, though I know she's not on Chaz super regularly.
Hmm.. thanks. Anyone know if I can find her on FB? Iirc, she's got Tollers?
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:54 AM
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I just sent you guys a group message via fb.
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:35 AM
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A trained/ semi-trained gundog would cost you a small fortune here.. May be different in different areas though. I can't see what any negatives would be if you bought from a well-known kennel with proven success. My breeder'a husband hunts with 3 or 4& they take all dogs they keep up through FDX. The bigger breeder in Ontario hunts frequently and you would get one hell of a trained dog off them. If I ever wanted to use a pointer for genuine hunting, I would not hesitate to take one of her older dogs.
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Old 11-27-2013, 11:04 AM
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Shai Shai is offline
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Disclaimer: This is all from discussion and hanging out with hunters and field trainers as I've personally field trained exactly one dog and unfortunately don't have any place to hunt birds. Yet. I think Reagan's in a similar situation with her first retriever (dunno if she's competed yet?) but she's in WI and may have localish contacts for you.


Assuming you're looking for a retriever, from your description, you have a couple ways to go as far as I know...

--Getting in touch with training clubs and pro trainers and getting leads on available older dogs that way. Might be a retired gundog, or someone who passed or is retiring from hunting but has some fine older dogs who still need a job, etc. Or maybe a dog that was being prepped for FT but didn't pan out but would still make a good hunting partner.

--Getting a young dog, either started or untrained and sending him/her to a pro trainer you trust to train him up to the level you need. Not going to help spread out the ages, though.

--Something in between...like an older dog who needs a little refresher training.

In either case you're going to want health records for the dog, any work he has done to date, get to work with the dog yourself and see how he works with whoever has been training him (or at least someone who knows how he has been trained). The more info you can get on the trainer the better, from prior clients to people who compete with him to people who train with him. Bear in mind that many pros, like pros in anything, tend to have followings of starry-eyed worshippers so take reviews accordingly.

The biggest thing is to work personally with the dog in a setting similar to your planned use. Get him out on water or see how he handles a boat if you're going to be doing that. Have him work without an e-collar if he's used to one and you want to go without. Understand his commands, what he can/can't do. See what he's like in a blind or on the line, make sure he's good with close range gun fire, is fine with picking up and delivering freshly killed birds, etc.

If he's going to be a housedog the rest of the year, see what he's like there. Has he lived in a house before or has he always been a kennel dog? Has he lived with other dogs before?

If you just want a dog to go out and pick up birds that he sees fall, that's easier. If you want a dog you can direct to a blind or multiple blinds, it's going to be a harder and probably a more expensive search.
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Old 11-27-2013, 02:37 PM
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I have that friend I think I've told you about that has kennels and breeds labs, but trains all breeds for hunting, that I could put you into contact with if you'd like.

I think he does sell older trained dogs from time to time, but primarily boards/trains younger dogs/puppies to train until they're ready to hunt. He would probably have some leads as well for older dogs that are already hunting that may be available to buy.

De hunts with these dogs ALL THE TIME for his own benefit, and competes as well.

I don't know anything about this stuff though so I don't know if that's a way you'd want to go or not!
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Old 11-27-2013, 05:56 PM
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meepitsmeagan meepitsmeagan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shai View Post
Disclaimer: This is all from discussion and hanging out with hunters and field trainers as I've personally field trained exactly one dog and unfortunately don't have any place to hunt birds. Yet. I think Reagan's in a similar situation with her first retriever (dunno if she's competed yet?) but she's in WI and may have localish contacts for you.


Assuming you're looking for a retriever, from your description, you have a couple ways to go as far as I know...

--Getting in touch with training clubs and pro trainers and getting leads on available older dogs that way. Might be a retired gundog, or someone who passed or is retiring from hunting but has some fine older dogs who still need a job, etc. Or maybe a dog that was being prepped for FT but didn't pan out but would still make a good hunting partner.

--Getting a young dog, either started or untrained and sending him/her to a pro trainer you trust to train him up to the level you need. Not going to help spread out the ages, though.

--Something in between...like an older dog who needs a little refresher training.

In either case you're going to want health records for the dog, any work he has done to date, get to work with the dog yourself and see how he works with whoever has been training him (or at least someone who knows how he has been trained). The more info you can get on the trainer the better, from prior clients to people who compete with him to people who train with him. Bear in mind that many pros, like pros in anything, tend to have followings of starry-eyed worshippers so take reviews accordingly.

The biggest thing is to work personally with the dog in a setting similar to your planned use. Get him out on water or see how he handles a boat if you're going to be doing that. Have him work without an e-collar if he's used to one and you want to go without. Understand his commands, what he can/can't do. See what he's like in a blind or on the line, make sure he's good with close range gun fire, is fine with picking up and delivering freshly killed birds, etc.

If he's going to be a housedog the rest of the year, see what he's like there. Has he lived in a house before or has he always been a kennel dog? Has he lived with other dogs before?

If you just want a dog to go out and pick up birds that he sees fall, that's easier. If you want a dog you can direct to a blind or multiple blinds, it's going to be a harder and probably a more expensive search.
All very good information! Thanks. I'm happy you chimed in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJEtzel View Post
I have that friend I think I've told you about that has kennels and breeds labs, but trains all breeds for hunting, that I could put you into contact with if you'd like.

I think he does sell older trained dogs from time to time, but primarily boards/trains younger dogs/puppies to train until they're ready to hunt. He would probably have some leads as well for older dogs that are already hunting that may be available to buy.

De hunts with these dogs ALL THE TIME for his own benefit, and competes as well.

I don't know anything about this stuff though so I don't know if that's a way you'd want to go or not!
Hmm... may be worth looking into! I forgot about that. I would like a +R trainer if possible, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yv0nne View Post
A trained/ semi-trained gundog would cost you a small fortune here.. May be different in different areas though. I can't see what any negatives would be if you bought from a well-known kennel with proven success. My breeder'a husband hunts with 3 or 4& they take all dogs they keep up through FDX. The bigger breeder in Ontario hunts frequently and you would get one hell of a trained dog off them. If I ever wanted to use a pointer for genuine hunting, I would not hesitate to take one of her older dogs.
I'm guessing it will be between $2000-$3500 here, depending on how well trained the dog is. But honestly, if we went the puppy route we'd probably be looking at the same amount of cash.
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