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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 9 month old Half Lab - Half bernese mountain dog that loves the water, loves to fetch and has a very soft bite. When I take him out in the back yard he will almost walk right into the deer and not notice them, but he can spot a bird on top of my neighbors shed from a couple hundred feet. Do you think I should try to train him to hunt birds?

Not sure how to upload pictures yet. I am going to search and try later.
 

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My dog has the same natural hunting instincts. He hunts milk bones in the house really well, just no loud noises like a gunshot and he will hunt all day. Some dogs are better as pets, and some are breed and trained to actually hunt in the field. Maybe your onto the next best hunting breed... Give him a try on a long leash with someone that knows what they are doing and what to look for.
 

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Do you think I should try to train him to hunt birds?
Why not try?

Get a couple quail and see what he does with them.
 

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When I bought my poodle we weren't sure if she would hunt or not. Here's what I did.
I picked one toy and used pheasant or quail scent on it.
I kept that toy in the closet, and when it came out we played very hard with it, tug of war, fetch, and just made sure that the toy meant FUN to the dog.
That toy was not left out. It stayed in the closet and only came out during a designated "play/train" time.
Once my dog got excited at the sight of the toy, I would lock my dog in a separate room and drag the toy through the living room and hide it behind the couch or somewhere that wasn't obvious, but wasn't too hard to find either. The dog then got used to following the scent to the toy.
Then we did the same thing in the backyard.
Then rubber banded a pheasant wing to the toy.
Then moved to dead birds.
Then to live quail or phez.

Not sure if what I did was correct or not, but it worked for my pup. Pretty quickly at the sight of a wing, or the smell of a bird, she got all excited. After one or two live bird training, she quickly understood the game. Then it was just a matter of teaching her what her range was, and then moving to steady to wing and shot.

I am by no means a pro, but my dog finds birds and brings them back while staying in range (most of the time). She certainly wouldn't win any trials, but she is the best hunting companion I could every ask for.

Keep training sessions short and fun with a lot of positive reinforcement. Worked for me
 

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You never know until you try. I sent my wife and kids to pick out a springer for a pet. Listed 5 breeders that had puppies. She returned with a 9 week old male. We need to rent a house waiting for our new house to be finished. No dogs allowed. He always chased after any bird that would fly over and sending him to a field trial traner for 3 months was cheaper and seemed better for him then a boarding kennel. He came back with 5 puppy trail wins at 10 months old. Was a absolutly perfect trail/field dog. Later I found out he was bought from the Freehold Mall puppy store instead of the breeders I sent my wife too. She said he had the cuttest face of all the puppies they looked at. So you never know what insticts will be breed into a dog, even one from a puppy farm. Dam I miss that dog. Hunted him until he was 12. Limited out almost everytime out with him. Most of the time he would limit out and I would just carry his birds. One thing I did do from when he wa syoung was to shoot a blank gun over him while he ate. Wife and kids would jump a mile but he never had issues with gun shy.
 

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My brother has a Lab-Akita that he got from the pound when the dog was a few months old. He never took the dog hunting, until a couple of years ago, he was already like 6 years old. This dog put his nose to the ground and flushed a pheasant that we both shot.[hihi]He only took the dog with us because he gives his chocolate lab confidence being around him. I say if he is birdy like you say, he will make a fine hunting dog.[up][up]
 

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Pheasant wings on a stick, let him chase them. Then move to the wings hidden around the house or yard. Then move to pigeons or quail. If you can get him birdy he will make a fine hunting dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I will try some of what you said and see how he does. Now all I have to do is find a field to get him into.
 

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I have a 9 month old Half Lab - Half bernese mountain dog that loves the water, loves to fetch and has a very soft bite
I've had Bernese Mountain dogs, or, 'Berners', for short, for nearly my entire life. My mother breeds and shows them.

Berners are freaking lazy, however, they've been used as water rescue dogs. Most of our Berners love/loved swimming, some absolutely hated being wet.

As far as retrieving, you'd better rely on the "lab blood" for that !! :D
 

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Great looking dog, almost a dead ringer for Gunny down to the chest white spot. Great looking dog, he'll hunt, its in his eyes. [smoke]
 

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A deflated soccer ball is his fav toy. This is gunny at 9 months. He just turned 3.
 

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Forgot pic [drinking]
 

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Ok...not lazy, just wise beyond his years at the time. LOL.
 

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thats a cool looking dog!is that a new breed like a goldendoodle or some freak thing?my wife loves labs and bernese mountain dogs would be a great gift
 
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