How old a lab puppie have to be to start training for duck hunting?

house wife: Does anyone know how old a lab puppie haves to be to start training for duck hunting?
My Hubby and I just bought a chocolate lab puppie he is five weeks old now and we are into duck hunting and want to teach him to retrieve but we haven't tried to train a duck dog yet any information you might have would be very helpful thanks :)

labrador duck hunting photo
Photo Credit: sgoerin/Flickr

Answers and Views:

Answer by samiah lowe
I started at 7 to 9 months old but between now and when your puppy is that old you can work on obediance and call back get a book Water Dog: Revolutionary Rapid Training Method
it will help

Answer by Smuag
I have several bits of information for you. First of all, return your lab to wherever you got it from. It is illegal to sell a dog when it is under the age of eight weeks old- and for a good reason. The dog learns valuable social skills and behaviors while it is with its litter mates and mother.

Second, there is no set age for official training for duck hunting because it is done in stages. At eight weeks old, you need to start conditioning the dog to see the water as a GOOD thing. Get a kiddie pool and let the puppy play, giving lots of praise and treats when he does. If you will be using a boat, he also needs to start going on boat rides with you to get used to the motion. Basic training comes first, so start by teaching him sit, stay, down, and his name.

After that, I've never seen the training done for getting them to retrieve the ducks themselves- in my area, they usually go to a specialized trainer to learn the commands they need.

Answer by Michelle
For all those who are all up tight about the age of the pup, this person did not offer full details, so you do not know the circumstances. It did say they “bought” the puppy, but she did not specify it was a breeder, some people have oops litters and only charge a little to cover vet bills and such and want the pups gone as soon as they are eating solid food. Perhaps the mother is ill or died during birth and they have to get the puppies into home ASAP, the point is the question isn’t about how soon should a pup be taken from the mother, though many have given good advice about how important it is not to purchase a pup so young, the question was when to start retriever training…I have to agree obedience should be the first lesson, then I think someone said 7-9 months before starting him as a duck retriever, all good advice. Food for thought, free advice is always nice but when typing, you might want to consider your words, as tones get lost and sometimes even good advice might come off sounding rude. Me included, so if I have offended anyone I do apologize.

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  1. ßlue ßel says

    5 Weeks old is very young for a puppy to leave his mother. If you have purchased this dog from a breeder, please return the puppy for 4 weeks until he is 9 weeks old. Owning a puppy that is too young can be illegal in some places.

    There is no answer to this question. A Lab can start duck hunting at any age, however get your pup's shots first. Some Lab breeders start bird hunting training when puppies are about 7 weeks old. The breeder usually lets the puppies get used to the feathers.

    To start the training, get your dog used to water. I would recommend buying him a small kiddie pool and let him interact with it. Make sure the water is not too cold or too hot! Then get a duck and let your dog smell it and let him fetch it. I believe there is a pre-scented fake ducks that have a duck scent to put on your rug to start training. Good luck!

  2. jkc92618 says

    I hope you mean you bought a 5 week old pup from a breeder and you will be picking it up to take home in 3 more weeks when it is 8 weeks. If you have a 5 week old puppy at your house now, you bought a dog from a VERY VERY bad breeder. I can't even tell you how wrong it is to bring a 5 week old pup home.

    You can train the pup with basics now...sit, down, stay. I wouldn't start any other training until 16 weeks as you can't correct until then.

    Buy this book, it's a good beginners basic to retrieving work:

  3. NLM says

    Wow 5 weeks is really young!
    I would think you could introduce him to a dummy early but I would wait until he is several months old and past the fear stage before considering taking him to water or introducing him to the gun. In the meantime,work on the basics of obedience I'm sure there are folks who can give you more specific advice.

  4. Jenny Manyteeth says

    Five weeks is too young to be separated from his mother. Take him back for at least 3 weeks, preferably 7-8 more weeks.

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