Are Labrador Retrievers good hunting dogs?

Are Labrador Retrievers good hunting dogs?

There is no limit to what a line-bred Labrador retriever may achieve as a hunting dog. We already have the energy, enthusiasm, and will to succeed. The key is in the training, which must be patient and persistent.

Labrador Retrievers are well-known for their unbounded energy, in addition to their remarkable excellent looks and intelligence. When it comes to hunting, labs always are ready to go. As soon as they hear the word "bird," "duck," or "gun," they'll start wagging their tails in excitement.

Are Labrador Retrievers good hunting dogs?

Labrador retrievers are eager to please, but effective shooting with a retriever goes beyond merely unleashing the dog into the woods or the water. The hunter has to discover a means to restrict and regulate the Labrador's full-speed-ahead attitude. It's not only about launching birds into the sky. It's a difficult task to get those birds inside shotgun range.

Before digging into the specifics, have a look at the introduction to the Labradors community by proud dog parent. When you join the group, you'll get freebies and the most up-to-date information on canines. To join, simply fill out the application at the bottom of this page.


If you're looking for an adorable, energetic pet, go ahead and acquire a Labrador from any pup mill, retail store, or backyard breeder that specializes in mass-producing the "so cute" variety of puppies. These canines are kind and kind, and they also do an excellent job of removing dust and other debris from your home's furnishings.

A long-term, authorized breeder who offers only dogs from Labs who've been line-bred to hunter for generations is the best source for hunting Labs that are easy to train, driven, focused, and determined. It may cost more, but you'll get a Lab that is devoted to you, loves hunting, and is eager to learn. Otherwise, you're merely taking care of someone's pet.


Eight weeks after birth, most hunt Labs are ready for adoption. Hunting is out of the question for the time being. As a puppy, you'll need to teach it everything it needs to become a valued part of the family, including its identity, your name, and the laws of the house.

Give your dog 20 minutes of "hunt training" every day, starting now and continuing for the rest of the life. Whether it's chasing a sock, looking for a shoe, or bringing a cushion to you, your dog should be learning something new every day for a short amount of time. Trained dogs can protect themselves from other untrained dogs in hunting circumstances by walking at heel. Also, educate your dog to fetch to your hand, every time, so that he can keep up with you as you cross the room. Teach him to sit and remain while you go across the room. The pups won't be chasing after you or playing stupid games with each other.

The stakes are high. This is what he does for a living. Make him return the sock, the ball, or the dummy back from you every time, with no wiggle room for failure.


Extend praise, rough it up, pat and cuddle him when he behaves as instructed, but refrain from giving him treats! You can distinguish Labs from other upland and waterfowl dogs if you teach it to do his job because he enjoys it. They have a great deal of fun and a great desire to please. Only encouraging his natural instincts and focusing its efforts on the task at hand are your goals.

Don't expect perfection right away. At first, your puppy will be adorable, but he or she will be absolutely useless. You must engage with the pup on a daily basis if you want him to understand what you want or when you want it done.

After a few weeks of unpleasant, irritating, and frustrating fun, your dog will unexpectedly begin to acquire his talents and act and perform like a pro. As long as you don't quit, you'll get there! A Lab puppy, like any other kid, enjoys getting into mischief and having a good time.

The teachings will start to sink in when he's 12 to 16 weeks old, but by then, he'll not only be able to perform the task flawlessly, but he'll also be able anticipate your instruction and what's going to happen next. You're making contact. You'll get there, you'll get there. With consistent 20-minute training, by the time your pup is six months old, he'll be prepared to take on birds of prey.


While your pup can learn a lot in the comfort of your living room or backyard, he'll need to be exposed to the actual world of hunting, which includes woods, water, fields, brush, and a variety of other distractions.

In order to get the most out of your 20-minute workouts, take them outside. Taking a slow stroll well with Lab at your side, toss a retrieval dummy (also known as a bumpers) a few yards here to left or right of you with the order, "Fetch!" at the appropriate intervals.

It should only take a few minutes for your dog to get the hang of this basic chore. Whenever you throw the dummy, shout "Fetch" after you've thrown it and walk slowly to indicate where you intend to hurl it.

When your dog excels at a simple activity like this, it's time to increase the difficulty for him. Throw a couple dummies to the left and right about 20 yards in advance of your 20-minute training session. Bring your dog outside and tell it to "Find a bird," while going at heel and extending the hand as in direction where the "bird" must be.

After a short period of time, the dog is likely to fail terribly at this new skill. That you understand there is a bird inside there, that it is 20 yards and precisely where you claimed it was will eventually sink in. Do not allow him to go until he brings the "killed bird" next to you, just on seat. Don't allow him to play "catch me if you can" with you. The stakes are high. He's there to get the bird for you. Do what you can to make him do it.

For the Lab to learn and perform his function flawlessly, this should not require more than one week. If you don't have enough time, give it another go. Don't rush anything. Assist him in completing the assignment and lavish him with praise whenever he succeeds.

There will be less and fewer birds to find as you proceed with "Find the bird." There won't be a swarm of pheasants, grouse, or quail within 10 feet in the actual world. On certain long, exhausting days, even the greatest flushing dogs fail to discover any birds, despite their best efforts. You shouldn't be discouraged, either, because Labs never get discouraged.

A bird should be positioned at random along either end of the route, about 100 yards apart. Send dog in now to look for the bird early on. When he can't find it, he'll turn to you for help. It's a good idea to give him a hand signal in the desired direction (arm and hand outstretched). Call it back and re-direct it if he goes in the wrong path.

To have a shot at a genuine bird when it's flushed, you'll need to train your dog to stay in shotgun distance of 15 – 20 yards. No point in allowing the dog to run free for more than 100 yards. There will be plenty of birds frightened by him, but none you can kill. While he's getting the hang of being a hunting buddy, he deserves to learn exactly what you expect from him.

To prepare for waterfowl hunting, you need train accordingly. Because a wounded duck and goose may be a tremendous test to any retriever, there'll be more sitting & staying, water retrieves, and long-distance fetches. Pay attention to the specifics of the hunting preferences and tailor your training to match. For the rest of your lives, just keep up the 20-minute workouts!

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