Is 5 years old too late to train to hunt?

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Is 5 years old too late to train to hunt?

Postby jholly » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:31 am

My husband is an avid hunter, but mostly for large game animals. Since loosing Bailey we said we wouldn't get another Britt, but we started to talk about a Britt for hunting. We know we don't want another puppy. Love puppies, but those puppy years are crazy times. Can our 5 year old Lewis be taught to hunt? He uses his nose on walks. His head is down to the ground for most of the time on a walk. Running back and forth as far as the leash will let him go.

He doesn't heel. Not so much a sight dog. He has occasionally pointed at birds. Is crazy for squirrels and chipmunks.

We don't dare let Lewis off leash. We live on a busy street as there is a public school just down the street and we are on a bus route. Lewis will come if you call him from the fenced in backyard. He can sit, give paw and I'm teaching him to roll over. As for hunting........well I don't know if he's hunting material.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Is 5 years old too late to train to hunt?

Postby Barb Wright » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:28 am

Well, I just stumbled on this post.....I am bumping it up because I am sure there are a few folks that can answer your questions. I'll start it out by saying, you don't know until you give it a try :wink: Why not engage a hunting trainer for a few lessons....he should be able to tell you after a few times out whether Lewis might make a good bird dog. I know there have been many Britts come through rescue, some older than five, that had never hunted and turned out to be great hunting dogs. Every Britt has the instinct in his/her ancestry and sometimes it just takes a little exposure to have the light go on in a big way :)

There are a multitude of books out there on training, you might just look at a few and try a few basic introductory training ideas to see what happens. It has been awhile since you posted this....wondering have you tried anything to see if Lewis might be "interested"?

Love the photo....they look really intent on what you are doing :)
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Re: Is 5 years old too late to train to hunt?

Postby Barb Wright » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:50 pm

Come on you hunters out there....give some suggestions to someone who would love to see if their Britt is true to his ancestry !!!
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Re: Is 5 years old too late to train to hunt?

Postby AuntieMom » Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:45 pm

jholly wrote:Can our 5 year old Lewis be taught to hunt? He uses his nose on walks. His head is down to the ground for most of the time on a walk. Running back and forth as far as the leash will let him go.


Most Brittanys have the ability to hunt, even if they are just learning how at age 5. What you said about Lewis using his nose on walks and going back and forth with the leash, that is the "windshield wiper" pattern that is good for hunting dogs. In the field, that back and forth is a good thing. It was something my husband talk Scout when he was a tiny puppy

If the dog owner has developed a bond with their dog and wants to train their dog to hunt, then likely the dog will hunt because that is what they are bred to do. They want to please you (some more than others but generally true. :P ) It sounds like Lewis has the natural basics - working his nose and the windshield wiper pattern. Before he ever hits a field, your husband would want to work with him to get better recall. We have used a vibrating e-collar to train our dogs. I agree with Barb about getting books and just deciding what method would be best for Lewis.
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Re: Is 5 years old too late to train to hunt?

Postby janet909 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:30 am

I definitely don't think that 5 years old is too late to train to hunt. For Brittany's, most of it is instinct. A dog either hunts or doesn't. We started Wesley at 2 years old and he's a hunting maniac. That being said, he has the same traits that you describe....nose to the ground, pointing etc. We got Shep at 9 years old and while he GOES on the hunt, he's just not interested. He'll flush by accident but is usually just smelling the flowers and chasing butterflies. No big deal for us. Definitely get some books and read up on training. We got some grouse wings and just started in the yard with getting Moby and Wesley on the scent. We did purchase a launcher and worked out in the field quite a bit. The important thing is the introduction to the gun. You have to be careful and not scare the dog. There is a lot written on the Internet about introducing your dog to a gun. I agree with Barb though. Until you try it, you'll never know. These dogs are SMART !!!!! If they're a born hunter, it's already in them for life !!!
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