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hows it going, my names kyle im 20 years old. i recently brought home a vizsla puppy moose. hes almost 9 weeks old now. im interested in training him to hunt. now iv never even hunted before but ill be getting my licenses and all and hopefully going out a few times before i start training the pup. i know training wont start till hes a little older, but being as iv never done this before, i have no experience. i was wondering if there were some good books you guys could recommend on training a hunting dog? also, what type of birds would you recommend for us to hunt? i live in new jersey. am i in over my head or can this be done? thanks!!
 

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It's not easy or cheap. Thats first. I also never hunted - grew up in IA and have seen plenty of farm/hunting dogs and how they "should" be in the field. The one thing that remains a constant, regardless of how you go about is this - if you're not having fun, neither is he. If he's not having fun...whats the point?
Is this recreational? Or do you plan to compete with him?

I think the best thing you could do is find a local gun club/kennel club and start asking for who's trained vizslas before. Not one Vizsla, but SEVERAL. Ask for references and talk to at least 3 trainers (more if possible). Attend field trials, hunt tests w/o Moose first. Just go and see how it "works". No book, DVD, etc can even come close to showing you what its supposed to look like. Really supposed to look and feel like. Also, if you can, buddy up with someone who hunts and trains regularly on/off season with a similar breed of intensity. Not always possible, but if you can hook up with a really well trained/seasoned dog - Moose will not want to be left behind. He will absolutely try to keep up.

There are a ton of old posts on hunt training challenges in this forum. I would just type something in the search bar and start scrolling through all the posts. There is a guy on here who has a blog called redbirddog.com - I beleive he also was a first timer, but now is well into seasons - His blog is good and has good info.

Kona is 9mo. old now and is just starting to seem mature about 20% of the time. They are VERY slow maturing dogs compared to GSP, Weim, Lab etc. (I've had all 3) She will start hunt school this fall. Everything up to this point has been obedience and letting a puppy be a puppy - she points by herself, quarters relatively consistent, and LOVES LOVES LOVES rabbits and birds. I've made a concious effort to not "try to Train" her with my inexperience. I'd just mess her up. She should be a puppy and be obedient. From what I understand, this is the foundation for good hunt schooling later - at about 11 mo. old. I swear thats like 9 mo. old for a regular dog.

Look for the local v-club in jersey. I know a lot of people head upstate or west for hunting? Not sure what birds you get, but here in CO its all pheasant, chukar, quail, rabbit. She immediately took to pheasant - wasnt even a question about it. Like I said, as Moose develops (s-l-o-w--l-y) he will start to give you ques that he even remotely interested in these things. Now and again you might even see a chase or some real drive action. Resist the urge to start training just becuase of this. Use teh next 10mo to do research and plan out yoru next 4 years. I suppose some people might measure a dog in "finnished" terms. I would guess Kona won't be fully settled until about 3 years from now. Its definatley an investment.

Hope this helps...
 

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bowtie-guy

If you're serious about it, you're not in as bad a position as you think.
You have no prior knowledge, ergo you will not have any pre-conception, or misconception to overcome. In other words, you're more apt to "follow the book as written".
Two books to start out with;

1. The NAVHDA Green Book. NAVHDA is the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association. Lots of tips, tricks and a practical outline to get your dog through the NAVDHA Trials.

2. Gun Dog by Dr. Richard Wolters. This will literally give you a day by day, week by week, training program to follow. It's not perfect, and there are a lot more things to integrate over time, but It gives a beginner a plan though, and that's important. Believe it or not, his training starts now.

Regardless of what path you follow though, when it comes time to introduce the gun, GET HELP! You are not ready to introduce your dog to the gun by yourself, and you will need an experienced handler/trainer or risk flushing 12-18 months of work down the drain.

As for birds. Quail, Chukar, Pigeons are pretty much used with success by just about everyone.
 

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