I had my first day on the barrens with my little Setter, and what a blast! Does anyone have any tips or hints on how to get him into birds? I was at Butterpot Hills Area off Witless Bay Line, are there any better spots around? And does anyone know when the snipe come back? I'd love to get him into a few, anything at this stage in the game is good for him, I'm sure! Also, I'm getting him neutered next week, whats everyone's opinions and experiences on neutering a hunting dog? I've read lots of varying opinions on it!
Nick a couple points I would like to pass on. First of all you are not allowed to run your dogs on the barrens between April 1 and September 1 unless it is on a specified training zone. Just want to make sure you know this. On the neutering issue it should not affect the dogs hunting ability. I have found through personal experience that they tend to gain weight more easily so their diet has to watched and monitored more. ( Some may argue this is not true but it is what I have observed). Personally I have never neutered any of my dogs as I have no need to given that I hunt solo most times! If he is a real young puppy concentrate on obedience for now and proper exercise. If he is from a good breed the natural abilities will come out with time!!!
Nick Corey is right about the dates of running your dog and there is a training area on the Witless Bay line (side closest to town) which will give you until the end of the month (check the dates for sure). Snipe will be back within the next couple of weeks but you will not find then like you do in the fall as they are all tucked away for breeding and raising chicks.
Neutering.....there is a lot of conflicting info out there but a lot of the newer info suggests that you not neuter a male until it has matured physically especially the bone structure..... I would personally wait until 1.5-2 years old.
Thanks everyone for the replies, I appreciate all the input. Yeah, I brought him up to the dog training area off Witless Bay Line and plan to keep bringing him up there. Thanks Corey for making sure I knew the laws. Are there any exceptions to the dates? I'm just wondering if you can get a permit or something from government to let you run dogs during the summer, does anyone know if its possible? Or how can I go about training him when the dog training season is closed legally?
Also, when I'm walking him down trails, if there's chickadees around he starts sniffing the air, and if he crosses paths with where they are after flying across the trail, he will straighten up, stick his paw up and his tail will stick out straight. He take up an almost unsure, wobbly position when he does this. Would this be signs of flash pointing? Or just coincidence? I can post a video later if anyone would like to watch and let me know what they think! I'm just curious, since I've never had a pointing dog before. I don't know if he's showing signs of pointing or just playing around.
In regards to neuturing, If we didn't have an un-spayed toy breed female around I wouldn't neuter him for quite some time... But I'd like to prevent any mistakes from happening.. I was just wondering everyone's experiences on the matter.
Thanks again everyone for the input, its nice to have somewhere to look for advice!
Please feel free to add the video.
Sounds like pointing to me.....
As far as getting a permit to train in the summer I would say good luck with that. I train and train a lot and I do it professionally. So several years ago I gathered up all the training regulations from NS, NB, PEI, ONT and one western province. All allow special training permits. I then done up a presentation for the powers that be and set up a meeting. My main point being that a well trained dog is a conservation tool and that I do this as sort of a business with dogs coming to my kennel for training from the mainland and all over. Long story short I was basically laughed at and was actually told by one of the head guys in the room that if it was up to him dogs would not be allowed to run free in their own back yards because of earth worms and song birds..... so that is what you are dealing with. I now train on private land.
Wow Ken, it's horrible to hear that about the higher ups in charge of regulations governing us.. There's lots of things I see that it seems we're doing things quite differently then anywhere else in Canada in regards to hunting... I suppose not a high percentage of decisions and regulations set out for us are due to facts or statistics. It's too bad really, to say the least about it.
Heres the link to the video I was talking about as well! Its just pending approval on the site so i'll post the Youtube link for now.