How old is too old to hunt your dog?
Print Topic | Close Window

By Labs and 887''s - 1/19/2014 11:00:40 AM
My yellow lab is now 11 years old and I can see after yesterdays hunts that she is pretty much done hunting in certain weather conditions. My lab loves to go out hunting, and I don't push her, she just pushes herself too hard for her age. So, I'm not sure if I should be taking her any more or if I should only be taking her on hunts when its warm and it will be easy for her to move. Note: this is my first and only hunting dog so I am still learning about hunting dogs as she is ageing any advice would be greatly appreciated on this subject.
By flannel - 1/19/2014 1:44:28 PM
If you're having to question it, then she probably is getting too old for it. Sounds like it's time to think about getting a pup! I myself currently have a 10 year old Springer and a 1 year old lab. It's sad seeing the old dog phasing out, but excited to see the youngster develop. My Springer really seems happier to be chasing his tennis ball in a park instead of swimming chilly waters for ducks these days; I guess that's what they call retirement!
By Amish Amy - 1/21/2014 4:30:12 PM
I have two 13 year old GSPS we are trying to keep running.  i didnt shoot a grouse or woodcock this year.  Would love a pup but it would break their hearts.  As far as being replaced I'm wondering if the young bucks are thinking of some of us that way!!  joe
By jcropsey - 2/12/2014 8:51:06 AM
Been down this road many years ago and now multiple times over with Labs:crying:  A pup can extend the life of an older dog and provide needed companionship in dog's waning years:D  My dogs have been in good shape, but at 11 yo, I started cutting back.  At 12 yo, they went out when weather appropriate;)  At 13 yo, very limited hunting on only the best conditions.  At 14 yo, planted, hobbled birds only with pup as the back up:)  Never had a dog go past 14 yo.  The 14 yo was smiling ear to ear over the planted birds, he was sooo happy!  The sight still brings tears to my eyes:crying: 

I'd strongly recommend getting a pup soon, so pup is ready for next season.  At 12 yo, I'd hunted the older & younger dogs together.  They became a pack and figured out how to get  the most birds up between the two of them.  Older dog hunted closer, younger ranged ahead = less stress on older dog:satisfied:  and more birds:w00t:  At 13 yo, I'd let the older dog out first.  Most of the time, he'd just sit down by the door and let me take the younger one by itself:hehe: and go back in the house.  The other time I had this age group, the older dog at 13 yo would hunt like a house afire and then disappear for 15 minutes letting pup take over.  Investigating, I found him bellied down in a shallow, cool puddle catching his breath:Whistling:  That one didn't know when to quit, so you may have to make that decision:exclamationmark:

You must know this by reading between the lines, every year past ten is a bonus year for a Lab.  Enjoy every moment together:D
By Labs and 887''s - 2/13/2014 11:32:07 PM
Thank you all for the advice. I will probably be looking for a new pup in a year or so. I think if weather is very good I'll probably let her come with, but it looks like borrowing dogs for the next few years for me. (would get a new lab but I don't think the L.L. would allow it) Though.... if anyone knows of any Chocolate Labs around Wa state area for sale in the future let me know I would be very interested in getting one. Also, jcropsey that is a very good idea with the hobbled birds, never thought of that but I know my dog would absolutely love doing that.