Piper (The Swiss Army Knife)

Discussion in 'Deer Tracking Dogs' started by PineSapJunky, Jan 22, 2017.

  1. PineSapJunky

    PineSapJunky Well-Known Member

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    I been a long time lurker ever since the "other" forum was disbanded. I too am completely fascinated with a dog's nose and its ability. Give a little background on myself. I have been a lab fan for the majority of my life. At one time I was the proud owner of three beautiful labs all having their sense of purpose and jobs. Buster was my black lab and tracker of the group and my oldest. He was a throw away dog from a guy I knew who raised labs for retrieving. He was my companion. We did everything together. He came to work with me, college, you name it he was with me. I also at the time went full-time to bow hunting only. Needless to say there were a lot of bad shots in the beginning. He accompanied me on every track, short or long and began to pick up the idea to make the job quicker. As he grew older his eyesight started to fail him along with his lower back and hips (hit by a car when he was 2) but that didn't slow him down. It actually made him a better tracker. He relied on his smell and was more methodical on his tracks. Sadly just after his 18th birthday I had to put him down. It has been 3 years now and I'm just now ready for another dog. But on with my story.

    Sam was my blonde lab, the alpha of the pack and the best retriever I've ever owned. Once again I got him as a throw away dog from a couple having to relocate for work and were unable to have a pet in their apartment. Sam naturally took to the water and anything that feel from the sky. Whether it was a dove, duck or squirrel he would retrieve it. He was hard charging into the water and would routinely retrieve multiples without command. I was at a buddies hunting camp on the river about 4 years ago duck and deer hunting. It was one of those magical weekends when both were moving everywhere. There were other dogs in camp but none performed as well as Sam did. Sam made retrieving look effortless and me look like a dog whisperer. There were no commands given or whistles. He just knew what and when to do it. I was asked numerous times on who trained him or if I would be willing to "finish" their dog because theirs was a waste of time and money. I told them that Sam pretty much trained himself and other than knowing what I will put up with he does it all on his own. I was approached by a couple of guys throwing out big numbers wanting to buy him. Knowing he would not perform for them as he would for me along with the fact he was my family's pet and my wife's favorite I just laughed it off. As I said the ducks were flying and the deer where moving. I left Sam in his kennel locked in the back of my truck with Buster to go deer hunting that afternoon. When I came back the lock had been cut and Sam was gone. Needless to say someone wanted Sam more. I came unglued at that point. Filed numerous reports with the sheriffs and Game Warden. I went back every weekend looking for someone using him but never found him. I still want to find the guy who took him. He was 9.

    Charlie is my chocolate over priced house dog now or actually my father-in-law's house dog. I bought Charlie out of a "high profile" kennel with the "best" blood lines. I figured he would be a breeze to train with following Buster and Sam around. I went through all of his obedience commands, he learned them in no time. On tracks he would be right in tow with Buster and on retrieves he would be right along Sam. He was on his way to being what I thought was going to be the best "do it all" dog I've seen. But as life happens. I got married. Had a child a year later. Moved to another state. Got caught up with work and my hobbies took a back seat. My hobbies came back around and were able to have a good couple of years with all of my dogs on the farm. Buster tracking, Sam retrieving and Charlie being Charlie.

    Needless to say I've had my fill of sporting dogs in my relatively short life. Which brings us to present day. My wife and three children have been wanting dog for a while now. I've finally given in and began the search for what I wanted to be the best all around dog EVER!!! I want a dog that is family oriented but has the drive and the brains to do what I please. The days of ducks are gone. Wildlife management is my passion now. So my goal is to have a dual purpose dog to find sheds and be able to track as well. After a long time researching and making multiple trips to different kennels and a lot of input from my wife on what it needs to look like. I've decided the English Labrador (aka: Blockhead Lab, Conformation Standard) is the one for us. Sam was a "blockhead" and was my wife's favorite. Like English's reputation he was a Jekyll and Hide type of dog. He was the sweetest house dog with the wife and fiercely protective of the children. When he went outside to work it was like he had a switch and would be driven to perform.

    Well. Meet Piper. She will be my first female Lab to raise so that will be a new one for me. She is currently 6 1/2 weeks old and we will be getting her next Saturday the 28th. My plan is to start her on sheds right away with methods I pull from multiple sources and ideas that I feel like suits her temperament. Blood will come later as her willingness to please grows. Either way the family is excited about having a puppy around. Charlie is 11 now so its been awhile since I've house broke a dog so that should be fun but it's nothing new. I will keep this post updated on her progress for everyone to share and for me to learn from others as well. Sorry for being long winded but I thought proper introductions are prudent. buster.JPG sam.JPG piper1.JPG piper2.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2017
  2. Turkey Creek

    Turkey Creek Well-Known Member

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    Piper is a chunk! Labs are my favorite.
     
  3. cutman

    cutman Administrator Staff Member

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    That's a great first post! Welcome. My god that's a cute pup.
     
  4. wbpdeer

    wbpdeer Well-Known Member

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    Good looking pup for sure. Dog knows not to be late to any meals. Got that contented look.

    Welcome to the forum and glad to hear about your great experiences with a lab. My lab pup is going to get a chip this week.

    If it was me, I had rather not find a man with that stolen lab. Somebody would get hurt or worse.

    Regarding shed dog training, I like some of Tom Dokken's stuff and some of Jeremy Moore's stuff. There is a shed dog trial (NASHDA) in Indiana next Saturday. I am going if the snow and ice will skip that region. I am looking forward to seeing trained dogs work.

    Glad you are here and look forward to your lab updates.

    Wayne
     
  5. PineSapJunky

    PineSapJunky Well-Known Member

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    As soon as we get her she'll be on her way to our vet for a second look over and a chip.

    I've purchased the rack wax shed system to associate the sight of an antler early on.

    Fortunately for me (not the deer heard) our local brown and downers do a good job of keeping me a stealing supply of racks from their "cull deer" (yearlings). The only problem with that is I have to go down to the creek where they dump them to remove their antlers.

    A shed dog will come in handy around here with all of the young pines plantations we have that are impossible for a human to walk through.

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  6. Doctorbrady

    Doctorbrady Well-Known Member

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    Welcome aboard! Looking forward to seeing your progress.
     
  7. Rickey

    Rickey Active Member

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    Sounds like a good time to be had. We are down to 2 house dogs now. I had to out my 12 year old male lab down last week because the cancer ate him up. It was terrible. He was the second lav I have owned they are awesome dogs.
     
  8. PineSapJunky

    PineSapJunky Well-Known Member

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    I hate to hear that about your Lab. They take a small piece of you when they go. I know they are just dogs in the long run. But when something has been with you that long it just kind of grows on you. Guess that's the reason why my wife doesn't understand me having the same pillow for 35+ years and counting

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  9. PineSapJunky

    PineSapJunky Well-Known Member

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    Just got some pictures from the kennel. She's growing daily. My wife is in love. But I'm still slightly guarded........psssh....who am I'm kidding, Saturday can't get here soon enough[​IMG][​IMG]

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  10. dogdoc

    dogdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    what a beautiful little yellow lab.
    congrats
    todd
     
  11. PineSapJunky

    PineSapJunky Well-Known Member

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    After a long......loooong search. We decided on this particular kennel. And after an even longer wait for these particular parents to breed we have Piper. What sealed the deal for me was how these puppies are treated after birth. She's in their living room being socialized. She just isn't a #$$$# to them. Which really impressed me.

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  12. wbpdeer

    wbpdeer Well-Known Member

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    Do you mind telling the name of the kennel? If I missed it show where, sorry.

    Wayne
     
  13. Brushpile

    Brushpile Moderator Staff Member

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    That is the cutest little puppy.

    It scares me to think that someone would cut a lock and steal a dog. My dogs are part of the family and that would hurt!

    Welcome to the forum, and I look forward to seeing Piper progress!
     
  14. PineSapJunky

    PineSapJunky Well-Known Member

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    When Sam was stolen they took a part of me too. I actually think I played a role in not getting him back. I truly believe that some of those guys from that club took. I made myself known for every chance they would be hunting. I think they caught wind that I was always around and didn't risk bringing him back for me to find and to seek my vengeance.

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  15. Brushpile

    Brushpile Moderator Staff Member

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    That's sad, and I would have lots of the same emotions. I could lose my truck and not feel the same emotions as losing my dog to a thief. Next year I'll track with two dogs; one in a crate while the other hunts. I worry about the dog left in a crate back at the truck!
     
  16. wbpdeer

    wbpdeer Well-Known Member

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    Brush,

    I am thinking your dog crates are smaller based upon the size of your animals. Would it be safer to leave the dog in the crate inside the truck and the empty crate in the back of the truck with the door open. It would be less obvious there is a dog here for the dishonest person.

    If you covered the dog crate it would also help conceal the dog. No offense but the average person that looks at your smaller dogs don't understand how good they are at tracking - they thinking of a house dog - not an outdoor tracking machine.

    Wayne
     
  17. PineSapJunky

    PineSapJunky Well-Known Member

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    I think having your dogs inside your truck would make it harder for them to get in. I believe the person or people involved in stealing Sam were the people I talked to earlier in the weekend. They couldn't fathom the idea that I had such an amazing dog GIVEN to me (they believed it had to do with genetics and not training) and I only used him on occasions and not every waking moment. I feel like they were insulted that I wouldn't take their money since that's how they were use to doing business being (hope not to offend anyone) typical duck hole a-holes and believing that duck hunting is a rich man's sport.

    Brush,
    I would be afraid especially in your situation due to the ease of transport and concealment of your smaller dogs. People that steal normally do it just because you have something they don't but want it. I could forsee someone thinking they could make a killing charging folks tracking deer. But in reality we all know that's not the reason why you do it or would do it.

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  18. Doctorbrady

    Doctorbrady Well-Known Member

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    I usually have one dog kenneled back at the truck with the tailgate up. My dogs don't have the same curb appeal as a lab, so I doubt a passerby would think much if they peaked in at them. The only problem is the blood tracking decal on my truck might give me away. If I were to ever catch anyone in the act of stealing one of my dogs, they are liable to have a hunting accident.
     
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  19. PineSapJunky

    PineSapJunky Well-Known Member

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    In anticipation of going to get Piper from the kennel today I rounded up some small antlers courtesy of our local "seasoned hunters". They'll be used to start Piper on her retrieving until she is large enough to move onto larger throws. They will not be used as chew toys and will be put away while she is teething.

    My son killed a doe yesterday and I have put away some meat to be used for treats when working with her obedience training. I will cook it until she is old enough to be able to eat raw meat. I'm doing this in hopes it subconsciously imprints on her for when we start her blood trailing which will probably be a year from now.

    After doing some research I've decided to use Blue Buffalo Company for her dog food. I will be using the large breed puppy formula. I'm interested to hear from others what they feed and why. I'll have to mix in a little at a time with what she currently eating so not to upset her digestive system. Thanks again for all the input and advice.

    Zach[​IMG]

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  20. PineSapJunky

    PineSapJunky Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG][​IMG]Piper finally made it home. We ended up meeting the breeder about 10 minutes from the house on his way to deliver another pup. That saved about a 3 hour round trip. The two oldest went with me to keep her company on the way home.

    In a short time she's already part of the family. She's already chewed on all the kids.

    I've already started working on her commands with the associated action. Even though it is forced I still want her to associate the word with the end result.

    She's had a busy day and the last picture said it all.

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