When is it safe to take puppy into woods

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GrouseChaser7
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When is it safe to take puppy into woods

Post by GrouseChaser7 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:19 pm

I have a 9 week old Lab, and my vet told me to keep him confined to the yard until he is about 4-5 months old, has had all his shots and built a strong immune system. I understand that he is at risk to several parasites, diseases etc. but I never gave this much thought with my last Lab. I was careful to make sure he wasnt getting into anything like coyote droppings or rotting carcasses, but we would take regular walks at the nearby park starting at about 8-9 weeks so he can experience different types of cover, water and see/smell wildlife. This is my third lab and although I am far from a pro, I have raised them all on my own to be decent bird dogs and relatively well behaved house pets. I have read several books/watched videos and never heard of having to keep a puppy so sheltered for so long. They all show young puppies being introduced to birds and habitat right away without much mention of the puppy's immune system and dangers of taking him into the wild.
I also keep pigeons to use for training, and have let him chase a couple around already. Is that a bad idea too??? Again, puppies being exposed to live birds is common in the books I have read. I have a call into the vet to discuss this in detail but in the meantime it is killing me. I feel like maybe I was too wreckless with my last dogs. Any help or input is greatly appreciated.

Georgia Boy
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Re: When is it safe to take puppy into woods

Post by Georgia Boy » Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:56 am

I would definitely get the pup out in the fields and woods, just avoid places like dog parks where large numbers of dog frequent or congregate.
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luvthemud
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Re: When is it safe to take puppy into woods

Post by luvthemud » Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:40 am

In my opinion keeping a puppy in the house for the first 5 months of its life and avoiding contact with the outdoors is crazy. I agree that keeping him away from dog parks and unknown dog strangers is a good thing, but no time in the woods or field? I don't agree with that. In my opinion, a puppy has more risk of picking up something detrimental to his immune system while walking down a sidewalk or in the backyard then out in nature.

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Sharon
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Re: When is it safe to take puppy into woods

Post by Sharon » Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:44 am

It's always a toss up. Keep pup walking around the block , ( NOT sniffing other dog's poop), until after his second shots as all vets recommend , and you have a gundog who has missed his crucial time of discovery/independence in the fields and wood. So most owners of gundogs take their chances. I would TRY to make sure pup doesn't drink from puddles in the field ( giardia).

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luvthemud
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Re: When is it safe to take puppy into woods

Post by luvthemud » Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:56 am

Sharon wrote:It's always a toss up. Keep pup walking around the block , ( NOT sniffing other dog's poop), until after his second shots as all vets recommend , and you have a gundog who has missed his crucial time of discovery/independence in the fields and wood. So most owners of gundogs take their chances. I would TRY to make sure pup doesn't drink from puddles in the field ( giardia).

Welcome to the forum. :)
I live in a small village and instead of walking on the sidewalk will walk down the street to avoid the curb area where people leave their messes lay.

I enjoyed watching my young pup explore the woods/grass for the first few times. He couldnt figure out where the noise was coming from when he was pouncing in the dried grass. The grass cracking and shuffling had him all sorts of confused! Was hilarious.

Max2
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Re: When is it safe to take puppy into woods

Post by Max2 » Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:19 pm

At the end of Max's 7th week he was picked up and we made the about 4 hr ride home. Got out of the truck and I put him on the ground and got him following me and into the forest we went. We live where we hunt and he has been in the wood's almost everyday of his 8yrs. Not to say this was correct but we had no problems.

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fourtrax
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Re: When is it safe to take puppy into woods

Post by fourtrax » Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:29 pm

Maybe for a FOO FOO dog! :roll:
Keeping a field dog pup inside will only slow it's development. Time to romp, bond, & play.

reba
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Re: When is it safe to take puppy into woods

Post by reba » Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:55 am

Take the pup out after all vaccinations.

Build confidence and let it explore, walk in water, across logs, etc.

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Re: When is it safe to take puppy into woods

Post by 41magsnub » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:23 am

As others have said... no way. Get the dog out there. My GWP at 10 weeks was out fishing with me exploring the water and chasing anything that moved. At 3 months we were off leash hiking and she was learning birds and gun conditioning. At 4 months she went hunting the first time.

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NEhomer
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Re: When is it safe to take puppy into woods

Post by NEhomer » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:34 am

Had my 5 month setter prancing around in my trout stream for the first time yesterday. He was adorable feeling water for the first time. It was only about 8 to 10 inches deep so he didn't have to swim.

Yeah, I couldn't imagine having kept him from the woods til now.

MonsterDad
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Re: When is it safe to take puppy into woods

Post by MonsterDad » Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:54 am

Several years back a friend lost his young pup to an owl in the woods when they were walking at dusk.

Be careful of owls, hawks and coyotes.

GrouseChaser7
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Re: When is it safe to take puppy into woods

Post by GrouseChaser7 » Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:25 pm

Thanks everyone. I spoke with my vet again, and it became obvious that the vet techs who have foo foo yip yip dogs were being overly cautious with their advise. He told me to just be careful until he had his third shot. In the mean time, he is about 13-14 weeks old now, and chases pigeons and swims and romps through fields and briars and mud everyday!

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