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As the title states does anyone have their GSD trained to go on hunting trips and retrieve fallen game? These dogs seem smart enough to do so. I know there are other breeds more fitted to the hunting role, but the idea of having a GSD retrieve game and go hunting seems novel to me, and hunters whom I ask their opinions about that just shake their heads, I guess they dont know what to think.

At the very least if the GSD is not gun shy I would think they would enjoy the experience....
 

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My previous dog Maggie and I would hunt all the time. She would retrieve rabbits and squirrels real well. Best dog I ever had for a treed squirrel, she would go to the opposite side of tree, bark, and make enough of a ruckus to scare it to my side and have enough restraint to stay there as I shot. Squirrel would drop and she would just sniff if it was dead and look at me as to say 'next?'. I remember my sister saying she thought Maggie was going deaf, and I said she just has selective hearing. Maggie was upstairs and when my sister didn't believe me I picked up my rifle and and opened the slide. Maggie was downstairs before I could close it. She had high prey drives and would catch mice in the house. She and the cat would catch chipmunks in the back yard and when she got so old she could hardly see, the cat would chase the chipmunks to her and still have a great time. I never hunted birds with her, she never had much interest there, and I didn't want her to get aggressive with my cockatiel.
 

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I have visions of squashed squab. I know what my GSDs do to a retriever dummy just bringing it back to me.
 

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When I was just a little kid I had a stuffed bunny toy that our GSD Charlie shredded. He was scolded for doing so... Later that night when let out he came back to door with a small rabbit. No teeth marks or damage, just a bit damp from the drool. We let the rabbit go and still laugh today when we remember.
 

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Kain would be an awesome squirrel hunting dog but don't think I could use him for bird retreival, he's simply not 'soft-mouthed' enough for that.
 

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I always wondered that too. They are smart enough do a million other jobs including tracking. I don't see why they couldn't be trained to retrieve? I have a lab and GSD and I'm not sure how much different they really are as far as "soft mouthed." All I know is that my lab has a MUCH stronger grip than my GSD. I'm sure one could teach the GSD to "hold," without biting down, and it should be fine!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I always wondered that too. They are smart enough do a million other jobs including tracking. I don't see why they couldn't be trained to retrieve? I have a lab and GSD and I'm not sure how much different they really are as far as "soft mouthed." All I know is that my lab has a MUCH stronger grip than my GSD. I'm sure one could teach the GSD to "hold," without biting down, and it should be fine!
Well give it a shot and let us know! If I get a GSD you can bet I am going to work on hunting training, from retrieving birds to tracking deer blood trails.
 

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My GSD Soph (she passed last year) was trained for flushing and retrieving when bird hunting. She was better than any true 'bird dog' me or my family had ever owned. She was very intuitive of my movements and had a soft mouth for retrieving. She was incredibly easy to train (we started her early, along my parents Lab). The biggest hurdle was the gunshot, we worked our way up, starting with a .22 and eventually up to a 12ga. With minimal direction, she just seemed like a natural for the sport. I'm sure not every GSD would excel at hunting. I think some of it is natural ability, but if you are an experienced trainer for birding, tracking, etc. there is no reason why a GSD couldn't be just as good at it as any other breed.

The current GSD in the house, Kona, has absolutely no skill when it comes to bird hunting. We tried to instill it in her early, but she was far too rough with the training dummies and shows too little restraint when flushing to be trusted in the presence of firearms.
 
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