Grant Talbert - Class of 2018
Hi Grant!! We heard that you like to hunt and fish and have trained your cute puppy, Abe, to be a bird dog! What kind of dog is Abe and how old was he when he started training?
Abe is a chocolate lab. I began training him at 8 weeks old when we first got him. Training began very basic focusing on obedience. As he matured I began incorporating training for duck hunting.
How did you become interested in bird hunting?
Hunting and fishing have always been a huge part of my family. I have been going hunting with my two brothers and dad since I was 4 years old. Back in those days I was just shooting a BB gun beside one of them and trying to claim all the birds.
Could you tell us about the process for training?
They naturally want to retrieve, but it is up to you to teach them to do it the right way. To train a dog everything is broken down into small steps that build on each other. Instilling that love and drive of retrieving into your dog is key in the beginning. Everything else really involves playing on the dogs desire to retrieve and incorporating hunting and obedience.
What was the most challenging aspect of training little Abe?
The hardest part was probably putting in the time before and after school. It’s not always easy trying to balance training, school and family time. My alarm is usually set at 4:15 in the morning to make sure I have time to train Abe before school.
What advice do you have for a dental student who would like to get started with training a hunting dog?
Start getting used to getting up really early! It’s takes a lot of time and effort but in the end it is very rewarding to see all the hard work payoff in the duck blind.