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Gun-Dog-Rentals for 2013-14 Season (Need your input!)

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 Posted 5/30/2013 4:45:40 PM
 

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Good afternoon! 

I wanted to share a business venture that myself and partner are pursuing in hoping to make public before the 2013-14 bird hunting season. We are looking for constructive feedback whether good or bad about our idea and what we hope to bring to the overall duck hunting scene. If you are like me being that you own a bird dog/s or not, sometimes we wish our bird hunting experience was just a little bit easier. Tired of lost birds? Mad about delayed shooting just to retrieve a downed bird? Miss the friendly excitement and companionship of a well trained bird-dog machine? Then GunDogRentals is the place for you!

For those hunters who may not have the time, money, or space to train experienced well rounded hunting dogs, it can be a real burden when retrieving your own ducks. Guide services are expensive and great pedigrees are hard to find without paying a hefty price. Gun Dog Renting is not a new concept and there are several kennels in the United States that currently offer these kind of services to hunters on a daily, weekend, monthly, or even seasonal basis (prices vary). Now I know what you are thinking, some may like the concept but others disagree or are skeptical about getting involved with these type of programs these kennels offer (location mainly). But listen up, we may have a smarter solution!

GunDogRentals.com (not currently live) is taking the retriever/bird hunter experience to a whole different level! Our search and match website will be two parts:

A) Responsible hunters search for potential retrievers within their area to rent for a morning hunt or longer (dove, duck, quail, pheasant, etc) 

B) Private dog owners or businesses with experienced hunting dogs willing to lease their dogs based on their choice for a fee to worthy hunters (waterfowl only)

A specific detailed search page will filter through posted entries and place a match or two between a potential dog renter and hunter where the two can then engage on hunting specifics way in advance of the scheduled hunt date. This is no Craig's list or eBay! Our team will interview interested prospects (dog owners & hunters) before they post their services and everything will be kept private between dog owners and hunters until a match and agreed upon price / location has been accepted. Now if dog owners choose to go along with their retriever to work them or just send them off for a few hours/days, the choice will be up to the two parties.

*Membership plans to dog owners will pay a yearly membership fee and every transaction that is accepted will incur a 7.5% fee (pending). Hunters will be able to login and freely roam the site for a potential match before the big hunt.*

We want some feedback from our fellow DU members about our idea to bring the bird dog hunting experience to responsible hunters who enjoy the sport. Please let us know what you think and any ideas you feel would make our website a safe & remarkable experience! Thanks and happy hunting!

Nick Traweek
Katy, TX

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Post #772826
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 Posted 5/30/2013 6:58:09 PM
 

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I have leased dogs before but only to reputable guides with varifiable credentials.

I would have a real problem leasing to some schmo off of a website.

i guess the whole "responsible hunters" thing would be a sticking point for me. How could you positively guarantee me that these people are responsible and who pays for my dog if they are not?


Edited: 5/30/2013 7:00:20 PM by ducker
Post #772827
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 Posted 5/30/2013 8:20:08 PM
 

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Something to think about might be who's responsible if the dog gets hurt on the hunt. 
There are a few ways to look at it...of course there's obvious negligence, but then there may be lots of gray areas as well. Lots of situations exist where it may be difficult to place blame...barbed wire comes to mind, or even sharp sticks in the water.

Just something to think about.

-God Bless
Post #772828
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 Posted 5/30/2013 8:53:53 PM
 

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Ducker, thank you for your feedback and concerns. 

You bring up a couple of great points that I want to discuss.

1) You mentioned that you have leased your dog/s in the past to guide services privately which I find interesting. How did you get hooked up with these reputable guides and under what terms? Do you feel that if you advertised your bird dog to guides/kennels instead of the general public online, would that make you more comfortable to utilize our services? We would also have an option (encourage) any private deals matched to allow the owner to work his/her dog during the hunt. Again, the decision will be determined by the involved parties.

2) A safe and responsible experience is our number one goal. Our detailed interview process / age restriction cut-off & after hunt survey will all determine whether our members are serious, knowledgable and credible. Of course, we won't be able to 100% weed out the schmo's you mention but hope to do a good job of it. We will also rely on our dog owner members to report any hunters that are trouble and irresponsible, prompting an immediate expulsion from our site.

Please feel free to comment further and anyone else that sees this and has an opinion. 
Post #772829
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 Posted 5/30/2013 11:06:34 PM
 

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I have leased twice to guide services. The first was a guide that called me looking to buy a started dog because his had died suddenly. I did not have anything for him at the time but I was working a couple young dogs that were to be part of my breeding stock so I leased him one of my older, experienced, dogs for the season while he located and trained a young dog for the following season.

The other was a referal from a puppy buyer. This was a young guide just getting into the buisness that wanted to give his clients the full waterfowling experience but did not have a dog of his own. I leased him a dog for a month and later raised and trained a pup for him from one of my breedings for the following season.

I did not know either one of these guys before hand. They both lived out of my home state but I felt comfortable after checking out their web sites and talking with some references.

I am not sure I would be comfortable leasing a dog to anyone I have not checked out myself.

The time, monitary and emotional investment in every one of my dogs is extremely great.
Post #772832
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 Posted 5/31/2013 10:13:00 AM
 

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Thank you ESUTTER for your feedback and concerns!

This type of online business is not always easy to explain to a lawyer from a legal stand point. Just like renting a car or UHAUL, there would have to be an agreed contract along with an option to purchase liability insurance just-in-case the dog is seriously injured. This would all be set up through a company lawyer.

A kennel here in Texas that leases their dogs each season "requires"a refundable deposit of $1250.00 for the rare cases of a dog that is killed or not brought back.

These are all issues we are fully aware of and concerns that anyone that is involved may have. Further research and planning on our side will need to determine the best way to handle these type of situations because in a non-perfect world, will come up eventually. Even though insurances and deposits are great mind easers for our customers, we want to make sure we offer a safe and intuitive experience initially so that we minimize having to use them very often.
Post #772833
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 Posted 5/31/2013 10:44:46 AM
 

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While I can see a need for the service, I'm with Ducker on this.  There is to much at stake to risk the dog's life or training.  If $1250 was all I would see for the loss of my dog (which I know you haven't specified the amount, just used and example), that might cover the initial cost of the pup but what about food, training materials, and my time invested in training for the dog?  Not to mention the price of gas for training and the loss of a pet.  If I let anyone use a dog, it's people I have trained or hunted with and know my standards and how to run/handle them.

On the flip side, what is your requirements for a dog to be in the program?  What is your bar set at for qualifications?  I've seen MHs that I don't want to hunt with but that could just be the standards I set.  I've also seen SHs that I would readily hunt with.  You've probably ran through most of this already but just putting food out for thought.

I doubt I would ever use such a service, either as a dog owner or a client but I wish you Good Luck with your adventure.
Post #772834
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 Posted 5/31/2013 12:09:33 PM
 

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Thank you MALLARD MUGGER for your feedback and concerns!

Let's address both parts of your post separately.

1) Like you, I love my labs more than anything and have dedicated a lot of my time, money, and effort to see them well trained and steadfast companions. With that being said, lets take the "me not being there" out of the equation and focus on "if you were there (parental guidance)" during the hunt. You would get the opportunity to be with your dog, work your dog in a live situation, possibly hunt (depending on your clients), and then get paid in the end. Does this sound like a private guide service? Maybe. But the overall goal is for hunters out there who don't have the time and money to put into a dog year round, to get an opportunity to retrieve their birds for a far less cost making the whole experience a whole lot easier. Its a win-win situation for everyone. The dog owners gets to monitor their dog & get paid (whether birds are shot or not - possibly payment would be based on total amount of birds retrieved) and gun-dog-rentals would strictly become a stepping stone for a passionate hobby that you enjoy each year anyway.

2) Dog owner requirements are another topic. The big obstacle for us is proving a dogs worth virtually as best we can. We will also rely on our hunters to give us feedback on dogs they lease that were not at the level originally posted and outlined in the beginning.

All potential hunting dogs will need to meet a set of standard requirements. Any credentials beyond the minimum (Bronze Membership) will require paperwork as most likely their costs are higher and expectations for the hunters greater.

Minimum (Bronze Members): AKC Certified, Canine good Citizen Class (CGC) Completion or equivalent, 6 months or older in age, detailed description of training received and live hunts successfully tackled, picture + profile at gundogrentals.com, member in good-standing

Silver Members (all above +): Junior Hunt Test Passed (working on Seniors)

Gold Members (all above +): Seniors Hunt Test Passed (working on Masters)

Platinum Members (all above +): Masters Hunt test Passed

We have divided this up so that both dog owners and hunters know what they are getting and paying before agreeing on a hunt.

Please comment further as we really need as much feedback as possible. Don't be shy, take a shot!
Post #772837
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 Posted 5/31/2013 12:26:21 PM
 

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I guess the only way I would get involved in something like this is if I raised and trained a dog specifically for the purpose of being a rental.

If the rental demand was great enough to pay for food, housing, vet bills, and other up keep and training costs I could probably do this without getting too emotionally attached to the dog or feeling as great a monitary loss through lost future litters or stud fees if something did happen to the dog.

I would probably have to see some sort of positive market research in my area of the country to let me know that it would be a worthwhile investment on my part before I would put that kind of time and effort into a dog.
Post #772838
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 Posted 5/31/2013 12:35:24 PM
 

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After seeing gundogrentals last post I have to say that while watching the dog work is the most fun of any hunt, I tend to hunt 5-7 days a week throughout the season myself and would probably not have time to accompany a dog on one of these hunts just to run the dog.
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