Here goes nothing!

Discussion in 'Gun Dog Forum' started by jreif14, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. CA Birdman

    CA Birdman Elite Refuge Member

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    Get reading and select a training program in the next week or so, then order it and start reading or watching. I like a combo where it is both book and DVD, you can read and see illustrations that you can study and then see it with an actual dog. I have used Smartworks but read 10 minute retriever, Hillman and few others but my base in Smartworks. You might even get Evan to chime in here on your question. Enjoy the pup and consistency is the key. Look for a retriever club in your area. Force fetch is the most difficult step.
     
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  2. jreif14

    jreif14 Refuge Member

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    Thanks a lot for the reply. The most difficult part for me i think will be selecting the actual training program. Being my first time attempting to train a dog, I guess I don't really know how to pick a program. I'd like to go with what I think would be most simple for me, but worry it wouldn't be enough for the dog, if that makes sense. I guess I'll find out one way or the other! Ha
     
  3. J.SCOTT

    J.SCOTT Senior Refuge Member

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    Chew toys, lots of chew toys. Between teething, frustration and boredom they will tear up anything, you mid as well provide something or he will find something. Shoes, furniture, clothing,hunting gear, etc....
     
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  4. CA Birdman

    CA Birdman Elite Refuge Member

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    The first thing is to define expectations of what you want your dog to be able to do. Basic obedience, return bird to hand and steady with blinds taught after a year or so is more than enough. Second it is your first attempt at training a pup. You are going to make mistakes, many of them. In all likelihood your first pup will be your all time favorite but in all likelihood it will not be the best trained retriever you train in your lifetime. Your second pup you learn from the mistakes of the first and so on and so on. My first pup was way more dog than I was capable of training or hunting enough to keep her tired, she turned out good but it was as much her good genes as my attempt at training.
     
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  5. Rangerbob

    Rangerbob Senior Refuge Member

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    That is what I really like about the Hillman puppy training method. It shows you how to get all of your basics down in a good solid foundation but in a low pressure way that makes it fun for the pup. I have had labs for over 40yrs and tried a lot of the programs out there and I just wish I had Hillman's available when I started. The key is getting the proper foundation laid and having a pup that is eager to learn. Once that is done you can transition to any program you want depending on how far you want to take your pup. It is great advice to get involved with a retriever club. You will meet a lot of good folks to train with, get to see what the dogs are capable of doing, and have fun in the process. You may even get caught up in running hunt tests and change your perspective on what you want out of your dog.
    Just have fun and good luck!
     
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  6. CutcherFinnRickard

    CutcherFinnRickard New Member

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    Came across this post looking for tips on bumper color/type for water retrieves and had to open and account to respond lol.

    I'm posting this as someone thats never hunted in his life and bought a chesapeake bay retreiver for dock diving first and a rugged foul weather fishing partner second.

    Our breeder gave us a Bill Hillman DVD set and after doing just the intro DVD the dog has insired me to trade one of my home defense guns for an 870. I dont have anything to compare it to obviously but at 17 weeks hes better tuned in certain aspects than other dogs Ive met with experienced gun dog owners.

    As for asking for tips online or from friends and even family, Ill say this....... Put 95% of your faith in your breeder, vet and trainers (or experienced ones you follow). The comments entire groups of people post about Chesapeake Bay Retrievers on some of the other gun dog pages are just uncalled for. I know your getting a lab but Im using it as an example.

    I grew up with a total of 4 Chow Chow trained for personal protection in the house. I dont know anything about hunting but I know plenty about mean agressive stubborn dogs.

    My Chessie is far from aggressive or stubborn IMO. At 17 weeks he loves dog parks, doggy day care and strangers and strangers children.

    By 8 weeks our Chows Chows are ready to kill anything that moves while using only the same positive reinforcment training for obedience every other dog gets.

    In short, trust the comments from people that are working dogs daily in some capacity.
     
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  7. jreif14

    jreif14 Refuge Member

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    Thanks all for the comments and a lot of great advice! I will definitely be checking out the different training materials you all recommended. I'm looking forward to the challenge (so I think) and just gotta remember to be patient with the pup and myself.
     
  8. P Frey

    P Frey Senior Refuge Member

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    I live near a pro trainer and he allowed me to come up weekly and train with him. We would train, I would go home and work on the lessons during the week and then go back up the following week. If he liked what he saw we would move on with more stuff. It worked out real well for me ( I actually work up there now on weekends throughout the hunting season).
     
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  9. Holman_04

    Holman_04 Senior Refuge Member

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    Words to live by. Have fun, take your time and stick to whatever program you pick.
     
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  10. mikehmike

    mikehmike Refuge Member

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    I have a 9 1/2month chessie and I bought a laundry list of stuff the weekend I brought him home. Hillman DvD's, Training bag, bunch of bumpers, whistles, check cords, leashes, collars, bowls, toys, food, crate (been through 3), back seat cover, etc. About 4 months in I realized I have no idea what I'm doing even with the DvD's. Pup was doing fine overall but I met with a pro and she said "He's about a 5 of 10 in OB".

    Ended up letting the pro take over he made tons of progress, loves the kennel and the pro. Excited everytime we visit or when he goes for various aspects of training. Best decision I made and I just follow her guidance and train with him based on that...just a thought on using a pro. Add up all the equipment needed, gas spent traveling to training sites, bird costs, etc...isn't THAT much more expensive using a pro that is well respected.
     
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