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Thread: Training Do's and Don'ts

  1. #1
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    Default Training Do's and Don'ts

    Thought I would start a thread to see if there is any interest in sharing ideas over the internet. Part of the reason to get together is to learn from each other and heck why can we not do that here, we all train most everyday so we can share a little to help the other guy out. I am no professional but I do have the ability to learn and know when I mess up seems that happens more and more as I increase the difficulty of training. So bottom line wanted to share things that work for me did not work for me and why in an effort to help the next guy/gal out. Maybe we will even get some professionals on here to critic us and tell us how we are messing up something that we think we are doing right.

    Here an attempt at what i am talking about.

    1. Something that really worked for me is training with some intensity in the house. Always wanted to run outside and do things out there and more time than not I would get to big to quick. the house caused me to keep things small close to me for immediate correction and narrowed what I could do. Hard to be tempted to throw the bumper very far in the house. I used this time to really be intense on obiedience. My girl did not like it to much and you could see the "are we through yet on her face" but she did it and got good whatever we were working on--- then when we went outside it became very much a treat. Any hard headedness outside began to be much less-- (i have a chesse so that explains some of what I am talking about)

    2. Somthing that did not work for me was in during initial casting and pile drills once she understood the back command I tryed to stop her make her stop going to the pile before we really learned the drill. Also did this prior to really setting in sitting and turning at a distance. So just as i said in #1 with being outstide tried to combine the two -- it worked but it really caused her to begin to pop or hesitate when sent because she knew the whistle was coming. Solved this by going in side and working on whistle sits with her turning -- sent her down the hallway on a blind send blew the whistle, the small area she just naturally turned to look at me did this for a week and she has been good ever since. Also when she turned I went nuts over her at first really praising her and even would go to her and allow her to hold the dummy while sitting for a second or two. We still work on this to ensure she remembers.

  2. #2

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    I'll be watching this for sure - not that I have much to contribute, but my first pup will be born in about a month so I'm sucking down all the advice I can find!

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    Get her at 49 days -- and start training immediately all play and she will do wonderful.

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    Here is another do not that I learned today. Just a note for all that what I am posting is not necessarily the bible and if you see something that might be wrong chime in also my dog is extremely hard headed and what works on one dog might not on another due to temperment or at least might have to be toned up or down depending on the dog. Also if you guys want post some of the drills you do maybe the title of the Thread should be "What did you do with your Retriever Dog Today" with lessons learned in that ... Anybody know how to change the title of a thread?

    Anyhow... Drill:Practicing lining
    1. Started with a pile at the end of the street.
    2. Sent the dog for about a 25-30 yard retrieve until only one left in the pile.
    3. I then turned away and started throwing marks in the opposite direction while she was retrieving I would walk toward her heel her and continue until I was 25-30 foot away drop a dummy and keep repeating slowing walking up the street practicing backs, and double whisltle marks and slowly spacing out the dummies.
    4. Note... she was focuses on the marks and back commands so the dropped dummies were fading from her memory.
    5. When I dropped the last dummy we walked away about 25-30 turned and sent her on the first line.. she saw it of course no issue.
    6. Kept repeating with the line drill by the third bumper it was out of sight so going on my trust about the time whe popped thinking I was crazy I yelled back one more time she turned and there it was ... no issues with the rest just ressured her with back a few time on the longer ones.
    7. Great drill in my opinion as we worked as we set it up then brought it in.
    8. Total time spent only about 15 min.
    9. The do not was put an orange bumper at the end not a white one until she has total confidence and will as Wolters said line to Philidelphia.

    Thoughts? or ideas?

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    What are your goals with the dog?

    I'd follow a modern training program to get the dog doing good obedience, blinds and marks.

    I really really don't think Wolters is the end all be all of retriever training.

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    I really really don't think Wolters is the end all be all of retriever training
    Wolters is a good place to start, but definitly should gather up as much information from numerous resources and build your plan of training execution based on what works for you and your pup. Many times your training methods will change in midstream. So having lots of videos and books available to help you along is a plus, you might consider becoming a member of one of the local dog clubs as they tend to have materials you can borrow and also other members who might be interested in training with you
    Jesse
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    If you don't need a dog to take a cast reliably beyond ~50 yards I think Wolters will work. If you want a reliable dog beyond 50 yards, then a modern program like Lardy's will get you there. There isn't enough meat to Wolters alone. He makes you feel good reading his books but, he was woefully inadequate in the nuts and bolts, day to day retriever training.

    It boils down to what you want and what you're willing to work for.

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    Think with training you need to follow a step-by-step approach, with each step building a foundation for the next. Be firm, fair & consistent; treat the dog with respect; strive for one command equals response; teach instead of test the dog; keep sessions from dragging on & end on a good note; and especially for pups make it FUN! Can't find a handout we used for training classes at one time listing 10 common training mistakes, but this is the closest I can find with a quick search - http://www.gundogbreeders.com/dog-tr...nmistakes.html

    A few good training books are:

    "Retriever Puppy Training : The Right Start For Hunting" by Cherylon Loveland & Clarice Rutherfood - http://www.gundogsupply.com/bkk-0523.html Excellent, covers the basics and inexpensive

    "The 10-Minute Retriever : How To Make A Well-Mannered, Obedient, Enthusiastic Gun Dog in 10 Minutes A Day" by John & Amy Dahl - you can find it at Amazon.com

    Evan Graham's "Puppy Program" DVD I haven't seen, but a lot of people like it. His "Smartwork For Retrievers", vol. 1 covers basic training, step-by-step. His books/DVDs are available at http://rushcreekpress.com/allproducts.html Evan's "Smart Work" series is also good.

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    I bought a copy of Evan Graham's Puppy Program DVD. I'd suggest the one by Bill Hillman instead. Hillman has a sorta step by step program but not a recipe. Evan Graham's seemed to skip around a little of this and a little of that with no thought out program. Maybe I missed it.

    Hillman: http://www.hawkeyemedia.net/

    His puppy video is kinda spendy IMO but if you don't know what to do with a puppy he's pretty good. Also, on the website above he has a link to a few You Tubes on retriever training. The only one I watch was OK.

    Define what you want. Decide how much time you have to put into it and go on from there. In general, you get out of dog training what you put in or didn't put in.

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    Good points Howard -- thanks!

    Some clubs have lending libraries that members can take advantage of & save some money. The American Chesapeake Club has a fairly extensive title list, and the Midnight Sun Gun Dog Association loans things to members for free (http://msgda.org/msgda_library/msgda_library.htm) Bill Hillmann's puppy training video is $129. There's also your local library & if they don't have something, ask about interlibrary loaning it.

  11. #11

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    I bought both Wolters' "Water Dog"and the more modern "10 minute Retriever" by Dahl that 3CBRS mentioned.

    Since last winter was the beginning of my first training attempt, I would never claim to be an expert, but because I was so impressed with the progress my Chessie made, I would say mixing the two books worked well.

    As for do's and don'ts, I have 2 that I think will stand the test of time and criticism:

    1. Be consistent, and probably more importantly with an intelligent yet stubborn dog like a Chessie. If you can't follow through the same way to get the result you want 100% of the time, then don't start until you can. The dog will either learn that you are not consistent and just disobey or they will become confused and never really get what you are teaching. Repeat the simple commands even when you are well into training, but always do things right and never let the dog get away with anything but what you commanded.

    2. Re-educate yourself. I went back (and need to again) and re-read through the books, and while I got a lot right from memory, there were things in there I had forgotten about and there is even more I need to do to train her to the fullest extent. It is well worth my time and hers for me to make sure I have everything formulated well in my head before I try to get it into hers.

    Good luck everyone and have fun.

  12. #12
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    Upon the advice of others, I start each training session with a few brief basic obedience drills; sit, come, heel. This helps the dog get in the training mode mentally. Then I repeat a few repetitions of the last session's lesson and move onto the day's lesson. I mix up my sessions with an occasional obedience refresher.

    I am now keeping a training journal and noting things like weather as well as the lesson, methods, successes and challenges.

    I always let her play at some point using the Wolters method: I just throw bumpers every which way and let her bring them in on her own. Then I put them back in their duffle and we go back to work.

    Our training sessions run about 30 minutes total.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    That sounds like a great plan Erik especially if you can keep it up. Here are a couple.
    1- DON'T work past your dogs level to a negative point and quit or push it. Easier said than done. It's like doing that one last sight blind or try for a handle when the dog is still learning baseball. I do this all the time, maybe confusing what my 9 year old did and forgetting what the 2 yr old Doodle doesn't know or have a drive for. Often you don't know what you don't know until you try to do it. Then if you get frustrated the dog gets worried, now we are in negative territory.
    2- DO back up, make it simple, break it down even if it's back to a simple hand thrown mark. Because the Doodle is sitting steady with very little pressure on my part often I am giving him free happy bumpers. Otherwise I would not allow happy BUMPERS at this level. Maybe a happy some-other-toy never used in training. At any rate, I always end on a happy successful note even if it kills me.

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    Toys vs Bumpers

    My pup has toys that carry very few rules, and she has bumpers and sponge ducks for training. I don't do training drills with the toys and I never let her play with her bumpers. Kind of comical--she has been known to drag the bumper bag to the front door and whine until I come. My girl LOVES to retrieve. My job is to channel that drive correctly.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    I am new but wanting to learn. Been researching and researching ALOT. I have a couple of Do's and one DO NOT.

    DO Research and read all you can.
    DO get on a program--- I started out trying to do this on my own without the help of a program WRONG -- I am not that good and fortunately my little pup is just great and I do not think my lack of a program has caused serious damage yet -- hence why i am going to start the program.

    DO NOT train past your dogs ability. So easy to want to storm ahead when the little one is doing so well but building good foundations really are important. This is the sign of an young inexperienced trainer hence why you must be on a program.

    Can not wait for my LArdy book and the training videos so I can get started. Till then we are treading water with OB and maintaining the drive to fetch.

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    I like this thread, and, if it takes off, I'll be reading it often. I figure I've got one last chance to "save" my dog from the pound, and this summer and coming season are it. The very first post encouraged me to start working now, indoors, as I was waiting for breakup to get outside.

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