I have spent most of my time over on the waterfowl forum but, as I am in the process of getting a new four-legged hunting buddy, I am sure that I will be spending alot of time on this forum and would like to introduce myself. Having read through many of the posts here, I can tell thet there is a wealth of knowledge and I look forward to getting to know all of you here on the gundog training forum. I am not a stranger to dog ownership or training however, I am the first in my family to want to train my dog for waterfowling. I have a 12 year old black lab but I was a lab lover long before I was a duck hunter. Long story short, I will be relying on many resources to help me with the tutelage of my new pup, least of which is the esteemed members of this forum. Here goes with several of many, many questions.
First, I have a pretty good idea of what I want out of my new puppy, but I would like some advice on what criteria people use for selection of a pup from a litter. I know that I want a smaller in stature lab that can fit in a boat, airplane, and other situations where small and light is better. Any advice on potential breeders of dogs that fit this bill would be greatly appreciated. Also, what "tests" do people use when selecting a dog from a litter?
Second, I am currently on my second read through of the "Water Dog" book and I find it very informative. Anyone have any other books or resources that I just shouldnt miss out on?
Final question, for all of you out there that have gone through this training process, what are some of the pitfalls that I should watch out for? I talking training specific. I know to watch for reputable breeders that certify hips, eyes, etc. But I'm more concerned with training specific problems. I will be undertaking this while having three younger children in the house and a 12yo male lab also. Should I be concerned about this? And does anyone have any advice about how to deal with training and having an older dog and children around.