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Thread: Infuences in your training

  1. #1
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    Default Infuences in your training

    Baron got me to thinking about my past and starting out dog training. I was young and found a litter of lab pups. I took a female home and started reading.
    Along the way a friend gave me Bob Tarnowski's name and told me to call him up for advice. I did. Every night for weeks I called Bob and we talked for anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours about training. I would get off the phone and run back outside to start all over again. Every morning I would get up and train again.
    One night Bob invited me out to the Dog Musher's Field where they were going to hold a Sunday Training Session. I was not much of a joiner, but went anyway. I got there, watched them train, and introduced myself. Bob asked me to get my pup out of the truck.
    He, being old and wise, oohed an awed over her. He introduced me to all the folks there, and then much to my horror asked if I wanted to run a mark. Scared to death, as I had never used bird throwers, I said yes. The crafty man set up a mark, which I did not realize at the time, that a blind and deaf dog could find. Ebony pinned it, and I was hooked.
    I guess the moral of the story is two fold. Number one, never ever forget that we all have the ability to influence new trainers into a great pastime, and second, as a trainer, do not be afraid to fail. Rather, be afraid to not try.
    So what about you? Who influenced your training? Who was your mentor?

  2. #2
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    Default Jim Dobbs, Dan DeVos, and Molly

    At the time in the early 90's the pros were still burning and forcing. I went to one of his seminars/workshop and he showed me how to "force fetch" my 7-8 month old lab with no screaming, hitting, burning, pinching, biting or anyother means of discomfort. He was so calm and so was the dog. That dog always had a calm, solid hold.

    Dan DeVos (Canadian Pro- Ontario)wth my ping-pong dog, Dixie, broke down a simple straight line retrieve, progressivly adding diversions and obsticles . The next week, Dixie ran a Senior blind, one whistle to stop her from driving into the brush behind the blind. I was marked down for having a "lining dog" "this is a handling test!" I laughed all the way home.

    My rescued Lab Molly (from Wetlands Retrievers) taught me to put the crop and collar away. Treats work the best.

    www.alaskadognews.com

  3. #3

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    Hmm...
    When I met my husband, he had grown up with labs, but they had never been formally trained. When we took our first lab hunting, the dog ran out of gun range and would sometimes chase deer. I told him there had to be a better way. That dog didn't end up getting fully trained as I had too many small children by that time. I did work with her from time to time and feel she could have been great if I had worked with her from the beginning.
    Almost 8 years ago, I picked out a pup from a breeder in Texas and my hubby went to pick him up for my birthday.
    I read alot of books and talked to alot of people who had trained their dogs. It seemed the person people mentioned most was Lardy. So I read books and lurked on forums,talked to the breeders of the pup often and watched videos.
    I did drills and my kids helped me by throwing bumpers. I even FF'd the pup when he was 7 months old (something I have not done myself since then).
    I read about different kinds of hunt tests and found out that a club was having one and that they were having some training. I went to the training and Rusty ran a mark and came back to heal (perfectly). The leader asked who had trained my dog for me LOL. I went to a different group's training (they had birds and Rusty hadn't seen one). Rusty did great! That weekend I ran a Started test and I was hooked.

    My kids are teens now, so some summers I do more dog stuff than others. We currently have 6 labs (oldest is 13 and the youngest is 9 months) and I love working with them and helping beginning handlers get into the sport. I confess to not enjoying advanced training nearly as much as I love working with young dogs and their handlers. Maybe because of all the resources needed for advanced work. Most of my dogs' advanced work is done by a pro.

    I also enjoy breeding labs (I love pedigree and health research) and strive to breed a CH/MH labrador some day.
    "It's the journey that's important, with experience and knowledge to be gained along the way, in the company of our faithful dogs and our good friends."
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  4. #4

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    I would have to say Mike Lardy. I had met a guy while I lived in North Dakota that worked with/for him. Told me about him, did some research about him, then went to a few seminars that he had. I liked the approach. I use a good mix of trial/HT methods along with real-life hunting situations. It has worked well ever since.

  5. #5

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    I too started like everyone else, with a new pup. I picked up every book I could find. Which at the time was Wolters, Tarrant, Gwaltney, Lamb Free, Robinson just to name a few authors.
    From there I started working with the local retriever clubs and getting to know others. Watching and taking notes as they were training.
    My first retriever was my training guinea pig. Thankfully he was patient with me. We learned a lot together. Along the way folks liked what I had him doing. So others started asking me to help them. So I began training as an amateur.
    The training and competition bug had hit me and I was hooked. So I went out looking for more resources to learn from. Lardy tapes were coming out, then Graham, then Farmer. Valuable resources to have.
    I have been to the lower 48 for training and training seminars numerous times over the years. Mostly traveling out during winter to escape the Alaska chill. I have trained with numerous successful amateurs and other pros across the country. I spent most of last year in Minnesota and I had the pleasure of meeting Eckett, Hillman, Autrey and Rorem.
    There are two individuals I have spent the most time with. Chris Jobman, a hunt test and Super Retriever Series competitor and Rick Reed, an amateur field trial trainer who has trained with Rex Carr. I'd say he has influenced me the most. Rick has shown me how to use wind,terrain and cover in my training. A field trial pro showed up at Rick's place one time while I was there. This pro had one of the top running derby dogs in the nation. Rick set up a mark that required the dog to hold a side hill, cross a ditch and then punch a key hole to go through some cover to get to the bird. It blew the dogs mind and we had to break each part of the mark down and teach it. Don't worry it blew my dogs minds as well. They held the side hill and crossed the ditch but wanted to go around the cover instead of finding the key hole to stay online. Absolutely interesting stuff. I incorporate a lot of "factors" into my training. It doesn't matter if it is a mark or a blind. The line is the same as far as negotiating the factor.
    Ok. I need to get off of here before I start rambling and getting off subject. Oh wait. I'm already off subject.

  6. #6
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    Default My first lab

    She did influence me. But she also influenced other trainers. As we grew together, I took on more responsibility at club events and functions. We always had a Sunday training session during the summer. Folks came out of the woodwork to train.
    I remember many new folks that came to watch as their dogs were really too little to do much, or they were concerned for various reasons about failing. I would talk with them and get a feel for where they were at.
    Some of those people just needed confidence. I would go get my female lab and hand her off to the person and tell them to go run her. I was too busy and she needed to work. They always objected, yet they always took her to the line. Marks or blinds, it didn't matter. She had a habit of knowing the score and helped people along. Pretty amazing to get taught to handle by a dog. Oh, did I say that right?
    Years later a person came to me and said that she and I made it all look easy. And when they got to run her, they knew the sky was the limit with their dog. It gave him confidence to know it all was not impossible. And then he said, "it looked so easy I knew I could do better than you 2 did, but after all these years, I never got to that level".
    I guess that was just how good she was. I was blessed, and even though young, was smart enough to know it.

  7. #7

    Default

    Did she leave any of her genes behind?
    "It's the journey that's important, with experience and knowledge to be gained along the way, in the company of our faithful dogs and our good friends."
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  8. #8
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    Default yep

    I did breed her and had some nice pups along the way. In their own right they were nice dogs, but none ever quite measured up to her.
    Right now I have her 10 year old grandson. He is an awesome dog and great to be around. We are ending 30 years of the same line of dogs with him.
    Maybe the new pup I got this summer will turn out to be worth breeding. We'll have to see what training and health checks show us.

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