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Thread: I just bought a female black lab

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb I just bought a female black lab

    Ok so i just got a pup and bring her home on the 28th. I have another dog who is 4 years old and a australian cattle dog. I want to have her learn how to be a hunting dog. I am a novice to hunting. i guess how do i train her when my other dog doesnt understand hunting. I would love any info would be great.

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    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Congrats on the new pup!!
    I'd strongly recommend you get together with someone that is knowledgable about training a hunting retriever - this is a great place to put some inquiries out ..Getting help from an experienced/successful trainer is the best and easiest way to learn...There are several retriever clubs in the state as well that may be able to help point you in the right direction....
    In Southcentral, MSGDA, affiliated with North American Hunting Retriever Association, might be a good club to contact (www.MSGDA.org), they have a great Library of DVD's and books available to club members (cheaper than buying them!). Also, AWRC - ALaska Working Retriever Club - or RCA, (Retriever Club of Alaska) both AKC affiliated, offer classes in late winter to help folks get ready for summer hunt test/hunting season (Anchorage area)..and in Fairbanks there is FRC (AKC affiliated) and IAGDA (UKC/HRC affiliated)...FRC puts on late winter classes also.....

    here is a webpage from MSGDA that lists links to the various 'Alaska' retriever clubs.... http://www.msgda.org/alaska_clubs/ak_clubs.html

    As far as books go....'Hey pup Fetch it up' is a great book for developing hunting retrievers - it is by Bill Tarrant. Amy Dahl's 'Ten Minute Retriever' is also a very good book.....There are also some great DVD's out there - Sound Beginnings, by Jackie Mertens focuses on puppy development...Fowl Dawgs 1,2,3 is a series of dvd's about the training of retrievers, starting at about 5 months of age and I think is geared quite well to folks that have limited access to training groups/one on one mentoring.....

    Juli
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    Member 3CBRS's Avatar
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    Where did you get your pup? Hope she fits right in & you keep us posted (pics too)! A couple other resources are:

    "Retriever Puppy Training : The Right Start For Hunting" by Cherylon Loveland & Clarice Rutherfood - http://www.gundogsupply.com/bkk-0523.html
    (not expensive either, but lots of good beginning basics & progression)

    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


    Karen

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    "Water Dog" by Richard Wolters is a classic also . . .

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    I publish Alaska Dog News with new dog owners in mind. The web site and the print version have a comprehensive club listing and calendar updated each month. I think the books are a start but meeting seasoned trainers is the best way to get started. They can show you how to do what you need at your level. Alaska Dog News is free to readers http://www.alaskadognews.com

  6. #6

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    I think too many hunters feel they must train there hunting dog to hunt right from the beginning. How many times have you hunted behind your friends high pedigree "wonderdog" only to spend the day listening to his owner loose his voice and wear out the batteries on his shock collar.
    My feeling is that obedience is the foundation for any application. For a pup, it is the basics: sit, stay, heal on and off lease, no jump and here. Hammering these fundamentals into his young brain will produce a fantastic hunting dog and family campanion. If you buy the right pup he knows how to hunt, it is instinctive. As the dog learns basic commands you start bringing in hunting situations specific to how you'll use him. Upland, waterfowl or both.
    An example of what I mean be is that I make my dogs stay at the door and food bowl and then release them, EVERY TIME and REGARDLESS of who feeds/let's them out. Why? It reinforces the type of behaviour I want in the duck blind. It also make for a better house dog, you don't have to worry about fido bolting.

  7. #7

    Default Congrats on your new pup

    Don't know if this is your first retriever. I would imagine she is. I also am curious on where you got her from. There is a huge difference on what "lines" a dog has come from. It certainly will give you an idea on what to expect (energy and personality) as the pup grows.
    There are a lot of do's and dont's in bringing up a young retriever pup. A lot goes into creating good habits instead of bad ones. Correct things that you don't want her doing when she gets older. Young dogs are easy to focus there energy into doing something else. So instead of chewing on your boots you simply give them something they are allowed to chew on. For pups I introduce them to things about the house and training environment. All in a positive manner. Food oriented. Keeping them on a regimented schedule also helps create good habits. Especially in house breaking.
    As far as training......I like to start formal obedience and field training at 4 months. That may vary depending on breed and an individual dogs maturity level. For me obedience is done first. Why ? Cause I wouldnt introduce a bird to a dog that won't come to me when called or wont return with a retrieved item or shows prey possessiveness with just bumpers. These are things I want fixed before live birds or even dead ones at that. I used to watch other trainers or private individuals out throwing live pigeons for there pup that had absolutely no obedience work. Chasing the dog down wrestling the bird from the dog. They said they were making there dog birdy. From my perspective hunting dogs are bred with prey drive. Proper breeding insures of this. So you can't increase prey drive. They either have it or they don't. You are simply pulling out prey drive in an uncontrolled manner. A bad habit to start. Out of control prey drive leads to prey possessiveness and hard mouth. So please do formal obedience first. I used to know several pros that did the 2 week make your dog crazy on birds program. I really never agreed with it. It looked wonderful to the owner that his/her dog was fired up. But at the end it was simply out of control. A guaranteed next months check for the trainer to then start obedience on a dog now out of control. So as you can see this does the dog no good.
    Don't train what you have to untrain later. Human nature is such that we tend to train, promote, or allow behaviors that may be entertaining or easy to ignore. Ask yourself if these behaviors are desirable on a hunt. Allowing these behaviors will only make your training harder for you and pup. Requiring a lot more pressure to break bad habits later down the road. Remember, a dog is a creature of habit.
    Here are some things to think about:
    Make sure the dog knows what's right and knows what you are asking.
    Don't give commands you are not in a position to enforce
    Control your tone of voice
    Be a buddy as well as a boss
    Don't rush the gun
    Make training real and fun
    I'm leaving these ideas open... to create further discussion by others and myself on there definition to further help you.

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    Awesome post Wetland!

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    Thanks everyone!! Well just to keep you guys updated, elli came home yesterday! She is just a little ball of fur! Anyways she is all signed up to start formal training in nov at Alyeska canine trainers. Also got the my other dog enrolled for next week to keep him busy. I have been doing what you siad wetland in keeping to a schedule. Its definitely a lot easier having a second pup due to the training the first pup has given me. But i do have a question, Should i keep the puppy home till she gets her second distemper? The women at ACT seemed upset that i thought to bring her to AK mill and feed... thanks again.

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    Default Taking the pup out

    I know a lot of people who take their puppies to fun tests and field training but probably better safe then sorry with public pet stores. You never know who tracked in some disease, while at club events you're fairly safe that people have had their dogs wormed and vaccinated. Kind of like letting your toddler walk bare foot in Fred Meyers. I've also seen people take their somewhat aggressive dog into the stores, behavior that would not be tollerated at a club event.
    It's certinally a good idea to take your pup with you in the car as much as possible. Regarding the trainer being upset, pro trainers can be very opinionated and not always people sensitive, unlike Baron. Expect a thrashing if your not feeding the "right food" in their opinion. If you're not comfortable with the trainer - switch trainers. One size does not fit all. I've had trainers piss me off or make me cry.
    I prefer to take my dogs in stores and work on obedience with distraction but avoid contact with other animals. I question the whole "they just want to be friendly" thing besides teaching the dog he can "go see" any dog he sees it can be dangerous. I just read an interesting insight about socializing dogs with strange kids. It said to let the dog approach the child, not the other way around. A dog on a leash is like a dog in a corner, there is nowhere to go if the dog does not want the interaction. I think it might be the same with other dogs.
    Daisy the Dane mix rescue, taught me how to stop her from being so reactive to other dogs along with a head halter. I'm in charge, she does not have to be, I'll remove her from incounters, I control the situation, she doesn't .
    I know this is way ahead of where you are.

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    ... and what? You don't have one picture of her to post? Come on!

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    Having the mom current on are her vaccinations provides antibodies to the pups. Allowing them to fight off diseases during those first few weeks until they are old enough to be immunized. I vaccinate at 6 weeks and 8 weeks then another 3 weeks after that. Then annually.
    As long as I know these things are on track I personally wouldn't worry too much. I wouldn't go too crazy though. She needs to settle in and bond with you. Too much stimulation may confuse her or scare her.

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    Hey everyone! Thought id share some of the funny antics little Elli has been doing. First she has only had 1 accident during the entire time she has been in my care. I have been crate training religiously, I take her out every 1-2 hours immediately from her crate, just before i go out the door i have a bell on the handle that i ring then i let her play for a while then when she starts in on anything that isn't a toy (ie shoes, power cords, my hand) i give her a toy that she has to redirect. The bell must be working because when she is playing she will at times run right over to the bell and jingle it with her nose and i always let her out immediately after and she goes potty. I know that i have got to be repetitive in doing this so she knows its how to go potty. She also has learned sit with a motivator. So those are the successes so far but its only been a week. Here is my question should i have her drag a leash in order to have a means to correct her when i call her or any kind of reinforcement? oh and ill leave yall with a pic of her when she isnt a blur elli.jpg

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    A check cord is the best way to get her to come to you when called. Positive reinforcment like a treat is good, but praise works too.

    I used a very light 20 foot 1/4" cord when my dog was young and then switched over to a heavier one after she was about 4 months old.

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    Mine is not a young pup but I just brought home a year old griffon. He was not formally trained and chained out for most of his first year. I basically have to train him like an 8 week old pup and I had him on a leash in the house, calling and leading him to me when he got to rambunctious with the other dogs or after the cat then giving big loves or treats. The other reason was to have him settle and not constantly be harassing the older dogs. The other dogs pretty much know their inside voices/energy, the place is not a race track.

    And I used the leash at feeding time to ensure he understood his bowl is his bowl and their bowls were their bowls. Hes almost got PLACE down but the leash helped me show him. I also wrapped the leash around my hand at night so he could lay next to the bed and I could tell when he was trying to go elsewhere (didn't go over well with the better half). I slept through a few escapes, lost a few socks, but moved him into a crate next to the bed last night. Since he was used to being there, going in the crate was no big deal. He was quiet all night.

    With puppies, I usually put them in a crate in another room and let them scream it out. I wonder if making the transition to being alone is a better idea even for pups ultimately moving the crate to another part of the house when they understand that the crate is their bed. Last night was the longest hes gone without a 3am pee so it was a mad dash to the door but he made it. We all feel rested this morning. It seems that for a lot of training a puppy is easier bringing no fears or habits. Training an older dog makes you dig down deep for answers and try many different approaches.
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    Water Dog worked for Katydid. I wasn't a perfect trainer, but she will at least mark birds and bring them back to me. Labs do a lot of the work for you because they're bred to pick up birds in their mouths and they love to make you happy.
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


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