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Thread: Gunner 11.5 week old chocolate lab

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    Default Gunner 11.5 week old chocolate lab

    Hey everybody! I've got an 11 week old chocolate lab that I'm working with. He's not the first one I've trained but by far the best and the easiest. We started off with sit, stay and heel. He got those down miraculously fast. Now I had him out in field with a full duck (uncleaned and full size mallard drake) for the first time. He absolutely loved it! This thing is almost as big as he is, but he went out and got it every time without hesitation. I've got a pretty good idea of how to do directional training (of course this is a long way off) and I've not yet trained a dog for on place yet. I plan on doing all of that with my boy here. Anyone have any ideas?
    Thanks and good luck on your pups!
    Also to throw out an option, I'm wanting to do training with him in multiple situations, with other dogs. If anyone is interested pm me.

  2. #2

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    Try playing 'baseball' - lay out a T with bumpers, and have him sit out in front of you, then point and tell him where to go. It takes a lot of time to get it right, but once it clicks with him, you can extend the distance. I started my dog at about 6 months on this with the bumpers out about 15 feet, just far enough for each to be a good retrieve, and as soon as he got it, I extended it out. Now, he can do it on whistle around 250 yards away. Check out Water Dog by Richard Wolters for a good example of how to train this

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    That's how I did it with my othe dog I trained. The only problem I had was when she was in field, she wouldn't listen. Shed do great in her trial runs, but once she was released to go get the bird, there was no getting her attention so you could give her the directions. Not saying he's going to be the same way, but just in case....

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    Gunner0, it's a little to early to be working the pup hard on retrieving. Three handed casting I'd think is a little beyond a 2 month old. He's still a baby. Teach him puppy obedience, teach him the manners and expectations of a dog in your household, have fun with him, allow him to have fun, be a leader and a mentor for another 4 months or so. Keep training lessons short and fairly light. He'll give you many reasons to correct him in the next few months. Do it fairly and within what his understanding is at that particular time.

    When he's about 6 to 8 months old start on a formal retriever training program. I like the Lardy program http://www.totalretriever.com/index....d=99&Itemid=85 but it's not the only one. At any rate go to the website and look over his flowchart in the resources section. Heck, browse his entire resources section of tips etc, he's a top retriever trainer what he says is worthwhile.

  5. #5

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    Take your time with him. Follow a training program(as Howard mentions or others). By that way you don't skip over or forget steps to teach along the way. You don't want to have gaps in your training. Each lesson builds on the previous one. Moving ahead too fast creates a confused dog because he/she may not totally know how to respond to that situation or know what you expect. Break things down into individual steps if need be. Teach each step seperately then put it all together. Don't go straight to teaching lesson D if A,B,C haven't been taught.
    You'll get lots of advice from others. Each person though teaches to a different level. Decide to what level you want your dog and teach for that level. Find some knowledgeable help that will get you there.

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    Oh I am going slow. It's not going to be a hard core retrieving time or anything. More so he can just go out and have fun with the other dogs. I'm just wondering how he's going to do with the birds because he loves the one be has here. I am teaching him the manners of the household and his basic obedience. I just get them introduced to birds and field at a young age so they're not overwhelmed once I get it to them when they're older. I've trained many gun dogs, I do understand the confusion after going back and reading my previous post however. I start them slow, like I said he's pretty much just going out to have fun. More because he goes everywhere with me and I don't see what taking him out once to be with other dogs and gunfire will hurt. He's already fine with gunfire, got him desensitized to that one pretty early as well. He's a good pup.

    I started him off with the basics; sit, stay, come, heel and the fun playing fetch. Got him used to the kennel and potty trained (havnt had an accident since my previous post on potty training). He got introduced to live birds pretty early (i raise flying mallards for training partners throughout the valley and anchorage).
    He already has his forced hold, he did that one on his own. Were working now on stay and come, he's doing great. I let him be a puppy and have a lot of fun with him. His retrieves outside are strictly fun.

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    Don't know if others have come forward to help you with your group training request. I have folks that meet with me. The largest group(s) are on the weekend. Depending on this crazy winter weather. Contact me if you are interested.

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    Thank you baron, I sent you an email. I'm taking gunner out today. He's already been introduced to live bird, feather and real weight retrieves. we'll see how he does with third party throwing.... A little early for him yet but he's going none the less.
    Worked on stay all weekend and he's doing great.. After I get him down on sit and stay, (he already knows come) we will start on place training. I suspect it'll be another month or so before we get that far. I want him staying without premature breaking.
    Well I'm off to work with him, if I knew of a way to get photos here I'd post one of him yesterday with his duck. Have a great weekend everybody!!

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    I highly recommend you get & read 10 Minute Retreiver by John & Amy Dahl. Following that will take you nicely up to 6 months/time to do force fetch/collar conditioning. From that point on, I use Smartwork For Retrievers by Evan Graham for complete retrieve through Transition, through Finished training.

    Common mistake is to push the pup. Have to give it time to grow up & for you to enjoy him & bond with him. I don't start formal OB with a pup until it's 16 weeks old...

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    I've been training dogs for years, have done a lot of research and made a training routine of my own. My last dog is now 1.5 years old and by the time she was 9 months was absolutely perfect for field runs, retrieving multiple marks, whistle, place, hold, steady at wing and shoot. So on. I don't force anything.. I took him out yesterday with the other dogs just to get an idea of the field, he had a blast. Right now everything I do with him is fun. He loves retrieving, he's a very good pup. I start all of my dogs early on sit, stay and feathers.

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    Default in the first 4 months have fun

    I agree with everyone. My best resource when we got our last puppy 8 years ago was to get Jackie Mertins "Sound beginnings". You can google it. A very good investment and puts you on the path to have fun. You can teach some of those directional things with fun but at this point it really needs to be a chase by tossing the toy. I don't know about making the big difference with toys and bumpers. Of course don't let them chew up a bumper but play fetch with plush toys, balls, kongs to get the dog used to fetching anything. I've had no problem switching from toys to bumpers to birds, to dowels, even shoes, gloves (how else would I find the missing one?)
    The main thing is to make coming to you always happy. You don't want to punish the pup in any way for not returning to you. Even if you get angry and think he's ignoring you, he's learning about his world and that is a good thing. If in doubt, put him on a long line so he can roam but you still have control. Really, if the pup takes off and ignores your call it's your fault not his.
    One thing I learned over the last few years from the rescued adult dogs is to put them on a long rope when outside and tie it to me then go about my chores or walk. I had a few runners that learned soon to keep me in the corner of their eye in case I took a different direction. It would work with a pup too just watch your step .
    Your pup maybe still hanging at your feet. For my pups, long ago I always saw a change at about 16 weeks where they would suddenly feel confident enough to explore and go "deaf". That's when I knew we were ready to start learning leash work.
    Linda
    http:www.alaskadognews.com

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    Everything I do with him is fun. He now knows sit, stay, heel, come, no, down, his release (which is his name), stays on heel when I throw his bumper. He doesn't prematurely break, and when he goes it's straight out and straight back. He has a natural 'hold', didn't have to enforce that with him at all. Most puppies do however. When I'd throw his toy, he'd run out, get it and return. I stead of taking the toy I'd let him walk around with it, repeating "gunner, hold it" and kinda tapping on his bottom jaw when I did. He very quickly picked up what I wanted him to do. Now he will hold just about anything in his mouth (including my cell phone). He has his recall down pretty good. I plan on working the basics with him for this next week, then starting on the pinwheel in the back yard here. I am going to go by a program that is custom to my dog and what he is an is not ready for.
    He also already retrieves anything I throw for him. When I I troduce anything new, I have him hold it in his mouth first, tell him how good of a boy he is then throw it. He runs out, picks it up and comes right back with it. He retrieves feather better than he retrieves bumpers, but as soon as he knows it's ok to put it in his mouth, he's perfectly fine with it.

  13. #13

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    Did you get your dog locally? We have a chocolate lab about the same age that we got in Palmer. He will be 14 weeks on Wednesday.

    Lorie

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    Yes I got him from a lady out north of Palmer. Gunners father is from LNR Kennels. Pm me, maybe we could get them together and do some obedience and retrieval training. he's a super good pup.

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