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hanson

Beginner...

22 posts in this topic

Hey guys... any advice or words of wisdom gladly appreciated.

I'm hoping to be getting a new puppy this summer, and this will be my first. Pretty sure it will be a yellow lab for no other reason than thats what I've always wanted. That, and besides fishing, waterfowling is my next favorite outdoors pursuit. The duck blind should be a whole lot more interesting and fun with a dog.

I'm thinking mid-summer (July-ish) as I've got some long weekends planned earlier summer that won't be conducive to bringing a puppy into the house. So I've got some time to prepare and research this.

Guess I'm curious as to any information (books, etc...) and advice I can get my hands on to prepare me for the day my dog comes home. I'm sure there are some great topics in the archives here as well if anyone can point me to them.

Not looking for a dog yet although that will obviously be a part of the process down the line.

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Hey Chris,

Start out by reading a few different books on dog training. It helps to have this info processed once before actually needing it to train the pup.

Don't expect too much too soon, but on the flip side, don't give him too much rope. Obedience is your friend and the foundation for all future training. Make sure you really push the obedience traing and get as close to 100% compliance as possible before moving on to field training.

Go easy on throwing bumpers for the pup... a little is good, a lot causes more headaches for you in training.

Feed the best food you can afford.

Research a vet now.

Research breederes now. Research pedigrees and guarntees. ask for references. Make sure the pups parents have a proper coat if your intentions are for late season waterfowl. A calm Temperment is imperative for waterfowling... make sure the lines you are looking at produce calm - biddable dogs.

Get everything you will need for the pup prior to getting him.

Look into joining a retriever club. The amount of experience there is invaluable for training.

Keep getting excited! There are few things in life as beautiful as a man and his dog working in unison.

Glad to have you joining our ranks!

Ken

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Guess I'm curious as to any information (books, etc...)

Game Dog by Richard Wolters (It is two of his books, Gun Dog and Water Dog, in one). It is good basic retriever training. IMO, sticking to his timelines rigidly is not realistic but it is still pretty good stuff.

We bought a pup a little over four years ago. She has been a great dog. Good temperment, loves to retrieve and has a good nose. I would highly recomend the breeder we got her from. I know you said you aren't looking for a dog right now but it never hurts to start researching breeders ahead of time.

[Note From Admin: Please read forum policy before posting again. Thank You]

I did a fair amount of research ahead of getting our female. It was actually a lot fun to look around and check out various operations. The breeder we went with had black, yellow and chocolate so it was tough looking at puppies with my wife, if she would have had her way we would have come home with one of every color crazy

Anyways... have fun and good luck in your search for a pup.

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A couple older videos "Training your Retriever Beginner" and "Training your Retriever Advanced" with Mike Mathiot, Stoney-Wolf Productions helped me with the basics when I got my first lab many years ago. It can still be found.

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Chris, I can point you to a good vet and good training center nearby when the day comes. Drop me a line if you're interested.

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Oh, and be ready to give up some fishing time. A new pup will be taking up lots and lots of your time smile

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The research is half the fun of finding the exact dog that you want. I must have contacted at least 10 different breeders before finally deciding on the one I bought my pup from. I was actually planning to get a female black lab, but at the time, everybody had black males and no black females. My wife and I fell in love with the runt of a litter who was the "explorer" of the litter. Watching his nose work the ground around the kennel when he was 6 weeks old changed my mind pretty quick. To say the least, he has a great nose and is an outstanding grouse, pheasant and duck hunter.

I believe there was a discussion on his topic back a few pages from a couple months ago.

I have a pile of books and information on my night stand by the bed. Water Dog, Gun Dog, a couple Gun Dog magazines, and many copies on different types of training and specifics.

I also purchased the Mike Lardy e-collar conditioning for the Tri Tronic collar. It was a litte spendy for the length of time the video is, but if you are a person that is doing most of the training on your own, that resource was super helpful. I learned correctly how to introduce my lab to the collar and how to condition him to the use of it.

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Hanson- Welcome to the dog world it's a blast. I myself just got a new yellow lab female she was 12 weeks old yesterday. I plan on useing Zoe on waterfowl and pheasants. I have had hunting dogs all of my life they are alot of work and can be costly at times(vet bills etc) but the rewards are worth all involved. First you are makeing a good decision with a lab a good all around dog with a good tempermant. I have had 2 other labs (choclate,Black) and was real happy with the breed. I recently had a GSP and she was probebly my best to date but unfortunately she passed away. Zoe is comeing along real well she is retrieveing to hand has been introduced to birds and gunfire and seems to be catching on the the game well. I realize she is still a puppy and will make many mistakes. Right now I have her in the first process and as Labs said you don't want to rush them. Timeing and cosistency are the keys to a good trained dog. Let your dog tell you with it's personality and traits how fast to train. Some of the books and tapes I have used over the yrs and have had good success with are.

waterdog 2nd edition video and book and training your retriever puppy by rutherford and loveland.

Good luck and if you need help with locateing a good pup let me know I have alot of friends that have dogs and are in the hunting world so I know of some good breedings.

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Their lots of fun, but some head aches too. A good obiedience class is a must for the basics. Anything you dont want destroyed get out of their reach. They have great noses for a reason, they can smell anything with the slightest scent, especially any type of food. Dont just lock them in the kennel all day, they need lots of exercise which is good for you too. Dont expect a whole lot out of them for a couple years, its a learning process for both of you. If you hunt with friends tell them to be patient also with your dog, my friends got [PoorWordUsage] when my 8 month old flushed about 20 pheasants 100 yds ahead of us, the dog was totally hyper ventillating he was so excited. Their just like kids, you have to pay attention to them every day. Good luck.

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Oh, and socialize the heck out of the dog! Take him/her everywhere you can...dog parks, Petco, parks with kids, classes. The more people/dogs/experiences, the better. Especially for a guy like you with no kids, it's important to have it around kids from a young age so it learns how to act around them. It's a shame to see a dog that can't be around children because the owner didn't properly socialize.

I have a Wolters book...Famliy Dog, I think it's called. It's decent, but I would not choose that over actual obedience classes.

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I have to disagree on the obedience classes. They are good, don't get me wrong, but obedience cannot be trained one or two nights a week.

Take 15 minutes in the morning before you leave for work and train, take abother 15 minutes when you get home, and take another 15 mintues before you kennel him for the night. 45 minutes a day for the first month or two and he will be fantastic. Reinforcement, reinforcement, reinforcement, don't make a command you will not or cannot enforce, and make sure reinforcement is consistent and you will have a great dog for years to come.

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Sorry, Brent, but I have to disagree with you to a point. Practicing at home is vital, but I think a once or twice a week class is integral to that, too. (okay, rereading your post and we're probably in agreement)

1) Especially for a new dog owner, training classes are just as much for the owner as for the dog. It's nice to have a pro there--you might be doing something subtle that a trainer can help correct.

2) It's a great socialization opportunity.

3) Getting a dog to do something at home with no distractions is easy. Getting a dog to do something with other people and puppies around is tough, but in reality, there are a lot of distractions in the real world and there will be distractions when you really need the dog to listen to you. If you can get it to obey in class, training at home is easier.

4) Knowing that you have a class to go to provides extra motivation to work outside of class.

Now, you can't just go to class one or two nights a week and expect results. You've got to take what you do in class and practice everyday, so I do agree with you there.

Quote:
Reinforcement, reinforcement, reinforcement, don't make a command you will not or cannot enforce, and make sure reinforcement is consistent and you will have a great dog for years to come.

That's the key, right there!

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I never went to an OB class because I couldn't fit it in with my schedule and my dog's doing pretty good because we work on it every day.

Socialization is very important. Also, training a couple times a dail for short periods (5 to 15 minutes, depending on the mood of the dog). When training, whether it's obedience or retrieving, always end on a successful, upbeat note. If the dog is having trouble learning (or more likely, you're having trouble training), step back, and have it do things it knows well. Better to go slow and have the dog be successful than to push and have failure.

For basic puppy obedience training I like the books "How to Raise A Puppy You Can Live With" and "My Smart Puppy". They can be a bit annoying to read if you're not one to call your puppy your baby, but they still have great information.

Another great resource is the DVD, "Sound Beginnings" by Jackie Mertens, which presents a retriever training program for puppies.

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Ryan said what I was trying to. A class is great if you practice it at home but is not great as the only training opportunity. smile

Training is not a once a week thing, every time you are with your dog training is happening, so every thing you say or do will mean something to the dog.

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Ryan said what I was trying to. A class is great if you practice it at home but is not great as the only training opportunity. smile

Training is not a once a week thing, every time you are with your dog training is happening, so every thing you say or do will mean something to the dog.

I knew you weren't as dumb as you look wink

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I picked up Game Dog last night and must say it is pretty good reading, exactly the type of info I was looking for.

It sure is going to be hard waiting but that'll be the right path for both me and the dog.

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You may also wish to check out NAVHDA (North America Versitle Hunting Dog Association) You can Google them to find their web site. Lot's of great information and contacts here in MN.

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Hanson , do not forget to take the pup everytime you set foot in the boat. Mine loves water and I cannot seem to keep him out of it. In the boat all he does is look at the water and try to jump in even at 60 mph, but he is starting to get excited about the fish, Last weekend he found a small pout. Best toy he has seen since November. lol

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Hanson,

If you haven't already, go check your local library for different books/videos. Lots cheaper than buying them.

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Quote:
Water Dog

I'll add a nod for Richard Wolters. Labs are great pets... I hope to add another to the family in the not-too-distant future.

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