First Legit Puppy Advice

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First Legit Puppy Advice

Postby blacknwhite71 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:19 am

I've had labs and other dogs but this is going to be my first serious duck dog. I have been researching a lot and picked what seems to be a really good puppy. I am going to get him trained when he is old enough, but I wanted to know any advice for the time that I pick him up until he is ready for training. I got a Drake puppy bumper and duck scent right now. I will be picking him up in a week or so and he's a black lab. Any advice or good books would be appreciated.

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Re: First Legit Puppy Advice

Postby dogyak » Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:03 pm

congrats on the puppy . I recommend the DVD sound beginnings . Follow it to the T . It's a puppy head start training program for gundogs . Stuff like intro to water , birds , gun , and etc . While this will cover his first 6 to 7 months of his life , do your homework on what formal gundog training program that fits you best . Check the sticky's on topics up top that covers the different programs . Now have fun with that pup and good luck !
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Re: First Legit Puppy Advice

Postby Duckdon » Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:11 am

Duck dog training starts on the ride home from the kennel. Have fun. Don
Forgive me for being arrogant. I own 2 Drahthaar's.
Don Lietzau, Chugiak Alaska
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Re: First Legit Puppy Advice

Postby i_willie12 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:14 am

Are you going to send him to a trainer??? Sounds like it If so pick your trainer and contact him and see what he wants you to do! :thumbsup: Most of the time I'd rather owners (that are new to training or dont know much) just keep it simple!!!!!! Teach simple OB come heel sit stay, get them on a leash, throw a few bumpers nothing major Send the dog off ready to learn not be fixed!!! The more your pup knows when it gets to the trainer the faster the trainer will be able to move A solid foundation of OB and retrieving desire and the trainer will love you for what you have done!!
"Some people pride themselves on how far they can shoot ducks others pride themselves on how close they can get them. I'm an other!!! "
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Re: First Legit Puppy Advice

Postby dysco » Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:23 pm

I read a lot of books and stressed about what program to use and what time commitments I was going to make before getting my pup, but the advice above is totally true: training starts on the ride home. Make your "house rules" and write them down if it's more than you in your house before pup comes home. Enforce all rules equally and eternally. My wife and I talk about where she is in training all the time and correct each other about what we''re saying to her and how we're saying in it. We probably communicate better about the dog than we do anything else. :lol3:

Also, we do about 4 puppy walks a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less. We reinforce existing training and add new items on the walks once she's got her wiggles out. There are no parks or fields open to dogs locally, so we go to BLM and National Forest which starts as close as a 10 minute drive from us. "Here" was easy-peasy with two people in the woods. She's got it down enough that we know she's ignoring us intentionally when she doesn't follow the command. I've added the whistle and she thinks it's WAY more fun now. We do fun bumpers periodically on the walks- we're working on throwing 50% of them in cover or over a big log so she has to sniff around- no pressure if she doesn't find it. I pocket the bumper and move on until she's ready for another try. By the end of the walk she's usually more fired up about the bumper than at the beginning. I do short real training sessions on the days we don't go to the woods and when I have time. Maybe 6-8 a week. It's not textbook, but she's getting a really good start. At this point, that's all I care about.

I called the trainer who will be helping me with intro to birds and guns and his list of what I needed to have done was almost complete 6 weeks before we're going to do our training day. Now we're going to keep hammering the fundamentals, expanding the ones that need it, and make the retrieves harder while keeping it interesting by changing the cover. The crazy thing is that I thought I had been really neglecting the training regimen I'd set for myself by not doing 3 sessions a day plus a walk (impossible with my 13 hour workday). When I finally took stock of what she knows and how she handles in the field, she was way better than I had expected she would be. There will always be things to work on and I can always do better but remembering that everything is training, even when it's just mealtime or when pup is greeting me home from work, helps me be a better trainer.

FWIW: 14 week old lab "Eddy", my first hunting dog, second dog. We will be doing co-training only. She's an inside dog and I have a 6-month old human with toys littered around the house that are not dog toys. I hunted 80 days last year. This year is a "fun" year for her and she'll come along as long as it's safe. Next year I hope to have her at 100%.

If you're going to send your pup off, train it with your house rules and get in touch with the trainer ASAP for a list of what else you should be working on. Review your list weekly to stay on track. Also- keep that scent for later. Just get him jazzed about the bumper.
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