Professor_Leakey wrote:McManus, let me know if you want to get out for some dog training sessions sometime. How old are your dogs and what training have you done so far (feel free to just PM if you want).
Hey, thanks man!
Two labs. Chocolate is 6.5 years old, and the yellow is 2.5. Both male. Chocolate has drive but is a bit stubborn. Yellow is birdie and wants to please, but his drive doesn't last so long (the chocolate will go until he drops, the yellow prefers to go hard and then take a break).
I took both through advanced obedience myself and then had a trainer up in NH take them for a month last winter (we were away for a good part of it, so it worked out well) to introduce them to real retrieving. Stopped short of force fetch and they didn't get much time with actual shooting (for the sound), but both took to it well. I just couldn't fit in consistent reinforcement after that, and our sessions pretty rapidly dwindled and then stopped.
Now I'm in a weird spot, where they're not fully trained up, I don't have the time to do it right (and I'm most scared of doing it WRONG and messing them up - seems better to pause the training than screw it up... but I'd like anyone's thoughts there). Would love to take them in the field, but here, too, I don't want to put them into a situation where they'll fail and I mess 'em up.
Wish I had the time to really work with them both, but as much as I'd love to, there are a few things at the front of the line that take pretty much all my time (kids, work, wife, getting some hunting in - and I know I could do MORE of the last if I'd put the time in with the dogs...). Yet I am constantly thinking how much I'd like to spend a morning in the field with them!
Anyway, not much point to the above, just sayin'.
Part of me is wondering if I **could** get them out in the field and just accept sub-par performance (happy enough with that, as my wife tells me you eventually get used to it) and not screw them up for good. Any thoughts?
OK, back to work for me now.