Too Old to Learn?

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Too Old to Learn?

Postby DylanSmith » Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:21 pm

Hey guys, I've got a black lab that's pushing 2 years old. I know it's a late start, but I want him to start retrieving. I hunt alone about 98% of the time and honestly, it can get boring. I think it would be nice to have someone/something to cuss at when I miss a bird!

Back to my boy, I feel like he's already established a great retrieving foundation. He's always retrieved tennis balls, frisbees, and things like that. He's got the common commands down alright (sit, stay, no,). He's a great listener, almost too good (I was running him the other day with the 4-wheeler and he was so fixed on me he actually ran into a fence.) Needless to say he was alright. My biggest problem I have with him is that when he sees water, he dives in head first and won't get out. He associates water with play time, which i'm assuming is a good thing, but how do I get him to stop diving in and just hang out with me on the edge? I feel like I really missed my chance to have a good hunting partner, by choosing to not work him at a young age.

What I'm wanting are ideas, personal experiences, or books to teach me how to teach him. Things to really focus on, that sort of thing. I don't know the first thing about teaching a dog how to retrieve, he's always just done it. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Re: Too Old to Learn?

Postby brsutton86 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:25 am

Get a dvd program.
Smart works
Fowl dog
Duck dog basics ( I used this one )
Lardys
Read up on them pick one and you'll learn a ton. It's not too late. The biggest factor is consistency. Never give a command that you can't or won't enforce. Always use the same words for commands. The book "how to train a retriever in 10 min" is also a great read. I have a crazy work schedule so I train alone mostly. But a partner helps a lot in training too. Good luck.
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Re: Too Old to Learn?

Postby DylanSmith » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:56 am

Good deal. Appreciate it!
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Re: Too Old to Learn?

Postby mox » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:13 am

Like said above get some books and teach yourself first. Get a philosophy that works for you and your dog. Find a local guy in your area that trains. Get to know him and see how he teaches. If you don't like his ways, then take notes and make changes accordingly. Most trainers would not mind you running with them as long as your dog isn't wasting their time. Most of all make sure you remain a student while you're training your dog. Study him as much as he studies you.

A good dog can't be beat. Good is defined differently by different people. As long as the dog does what you need him to do titles and ribbons me nothing. Personally I have no interest in hunting if I can't take Gus with me. Good luck and keep us posted on progress.
C M ducks?
M R not ducks.
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L I B, M R ducks.
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Re: Too Old to Learn?

Postby teamoutlaw » Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:06 am

any word on the progress
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Re: Too Old to Learn?

Postby DylanSmith » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:59 pm

Yea he's coming along fine. Very smart but very stubborn just like his owner! :thumbsup: he's retrieving and placing at my feet (most of the time) but the sit stay and relax part is a work in progress. For every one time it works there's 5 times of cussing and swearing (in my head of course). Getting excited for the upcoming season.

Do you think it's a good idea to take him even when he's not 100% ready? It could be a great experience for both of us but do you think it would hurt his progress? He still gets very antsy and excited so he will probably ruin a few hunts lol
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Re: Too Old to Learn?

Postby DylanSmith » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:02 pm

Not to mention where I hunt he probably won't get much retrieving time :lol3:
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Re: Too Old to Learn?

Postby brsutton86 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:20 am

Some people hunt dogs before there"ready" or to a point they consider there not happy with yet. Some don't. I would not hunt a dog untill all basic ob is smooth. Here, sit and stay especially. I also would not hunt untill force fetch is complete. I dont know if you even plan to force fetch either. But, to me your going to add bad habits and make him harder to train if he's not ready and he's hunting. Just my opinion. I've heard both ways, some hunt em' some don't from self trainers like me and pros.
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