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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Many of you who are fairly new to training retrievers for fieldwork may have read or heard the term "Basics" in many places, but perhaps don't fully relate to the true meaning of the term as it applies to modern methods.

In times past, "Basics" meant something like basic obedience commands, and may or may not include something like a force fetch, or some version of it. The term still illicits a variety of mental images.

So, for the purpose of future discussion, here is what most modern methods include under that heading. The order or descriptive terms may vary, but the skills are pretty constant.

The components of Basics in order

1) "Here"
2) "Heel & Sit"
3) "Hold"; automatically evolves to Walking "Hold, Heel, Sit"
4) "Fetch"; ear pinch, which evolves into Walking "Fetch" & "Fetch-no-fetch"
5) Pile work, including Mini-pile, Nine bumper pile; AKA Force to pile
6) 3-handed casting; teaching the 3 basic casts - "Back" and both "Over's", including 2-hands "Back"
7) Mini tee; includes collar conditioning to all basic commands, transferring to the go, stop, cast functions in micro dimension as preparation for the Single tee. Also includes De-bolting
8) Single tee
9) Double tee
10) Water tee with Swim-by

Feel free to ask or comment on any or all components, and how they may relate to subsequent skill acquisition.

EvanG
 

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The basics to me, as a novice, include heel, sit, and down (belly on the floor, not get off of me). Those basics are the base for any training you want to do; be it retrieving, agility, flyball, conformation etc. The other skills are taught for the use of the dog, here it is retrieving dead birds and maybe slippers. The other skills listed may be the basics for retrieving those dead birds and slippers, but not for other activities.

I think my definition of basics is slightly different, due to my experience with training. Im looking to buy Sound Beginnings, because I want to be sure I teach those basics solidly, before I move to teaching the "basics of retrieving."
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thewife said:
The basics to me, as a novice, include heel, sit, and down (belly on the floor, not get off of me). Those basics are the base for any training you want to do; be it retrieving, agility, flyball, conformation etc.
This perception represents exactly why I was motivated to post this topic. That was pretty much the consensus for many retriever people for a long time.

The general outline I've posted is nearly identical for all leading modern methods. This is because nearly all of them are based in the Rex Carr method, as is mine. I've streamlined some of the steps, but have largely remained faithful to the original design of Basics.

Nearly every National Champion (Open or AM) over the past 3 decades when through Basics on pretty much the same coursework.

EvanG
 

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evan,

do you have a rough timeline with these retrieving "basics"for someone who wants to have a lab that can reliably go duck hunting at 1 year old? i realize that more training goes into a dog than what is listed but about what age should the dog be finished with the stages you listed?

--seth
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Seth,

I happened to be sitting right next to Rex Carr when someone asked him "How long should Basics normally take"? He said "About 6 months. If it takes much less than that I tend to be suspect of the quality of the training. If takes much longer I begin to become suspect of the dog".

EvanG
 

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I happened to be sitting right next to Rex Carr when someone asked him "How long should Basics normally take"? He said "About 6 months. If it takes much less than that I tend to be suspect of the quality of the training. If takes much longer I begin to become suspect of the dog".
This means about 6 months if you were training everyday, like a pro would be correct?
 
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