The only thing that teaches them the real thing is the real thing. Basically the same thing the other guys said, takem young. Dove season is good training ground in my opinion. It's not to cold, your not in water, there are usually plenty of birds, and some other things that make it easier. This will teach the dog that it has to be still to make a retrieve and for me it's alot easier watching a dove fly by because the dog wasn't behaving than watching a duck. Also older dogs, if they are well behaved, are great teachers and they also provide plenty of jealous emotions for your dog.