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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey im new to the whole hunting dog thing and im fairly new to hunting. So i went to Phesant Fest hear in Omaha and w/o my parents knowing i bought me a black lab now i am wondering what things i will need ot train her and when the snow lets up im goin to build a large kennel. NO i do have a few questions.
-When she sleeps she yelps and crys how cn i get her to stop ( ive tried the radio and still trying it)
-What traingin supplies should i get
-When sould i first shoot over her or near her
-When to start her to swim in the water( Theres a pond nearby my home)
-How do u put the scent on a duck decoy thing and throw it n the air n shoot or what? n how will she no how to get it.
 

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I assume your parents know now. There are alot of real knowledgeable guys on this site so you'll get lots of good advice but a couple of questions come to mind. How old is the pup? Is she/he going to be an inside or outside dog? Do you keep it crated at night? Pups will cry when they first get seperated from their litter mates they do get over it but you must let them know that this is where they sleep and it dosen't help if you keep checking on the dog every 15 minutes. You can try the old alarm clock trick. Putting a wind up alarm clock in or next to the dogs bed (it has to tick) the ticking soothes them and they should calm down. I think it also helps to crate them at night it gives them a nice secure place and that has a calming effect as well. Other than that work on obedience training that is the foundation for everything else. Everything else comes in time I think the worst mistakes I ever made with dogs was to try and rush the process. Take your time read and study all you can ( there are lots of books and tapes on training retrievers out there) on the subject and spend a lot of time with your dog. Good luck
 

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-Crate training
Number one thing about crate training in my opinion is not going to the dog if they are whining, barking, jumping, or chewing on the kennel. The dog needs to learn to sooth itself and not associate any of those things with getting out of the crate. Only if the dog is quiet will it come out. Also to large of a crate for a puppy doesn't give that secure feeling that brucemacp was talking about, so if the crate is large you may try putting a divider in it.
-Gun conditioning
Start as soon as the pup is comfortable in its new home. While eating bang some pots and pans in the other room (or any kind semi loud noise.) If this affects the pup start slower. (Maybe clap your hands) Just build from there to louder noises. (only if there is something rewarding for the pup - food, a toy, a retrieve).
- Water
I'm sure a lot of guys will differ with me on this, but I would wait for the water to warm up. No need to rush anything. Go at the pups pace. In the summer you can take the dog for a run and then take him to the pond to cool off.
-Scent
Don't like the bottled scent. Don't think they can put the real smell in a bottle. Get some duck wings.

Here's a few answers. I would definately recommend reading some books. Like bruce said, there are tons of retriever training books.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The pup is a female and she is about 10 weeks now ill put some pictures on here in a little bit. She is also an indoor dog right now but when the weather warms up she will be an outdoor dog in the day in a kennel i will build and then an indoor dog at night. I was also wondering where can i get duck wings.
 

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I have the same questions you do. I have a lab that is 11 weeks, but he is a idoor dog. I bought some pheasent wings and he loves them. He's crazy over them. I'm preetty restricted over what I can do with training because I live in the city, but I am working on finding a place to train him. Good luck with your pup and hope you get some good information.
 

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hey guys,

When I picked up my lab pup last spring I was a completely new dog trainer, and still consider myself a rookie but we're making progress. I had hunted over finished dogs so I new what they were supposed to do, but I had no clue how to get that cute fuzzy chick magnet into a bird flushing and retreiving machine.

I agree with the other posts . . . do your homework and be patient. I read the Richard Wolters Gun Dog, and Water Dog books. I also bought a copy of the Water dog DVD. I do a much better job of visualizing if I see it, but the books give you additional suggestions and go into more detail than the video. It is a great combo. These references will answer all the questions you have raised and more (and you can find them on eBay for cheaper than Cabela's). The only additional advice I have is don't get stressed if and when you don't follow the time table.

Some people are going to disagree with the Wolters, and that is fine, but I have followed their guide and it works. My dog is a bit slower than their time table, but she started this season at 8 months in September. By the end of the season she was flushing pheasants and quail that I would have never seen. She even made a blind retrieve on a bird 50+yds away in chest high grass. She had several duck retrieves and a big Canada. I'm not trying to toot my own horn because I know guys do better than this in less time, more just to confirm that if you're patient and persistent this system works.

Talk it up with anyone who will listen and has advice. Experience is a great teacher. Most of all have fun. Who else are you going to take when it is freezing cold and there's football on?
 

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Ya know I would really like to reinforce this taking time to train thought. As my Father used to say if you want to build a good house you better build a good foundation. I think most well bred retrievers will do what they are bred to do with very little fine tuning from us. What they won't always do is listen and follow basic commands especially if they have'nt got their obedience lessons down cold. I've hunted with way to many dogs (and owned a few myself) that could hunt and retrieve but it was not always a very enjoyable experience. I think that the urge, amongst most of us anyway, is to get the dog to do hunting things. The dog will do that better and more efficiantly if we set the table by making sure we have our obedience foundation well built at the beginning.
 

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Congrats on the lil girl!! :salude: Youll have an awsome time with her. I would tell you a bunch of advice, but I think it could best be explained in a quick reference Waterfowl dog manual.

See ya later,
SR
 

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First and foremost, bond with your dog, then GENTLY make them know who is boss. Be consistent and insistent. Never let them get away with anything - keep it tight but friendly. Never let your emotion get the better of you. Although she's a retriever, don't ask her to retrieve anything til she comes to you when you call her - EVERY time. Achieve that by calling her name and getting her to come to you by putting your face on the ground - never go fetch her - then when she comes, give her a good time with plenty of praise.
Get a book that tells you how to do the rest.
 

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I will answer the one about the duck scent. Yes, they sell liquid duck scent in a bottle. But how do we know it actually smells like a duck.
I prefer real duck decoys, www.realduck.com, they are made of firehose, so they are super tough, but absorbant as well. I dampen them, then put them into a plastic garbage bag that I saved all the down feathers from the ducks I've killed. Letting them stay in these feathers for a week, really puts the scent into them. Works great on tennis balls too. Plus, with the tennis balls, when you first pull them out, the feathers will be stuck to them somewhat. Roll the ball across the ground and the dog will follow the scent to the ball, thus teaching it to use it's nose.
 

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it can't be said enough, obedience is key! your lab knows more about finding and retrieving than you or i do. even at the age she is right now. that's the easy part for her. what she doesn't know (like previously pointed out) is how to do it on YOUR terms. sit, stay, come! these are the most important things you could possibly do for that puppy (and your own sanity). get that down pat. some much so that you don't even have to consider whether or not the dog might do it. you should know that when you say sit, she will do it...not just when by your side, but across the yard. when you say come, no matter what the dog is doing, she will come.

obviously, the only way to get to that point is repetition. tons of it. don't be one of those owners that gives a command, then repeats it 4 or 5 times before you enforce it. the dog will pattern this in a heart beat and know exactly how far to push before you take control. you say come once, if she doesn't respond make her. the same with sit, say it once, if she doesn't, sit her down. now stay is the same, but with that if they don't stay, take them to the exact spot you tried to get them to stay at and try it again. don't just sit them down in a different spot and try again.

i really like richard wolter's books. i don't believe in beating a dog into submission. there are very few situations where you should even consider raising your hand to a dog and not one of them has a thing to do with your frustrations. she wants to make you happy, remember that when things get tough...

good luck...nothing is more satisfying than training your own dog and watching them work.
 
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