View Full Version : TRAINING
03-01-2004, 11:12 AM
Whats the first steps in training a lab for waterfowl retreiving?
Where are you at in training your pup? There are several great resources, books, videos, local retriever clubs, pro or amatuer trainers that you can tap into to help. It's kind of hard to answer your question with only limited information.
03-01-2004, 07:00 PM
Just what Eric said, more information and we can supply a lot more help!
OB Training(Obediance) is the foundation I always start with. I like to suggest to people to also pick the commands that you want to use and stick to them. Make them simple and to the point.
For example I use:
Sit (if they sit, they have to stay, so no need for stay)
Here (not Come here, just Here)
Heal (with a tap on the side that I want him/her to heal too)
Hold and Fetch for trainiong and reinforcement.
Then move to :
Formal Hold (FH)
Force Fetch FF)
Colar Conds. (CC)
There are a lot of things inbetween, but I would start with OB, FH, and intro to water with fun stuff to start. JMO for what its worth. Good Luck
IMO...the first step in "training" if you have a puppy (which im assuming you do based on your last post about contacting breeders) is to potty train pup. HH, if you have access to a dog crate, this is the easiest way to accomplish this. crate training is easy and efficient and important. you might want to feed pup in the crate (door open) for a few days til you are sure pup is feeling at home in the crate. then you can eventually close the door while feeding, sneak away, and come back tolet pup out. take him straight outside to you bathroom of choice. put him down and say "go pee" or whatever you want to say for this conditioning. be consistent, feed at the same times everyday and go to the bathroom the same time every day, use the same door, and pick a good spot for pooping. this spot will become a regular stop. before you know it, itll be routine and pup will be house broken. if this is the answer you are looking for and need more info...just ask. oh yeah, it has been noted in lots of literature that pups have to relieve themselves within @8-10 minutes after feeding OR playing...so BE READY. pup must go out immediately after waking from a nap.
if you are asking about retrieving, most folks start in a hall way or a narrow passage way of sorts, and begin throwing a small bumper or fetch toy. the hall way allows you to catch pup on the return. it is natural instinct for puppies to run away with its "prize", so you want to gently harness this instinct and channel it into bringing you the "prize". this means to praise pup upon return. keep it to a couple of throws each session. quit while he is still interested. it will build desire for next time.
other ideas: begin "sit". i like to use feeding time and treats for this one. simply, put the food out on the floor and gently restrain pup from it. gently push down on pups rear end and lift the chin and say "sit". then let him eat. or you can use a treat: gently push down on rear and hold a piece of hotdog over pups nose saying "sit" "sit". if you move the hotdog back towards his eyes, it will cause him to look back self-forcing his butt to go down.
its not too early for "no". just use the term "no" whenever pup does things you dont want him to do.
take your pup for "fun" walks. go through snow mounds, over logs, under logs, through tall grass, over rocks etc...try to expose pup to as many "hunting" type things as possible. if its still cold up there in WY, then maybe wait for intro to water, although i like to startem early. i like to go down to the creek and let pup sniff it out. no nudging, just let pup check it out for himself ie. get a drink, sniff the water, hear the water, smell the algae, etc...
remember: it is really important not to get mad at pup. make everything fun and turn it into a game. its just a pup. dont worry if pup loses interest retrieving for a day or two. lots of pups go through that. just make life fun and bond with pup.
some folks discourage using treats, and thats fine, but i have consulted some of the top trainers in the world and they all use treats AT THIS AGE. once you reach the yard work stage, youll blow right through the transition. right now you are planting seeds in pups head for conceptual teaching. its kind of like being in kindergarden or sesame street...building blocks.
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