Retriever Training: Have a Plan by Matt Duncan
In last weeks article we discussed finding a puppy and socializing your new retriever to many different environments. Now we are getting ready to move that puppy into more structured training such as introducing birds, water, decoys, gunfire and all the other things fido will need to be comfortable with before we start formal training. There is a very lengthy list of things we have to follow in training that in the end will build up to a result of you owning a well behaved and stylish retriever that is a pleasure to hunt over. In order to be an efficient trainer and be fair to the dog we must have a plan. One of the greatest tools any trainer has is a notebook and pen. We must be able to plan and track our training, take notes to refer back to when making a plan for the next training session. Training a retriever does take some time commitment but if we show up to the field with a solid plan every day there is no reason for us to spend hours a day training one dog. We can make the most out of the limited time many people have to train if we aren’t aimlessly stumbling around the field training on a whim. Having a sound plan will also help the dog move through training at a timely pace. If you are following your plan you will always be building on what you did yesterday ensuring that you will be continually challenging your dog. This is important because if we are not challenging the dog mentally we are no longer training but only exercising.
Today there are a lot of resources for the average guy or gal that is wanting to be successful training their own dog. From books, DVD programs, retriever clubs and the countless groups on the web. My suggestion with books and DVD’s is they can be very helpful if used properly. Most are proven programs that if you follow them you will likely end up with a dog that you are happy with but you must follow them. Pick one and follow it, do not mix and match programs as you will only end up confusing your dog and most likely yourself in the process. One of the best resources trainers have can be found at your local retriever club. There you will find helpful knowledgeable folks to train with, training grounds and will most likely make plenty of new like minded friends. One big misconception is that clubs are for hunt test or field trial dogs. That is simply not true, a club is a group of folks that are interested in making their dog better which hopefully is your goal as well. I would strongly recommend finding one of the many dvd programs and joining a club. If you have questions about the program chances are someone in your club is familiar with the program you are using and can help. If we want our dog to be prepared for his first season we have to put forth the effort to prepare ourselves as trainers. Thank you everyone for the read and feel free to follow Bourbon Bay Kennels on Facebook as we are always posting informative training videos. We will have another article coming next Friday until then, happy training! Don’t forget the Great Gun Dog Supplies on Marsh Mutt
Bourbon Bay Kennels