What would you recommend for someone just starting out in training for hunt tests? Someone with no experience in retriever training, e-collars or even anything beyond basic obedience? Also, since my lab is not a young pup anymore (10 months) should I not consider any puppy training books/dvds?
07-02-2006, 09:03 AM
Let us know a little more about the pup and what kind of specfic training he/she has had. What type of HT's are you looking into, this can also modify training a little since the rules a slightly different.
You might do a search on this here and you will find a wealth of information on the subject.
07-02-2006, 10:17 AM
She's only completed basic obedience (sit, stay, heel, come, ect) but none of these would be reliable at a distance (except for come of course) She has a lot of drive to retrieve, but is pretty poor at delivering to hand and just ok at releasing. The goal would be to participate in AKC hunt tests for now.
I will try doing a search as well, thank you for the suggestion! But if there is any series that someone fells is more suited towards true beginners in just about every sense of the word, I would love to find out as well :D
07-02-2006, 10:17 AM
Sorry - double post
07-02-2006, 01:16 PM
I would seriously recommend the original Smartwork Book and the SmartFetch Book. The SmartFetch book deals with Force Fetch and it sounds like you could use that. Later you'll want the advanced book as well (Smartwork II). He is releasing videos as well. You probably don't need his first video yet (water force & swim by), but he has recently released a video on formalizing obedience. I have ordered it, but haven't received it yet. His next DVD to hit the market will be Men of Steel (stickman drills) and it should be out very soon. He is also working on a puppy DVD and I think he said a Force Fetch dvd as well, but I'm not 100% sure about that one. For an inexperienced trainer, I think the way he breaks things down and really explains things in great detail is invaluable. I also recommend the Jackie Mertens puppy video (Sound Begginnings). The Lardy videos are good, but he doesn't explain things nearly as thoroughly as Evan Graham does in the Smartwork books IMO. If you buy the Lardy videos I would recommend buying the compilations of his Retriever Journal articles as well. Those will fill in some gaps in the videos for you. I particularly like his collar conditioning dvd (Total Collar Conditioning). I don't think it would hurt at all to buy a puppy video as you may find some things you skipped or glossed over and you may want to go back and address those things before moving forward too much. The best thing you get from Lardy & Graham is a real understanding of how to be fair to your dog and teach in baby steps IMO. Every step builds on the previous one in those programs and it is critical that you follow a program or you will find yourself training for trainings sake, but not really working toward anything...or you'll skip some steps in the progression and cause unneccessary confusion for your dog. Good luck.
07-03-2006, 01:13 PM
Thanks for the recommendations. I did a search and Evan Graham seems to be the trainer most people recommend for beginners. I think I'll get his smart work series, but I'm a pretty visual person, so that's why I want to get a dvd too. I saw his obedience dvd so that would probably be a good one to add as well. Thanks again!
07-03-2006, 05:32 PM
Rick Staski's new DVD is very good. It is priced right too. He will be adding more DVD's in the future also. Evan Graham's materials are also good.
07-06-2006, 08:43 PM
As I don't rest in one corner long, I recently added Bill Eckett and Bobby George to the collection. I think I paid $15 at Bass Pro and it's geared towards hunting dogs but I just wanted to hear what those fellas had to say. I gotta say, for someone wanting to get started in HT or someone that wants some direction for gundogs, the guys put together a nice DVD to keep someone on the right track. High value for the money
07-06-2006, 10:30 PM
I have bought the Lardy (Marking, Training, E Collar), Evan Graham (Swim by & Obedience) and now Rick Staski's new DVD and all of them are very good. I would buy all of them again. However, Rick Staski's new DVD is about the most straight forward DVD I've seen yet. Just the force fetch section of the DVD alone makes this video priceless. I'm looking forward to his next release.
07-06-2006, 11:25 PM
Hi Folks, Rick has allowed our club (Mississippi Headwaters retriever club) Bemidji Minn to sell his cd for a fund raiser,so if your interested you can let me know , cost will be $23 which includes shipping to the lower 48
either email me @ email@example.com or call 218-224-2941
07-07-2006, 07:16 AM
Rick Staski's new DVD and all of them are very good. I would buy all of them again. However, Rick Staski's new DVD is about the most straight forward DVD I've seen yet. Just the force fetch section of the DVD alone makes this video priceless. I'm looking forward to his next release.
I agree a great add to ones training material
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