Tips for new trainer, older labrador
Hello all! Thanks to all who spend time here helping others!
I have a two year old yellow Labrador. He comes from a great line and is probably smarter than I am. :)
He currently: sits, lays down, stays (working on removing the word "stay" and we are almost there!), retrieves short distances, 90% on staying still when a bumper is tossed (waits for me to say "back" or "go", or his name), and various other family-type commands (like leave it, drop it, get in the car, etc etc)
I would like to hunt fowl with him, and would like to participate in AKC Hunt Tests.
What I THINK I Know
From what I can gather, I really need to sharpen his obedience before I do anything else. He comes when called 90% of the time and doesn't heel at all (and as I mentioned before, working on "sit means sit"). Once I get these tightened up, I would like to move on to more hunting specific items.
I have been looking at both Fowl Dawgs and Smartworks as a program.
1) Do you think I will have a harder time because his is already two?
2) Am I right that I should focus on heel, sit means sit, and recall before I move on to anything else?
3) With a goal of hunting and hunt tests (and knowing my background), which program would you recommend and why?
4) Will I be able to do this on my own, or should I be sending him off to a pro?
5) How do "clubs" work? Can I just join one and get help from others? And would you recommend joining one?
Sorry for the newbie questions. I tried to make them as clear and to the point as I could. I just feel a little overwhelmed with what direction to go from here.