Of course I want to train him to the highest level possible, but right now I am trying to get him to be calmer and more under control so we can go forward. I do plan to take him through force fetch and teach him lining and casting. What I am asking for is help with the basics that have to be there before we go farther. Let me tell you what I have done. I have taught and worked extensively on sit, stay, down and heel. As I stated he is very good in the yard and on walks on our road. These are of course controled situations with limited distractions. He knows the commands and what I want him to do. Everything I have read and heard says that the next step is "proofing" where you basically hold the dog more accountable than you did before and make him know that "sit means sit" Other than that I have not been able to find any more guidance on what "formalizing" or "proofing" really entails. I am willing to learn and have done a lot of searching and research on my own with little success. Thank you all for your help and suggestions. It really helps to be able to ask specific questions. You can't do that using a book or a DVD. I am currently using Tom Dokken's book.
"Ready to learn about Basics?" Yes, what I am doing evidently is not working as well as I had hoped so yes please help me with the basics.