Last edited by Hunt'EmUp; 12-16-2013 at 11:52 AM.
"They's Just DAWGS"; "I train dogs, Not papers"
"Hunting is a skill to be learned whether you do it early or late it still needs to be learned"
GMRH-I HRCH Quick MH (most importantly Duck/Upland Enthusiast) Rip. July-2014
GMHR HRCH Lakota MH (most importantly Upland/Duck Enthusiast)
MHR HR Storm SH (Beginning Upland & Waterfowl Enthusiast)
I love raising puppies; it's rewarding because they learn so fast. Over the years, I've picked up some things I do with litters that seem to help the pup get off to a good start. I do the ENS, not sure if it helps (or how you'd tell!) but more as part of weighing/handling them the first 2 weeks. I imprint them to come to the whistle as soon as they can hear, about when the eyes open. Instead of banging on the whelping box to call them over, I whistle and they come tumbling over as soon as they can hear. I also use the whistle to announce their dam returning to the box (by then she's not staying with them 24/7) and later, with meals when they're on solid food. By the time I take them outside and start on walks, they know to come to the whistle because they still don't see well past 10'. It's really fun with a big litter to have them come flying and people love it when they get their new pups.
The other fun thing I do is put tabs on them at about 5 weeks, and they leash break each other. Great entertainment watching them drag each other around, and they learn to give in to neck pressure and not to scream and pitch a hissy fit or the whole litter will pile on. By the time they leave, they'll walk on a lead with no back flips or leash rodeos.
My pups also have a good start on crate training and house breaking. I put a crate in their pen as soon as they're up and walking around, and start shutting them in it for 10 or 15 minutes while I clean their pen. As they get older, I'll leave them shut in the crates for longer periods and also start taking them on truck rides in crates. Introducing crate confinement is much easier when they're together, or even in pairs/3s if it's a larger litter, and they get a start on house breaking learning to "hold it". I've had entire litters sleep through the night in their crates by 6 weeks (they're not shut in it; the door is left open). As long as I get up first and get them outside as soon as they wake up. It helps that the puppy pen is right next to the outside door!
I tell people when they get their pups, that they'll unlearn that imprinted recall as fast as they learned it if it's not practiced several times a day. You can overdo the retrieving but you can never overdo the recalls. The first week or two at home with a new baby puppy is the best time to convince it the human is the center of its universe, and how much fun it is to learn new stuff. I think it sets the stage for a pup that loves to learn its entire life.
Julie R., Hope Springs Farm
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers since 1981
Last edited by JusticeDog; 12-16-2013 at 03:12 PM.
FC Tribute to Justice, JH "Honor"
FC AFC Contempt of Court "Ruckus"
Medal Of Honor, QAA "Valor"
HRCH Kirby's High Sierra, SH, QAA "Kirby" Feb. 19, 2002 - Aug. 14, 2014
HRCH Niki Snowbird, SH, QAA "Niki" July 22, 2001 - May 11, 2015
Southland Order In the Court, QAA "Gavel" July 17, 2002- March 24, 2013
Southland Rusty Nail - derby points, qual placements "Rusty"
Disoderly Conduct "Chaos" -qual placements
Three handed casting drills start early... should be on the back pile at 8 weeks.
This seemed like it was shaping up to be a good thread ,until I posted on it.