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Thread: Advice for a soon to be new lab owner

  1. #1
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    Default Advice for a soon to be new lab owner

    I am excited to say that I will be getting a new lab puppy in the beginning of May. I have never trained a pup before and as have now have read Gun Dog by Richard Wolters about 2-3 times. I realize after looking at some of the discussions on this forum that there are some mixed opinion on Richard Wolter's books. My main question is, what resources should I, as a complete beginner, be looking for? Any advice is appreciated and thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Junior Member Houston82's Avatar
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    I'm a new lab owner (9.5 weeks old today, have had her about 2 weeks so far). I read the exact same book, and am also eager to hear the advice from more experienced folks...

  3. #3
    Senior Member KevinsKennels's Avatar
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    each and every pup is different. each and every trainer is different. figure out what works best for you from many different books/dvd's and turn your pup into YOUR dog....have fun, and stay positive!
    Captain Drake of Dutchess JH. "Drake"
    Kodiak Miss Angel "Koda" R.I.P.

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    Senior Member Marissa E.'s Avatar
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    The problem about Richard Wolters is he and his methods are far out dated.
    Yes, the can work out and get you an ok gun dog, however newer methods and techniques are now available.
    There are better ways that are easier on the dog and yourself.

    Depending on your spending limits I would look into
    $$$ Total Retriever Training-Lardy or Smart Works-Evan
    $$ Fowl Dogs -Stawski
    $ Duck Dog Basics I and II- Akin

    Those are just the ones I like the most, of course everyone has there own opinion on each.
    If you don't want to use the ecollar or force fetch you don't have to use that part of any of the programs. Yes, it makes it tougher on you AND the dog to not collar condition or force fetch, but just because they are in the programs doesn't mean it's nesassary.

    Edit: I realize this could be taken the wrong way. Tougher here meaning you will have to improvise with the programs a bit to make them work for you if you choose not to CC or ff.

    I have watched the Sound Beginnings and Hillmann Puppy DVDs and with my new pup I'm not doing either. I'm just going to enjoy my puppy, do some basic ob nesassary to get through our day to day life, then start on the Lardy Program when I feel she's mentally able to.
    Last edited by Marissa E.; 02-11-2014 at 12:54 PM.

    Marissa Everett

    Hebrews 12:11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

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    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    Lots of more modern training materials than Wolters .
    Puppy:
    Sound Beginnings by Jackie Mertens
    Training a Retr. Puppy by Bill Hillman and others
    Big Guy
    Total Retr Training 2ed by Mike Lardy
    Smartworks by Evan Graham
    Fowl Dogs by Rick S.

    And more
    Bill Hillman has his own website with some free videos.

    You can search Hank (by Pirate) and Rowdy (by Pirate) using my name for videos of me training a puppy using Mertens and Hillman and Lardy. Hope this helps.
    Wayne Nutt
    Go Nutts with dog training

    HRCH Patton's Parker Co. Shadow "Shadow"
    HRCH Clineline Hijacker "Jack"
    HRCH Marks a Lot Midnight Hudson, SH "Hudson"-retired
    Castile Creek's Rawhide, SH "Rowdy"

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    Senior Member rotcsig443's Avatar
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    I really enjoy Mike Stewart's "The Wildrose Way." I don't fully follow his training program, but he has some very helpful ideas/theories on which to begin training a dog on.
    Last edited by rotcsig443; 02-11-2014 at 04:02 PM.

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    Thanks for all the replies. The information is really helpful.

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    Senior Member J_Brown's Avatar
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    I too am a relatively new Lab owner/trainer. My BLF is going on 1 year 3 months old now. She is a fantastic dog, very smart, easy to train, lots of drive. I've followed Smartwork as my main training program, however I take in as much peripheral training info that I can get my hands on. Every little bit helps... sounds cliche, but it's true. You read it so much, that every dog is different... that no one program can cover it all... that's because it's true. So the more information you are able to take in, the better off you'll be when it comes to handling certain situations that aren't covered in the books or DVDs. I will say, though, Smartwork does cover a lot of the typical trouble points. Another good resource is a spiral bound book by Julie Knutson. A friend of mine is borrowing it so I can't think of the exact title off-hand, but it's basically a 1'' thick book of nothing but reader's questions and answers... the unique situations that arise and how pro trainers typically handle them. It's a great book.

    Aside from the umpteen gajillion training resources that are out there, the one thing that I feel is most important for the new trainer is PATIENCE. I'll be honest, this is something that I struggled with at times. There are quite a few milestones in the training process that will test you just as much as they test the dog. Everyone is different, so for some this applies for more than others, but IMO being able to keep a cool head and remain patient is absolutely paramount. Yet it's often one of the most difficult aspects of training. You read all these books... You watch all the DVDs... You read it online... Everyone makes the training process seem so easy, right? So your expectations going in to certain training sessions are often over-inflated. It's perfectly normal... But unfortunately this sets you up for disappointment, frustration, and poor responses. You will know exactly what I'm talking about once you find yourself in one of those moments. It's something that will undoubtedly get easier with the more dogs you train, but for the first one it can be a challenge. Always do your best to stay patient with the dog. When you feel your blood pressure rising, do yourself (and more importantly the dog) a favor and just call it quits for that day. There's nothing to gain by continuing to train when you're pissed off.

    Good luck! Enjoy the ride.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Henlee's Avatar
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    Check into your local HRC club also. Go and watch some training sessions. Get your self a good sense of what you want in your gun dog, so that you can accomplish that goal. I would also read as much as you can. I would definitely have some system that you can follow in place.
    During break time at obedience school, two dogs were talking.
    One said to the other..."The thing I hate about obedience school is you learn ALL this stuff you will never use in the real world."

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rick S's Avatar
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    Find a newer more modern program, and lots of patience! Bond and have fun, its not a race.

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