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Thread: Any training places where I don't have to leave my puppy? (14wks old)

  1. #1
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    Default Any training places where I don't have to leave my puppy? (14wks old)

    Not new to dogs, but new to prepping a hunting retriever. We have a 14-week golden retriever who we have started training at home but we would like to find a place (near Houston) to get her additional hunting-focused training. She is quite the quick learner (sitting, bumper-fetching, laying down, crawling, etc.) - we work with her daily and she's a little sweetheart!

    We don't want to send her away for training - we'd like to TAKE her to training... is that common? I'm not sure if the regular run-of-the-mill general puppy classes will be worthwhile since we are doing all of that at home already... would like to keep progressing. Does anyone know of someone near Houston that provides this type of thing (training without boarding)?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    Day training lessons are available from some trainers but I think it would not be the way to go. There are lots of reasons for this:
    1. The cost of a single lesson will most likely exceed a monthly fee divided by 24 days (assuming six days a week training). Why is this....because you will demand more of the trainers time than if he were training the dog in a boarding situation. For example: I had a client take his dog home after a period of boarding/training. I told him he could come back anytime and I would help him. He showed up several times but wanted me to spend a lot of time with just him (1 1/2 hours). So, I told him daily lessons would be $25. I never heard from him again.
    2. There will be a significant loss of continuity in training the dog and the trainer will not be able to control the training envirnoment.
    3. The trainer will not have an opportunity to bond with the dog.
    4. Some of the training situations will require discipline and you probably shouldn't watch it. I am not suggesting a trainer will be cruel but force fetch and collar conditioning are not fun for any dog.

    For the above reasons I wouldn't take the dog on under the situations you describe.
    Wayne Nutt
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  3. #3
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    I understand but I don't understand why the bond between the dog and the trainer is more important than the dog and the owners. She will be spending the rest of her life with us so we need to be able to continue the training, right? If she goes away to train then we don't know how to continue the training. The cost is not as important as doing it the "right way" for US (our dog as well as the rest of our family). For some dogs, I can certainly see that a boarding/training arrangement would be better - but I have a hard time thinking that it would apply across the board to all dogs. I may be wrong but down here, there are alot of labs used for hunting (and not many goldens) - my understanding is that labs are harder to training and often require a harsher discipline regimen...I'm a little apprehensive in having a training who only trains labs because I see labs and goldens as having different personalities/work ethic. Is my understanding wrong?

    Why wouldn't we just buy a dog that was 9 months old then who already went through training? Please don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to offend anyone, I'm just trying to understand because it doesn't make sense. She will not be a strictly hunting dog (but we do alot of hunting) - she will be a member of our family. I guess its similar to sending kids to boarding school - it works for some...I just don't see it working for my family.

  4. #4
    Senior Member 2tall's Avatar
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    Of course you can learn to train your own dog, and might I add, have a blast doing it! You may not earn any major titles or win any field trials just because your learning will take longer than the dog's would at a pros. But from the very beginning I started doing this in order to spend quality time with my dogs and learn as much as I could. Join a retriever club in your area, meet folks with experience and plan on working with your dog daily and and take him out for field marks with the group as often as possible. Go to seminars and watch videos. Spend a few "paid" days with a local pro and learn some techniques and a progression plan. Doing it myself has taken me places I never would have known and introduced me to lifelong friends. I have enjoyed my dogs so much more than I ever did with "just pets". If there are parts of training that you are just not comfortable with, then send them to a pro for that specific service. Go for it and you will never look back! Have fun!
    Carol,
    Owned and handled by Cruisin' with Indiana Jones, JH
    Alternate Handler: Westwind Buffalo Soldier
    Apprentice Handler: Snake River Medicine Man, JH
    http://newhoperetrievers.com

  5. #5
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    2Tall: That's what our plan is mostly - I view a paid trainer as a supplement since we are not pros (more training us to train our dog - help to guide us in the right direction). I've been looking into the retriever clubs but from their websites, I'm not sure exactly how they work (are they more for adult dogs or is there a mix of inexperienced/puppies too?) - I've sent some emails out to get more information. My husband and I have been doing alot of reading and video-watching. For us, is more of not knowing what to do in unique situations (i.e. to correct behaviors, etc... for example, she fetches great in the hall but not looses focus easily outdoors - I try lots of different things but don't know what is the best way). We have tons of fun with her - and I love working with her! We look forward to bringing her duck hunting with us (eventually)

  6. #6
    Senior Member Billie's Avatar
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    Maybe you should join a retriever club. They usually hold once a month training days, where you have the comraderie of other likeminded individuals. Everyoneshares what they know and help each other out. This might be the way for you to go about it. Unless you can find a trainer to help by lessons.
    HOME OF:
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  7. #7
    Senior Member 2tall's Avatar
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    I am not a member of one currently, but it sounds like an HRC club would be perfect for you. Maybe someone here can provide her with the link to get in touch with someone in the Houston area? HRC is all about family, dogs (all ages), hunting and fun. No pressure, no formality, just a helpful friendly group of people who love dogs and ducks!
    Carol,
    Owned and handled by Cruisin' with Indiana Jones, JH
    Alternate Handler: Westwind Buffalo Soldier
    Apprentice Handler: Snake River Medicine Man, JH
    http://newhoperetrievers.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    You can get started yourself with Hillman's "training a retriever puppy" DVD!

    I was in your shoes not too long ago, this DVD got me started...I have done ok myself, with help of people on this forum and lots of local people that I met through the clubs.
    Renee P

  9. #9
    Senior Member D Osborn's Avatar
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    Email me- I know someone in your area who can help- Whis2@bellsouth.net
    Demi
    Christine
    "We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable
    to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan." Irving Townsend.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bridget Bodine's Avatar
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    I have , once a week train the trainer group retriever class....3-6clients who all get out in the field and throw for each other , while I guide them at the line, in the yard or what ever. I have two clients who have been with me 5 years , both are running MH , one dog is doing better than the other (and is out on injured leave, the dog) but the clients did all of the training. I did take the dog out of their hands, periodically ,like the critical day of ff, or on ftp but for all intents, they have trained the dogs themselves. Find a trainer who does day training.....
    BB
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