I am new to the forum and new to training dogs. I have hunted my whole life and am looking to train my new partner, a 12 week old yellow lab male (Boone).
Here is what I have done thus far since picking him up at 7 weeks from Miller Creek Kennels here in TX.
Started with "sit" and then moved to "down" and "come". Once he had these down I started walking him on the leash with a "heel" command.
We go to a field close to the house via leash twice a day for about 15 minutes. I think he would play longer but I want to keep him excited and not bore him. Once we get there, I put him on his check cord and let him get some smelling and jumping out of his system. I started throwing him small bumpers and a Doken dove decoy after a session or two of walking around. He has been almost perfect when it comes to retrieving them and bringing them to hand. Now I have started to hold him for 3-4 seconds after saying "mark", throw the bumper and then releasing him while saying his name. He has preformed the exact same way with this. Yesterday was the first day that I used 3 short blows on a whistle to signal "come" once he had the bumper in his mouth. The first retrieve was slower but right none the less. I have also used a few dove wings to play with 2-3 days a week and he had no problems with them. Picked them up and brought them to me as if they were a bumper.
We went out this past weekend with my dads 2yo lab and hit a shallow pond. I got in my waders and started walking out and my pup followed. We played in his chest deep water for a few minutes and then I walked deeper. He followed and swam fine. I did not throw any bumpers bc I was worried it was too much for one day.
I have been treating each positive reaction with tiny cubes of Swiss Cheese. My plan is to go to praise only after this week.
I wanted to give you guys an idea of what we have been doing to see if you had any input in our training schedule. What drills should I move to next to keep him interested? Maybe work on "place" next? Thank you in advance for your