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Thread: New to training -12wk old Lab

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2012
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    Default New to training -12wk old Lab

    Hello Everyone,

    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

  2. #2
    Senior Member Daniel J Simoens's Avatar
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    he's 12 weeks old, just enjoy the puppy time and build that solid relationship which is the foundation for a reliable dog. don't put too much pressure on him.
    That's my boy "Blue"!!!! Flyin High in the Passenger Side x Katie May of Belgrade

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Get Bill Hillmans Training a Retriever Puppy. Do what it says.

  4. #4
    Senior Member sunnydee's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
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    Salem, Oregon
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    Just another opinion (like a-holes, we all got one) I like Sound Beginnings Retriever Training DVD with Jackie Mertens.
    Terry C.

    You can't win if you don't play, every dog has his day

    Sunny Dee Light MH QAA (Sunny)
    Sunny's Black Gold Texas Tea, Qual. Dog (Crude)

  5. #5
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    Oct 2012
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    Great thank you guys. I picked up Dokkens Retriever Guide and have been following that since I brought him home but wanted to get real world opinions and advise. I will be sure to look into the Hillmans book and Sound Beginnings DVD.

    After reading my initial post, I realize it seems like I am running him constantly but our play/training sessions are only 10-15 minutes each. The rest of the time he is at the house playing with the kids and sleeping

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