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Thread: If a puppy learns quickly....

  1. #1

    Default If a puppy learns quickly....

    Molly.jpgI have an 11 week old BLF out of Fourleaf's Buster x Gabby. She has been pretty easy to kennel and potty train. We've worked on sit, here, leave it, as well as a couple of hallway retrieves every other day (which she loves).

    I have her in a puppy OB class for socialization and some intro obedience, is the quick learning I've seen going to mean that formalizing her OB and retriever training will also come easy? I've watched Sound Beginnings and Fowl Dawgs (which I plan to follow).

    Only problems we've had is the eating of rocks and the normal biting/teething routine which we are working on curbing.
    Last edited by Chris Bergner; 01-01-2013 at 06:37 PM. Reason: Picture

  2. #2
    Member waterdawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Orange Park, FL


    Im in the same boat with a 14 week YLF, mine like to sit and pull grass out. She doesn't eat it she just likes to pull it out. She is also a handfull with the puppy biting. Good luck and enjoy your pup.
    Happy New Year

  3. #3
    Senior Member Gauge123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012


    I'll say here that when you get a very smart pup there is a tendency to advance them through training. Most of your trainers will tell you not to compare dogs because they all learn at a different rate. But they seem to say this when talking about the slow learners. So where does that leave you?

    Sound advice, MAKE SURE THE DOG HAS A COMMAND FIRMLY INGRAINED BEFORE MOVING ON. One trainer told me that to do this he/she needs to perform the task 5 times in 5 different locations before you know for sure he/she has it firmly implanted. I don't know if it takes that many but I have been guilty of jumping ahead because today my pup did an excelent job of (choose a task to put here) so I moved on to the next step. In fact, just because he is having a good day today doesn't mean the command is firmly ingrained.
    What I'm trying to say is don't fall in into this trap. Have fun and good luck.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mike Tome's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Brunswick, MD


    Dog training is a journey that really never ends. You'll reach a variety of goals along the way, and there is no way to predict the time or effort it will take to achieve each of those goals. Yes, you may have an easy time of the current task at hand, but that in no way provides a prediction of things to come. Hopefully you will be lucky and never run into a frustrating obstacle.... but that is the rarity, not the norm.

    Good luck with your pup and enjoy the journey.
    Mike Tome
    Duckdog's Fast Autofocus
    GMHRCH-III WR North Star's Deuce of Diamonds

    MHR WR Pondview's Bar None 1994-2006

  5. #5
    Senior Member jd6400's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    NE OHio


    To answer your question,I would say the odds are stacked in your favor for the pup to catch on quickly,but that has nothing to do with marking ability and prey dive and a whole list of attributes I look at in a well rounded gundog!!!!!Good luck, enjoy ,because they aren`t here long enough. Jim

  6. #6
    Senior Member Scum Frog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Ottawa Valley, Ontario, Canada


    I hear you in regards to the puppy biting. My 13week YLF is doing great: Sits, down, stays for a treat, heeling on leash, comes to verbal and whistle, even naturally quarters when walking through the bush ( grouse country ) - obviously all within reason for a 13week pup, doing puppy's just her need to chew/bite that is the greatest obstacle to overcome.
    Labrador Retriever, a 20g & there a better combination?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    Kansas City, MO


    Now, and in the future, remember that many bright eager dogs catch on to things quickly. They can make trainers a bit lazy and not be as thorough because the trainer doesn't recognize this bright pupil as having the same needs as dogs that perhaps don't seem to pick up on things as quickly. Not so.

    Training requires experience, exposure, and repetition. Yes, even smart pups need that if they are to become well trained dogs. That will be true all the way through your pup's development. You may go out one day to introduce this pup to a new drill...perhaps one that has 3 or 4 stages. Your bright eager learner may lead you to proceed through all the stages because he learns so fast. Then, thinking "Well, he's got this", you may just move on - assuming he's trained. That's not training. That's having a good day. Spend the time, keep it fun, but keep conditioning this dog to his trained standards.

    Remember; experience, exposure, and repetition.

    "Prepare your dog in such a manner that the work he is normally called upon to do under-whelms him, not overwhelms him." ~ Evan Graham

    “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

    ― George Bernard Shaw

    The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)

  8. #8
    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    NW WI


    Most well-bred, and even many not so well bred, retriever puppies learn very quickly when very young. Doesn't mean anything as far as how they'll train later when formalizing, but it makes teaching a puppy fun. Key is to keep shaping the puppy, teaching it to learn during that important early window when they are really sponges. Beware of moving too fast, pushing too hard, especially this young, but later, if your pup is continuing to learn and progress well, awesome. Good trainers LOVE eager, smart dogs with good attitudes and try to keep going that while training, vs the old break the dog down to build it back up stuff. Don't skip steps or rush, but train to the progression of your pup, not someone else's timeline. And be wary of grinding an eager student into the ground with needless repetition. Boredom can make a poor attitude for both of you. Perfection is not necessary. Keeping a balance and reading your dog is going to be the most important thing you will ever learn, and often the most difficult.
    Kim Pfister, Rainmaker Labs

  9. #9


    Thanks for the reply's and advice. I'm really looking forward to moving forward and have already talked to a local HRC to join up with (realizing it will be a while before my dog is heavily involved, but I'm willing to assist with the club in the meantime).

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