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Thread: Sound Beginnings by Jackie Mertens and Training a Retriever Puppy by Bill Hillman

  1. #1
    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    Default Sound Beginnings by Jackie Mertens and Training a Retriever Puppy by Bill Hillman

    Several people have asked about these two training programs. I highly recommend both. I started my most recent puppy, Rowdy, on Mertens, switched to Hillman and then on to Lardy. Below are some video clips of the work that Rowdy did from Mertens and Hillman. Maybe these video clips will give those interested in these puppy programs a better ideal of the content.

    http://www.retrievertraining.net/for...ate%29+Mertens

    http://www.retrievertraining.net/for...ate%29+Mertens

    http://www.retrievertraining.net/for...ate%29+Mertens

    http://www.retrievertraining.net/for...ate%29+Hillman

    http://www.retrievertraining.net/for...ate%29+Hillman

    http://www.retrievertraining.net/for...ate%29+Hillman
    Last edited by Wayne Nutt; 01-04-2013 at 05:21 AM.
    Wayne Nutt
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    Hey Wayne, thanks for posting these clips. I trained my last puppy with Mertens and Hillman
    before he went to Jim Van Engen. He was far more advanced than his classmates that had little or no work.
    I think it has paid off big time. He is a year old and doing very well. He has been home for 3 weeks and I am
    having a ball working with him. He will be going back to Jim in Boston, Ga. in a couple of weeks for the winter.

    I am flying to your neck of the woods tomorrow, to pick up my new pup.
    Meeting Mike Whorton at DFW airport and flying him under my seat home to Atlanta.
    I've been watching Jackie and Bill and can't wait to get this little dude home.

    Again, thanks for posting the clips, I enjoyed watching them this morning.

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    bookmarking for when i get my pup in june...

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    Quote Originally Posted by 308ruger View Post
    bookmarking for when i get my pup in june...
    Along with those listed, I like Evan Graham's Smartworks in addition to Lardy. The Smartworks books make things easier to understand, and the videos seem to break things down more. Evan's Smartfetch also really explains the force fetch too, and you can see that it really isn't torture to do the traditional ear pinch if done properly. I followed Hillman's program with the current pup, and started a little of the Smartfetch and noticed she really didn't need much of the traditional force fetch.
    Terry Britton, P.E.

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    Thanks Terry, i bought the Hillman puppy training dvd, but it doesnt sound like you start that until 12 weeks or so, hence looking for something for weeks 8-12. I'll have a look at smartwoks.

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    Also, any thoghts on Wolters Game dog?

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    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 308ruger View Post
    Also, any thoghts on Wolters Game dog?
    I used Wolters "Water Dog" with my first dog back in 1979, that book and James Lamb Free were about the only choices you had back then. Wolters book worked for that dog for hunting. I'd never heard of field trials and hunt test weren't invented yet. Years later I got my second dog, went right out and bought Game Dog, the updated version of Water Dog, this dog was different and didn't respond well at all. That's when I found a training partner and the Carr based approach to training.

    I would skip Wolters, start with Sound Beginnings", the Hillman video then either Lardy or Graham. Most importantly find some experienced amateurs to train with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 308ruger View Post
    Also, any thoghts on Wolters Game dog?
    Skip it. It can give a quick overview but none of the formalized training you will get with Lardy and Smartworks in detail.
    Terry Britton, P.E.

    Engineers believe that if it isn't broken, it doesn't have enough features yet.

    Britton's Red Echo Lightning Storm WC
    RIP HR Britton's Gold Ginger Spice JH 02/18/2002 to 11/07/2014

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    I have no experience with Jackie's video but am currently using Hillman's "Training Your Retriever Puppy" with great success. My pup went through a rough patch at around 4-5 months and was starting to show less desire. We ended up taking 2-3 weeks off to build more confidence. Now we are back on the program and he is showing incredible focus and determination. Works for me!

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