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Thread: How do I know what training system is best for me

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    Senior Member grnhd's Avatar
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    Default How do I know what training system is best for me

    Everybody says pick a training system that is right for you and stick to it. I read that all the time on this site. Great advice. How do I know what training system is best for me? I've looked at all of them but the info they give about each is limited. I dont know whats in say, Hillman or Smartfetch other than what it tells me in the add. I cant go out and buy all the available traing systems,I would end up with more money in them than I would have in my pup!
    Maybe my question is,what made you pick the system you picked. What about it did you like over the others and why?

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    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    a great question!
    the old saying is, and I stand by it. Is read everything you can get your hands on and take everything with a grain of salt.
    So how to pick? At a test, trial or fun event watch the dogs and the people and see who you like the work of. Go talk to those people and ask what/ how/ who they use or follow. Then read / view that program. If you can not wrap your mind round it move on to another. The program you use you need to feel comfie in.
    So how did I choose? When I was visiting my breeder twice a week day training and tossing birds in '98-'99 they were using the brand new VHS tapes of the First Lardy Program (banner on top of this page) and had all the old stand by books of the time. The flow chart they had from gun dog training since the '80's was very very close to this brand new total retriever program. It was very easy for me to morf right into it.
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

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    Senior Member road kill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grnhd View Post
    Everybody says pick a training system that is right for you and stick to it. I read that all the time on this site. Great advice. How do I know what training system is best for me? I've looked at all of them but the info they give about each is limited. I dont know whats in say, Hillman or Smartfetch other than what it tells me in the add. I cant go out and buy all the available traing systems,I would end up with more money in them than I would have in my pup!
    Maybe my question is,what made you pick the system you picked. What about it did you like over the others and why?
    I reviewed several and chose the one I most easily understood.
    Last edited by road kill; 02-02-2013 at 06:55 AM.
    Stan b & Elvis

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    Member PassinthruOutdoors's Avatar
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    grnhd, this is the same problem I am having so two things I am doing - first I found two local trainers with an hour of me that are willing to work with me - don't plan on leaving my dogs there. I plan to spend a few sessiosn with each to decide which one I like the best. They have also spent time explaining their philosophy and system as well. Second, I joined bowwowflix so I can rent the different training programs to review them and see what seems like I could follow it and achieve the results I am looking for and then I will go drop the money on the program. Now my pup is only 13 weeks, so like I said I am reviewing as many of the DVDs as I can (Lardy, Graham, Hillman) not incorporating any one program yet. I'm hoping that with a few sessions with the two trainers - Actually get to watch them work older and more advance dogs and the DVD review I will find something I understand and can follow. Hope this helps.

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    Member Flying Dutchman's Avatar
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    grnhd,

    I don't want to oversimplify this and I might ruffle some feathers by saying so, but my feeling is that all of the programs really aren't all that different! Picking the "RIGHT" one isn't as hard as it sounds since virtually every program was written by someone who got their start in pretty much the same place. See how many of them reference Rex Carr. They all seem to have trained with Rex or with someone who worked for Rex. I think the general plan for almost every program came from Rex's general philosophy.

    The vast majority of commercially available programs will contain mostly the same general flow chart, most of the same drills, and will vary mildly on order of this drill before that. Sure, some have important steps in different orders, like they'll tell you to collar condition before force fetch, others after. Still, this is a perfect example of something that can make a big difference for an individual dog or trainer, but something you won't know until you've trained a dog or two. The catch, though, is that neither program is any more right than the other is wrong. Fact is, they all work.

    I really feel like the repeated advice on here that everyone keeps giving should be: "Pick a program that you have access to and stick with it." One caveat to that might be that a program is more right for you if you have access to experienced training partners (whether pros or experienced amateurs) who have achieved with their pups the same things you want for yours, using this program. No matter what program you choose, you'll find places where your dog doesn't do what the dog in the video did. If everyone you know used Program A and you are struggling with how to get your dog through his unique issues in Program B, you will be more tempted than ever to do things the Program A way (not "sticking with it"), whereas if you know someone who's been successful using Program B, you'll be able to ask their advice and be more comfortable sticking with it.

    Just my $0.02 from a guy who's trained a whopping 1.5 dogs in his life...worth every penny you paid for it.
    Chad Miller
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    Senior Member EricW's Avatar
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    I have to mostly agree with Chad. Most programs, whether professional or not, are based on one or two different schools. They have just been tweaked for each persons style or dogs they encounter.

    Pick the one that works for you and your dog. That is how you will be most successful. Also, may need to mix and match. Don't have to stick to one program for anything. Again, it's about what works for you and the dog. So and so's program may work for XYZ dog, but another's program may work better for dog ABC.

    To reinterate Chad, find resources that will help you understand the programs. Maybe see if there are fellow club member's or someone that has videos that may let you borrow them to see which ones you want to buy. Or find books and/or someone to train with that follows a particular program and see how it works for them. When I started, I found a few books. But really, my best investment was time and gas money to go train with as many different people as I could.

    Eric W.
    "I never let schooling interfere with my education." - Mark Twain

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    Senior Member gdgnyc's Avatar
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    Great question and I especially like Ken Bora's response. I would add that I would also ask the breeder for his input and his experience with training methods.
    "I love the rod and gun and where they take me."

    "Do not judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins."

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    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    There are similar philosophies within the better programs. But there are substantive differences also. To pick one for yourself why not visit the sites for each, check out the information given. See how they're presented, and decide which appeals to you best...which one you can relate to most readily. How much of a look are you getting into the program, and do you think, based on that, you can follow it? Will you be able to get support or feedback when you need it?

    You're right to want to choose carefully. I have been a consistent voice in opposition to new trainers "reading everything" or "watching everything" they can get their hands on because of the differences in the flow of information, and because a new trainer doesn't have adequate experience to sort through all that and keep his/her dog on track. It makes a difference.

    Good luck!

    Evan
    "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

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    Junior Member Jmeade's Avatar
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    Great question, as someone who is planning ahead to prepare myself for my first training of a pup, I have been wondering the same thing. I have been looking into everyone's opinions on all the different training programs to see what may fit me best. The responses will be helpful to me making a decision as well.

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    Senior Member BonMallari's Avatar
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    the "training system" that I know was taught to me by those nearest to me, I learned from my brother Clint and John Luther initially and then had men like George Wilson and Roy McFall teach me some of the subtleties of the game, of all those guys,none had a "real system", three of them competed against Lardy, one trained with Mike up close and personal at one point in his career...All have used an E collar to various degrees

    Nowdays I train using a method that has come full circle, its not tennis shoe,its not cookie based, its more of a hybrid " Amish" without the running..its greatest influence come from Mr McFall, its intensity comes from John Luther, and Clint has condensed it into a language I can understand and buy into and execute
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