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Thread: Puppy Training

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    North Carolina

    Default Puppy Training

    I'm looking for a puppy now but trying to get an idea of a timeline for training. I've researched some of Lardy and hillmans puppy training and found some really useful info. My question is, can someone give me a timeline by 2 week period of what my puppy should be doing at each level from 6 weeks up to where a puppy should be to start basic gundog training. I know the basics of foundations but a guided timeline would be greatly appreciated.


    6weeks - sit, stay, heel
    8weeks - ........
    10weeks - ........

    Again, any help would be greatly appreciated

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Ft. Worth, TX


    The real answer to your question is no. Not trying to be a smart alec but dogs progress at different rates. But I wouldn't expect anything at six weeks. Hillman's video is a great guide for how his dog progressed. In the video he gives the starting age, which is 12 weeks I believe, and shows progression by day of training.

    The other suggestion is that you can look (search) at Rowdy (by Pirate) videos and knowing his birthdate is 3/30/12 you can see what I was doing with him at that stage of his training by the date of the video.

    Caution Rowdy's progression may not be the same as another dog.
    Wayne Nutt
    Go Nutts with dog training

    HRCH Patton's Parker Co. Shadow "Shadow"
    HRCH Clineline Hijacker "Jack"
    HRCH Marks a Lot Midnight Hudson, SH "Hudson" RIP (5/26/01-6/18/15)
    Castile Creek's Rawhide, SH "Rowdy"

  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    New Haven, CT


    The real question is how many dogs have you trained and if this is your first forget about timeline and just enjoy your time with your pup and then your dog interacting with you. That question is really foolish. There are so many variables to consider and you are also in the equation.
    Gentle in what you do. Firm in how you do it.

    WESTWIND WHISPERING COVE JAY ** ( Larry's son and Murray's grandson)

  5. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    North Carolina


    Thanks for the input so far guys. I've trained dogs before but it was a hound breed. (Treeing Walkers). I have trained labs before but, it was strictly hunting companions and no trial or test training. I know dogs progress at different ages and alot of the pups genes have alot to do with drive and concept. I guess my question was a little to exact to timing. Just wanted to get a ballpark timeline so I didn't push or ruin a pup early. Great responses so far, and to Wayne and moscowitz, no foul on the comments. I'm now getting back into the retriever world, and am wanting to pick up where I left off and build on what I already know. Thanks again

  6. #5
    Senior Member Chris Atkinson's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    Macon, IL


    Welcome to RTF QS,

    It's hard to tell if you've really acquired the training materials and are currently going through and studying them, or if you've just read reviews of their materials or perused their websites.

    In my opinion, the answer to your question is contained in the materials. Both of the instructional trainers that you cite would tell you there is no exact formula or timeline. Both of their programs will give some general timeframes that steps may take place.

    What's important is that you train the dog properly, fairly and effectively. None of that is tied to an exact schedule.

    Your past dog training experience will prove valuable in your incorporating the ideas and steps built into the programs you are studying.

    Good luck and welcome sincerely to RTF.


  7. #6
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2009


    Stay far away from timelines.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Paul Frey's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
    Poughquag, NY


    I agree ith Wayne. All dogs progress differently. The BLF I have now is my first lab, but i had goldens in the past. She is much further along then they were at her age.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Dustin D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Lake Charles, LA (Area)


    Quote Originally Posted by Quackstacker83 View Post
    My question is, can someone give me a timeline by 2 week period of what my puppy should be doing at each level from 6 weeks up to where a puppy should be to start basic gundog training.
    I think it's more important to understand why Timelines are irrelevant in Retriever Training and why some of the best in the business don't even so much as offer a timeline in their Training Flow Charts. Notice they call it a FLOW Chart, not a timeline.

    Take the Smartworks & TRT(<Some of the best in the Bizz) FLOW Charts;

    Hmm... No TIME associated with these FLOW Charts.

    Here's some reading to absorb on why;
    Oakhill Kennel > http://www.oakhillkennel.com/puprsg.html
    The UNHOLY Time Schedule > http://www.ducks.org/hunting/retriev...-time-schedule
    Waterdogkennel tips > http://waterdogkennels.com/retriever/faqs.htm

    Here's a good idea on how pups develop, which can help understand them more;

    The question you're really asking is 'WHEN' to start. Well as soon as pup is home. No you don't start drilling him but you have to keep in mind that everything you do, the pup will be watching and learning. So in a way pup is always in training mode with every action and reaction he's involved in.

    There is some particular things to keep in mind once pup is under your care;
    -Never chase pup
    -Never play tug of war with pup
    -Never let pup put his paws on you or anyone else(jumping)
    -Never wear pup down during fun retrieves. 2 maybe 3 retrieves a day until pup gets to be a few months old.
    -Never let pup free eat

    -Always sit pup before eating. Start with only sitting for mere seconds before eating then increase that time.
    -Always give pup lots of love when he does something positive
    -Always crate train your pup
    -Always praise pup when he brings things to you. Even if it's your favorite pair of slippers.

    This is by far NOT a complete list. However through reading and learning from training programs you'll get a feel for what to do and not do.

    Most of all you'll see that pups like us are all different. They perceive things differently and learn things at a different pace from each other. Some may hate water until 5 months old or older, some may take to it at 6 weeks old. Some 'Sit' naturally well, others may take two weeks to learn what the word even means and when they do sit slouch to the side like they have their hand on their hip HAHA! Some Cigar the dummy, some don't.

    The amount of variables in each pups attitude are too much for anyone to try and figure out if at all possible, so this is why we have FLOW Charts and not Timelines.

    When training your own pup as you are there should simply be no pressure. I mean there’s no reason to be speedy. Hunting season just ended. Teach your pup what you can when you can, introducing a new step once a week.
    Last edited by Dustin D; 02-07-2013 at 10:41 AM.

  10. #9


    I love this site, so many people are willing to help!!! Thanks for helping me also! I have a litter from 2012NAFC Paddle Creeks Pack your Grip that I am going to need all the help I can get!!!...Keeping a male and they are just over the top right now with excitement(probably an understatement) but I am looking and learning! Thanks again!

  11. #10
    Junior Member 3dogs4kids's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Hattiesburg MS


    I'm very much a novice when it comes to training labs (I tried it with a pointer, it was a disaster), so all of this is FWIW. To me the main thing is to focus on giving the puppy a lot of love and keeping her healthy and happy. There'll be plenty of time for training, no reason to rush. Patience, to me, is the key with any animal. So before I can train our new pup, I have to train myself to be patient, to recognize that we want a family member who loves to do the things we love to do (hunting, swimming in the creek, playing in the yard, just hanging out). Rushing training leads to being heavy handed, which is counterproductive to all of my goals.

    So, I think you are asking the right questions in the right place (this forum). It's smart to get advice and train yourself before you get a pup, IMHO. Good luck!

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