Kevin (AFC Coolwater’s Hawkeye aka “Legend” X AFC Coolwater’s Storm Chaser aka “Chase”) is 6 months old today.
I have been training him in a manner modeling his training very closely to Bill Hillman’s puppy video. I did not steady him to sit as Bill does, but wish now I had. I have done OB and FF’ed many dogs for a lot of clients and a reasonably successfully pro trainer and this is the first I have done this with very little of what we traditionally call pressure, just almost all positive. He is my dog and although he was somewhat expensive, and worth it, I had little to lose in trying a different method. From the start he was very intelligent, birdy, attentive with a lot of eye contact and seemed easy to train. I have done enough of them in the more traditional manner that my back up plan was to go that route if I was not satisfied where we were headed.
I have him CC’ed to HERE, HEEL, and SIT and his OB is pretty good but not great. That is by design. i wanted to keep him crazy for retrieving, knowing I could slow him down later. You will see in the videos, he is ready to go. I will tighten it up in the next few weeks.
Normally I am just starting Hold and Fetch at this age because of teething, but we have moved right through this at an earlier than “normal” age and not far from really getting into field training. He retrieves Bumper Boy marks already at 150 yards, we just have not worked real hard on proper delivery in the field. If he can mark, I hope to have a competitive candidate with this guy. The DNA is there for sure.
I used a Dokken for these videos because the guts were falling out of my duck and I did not have any more thawed.
You can see that he drops the Dokken a couple times but immediately picks it right back up. I think his mouth is a little sore from teething now, but all positive comments and praise from me and he does his job. Return SIT is a little off position but he moves with me to correct it. All of these little things will resolve themselves over time with repetition.
Kevin so far is giving me a lot of reason to go the “Hillman” route on my next few dogs.