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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
this is my 1st time training a bird dog, and on a program, with hopes of a great waterfowl dog and maybe a little hunt testing mixed in.

every other day I feel like I am just messin up the poor dog, then the next day I feel like we had a great training session and on top of the world, well atleast until the next training session. The days I feel like I am messing up I think, well maybe I gave a couple corretions to hard, maybe got on the dog a little too hard, is she just gonna roll over and stop retrieving due to higher standards of obedience, is she resenting me for this correction. I know this must be all part of a 1st time experience mixed with great hopes and expectations for you and your dog, but this up and down and worrying about ruining my partner and limiting her full potential is wearing me out.

Any others have these same feeling? Any other experienced trainers that are over this point have any good suggestions to put us new trainers at ease?
 

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We all feel that way, no matter whether it is the first dog or not. My suggestion would be to find a good training group to assist you. I am on my first dog, and I can say that my training group has helped me out of more issues than I can remember at this point. I also know that I would have no where close to the dog I have now, without the training group
 

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I second what Zman said above!! We all worry about screwing up our dogs, but never so much as with the first one. But it's way easier to screw the dog up by not training at all and letting it lie around and do as it pleases, then by getting out there and training. Plus, our retrievers are very forgiving animals. If you've made a mistake, get it right next time or get some help, a good training group or lessons with a pro and move on. Chances are you'll remember your mistake a lot longer than the dog will.
 

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Very typical. Just try and stop overthinking things as well as humanizing your dog. You're going to make mistakes, top pros continue to make mistakes, humans make mistakes. Try and be fair and balanced in your training, leave something in it for the dog, but don't apologize to the dog when you screw up, try and learn from it and not do it again, though you will. Dogs don't have the emotions that you are putting on her but they are masters of body language. Have your game plan in hand for training for the day but be flexible, reading your dog is the single most important lesson you need to learn, everything else is secondary. Worry and fussing creates a negative atmosphere, tenses up you and your dog, so relax, take deep breaths, enjoy THAT session with your dog. Learn from your mistakes but don't obsess about them. If you are consistent with your program and ask questions when you are unsure, you aren't going to ruin her. She still happy every time you go out to train? Then you're fine. If she's slinking along and not raring to go with you, then you've got problems. If you do have access to a training group, great, wonderful way to see some hands on training. Just beware that not everyone in a group is going to be on the same page you are and not everyone in a group is the expert they think they are, so I really prefer to work directly with someone good, like a pro, some private lessons are invaluable. I got more screwed up in my early groups by trying to listen to everyone when I didn't know enough to decipher what was good and what was not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've joined one a c ouple months back but pretty disappointed in the amount of training days. We had 1 in April, and was told another in May but that never evolved, and said they don't train in June or July due to heat. With a pup under a year old I need more organization and guidance than that so may be looking around to find another group.
 

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I really dislike the new format! I am trying to quote Kim's comment about training groups but can not do it! Anyway, she is right. Unless You are lucky enough to just fall in with a good one, it will do more harm than good. You don't know enough yet to know if the biggest talker in the group has ANY successful experience or has just screwed up more dogs than you at this point. Seek out a pro or successful amateur to guide you through a program. Good luck. And yes you might screw up your first dog but you will learn so much on the way!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
yes kim my dog is at the front door before I am when she hears the rattling of the choke chain, so she is eager to get out, especially cause she knows I have a bumper in my back pocket. The occassional surprise bumper keeps her alert and focused pretty well.
 

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We all feel that way, no matter whether it is the first dog or not. My suggestion would be to find a good training group to assist you. I am on my first dog, and I can say that my training group has helped me out of more issues than I can remember at this point. I also know that I would have no where close to the dog I have now, without the training group
Spot on. I wish I had a nickel for every mistake I made with any dog that I've had in training. Also, anyone who says they've never made a mistake with a dog - any dog - is lying.

2tall, click the quote button twice to get the proper response frame to show up. This new format is a pain in the butt.
 

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WAPPS....if your dog goes into full body wiggle when you get out her training collar, you're doing something right! First thing to do is instill a love of learning. Like I said earlier, the biggest mistake is being so afraid you'll harm your dog that you don't train at all. A good training group is invaluable, but when you're first starting out you don't know enough to be able to tell A: if the group members know what they're doing; B: know how to and are willing to mentor you; and C: how to tell what advice will work for your dog and your particular situation. Clubs help, but they rarely offer frequent enough training sessions to get your dog trained. Best use of clubs is to proof what you train on in between their sessions and make contacts with people that you can train with. It sounds like finding a pro who offers day training or private lessons near you would be the biggest help to you right now. If you post up where you are, maybe you'll get some suggestions from this board.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
i'm in the charlotte, nc area. I may look into getting a 1 on 1 with a trainer for a few sessions. Maybe that can be my fathers day gift from the wife, but my ecollar was already going to be my gift from the wife, hope i've been a good dad and hsuband this yr
 

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I'm only worried when I am breathing.

I am very lucky to have a great mentor who has helped me in so many ways. I wish he lived closer so we could actually train together more, but he always stresses the fundamentals. If I have heard "move up and simplify" one time I have heard it a thousand, and so far it has always been correct advice.

Find a mentor/pro if you can. You will be miles ahead.
 

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Whapps, I know how you feel.

Things that have helped me is understanding that all this training is not natural for a dog. You are brainwashing them into doing something they normally would never do. So it's important to go step by step and NEVER rush. Going slow and spending an extra week or more on something is a complete NON-Issue.

Lots of Pro's and other Trainers are being paid to train a dog NOW! Right Now! Get'em trained and Get'em out and that's all fine b/c they KNOW what they are doing. For Amateurs, doing things fast will not be good for us or the pup. It leads to stress for both.

Just a couple weeks ago it seemed like I was going in circles not sure whether to move on, or let his teeth come in some more, I wanted to do retrieves but he had a sloppy mouth sometimes, so not wanting to let bad habits form and not wanting to stress it all, I just stopped everything. I let him play in the water and just run around the yard. We did 2 maybe 3 retrieves just a little Sit/Here/Heel and that's it.

What I'm dealing with is a 6 month old pup on the back end of teething trying to work in 90+ heat with 90% Humidity. Keeping it SHORT is 'THE' only option as well as Training in the dark before work.

My shaded Pond stays relatively cool so that's a huge plus for us. He works really good when I can mix in some fun bumpers in the water.

From what I'm told, until Force Broke this should be expected, and even afterwards it can still happen.

Something just here recently that I've found very refreshing is this thread about folks first dogs.
http://www.retrievertraining.net/forums/showthread.php?85495-Your-First-Dog-how-did-it-turn-out

You can read about folks who thought they jacked their dogs up big time. But like usual, their dog bailed them out. We never give them enough credit.

This is why communities are good. Like RTF. You post here and people reassure you to chill out, it's happen before, you're NEVER the first person with a problem. If you can find an active group of trainers it's the icing on the cake and sometimes you'd be surprised to find out that your dog might just be doing MUCH better than you thought. You'd never know though unless you're able to compare him Fact to Face in a Group Training session.

So when us inexperienced trainers face these bumps in he road, it's fantastic to come to RTF, share our declared disaster lol and hear from veteran trainers with the good ol' pat on the back saying, "Hey, we've been there before, don't fret". Even if sometimes it comes out, "Chill out NOOB! Stop Panicking!" lol



Hope this helps....from a fellow Ammy Trainer!
:D
 

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dropped my 1.5 yro lab off at the trainer 3 weeks ago. I was there about an hr. The knowledge I gained in watching the trainer handle my dog for just a few mins and watching him work some of the other dogs already in the program was priceless. Even if you dont send the dog off, at least find a pro/trainer that will answer your questions and give you some tips with issues you may be having. The most progress i made with my dog, training him myself, was when i starting calling the trainer regularly for help this spring.
 

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Maybe Charlie Journey can help you? He's around 30 miles from Charlotte in Terrell.
Beaver Dam Kennels
(828) 478-3943
http://www.finisheddog.com
 

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Scared me to death. Funny, the better we got the more i was scared i'd screw it up. We did a lot of stuff through attrition because i am light handed on the transmitter. I'm lucky enough to have some great amatuer trainers and a pro trainer i run with several times a month. While back one of them pointed out that my dog was playing me and when the dog has a concept figured out through attrition it's okay to make them responsible for their actions. Man how we have acceelerated after that. It has done the dog good as well
 

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When I got my first dog I was very careful to minimize my mistakes. I also was very patient with my dog and was never in a rush. One thing that I always did was keep a training log for both obedience class and field work. My log contains a record of what I did for each session and a list of my failures or problems for each session. I would read my log before my next session and decide if I had to repeat a lesson or change a technique. For example, I force fetched my first dog according to Robert Milner (Retriever Training For The Duck Hunter) maybe 25 years ago. I kept a log of each session with successes and problems. I repeated some lessons several times. I still have that log and have used it to review some things before I force fetch another dog. And I have a log for every dog.

I think that you should be patient, remember that each dog is an individual, keep a training log, and realize that we all make mistakes. Also, if your club doesn't meet often enough, find a few people who are willing to meet more frequently.
 

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Some good advice.:) The only thing I would add is...

We are all going to make mistakes…It’s a given. But try and have an ace in your back pocket. That is….When things don’t go well and believe me that will happen often….Always try and end on a positive note for the day no matter how it turn out. Your smile and body demander (sp) will feed off on your dog... Forgiveness is forgiven. Lets see what happens the next new day.
Enjoy :)
 

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I am one who has gone through the same thing... I ended up taking her to a trainer, but I had never really been around a trained retriever enough to really know what I wanted. What I did learn is the importance of timing and balance. I may be wrong, but I know I was over my head even with the materials I had read. A good local mentor would have been very helpful. I used Hillman's DVD and ran into a few issues that I just didn't have the experience or help to fix. The trainer expressed her appreciation for the progress I had already made with the dog. My dog is doing great, but the trainer pointed out after she watched me work with the dog a little that she could see my apprehensiveness bleed into the dog. What ever program you are on, learn from my mistake and be confident and trust it.

If you know what you want to accomplish and have someone with experience to help when things get tough you should be fine.
 

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Think the best thing for a new trainer is to try to get into the mindset of training objectively. There's always a purpose for what you're doing, and the "whys" of doing it should be understood as best you can.

Sometimes what you're doing at the moment doesn't apply to the very next training sequence directly..it can simply be a component of the bigger things yet to come.
 
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