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Hi, I have a 6 month old lab puppy which I'm training to hunt Ducks/Hunt Tests and I'm looking for an hunting program to follow for training. I have trained her the basic commands and such but I'm looking for a more detailed program. I heard people like Lardy(4 Catalogs/w DVD), Hillman(Raise a puppy), Graham(Smart Works), Jim Van Engen (7 weeks to 7 months), Rick Stawski(Fowl Dogs) are all good. I want to know your opinions and past experiences with these programs or different programs that you have used to train your dogs. If you guys could help out that would be great!:D
 

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Try the search function. All these have been discussed a ton

I use Lardy's TRT. It's the gold standard in my opinion.
 

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Join a local retriever club and get in a training group.

I like Lardy's stuff, but Stawski's is similar. For a little pup, you could try Hillman's too. Which one is best depends a little on where YOU are.

Mainly, have fun.
 

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Which pickup is best: Ford, Chevy, Dodge, etc? I follow Lardy but others swear by..... Search.
 

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All of the ones you mentioned are worth having in your library. If budget allows get them all.
Personally I would start with Bill Hillman's videos them Mike Larry's series. Magazines from Dennis Voight's Retrievers Online are great to have. Suggest buying several years of back issues.
 

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You have made multiple posts all driving at the same thing. IMO here's what you need to do... Your dog is young.... so are you. Forget about sending it away to a pro right now; $800-1000 per month (for a MINIMUM of 3 months) is a lot of money for someone who works for a living, let alone a highschool student. Order one of those programs (ANY of which will get you where you want if you follow it religiously) and find a retriever group near you that you can get out with on the weekend to learn the ropes first hand. Having a well trained dog is great to have and makes you proud to show off to your hunting buddies, but its an even better feeling when you train it yourself. Worst case scenario you send him away next year to a pro if you feel he isn't where you want him. You have all the time in the world. Get out there and enjoy your dog and the experience. It's a wonderful ride!
 

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I'm with Cass on this one... You started 4 forums all within about 10 minutes all asking different questions but regarding the same topic. I think you need to make up your mind before you do anything. I think sending your dog to VanEngen or anyone of that nature is highly unlikely at this point... It's way too last minute and your dog is already 6 months old. Getting a program and sticking to it would be the cheaper route considering you're in high school and you'll be going to college, you should be saving your coins. I'm a junior at LSU and will be getting my dog the 29th of this month so I can't speak from experience. But I do have all of Lardys media, Sound Beginnings, and Hillmans Training a Retriever Puppy. I've watched all of Lardys stuff and Sound Beginnings, Hillmans DVD is in the mail... But TRT and TRM are very informational and is pretty easy to follow. I would also find a training group or retriever club near your and network a bit. If you help them they will be more than glad to help you on your journey. Good luck and have fun!
 

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IMO Blake above is on the right path...........

You probably won't be able to get a lot of those programs in full on Bow wow.

Just buy Lardy's TRT2 and Hillmann's Training A Retriever Puppy

Then get after it..
Hey Bryan, Thanks for the advice ... I bought the DVD USB external drive for my laptop and waiting for that to arrive. Naturally, I already purchased the membership to Bow Wow...we'll see what/when arrives and go from there.

Deb
 

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I think BowWow might be ok for deciding which program or style matches you're personality. I bought or borrowed a TON of training material for my first pup. The biggest problem I have now is "whos right?, what method is best etc. I wanted to go the Hillmann route but when I emailed to ask a very simple question about the program material I was told Mr Hillmann will answer your question.... for $125 USD. That is just bad business!!!!! ... Not many people follow Hillmann and fewer understand it, so If you need help, its just not going to happen. So I bought all the Farmer/Aycock, Lardy stuff. I bought the Dokken books, Mike Stewarts british type training book etc. Going back in time I would get some quality obedience material (an area where retriever trainers are lightyears behind), I would get Jackie Mertens Sound Beginnings DVD and Mike lardys TRM, TCC, TRT2, and 4 Volumes of articles and nothing else. If you follow the matererial you will have a STELLAR dog worth WAY WAY more than you paid for the puppy and the training material. If you dont need it when youre done you can sell it for 75% of what you paid and you just got a hell of a dog for next to nothing! If you are looking for the most basic, effective affordable DVD training look at George Hickox he definitely understands how a dog learns. He does not focus on the waterfowl/hunt test stuff though.
 

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I think BowWow might be ok for deciding which program or style matches you're personality. I bought or borrowed a TON of training material for my first pup. The biggest problem I have now is "whos right?, what method is best etc. I wanted to go the Hillmann route but when I emailed to ask a very simple question about the program material I was told Mr Hillmann will answer your question.... for $125 USD. That is just bad business!!!!! ... Not many people follow Hillmann and fewer understand it, so If you need help, its just not going to happen. So I bought all the Farmer/Aycock, Lardy stuff. I bought the Dokken books, Mike Stewarts british type training book etc. Going back in time I would get some quality obedience material (an area where retriever trainers are lightyears behind), I would get Jackie Mertens Sound Beginnings DVD and Mike lardys TRM, TCC, TRT2, and 4 Volumes of articles and nothing else. If you follow the matererial you will have a STELLAR dog worth WAY WAY more than you paid for the puppy and the training material. If you dont need it when youre done you can sell it for 75% of what you paid and you just got a hell of a dog for next to nothing! If you are looking for the most basic, effective affordable DVD training look at George Hickox he definitely understands how a dog learns. He does not focus on the waterfowl/hunt test stuff though.
My brain started hurting a month ago...reading through your list...I have already started on that track....this way, that way, worried if I mess things up, so go another way.

Someone, somewhere, said commit to a method and shut up about it (that's my editorial)...OK...so then I thought....wouldn't it be better to plug my vacuous brain into one that is already seasoned, organized, and proven and pay for the privilege as well as be the best cleaner upper ever. In other words, be the oldest bird girl/intern (happy to work and pay) in the USofA.

Yep, then the Corona Virus hit and messed up my and everybody else's plans. So, back to the videos.

I am embarrassed to say that I have already bought a complete training set which includes a philosophy that does not compute in my brain and does not fall in line with the 3 months of training invested (I bring my pup home 4/13).

It is this owner that needs the training as all methods probably will do fine to one degree or another. That damn virus...so back to the videos.

Thanks for your advice - Utube has been a great resource for all areas including fixing the pellet stove as well as blind retrieves.
 

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Well, I have read this thread twice and tried to wrap my 79 year old brain around the difficult
decision as to which program to use. There are three components to having a well trained dog.

Eventually, it is not the puppy or the program that is the most important. The following comment was
probably the best focus for the journey.

"It is this owner that needs the training as all methods probably will do fine to one degree or another."

The following link is to a training program (Internet search). The sequence is clearly defined with the
single, most significant component being the teacher/trainer. Reality is blunt. Teaching and training
is not an automatic skill. You will progress more rapidly if you find a teaching mentor to act as a
"gutter guard". Finding one that is patient, willing and that will help you for free will be challenging.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Lar...1944j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8[/i][/u][/b]


There are few short cuts. It is not as easy as it looks. To speed up the process, it might be useful to
watch yourself in action. One of the best training tools is a video camera. Perspective is necessary and
often uncomfortable.

For quite some time it will not be easy being you. Keep a daily journal to measure your pup's
improvement and yours.

https://www.kwicklabsii.com/the-conundrum.html[/i][/u][/b]

Learning how to train is not easy. The following link provides a concept that may aid in your progress.

https://www.kwicklabsii.com/the-paradigm-shift-.html
 

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Well, I have read this thread twice and tried to wrap my 79 year old brain around the difficult
decision as to which program to use. There are three components to having a well trained dog.

Eventually, it is not the puppy or the program that is the most important. The following comment was
probably the best focus for the journey.

"It is this owner that needs the training as all methods probably will do fine to one degree or another."

The following link is to a training program (Internet search). The sequence is clearly defined with the
single, most significant component being the teacher/trainer. Reality is blunt. Teaching and training
is not an automatic skill. You will progress more rapidly if you find a teaching mentor to act as a
"gutter guard". Finding one that is patient, willing and that will help you for free will be challenging.

There are few short cuts. It is not as easy as it looks. To speed up the process, it might be useful to
watch yourself in action. One of the best training tools is a video camera. Perspective is necessary and
often uncomfortable.

For quite some time it will not be easy being you. Keep a daily journal to measure your pup's
improvement and yours.

Learning how to train is not easy. The following link provides a concept that may aid in your progress.

"For quite some time it will not be easy being you."

Jim, you nailed it.

Having been a barn rat for many years, I know the spiralling almost defeating cringe of watching myself on video trying to train a green horse.

Riding a trained horse is one thing, riding a green horse is another, but training a green horse takes encyclopedias and lots of years and many mistakes. Too broken to ride now but my love of dogs is equally consuming if not more so.

Those articles are wonderfully articulated and they feel so applicable to me personally, even if not intended, they do.

Brilliant, "Conundrum" couldn't be better titled or described.

So, back to the humbling but very useful technique of video taping myself. Groan, but I will do it. And, I will journalize - another good tip.

I can't say that I have ever arrived or become finished, no matter the thing I was immersing myself in.

Discomfort leads to a little less discomfort and pushing forward and again and again. That is normal, for all of us, I believe.


Thank you for your thoughtful and detailed post. I will refer to your website and articles frequently.
 
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