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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey Everybody,

Just joined the forum, been reading around for a few days.. The litter I am getting a pup out of will be ready to go to new homes the first week in April.. I am having problems deciding on which training program to go with..
I was thinking about going with a puppy training program, like Jackie Mertens Sound Beginnings or Bill Hillmans Training a Retriever Puppy.. Then after that switching to something like Smartworks or Fowl Dawgs..

My question is, What does one offer that the other doesnt? I mean the sound beginnings is only like 40 bucks.. Hillmans Program is 130.. I know Hillmans DVD is like a hour and a half longer.. I cant really find anything on what this program covers like Mertens program. Surely there is more to it being that you are paying 90 dollars more for it..

Now i did wanna go with one of those and switch over to Smartworks after completed early training.. Buy Smartworks in pieces is just so confusing to me... Its also well over 100 bucks.. Then you look at programs like Fowl Dawgs and its only like 60 bucks? Surely it has to be lacking something?

Chris Akins Duck Dog Basics says it takes you from picking a pup all the way to the pups first hunt.. Now i do like what i see on his program as far as one of his videos he is sitting in a pit blind blowing a duck call and shooting and hooping and hollering, because that goes on during a duck hunt.
But i have read alot of people saying it leaves people asking alot of questions.

Sorry if its too much to read or whatever.. But hopefully some of you experienced fellas can shed some light for me..

Basically wanna know if i started my dog out on a program like Fowl Dawgs right out the gate, what is my pup missing out on considering i would have went with a Puppy program then onto Fowl Dawgs or Smartworks or something of that nature?

Thanks
CJ
 

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James Spencer book "Training Retrievers for Marshes & Meadows" will give you a better understanding of what program will fit your dog and you training style.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just looked at the Description of it online.. Maybe i read something wrong, but it looks like its another training program?

CJ
 

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are you confused yet haha?

I searched and read all over the place. I went with the hillmans dvd as i feel it will be a good starting point and also highly reccomended. When im done with it i will sell it.

Its expensive, but in my research people want it and can be resold for around the 100.00 range.

I am not made of money, but this will get me and my pup going for atleast 6 months until we can choose what path to take.

Good luck
 

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Got my first lab about 4 years ago, she was just 8 weeks old. Started with Jackie Mertens Sound Beginnings, then went to Retriever Training Basics with Danny Farmer and Judy Aycock. I also joined a retriever club and meet some great and helpful people. My dog now has her master title and we are now running quals in the field trial game. WARNING: This game can be very addictive, my wife left me and my retirment money is going fast:)
 

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All you really need as a beginner is "Sound Beginnings" and just as important a group or mentor that you trust. The sound beginnings vid will help you no matter what you plan to do with your dog and is definitely easier for beginners. But absolutely nothing will help as much as a good mentor. You can find one, just volunteer to throw birds for a club and they will offer.

For my own pup, I used Hillman and totally believe in his program. But it really is not for the first time trainer, too many unanswered questions.
 

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Your dog is not worth $300 to turn him into a great dog? Can you name something else you buy because its the cheapest you can find besides gas?

lol
 

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A lot of details and explanation is what you are buying. Pay the money and buy the better program. I went from fowl dogs when I was thinking about getting a dog to total retriever when I got her. Night and day. Doubt ur pup is from the cheapest litter u could find. Send the pup to a private school instead of public. You won't regret it
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Your dog is not worth $300 to turn him into a great dog? Can you name something else you buy because its the cheapest you can find besides gas?

lol
Nowhere in that post did i state i wasnt willing to spend the money on it nor did i state it wasnt worth it.. Basically to simplify it in other words.. I wanted to know what other more expensive programs offered in terms of training your dog compared to one that was alot cheaper.. If i wasnt toying around with the idea of spending the extra cash for a better program for my pup i would have never made this post..

I am very aware of the investment and the sacrifices on terms of my time and in terms of money.. Pup, crate, bumpers, E-Collar, food, lead, collar, check cord, training programs.. Just to name a few. I know it aint gonna be cheap and im not complaining about that.

And other than my everyday attire that is usually purchased at a local wal mart lol.. No i cant think of anything i buy because its the cheapest..

CJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A lot of details and explanation is what you are buying. Pay the money and buy the better program. I went from fowl dogs when I was thinking about getting a dog to total retriever when I got her. Night and day. Doubt ur pup is from the cheapest litter u could find. Send the pup to a private school instead of public. You won't regret it
I am not trying to weasel my way out of paying extra money for a good program by no means.. More on what do the more expensive programs offer.. Prime example is Bill Hillman's program.. I cant find a course outline for his program..
And no the pup isnt from the cheapest litter i could find.. I have had a chance to look at the pedigree on both parents and both look pretty solid.. Especially the daddy's side.. First chocolate to win a title in some kind of event.. Cant remember the name of it off hand being i dont have a copy of them yet but i have seen them.. I do remember it was in 1996.

For some reason i feel like I came off and led many to believe I am trying to be cheap.. That is definetly not the case. More of I want to know what I am spending my money on before i buy it..

CJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Can somebody with Bill Hillman's program PM or post on here a course outline i guess you could call it.. Basically everything that it covers so i will know what DVDs or program i need to purchase to further the pups education..

I know somebody stated they didnt recommend it for a first time trainer but i would like to know for personal references.

Thanks
CJ
 

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Stick. Please post your findings. I ordered the program based off the reviews. This is the first I've read that its not for new trainers.

If so I made a mistake as well.
 

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Recommend Bill Hillmann's and then Fowl Dawgs. Both are excellent offering good basics and both offer assistance after you purchase the DVDs.
 

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I have the Fowl Dawgs dvds, 1 and 2, and I am just starting a new pup for the first time, too. I haven't watched the 2nd dvd yet, because I know it will make me want to jump ahead. I've watched the first dvd, even though we're only a week into the whole thing, and the only complaint I have so far is that he kind of skips through the marking training pretty quick. He doesn't spend much time on different distances, multiple marks, or introducing the gun. It may be something he covers later, but he kind of skips pretty quickly to hold and what he calls force breaking. That part seems to be pretty good, though. And these things may be common sense to someone who has trained a dog befroe, but for a beginner it would be nice if he spent a little more time on those topics. Just my uneducated .02.
 

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Chris Akins Duck Dog Basics says it takes you from picking a pup all the way to the pups first hunt.. Now i do like what i see on his program as far as one of his videos he is sitting in a pit blind blowing a duck call and shooting and hooping and hollering, because that goes on during a duck hunt.
But i have read alot of people saying it leaves people asking alot of questions.

It didn't leave me with any questions really. I thought it was a great DVD. It's a program that stops right after some double marking drills and right before Handling would begin. However Duck Dog Basics II is due out on shelves any day now and it will pick up where DDB I, left off and take your training through handling and advanced handling.

It's a 2 1/2 hour long training video with a Pro(Chris Akin). Believe me, you'll learn something for sure! I like his Force breaking method.

If DDB II comes with 2 1/2 hours of handling, You'd have another Full program similar to Fowl Dogs for under $75. Except this would be the most recent retriever training program to date.
 

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Hi ss, (CJ).

Please see your private message. Feel free to call me.

Welcome to RTF. Enjoy your upcoming adventure with your new puppy!

Chris
 

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James Spencer book "Training Retrievers for Marshes & Meadows" will give you a better understanding of what program will fit your dog and you training style.

Damn! one of my people!!! thought we were extinct;)
 

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See post #6.

CJ
Hi Stick! I did not mean to suggest that Hillman's is not a good video set for a beginner, not by any means. His methods and philosophy can be applied by anyone. I would say though that you will need more info for raising your first retriever pup. Good luck and have fun!
 
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