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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 9 week old lab. I remember my father training his dogs and want to train this one myself. There are lots of videos out there and I have just run across the Hillmann and Lardy videos. I have also thought about the Farmer videos, Wildrose Kennels videos and the Fowl Dawgs series.

I am starting to get confused with so many choices. What would most people recommend? The Hillmann & Lardy videos are expensive but if they are worth the money I would try them. What do you folks think? Especially for a new puppy.

One more thing at what age do most people start training? So far the family has just been enjoying having the puppy around.

Thanks
 

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you're gonna get a lot of different answers to this. but here is what I've done.

Jacki Mertens Sound Beginnings for puppy stuff.
then i switched over to Smartworks @ FF and have been running its entire program. I have recently started reading some of Lardy's stuff and like it. Would love to have his program in its entirety.
 

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Brought my pup up with the Hillmann Video set. Worked awsome and my 11 month old runs her first senior test first part of june. The video set is available if your interested, good info so might as well pass it on.
 

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I am using the Hillman dvd, my pup is 13 weeks.
We started at 9 weeks, I love it, easy to follow and understand.

Gregg Leonard
 

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Another vote for Hillman. It is easy to get too wrapped up in formal training when the puppy is not ready. Hillman does a great job of demonstrating a balanced approach. All you want to do it get the puppy to chase something, walk on a line (leash), and sit. It does not take much time and he does not train every day. Several days pass between some of the training sessions. The video shows 28 training sessions between the time the puppy is 11 weeks and 5 1/2 months. At the end of this, you can easily transition to Smartworks, Lardy, or similar program.

Steve
 

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Rick Stawski's Fowl Dawgs is a very good choice. You can get your dog from OB to running blinds if you just follow the 3 dvds one step at a time and in order. No need to try and intergrate more than one program. JUST DO WHAT IS ON THE DVDS AND DO IT IN ORDER. If one step is not going right get help on THAT STEP. Dont jump to something else because your help suggest it just get help on the step your are stuck on.

Good luck, it will be fun. (most of the time)
 

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I too like Hillmann's philosophy starting with 'Training a Retriever Puppy'

My pup is 4 months 10 days old and is on T-Day 12. He sits Great, his steadiness is phenomenal IMHO and was tested this weekend while throwing Marks during a Clay Shoot. He did about 6 marks and DID NOT break on the gunfire at all. He may have given a shoulder twitch or two on the 3rd/4th shots that rang out, but his butt never left the ground. He did however explode from the 'SIT' when I sent him with some pretty impressive drive. I think the excitement of the guns, new place and medium cover had his drive really amped up. I've never seen him so focused. His 'Heel' is really picking up on both sides and we've just started on 'Here' but it looks to not be a problem.
Did I mention he was only 4 months old? :p

I'm a complete Amateur and this is pretty much my first gun dog.
So far I've trained alone minus our little Clay Shooting session this weekend.

I love it and it's too easy to follow. Plus Bill/Mary will respond to e-mails and T-Pines on this forum has a (Bill H. Approved) reputation for understanding Bill's Philosophy and explaining it to those who need help on here on RTF.




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Welcome to the forum!

I have both Mertens and Hillmann, both are excellent. Having said that, I'm following Hillmann with my 12 week old pup. Getting to watch the actual sessions as the pup is exposed to the concepts is awesome. Just recognize there is no timeline, and you'll be fine no matter which program you follow. Ask questions, there's a TON of puppy info on this forum (use the search function) and have fun with your pup!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the responses. I have never been one to use forums but in this case I will take all the advice I can get.

It looks like Hillmann is the favorite or most folks. How far will Hillmanns "Training a Retriever Puppy" take me?

Thanks again

Hunter
 
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