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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got me a new pup after loosing my old girl last week. I've trained my other dogs over the years just on my own. They were very reliable "meat" dogs with good blind manners. Never used a "program" to train one. I'm wanting to train this one with a proven program that includes FF. None of my others were FF. But I want to see what all the hype is about. So I've read up on the Hillman program but it is pricey. Don't mind the price if its worth it. And also the Fowl Dogs. Any other suggestions or opinions? Thanks for any help.
 

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I agree with Ken, Total Retriever Training by Mike Lardy. Some others like Fowl Dogs by Rick S and some others like Smartworks by Evan Graham. These are the three that are most often discussed on this forum.
 

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start with the printed stuff, vol 1, 2, 3 are I think close to $25 each. Easy on the $$$$'s to get your feet wet.
and you will use um over and over and over.
 

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just got lardy's stuff in 2 weeks ago. far surpasses the program i was using (dokken) there is a lot of the same stuff but it seems like lardy goes more in depth and gives you more "what if" situations if the dog should not take the drill right etc.

volumes 1,2,3 are the articles he's written in retriever journal over the years and are photocopied into 3 volumes of books and are a must have. i keep them by the toilet and read 2-3 articles a day (obviously i'm pretty regular:p) they are very helpful. they give you a broad idea of how everything should be done and then the videos paint it out for you. they are located under the articles tab on his site.

the dvds are great as well. Total retriever marking is great to show you how to work on the field exercises in his flow chart. they show you how to arrange marks to help the dog build. Total retriever training is mostly yard work and obedience. he does a great job here as well.

i must admit i cant give a full in depth review as there are something like 12 hours of dvds and couple hundred pages of articles. i've just finished disks 1 of both TRM and TRT and am about 3/4 done with volume 1. the only thing lardy lacks is a solid puppy program. from the time you bring him home till 4-6 months old. at that time i was using dokken's book and it was very helpful along with asking questions here

def worth the investment
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, this will be a duck dog. I've never done any of the long retrieves I see some do with directing your dogs. 99% of my hunting is in the woods. I'm fairly certain I can train this dog to do what I've trained all my others have done. This is mainly for me to improve myself as a trainer. Also, not sure how following a program will work with me being gone 7 days at a time. I work offshore so I'm home every other week.
Dustin, I leave just south of you out of Cameron.
 

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Yes, this will be a duck dog. I've never done any of the long retrieves I see some do with directing your dogs. 99% of my hunting is in the woods. I'm fairly certain I can train this dog to do what I've trained all my others have done. This is mainly for me to improve myself as a trainer. Also, not sure how following a program will work with me being gone 7 days at a time. I work offshore so I'm home every other week.
Dustin, I leave just south of you out of Cameron.

Yea, that’s why I asked. You can bet that going from Training your own Flooded Timber Duck Dog from personal experience to Lardy’s Total Retriever Training will be DRASTIC to say the least.

For someone with a Duck Dog hunting the woods and not interested in Test or Trials, simply put, Lardy is over-kill. Now don't get me wrong!, Lardy's program is Fantastic and if you run your Dog through the training using the Volumes and DvD's you'll be well educated in the Retriever Training sense of things and you can have a top notch Gun Dog to the likes that will most likely shame your friends dogs lol. However the majority of the training received will not be put to the test for a dog who's picking up singles and doubles, maybe triples within 30-75 yards once a weekend, or maybe twice a month during the winter. Know what I mean?


You gotta weigh your options ;)

PM Sent on other programs recommended.

Related to any Sonnier's in Lake Charles?



/
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
All the Sonniers I'm related to are from Kinder.

Really not interested in any type of trials. And your right, most of the retrieves are within 75 ft. I do realize a lot of the training will not be used for actual hunting. Just wanting to push myself to train a dog further than I have already. I work my dogs all year. During the season, I usually hunt 5 of the 7 days I'm home. Thanks
 

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I do realize a lot of the training will not be used for actual hunting. Just wanting to push myself to train a dog further than I have already.
Well by all means, Lardy will do just that. I'd consider it the Premium of DVD programs if you end up getting the entire package deal and like has been said, 'The Articles' will have you coming back to them for years to come. Even if you get away from Lardy's DVD's. You'll keep those Articles ;)
 

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I'm sure someone will Correct me if I'm wrong but I think Somewhere in Lardy's material (around decheating water or swim-by )he states something along the lines of this is where most gundog training is complete.I'm sure its not that exact wording but same principle.

Side note- I wasnt interested in trials or hunt tests either just wanted a gundog that would take hand signals, now 3 months of hunting a year are kinda like the off season with 50-75 yard retrieves. :D enjoy the ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Could I use Hillmans puppy program and then switch to Lardy when its time for FF and further training? From my reading, Hillman is top notch on the puppy side. Just don't know who to go with after that for FF.
 

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Could I use Hillmans puppy program and then switch to Lardy when its time for FF and further training? From my reading, Hillman is top notch on the puppy side. Just don't know who to go with after that for FF.
Yes you can. A lot of us have done exactly that...use Hillmann to get things started with a pup, and then "graduate" to Lardy or another program.
 

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Since you want to FF and haven't done it before, I would think about picking up Evan Graham's SmartFetch. It is a book and 2 DVD set dedicated to FF.

It would also be a good idea to find someone local who can help you with FF.
 
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