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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I am a new handler / trainer and would like some recommendations on starting Senior test training.

This is my first dog and we made it through Junior and WC and I would like for him to continue.

I started on blind retrieves just straight back to the pile. What else should I start to focus on for Land / Water?

Any links or books would be appreciated - thanks in advance!

I plan on attending senior tests in the spring as well as connect with other clubs with senior entries for training.
 

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First where are you located. I would find a local retriever club and join that . Most all clubs have experienced members and they can help you a lot and show you what is expected. It is a big jump from Jr to Sr. I would start with a good training program also. If there are any HRC hunts in your area, I would check out the Season level before running SR. Season is a lot easier to run than Sr test. I always tell our newer members to run Started with HRC, than Jr, than Season (HRC), Senior, Finish(HRC) than Master. it is like a stepping stone between them.
 

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There are several training dvd sets that take your dog through basics, transition, and advanced training. Senior would fall somewhere in early advanced (running cold blinds) in the progression.

Training for a test level is not the best idea as it will undoubtedly leave many holes and likely results in the wrong habits being engrained.

Mike Lardy’s Total Retriever Training is my favorite. Many, including me, have used it to train their own dogs to exceed their own expectations. There are others.

The bottom line is there are many little steps that get the dog from simple single retrieves of a junior test to the more complex marking and handling on blind retrieves of the higher level hunt tests. It really is impossible to reduce these steps down to a few posts on rtf.

Best of luck.
 

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Your time frame may be too aggressive. You most likely need to teach handling in the water. You won't be able to do that unless you live way down south before mid-spring. After that water introduction you have a few months of training to do before you'll really be ready.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone for the information!

I will start with the suggestions on the video series and HRC approach.

We have one HRC leg in started and will continue with that. I belong to a club and located in CT.

The good news is I have a well behaved dog who loves to work and I enjoy spending time training, ribbons and levels are just that.
 

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I start to train my pup since a puppy, so I have no experience of teaching a senior dog, sorry. but I am looking forward to your fruit, good luck!
 

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Jim just got my boy through Master this summer. Really solid trainer.
 

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Here is a "list" of "issue areas"

1) getting from the holding blind to the line....at the same time..."off lead"
2) the "walkup flyer"
3) water cheating (be prepared)
4) moving past a drying rack full of fresh ducks...."off lead"

Does your dog really know you are "there"?
 
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