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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings, all. I am going to be getting a black lab female puppy in late March. I grew up with dogs, but they were mostly adults when we got them, and I have almost no experience with training. I’m am looking into joining the local HRC, but will not be using a pro trainer.

I am planning on starting with Sound Beginnings, then Hillmann’s puppy video, but am not sure where to go after that. I know Graham Vs. Lardy have been discussed on here many times, but I haven’t found any that specifically compared the revised TRT with Smartworks.

I am planning on using this dog for waterfowl hunting, a little bit of pheasant and dove duty, and if I get really ambitious, maybe hunt tests.

Again, this is all new to me. I have never even hunted waterfowl before, and the most I have taught a dog was sit and a 10 second stay. Any advice, including about random puppy training/raising topics
would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
 

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I use TRT2 but many use Smartworks. Both are force based systems. It's like Chevy vs. Ford to a degree. I drive a Ford F150.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I’ve heard, regarding the old TRT, that it assumes a higher degree of training experience than Smartworks and that Smartworks is easier for a newbie to understand. Does that still hold with TRT2?

Also, does one or the other do a better job at training the trainer? I don’t just want to learn how to train a dog. I want to learn how to be a dog trainer, if you take my meaning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your puppy plan sounds good. I like TRT2, but Rick Stawski's Fowl Dogs is good, too.
I’ve heard it said that Fowl Dawgs is much less substantial than the other two, and doesn’t have the depth to work as a stand alone program. Would you agree with that depiction?
 

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I’ve been around dogs and obedience training for a significant part of my life. I was lucky enough to get my first BLM almost a year ago. My intentions were to have a waterfowl dog, but as Kwick said I wanted to start off with the test route and then head to the duck blind. Needless to say I’m hooked.

I started with Hillmann’s Puppy program and transitioned to TRT2 very easily. Though I have read and purchased many of Evan Graham’s drill videos to help refine many of the lessons in TRT2
 

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Again, this is all new to me. I have never even hunted waterfowl before, and the most I have taught a dog was sit and a 10 second stay. Any advice, including about random puppy training/raising topics
would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks in advance.
Since most of the hunt training programs use ecollars and you have minimal training experience, I strongly recommend you start with Connie Cleveland's web course about Introduction to e-collar training. Some of the hunt training courses give a brief introduction to basic obedience with an e-collar, but I think you'll have a much better background with Connie Cleveland's course. It is $80. The link is buried in a web site primarily focused on competitive obedience, which you probably wouldn't be interested in. Connie Cleveland does both field work and competition obedience. The dogs used in the demonstration videos are mostly labs and goldens. Her husband, Pat Nolan, teaches military and police dogs. Along with the e-collar lessons, there is an explanation of reward markers.


The other "random puppy training advice" I have is that puppies are cute, but you need to be braced for the potty training, the alligator stage with the needle-sharp teeth, the attention span of a gnat with ADD, the boundless energy of a year-old dog, the eating-the-furniture stage, etc. etc. Most dogs dropped at the pound are between 6 months and 1.5 years. Stick it out. Routine is good. Dogs love routine. A regular exercise period in the morning and evening, every day, rain or shine, weekday and weekend, holidays included, will solve many young dog problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The other "random puppy training advice" I have is that puppies are cute, but you need to be braced for the potty training, the alligator stage with the needle-sharp teeth, the attention span of a gnat with ADD, the boundless energy of a year-old dog, the eating-the-furniture stage, etc. etc.
I don’t intend on letting her out of sight, unless in the crate, until teething ends. I figure that the fewer mistakes that are allowed to occur, the faster she’ll learn.
 

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Is there any reason you would suggest this over, say, Lardy’s CC video?
I have the Lardy TRT and TR Marking videos but not the CC one, so I can't directly compare. I think the Cleveland course (which, I repeat, is NOT focused on hunt training) is from the point of view of someone that trains all sorts of dogs and people and knows more of the pitfalls of using an e-collar.
 

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I've had the old TRT with Lardy on VHS trapes along with the Journal articles and stuff that came with it since well, a long time ago. It has been my go-to program for years now and served me well.
BUT I drive Tacoma's and 4 Runners so take it for what it's worth...
 

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I’ve heard it said that Fowl Dawgs is much less substantial than the other two, and doesn’t have the depth to work as a stand alone program. Would you agree with that depiction?
I dont agree. All are great programs. Lardy has been considered the gold standard for a long time. They all tell you the same thing in different ways. No offense, but Graham and Stowski bore me to death and Lardys arrogance is over the top. Pick your poison and stay with it.
 

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Could you elaborate, please?
Fowl Dawgs it is a stand alone training video series with dogs that react similar to what a person sees in training. They are all great, just for the price and easy to understand for the newbie, I vote for Fowl Dawg.
 
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