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What are the details of the started title? What age would most start and what is required? I looked on the UKC site and couldn't find anything.

I am a complete rookie so excuse my ignorance.
 

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In layman terms;

UKC & AKC explained.

http://www.autreykennels.com/RetrieverEvents.asp


What age to start? I know some folks who have run their Dog as early as 6 months.

Lot's of experienced folks here on RTF seem to be in agreement that you stand more to lose than gain by rushing a Dog. Not saying 6 months is too early, just that it ALL depends on the Dog and Handler.

For example I've been told you can't go wrong with having your dog ready for SR/HR before running him in JR/SHR. The one-up method.



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Go here and thoroughly review the rules.
http://www.ukcdogs.com/WebSite.nsf/RulesIndex?OpenView&group=HR
It will let you know what is required.

Most complete rookies make the mistake of running their dogs before they are ready. Don't make that mistake.

I don't mean that their dog will fail, on the contrary most will pass and get the $3.00 ribbon. What I mean by not ready is that the dogs will not be reliable at walking at heel from holding blind to holding blind and to the line, will not be steady while the birds are thrown (even though you are allowed to lightly hold the collar), and will not be reliable at delivering to hand. So you end up rewarding a dog with a retrieve that has unruly line manners, is unsteady, and has poor mouth habbits. It only takes a couple of experiences like that for a dog to get test wise and realize that anything goes on test weekend. It then takes a considerable amount of pressure to fix the problems.

My suggestion is that you don't run the dog until you get these things reliable in an exciting environment:
  1. Walk Tactibly at heel to holding blind and line
  2. Be lead steady (no tugging) or completely steady in demanding situations
  3. Return to heel and deliver to hand

When you can do these things, you are really ready to run started.
 

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I agree with Glen. I have run pups in started tests as early as 4 months but like Glen said, they're not always "reliable". I like for my "started" dogs to be FF'd ATLEAST before I run tests. That way I get reliable delivery from them and some semblance of line manners. I understand completely what started is all about and I promise you, no one is going to discourage you from going and enjoying time with your pup running started. But, I think you'll find it more enjoyable and easier down the road to wait to run till you have some sort of foundation under the dog. FWIW
 

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I like for my "started" dogs to be FF'd ATLEAST before I run tests. That way I get reliable delivery from them and some semblance of line manners. I think you'll find it more enjoyable and easier down the road to wait to run till you have some sort of foundation under the dog. FWIW
Agree 100%
 
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