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Did I steady my pup too early?

Steadying my pup...too early or not?

4014 Views 26 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  Chris Atkinson
So, I've got this FC Candlewood's Joe Black pup, bred to Nate Baxter's Diamond QAA (out of Honest Abe x Nate's MHR Raven MH).

He's a lot of fun and hes' proving to be quite smart, sensitive, and loves to train.

He was born June 30, so he's between four and five months old. After hunting with and talking with a buddy of mine, hearing his thoughts, and then talking with some Amish training buddies, I've decided it was time to work on steadying my "Bus" pup.

I started this last week and he took to it quickly.

I've found that some buds are surprised that I've steadied him this early.

Thought I'd throw it out to you guys. Did I steady too early?

He shows tons of drive and loves to go. I just decided that he was smart enough and big enough that it made sense to set up one consistent set of rules that will apply from now on, rather than change the rules on him later.

What do you think?

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I would also say that it depends on the dog and the type of program you follow. I don't use a lot of pressure in my program, so I don't think that 5 mos. is too young. Diesel, my current project was steady at 5 mos. with no pressure.

Someone that I learned a lot from, who used a lot of pressure, told me that not letting a dog getting into a bad habit to begin with was better than trying to correct it with pressure later, unless there is some extraneous circumstance, like low momentum in this case.

I totally disagree with this. If you put a young dog through demanding yard work where no matter how light handed you are just the mental pressure can get to some pups, you need to leave some outlet and to me the field is the outlet and by not demanding alot of control. I think the pup needs to be undercontrol on lead but I don't like to make him be responsible for that himself.
I would have to disagree with you on this, Mike. If you "teach" the correct habits from beginning, there is no pressure. I actually start my steadying from the first day the pup starts retrieving in the hallway. I don't demand perfection from the beginning, it is something that develops over time.

If there is some underlying reason not to steady early, like low momentum or desire to retrieve, then you have to adjust on the fly, just like any other aspect of training dogs. There is no single right way.

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