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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

I am pretty new to the whole forum concept as well as raising a puppy to be a well mannered dog, but I know you all have been in in my shoes before so I am hoping y'all have tried and true tips to pass along:)


I am a new Chesapeake Bay Retriever owner. My little Charlie is 5months old and so brilliant and has so much potential, my issue is that I have never trained a puppy before so I am stumbling my way through this. we have a few things to work on with Charlie such as; Food aggression/Toy aggression, basic obedience training, Car sickness, Cat chasing, and eventually training her to Bird hunt. She is very treat motivated and I've taught her to "sit", "lay down" and were working on "come". I would love any tips you have on ways to combat the aggression, its top priority for me to correct.

Also im just wondering if anyone else has experienced their pup being "grumpy" and "grumbly" if you kneel or sit down next to the dog while they are laying down? Charlie gets grumbly if you pet here around 7:30pm and I am not sure if its a breed/dog trait or if she is being aggressive with me.


p.s.
Charlie is a love bug and I am not afraid she will ever bite me, but I don't want to get to the point that I am afraid. We purchased her from a breeder and from what I could tell she seemed like a nice decent woman who wouldn't mistreat her dogs.

p.s.s. Here is my little CharlieBug in all of her goofy glory!!

IMG_0108.jpg IMG_0001.jpg
 

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I would look up clubs in your area (Hunting Retriever Club, American Kennel Club or North American Hunting Retriever Association) and see if you could team up with someone else that has a Chessie or has trained with them before.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! I unfortunately live about 4 hrs from any close city that has a club. one of the drawbacks about living in a small town.
 

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It is time for you to start taking the role of alpha. There are right ways and wrong ways of doing this. My suggestion is you take the time to drive to a professional retriever trainer. The things you need to learn are difficult to express in words. Charlie will soon start making the rules and that is the last thing you want with a chessie.
 

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You could check on entry express or hunt secretary and see if there's a hunt test or field trial near you...if there is you can attend and ask around for people who train locally, even if it is without a club.

Not related to hunting but if you wanted to work on obedience you can look around for someone who runs an AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy class or starter obedience class.
 

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There is a lot of great info on this site from very knowledgable people. Also agree with the recommendation to get into a puppy OB class, or get a good DVD on the subject. Either way introduce structure and routine and make sure your whole family follows the structure and rules you install. I'm a newer Chessy owner as well (5 years) and wish I would have paid attention to OB earlier. Lucky enough to have a Chessy expert, along with some other great people, help me work on fixing my earlier mistakes.....and still making some, but a wonderful breed and very loyal. Chessy's, both the males and females, need an alpha owner. If you aren't, they will be. Another good idea is lots of exposure to other people and dogs. Take your little girl everywhere.
 

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To learn how to establish both your and your dog's roles in the pack. I recommend the book "Leader of the Pack" written by Nancy Baer, Steve Duno. Great information the leads to a good citizen.

Then go here and explore the sight.
http://www.totalretriever.com

Under resources, check out training tips.

IMO, The biggest problem most new trainers have is that they try to piece a dog's training together from loads of different, and often conflicting, sources. While it's good to gather info from many sources, it's very difficult for the inexperienced trainer to know what is and is not compatible. A comprehensive training program such as Mike Lardy's a Total Retriever Training will be a great help. A good training program doesn't just show you drills to teach a dog certain skills, it provides an overall training philosophy and approach, including methods to teach the skills, which you can then apply to a Miriad of different circumstances to maximize your dog's potential.

Some of the additional resources Mike recommends are:
Dennis Voigt's Retrievers ONLINE,
Jack Gwaltney's Training and Campaigning Retrievers, and
DL Walters, Training Tetrievers to Handle.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all! I just signed Charlie up for Obedience classes starting this Sunday! I am so excited to get her into something that will challenge and teach us both. I do take her every opportunity I get to Lowes and Tractor Supply and the pet stores around town. They are all pet friendly and I love getting her into places that will make her be around lots of smells and people. I do struggle being consistent with being dominate over her. Which is something I know I need to work on otherwise ill be in trouble. I've had a Lab before but he wasn't nearly as tenacious and stubborn as Charlie is. I have lots of learning and training for myself as well as her. I really appreciate the info you've given me.


One question I had was is there a certain time I should start getting her used to water and gunshots? Is there a preferred age to break her into that? She is very timid of water from the few times I've taken her to the river "beach" My lab from the get go was a water lover, he basically started growing gills!
 

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I started with a new male lab pup about a year ago and, like you, had way more questions than answers. I still do, and I don't claim to be an expert by any means so please feel free to take my advice with a grain of salt!

As already mentioned, (in addition to a training group ect.) if you haven't gotten with a modern retriever training program, do so right away. After lots of deliberation I chose Hillmanns, "Training a Retriever Puppy" and was very happy with it. There are many other good ones as well.

Assuming that you are hoping to turn this pup into a working retriever/trial/hunting dog, a couple pieces of advice that I would offer (which I didn't garner from the program that I started with) are to start properly working on "hold" right away, and to avoid excessively "playing fetch" ie: throwing fun bumpers once a desire to retrieve is established.

I've been working hard to clean up poor mouth habits in my dog for a long time now. Habits that I believe were created by a combination of not properly teaching hold early on and throwing way too many 'fun bumpers'. I thought 'playing fetch' with my retriever pup was what I was supposed to do, in hindsight it did little to improve his training.
 

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One question I had was is there a certain time I should start getting her used to water and gunshots? Is there a preferred age to break her into that? She is very timid of water from the few times I've taken her to the river "beach" My lab from the get go was a water lover, he basically started growing gills!
These are complex questions with no short answers. The best advice that I can offer is to not rush it on either aspect.

Take your time, let your dog's desire to swim develop naturally. She's a Chessie, a water dog, and eventually she will learn to love the water. Take her to a place where she can run around in shallow water, let her watch other dogs who love to swim and it will come. Same thing with gun training. Start carrying a gun out when you go to play or train and she'll associate the sight of the gun with fun. Eventually you can introduce small caliber/blank pistol fire at a distance while she's having fun and slowly build from there.
 

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Get your post count up to ten so we can private message. There are other retriever folks in your area. JD
 

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for toy aggression, everything that is hers is yours, always. Of course as she grows older that will work for and against you.
for car chasing, rope is your friend.
for worry about biting, bite her back. Think I'm joking? What would an old chessie mamma do?
for not wanting to be rubbed at 7:30?? Thats a new one. I say start a lovin belly rub about 7:25 and work through it.
for possible food aggression. my controversial opinion for years has been. Gosh all hemlocks, just let the dog eat. Just plop the food bowl down on regular times in such a nonchalant way it means nothing and walk away. 4 minutes later pick up empty bowl. My dogs work hard for me, I dont do the feeding song and dance. And for smart and possible spiteful girls like the one who owns you. The hole tricks before feeding can actually cause food aggression.

Important to remember, she will remember what you teach her the first time. So if you do it wrong she will do it that way for the next 12 years. Example Brother ought his first chessie to get biers out of coolers. No bag of hot dogs or pick-nik hams were ever safe again. Give thought to what you teach her.

And have Fun!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you Ken!! She is so submissive when I give her tummy rubs she lays on her back and does a low grumble. she is getting better about growls when eating.

What is so difficult and frustrating (like stated earlier) is that I read all different ways to train her to be well mannered dog and its always contradicting. I compare it to raising a child. Everyone has their own ideals and what they think is best. and as a new Pet mama I am not sure which is best to believe, I just know I want the best dog Charlie can be.

You all have been great help giving me ideas and direction in this stumbling process!
 

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Thank you Ken!! She is so submissive when I give her tummy rubs she lays on her back and does a low grumble. she is getting better about growls when eating.

What is so difficult and frustrating (like stated earlier) is that I read all different ways to train her to be well mannered dog and its always contradicting. I compare it to raising a child. Everyone has their own ideals and what they think is best. and as a new Pet mama I am not sure which is best to believe, I just know I want the best dog Charlie can be.

You all have been great help giving me ideas and direction in this stumbling process!
Regarding the part on bold, Ken Bora has a word for that Chessie growl (can't recall what it is called). I've heard that growl over the telephone. His dogs like it when Ken answers the phone. I think it's because of his gregarious style answering - it makes his dogs happy when the phone rings and Ken greets someone verbally.

CaptainJack put it very well. While it is one thing to wonder which advise is "best", it is another thing to be aware that mixing and matching different pieces of the advice, may result in a flow of training steps that is very disjointed and confusing to the dog. So for now, and perhaps for several dogs after, it may make good sense to pick a packaged program and stick with it.

Good luck! Chris
 

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Oh no we play fetch all the time. I was thinking it would help! Thanks for that heads up!
Don't feel bad, I think most, if not all new retriever owners do the same thing! Stand in the yard and repeatedly chuck a ball or bumper and admire how eagerly the dog returns the item. Even after studying a lot of training material it never occurred to me that 'playing fetch' for the sake of playing fetch was to be discouraged. I think it's just one of the things that experienced/professional trainers don't really do and assume that it's just common knowledge.

I believe the argument against this activity is that repeatedly throwing an item and having her bring it back isn't really teaching anything positive and can teach some bad habits, cause injury, ect. Using that time to actively train the dog while using the occasional 'free toss' as a reward to generate excitement/improve mood should be much a much more effective use of your time together.
 

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Oh no we play fetch all the time. I was thinking it would help! Thanks for that heads up!

.... "responsibility falls to the trainer to maintain a setup in which the Chesapeake is willing to play along." (John and Any Dahl, The Three Breeds)

"Playing fetch" at 5 months has probably helped. You have established the game. Now the trick is to allow her to only play the game under your rules. As she learns obedience that structure is then be applied to "playing fetch".

Tim
 

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Find some people with real accomplishments in the venue you're interested in.. be first to arrive, last to leave and remember a couple of things...

It's hard to hear anything if you're talking.

It's rare to get in trouble for keeping one's mouth shut.

Take it from someone who took 45 years to learn those couple of things...
 

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Start by changing your perspective... she's a lovely puppy, but she is not a child, you should not be "friends" with her, and there is no reason she should be allowed to visit every person or dog she wants to greet. That'll go a long way toward improving your relationship. The "pet parent" mentality is OK if you have Goldens... you do not have a Golden.

Next, find "The Naughty Dogge" on FB - https://www.facebook.com/monique.anstee/?fref=ts - and do some reading. You have a breed that has the potential to be aggressive, you need to read Monique's posts on training. In fact, the last two posts she's made are probably perfect for you.

And then next chance you have, get involved with a club or good individuals - sounds like people on the forum have suggestions for you for people to contact. It's easier to train when you have goals and people you're working with on a regular basis.
 
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