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So I am just about to get a new Black Lab. This is what i want out of the dog I would like to hunt with her both for waterfowl and upland birds. Also she is going to be a family dog. I have been looking at different training books I read the James Lamb free book it seems that some of those training techniques are outdated. I have been looking at two other books i was wondering what some of your opinions and experiences were with using them. The two I am looking at are The 10 Minute retriever, and Tom Dokken's Retriever Training. Will these books help me get her where she needs to be to be good hunting companion and a well mannered family dog? Which one would you recommend?
 

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Buy Fowl Dawgs 1 thru 4. They are videos by Rick Stawski. I was a newbie and followed them and I found them to be very helpful. Good Luck and have fun!
 

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I'm still a newbie and started fowl dawgs with our 5 1/2 month old Chessy. Seems very straight forward.
 

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i was a newbie also..Jackie Mertens Sound Beginnings is a must...very easy to follow and great info..as an amateur was told smartworks and followed until i ran out of time with work and had to send her to a trainer. very easy to follow..get the entire set...these both show the process of "new" dogs working and show "real" mistakes...alot of others show seasoned dogs going thru basics....
 

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I'm a newb eight months into the journey. I started with SmartWork and watched the TRT and Fowl Dawgs DVD's when I got the puppy. Very similar drills and concepts in all three, but SmartWork is MUCH more in-depth. Also, as many will proclaim on here, SmartFetch is THE best force fetch DVD and book. It made sense to me to use SmartWork because of this. No regrets, so far. Acquiring all of the SmartWork materials is expensive, but I've been doing it piecemeal, so as not to put me in the poorhouse. Also, take some obedience classes in-person or acquire some obedience materials that aren't necessarily done by gundog folk. These investments are beginning to pay off for me, as my dog is starting to take shape and other (less knowledgeable people) seem impressed with my little fella. After all, according to the AKC, the average dog will cost almost $24,000 over it's lifetime. With that in mind, what's $300 for some training materials?
 

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Hillman's "training a retriever puppy" is, in my opinion, the BEST "early" training there is. Pup does not even know it is learning. My dog was steady enough to do remote marks at 40-50 yards, at 4 months of age. After, I went with Total Retriever Training and Marking for the next phase of training and beyond.
I agree with Glen a lot of those others are not as detailed at TRT and SmartMarks. Even if you do not want to compete, you want a real partner that works with you.
I do not specifically train for upland but she is an awesome upland dog. They can pick that up pretty easy, the use of the nose is so natural.
 

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I will put in a third for Bill Hillmann's training a retriever puppy. Once past that I would move on over to Smartwork.
 

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Fourth for Hillmann...If you also have not had a lot of experience raising pups and have extra money, in addition to training a retriever puppy, you could get the art and science of raising a puppy which is more about house training etc.
 

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Whatever program I chose I would make sure I saved enough money to pair it with the Lardy articles. IMHO those are invaluable as a place to learn the vocabulary.
 
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