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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am brand new to training a hunting retriever. My pup, Kimber is now 15 weeks old and coming right along. She understands all of the basic obedience commands, she is enthusiastic about retrieving her canvas dummy-I typically take her out for a few easy retrieves on land after work. She is going to AKC Star Puppy class once a week to be socialized, and we often go on walks through fields and woods and getting her used to water by crossing shallow creeks. I've introduced the gun from a distance while she is eating, and seems to not mind.
With all of this, is there something I should be focused on, introducing, or even avoiding at this point? My only sources of training research are "Training Your Retriever" by James Lamb Free and the DVD, Sound Beginnings with Jackie Mertens, and of course help from forums.
Any help would be absolutely awesome! This is my first time and I just want to get the best dog I possibly can, but also learn as much as I can for the future.

Thanks!
Kyle
 

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Get the Hillman DVD and start on that program. While progressing through that decide what formal program to use to further your training. Join a club, several of them in the Nashville area. That I suspect will lead to a training group you and the dog are comfortable with.

ENJOY the process.
 

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I start teaching them to handle about this time. Just put a bowl at each base and then sit her at the pitchers mound. Run the bases and put your hand in each bowl but only drop a hot dog slice in one of them. When you get back to home plate cast her to the bowl with the treat. If she gets it right she is a happy girl and you can move the bowls out a bit after a few successes. If she doesn't get it right call her over and show her you were right all along. No pressure just fun and games.
It reinforces the sit means sit thing, encourages her to watch you and builds confidence (for both of you).

Hot Dog trainer regards

Bubba

PS- that might be my first official non_GDG post ever
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When we go outside, whether to do business or go for a walk, she will find every little thing (sticks, grass, garbage, rocks...etc) and stop to eat it. What should I do? I've been pulling her off of it with the leash, but I also don't want her to get used to resisting me?
 

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When we go outside, whether to do business or go for a walk, she will find every little thing (sticks, grass, garbage, rocks...etc) and stop to eat it. What should I do? I've been pulling her off of it with the leash, but I also don't want her to get used to resisting me?
Just wait until she starts eating poop.
 

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When we go outside, whether to do business or go for a walk, she will find every little thing (sticks, grass, garbage, rocks...etc) and stop to eat it. What should I do? I've been pulling her off of it with the leash, but I also don't want her to get used to resisting me?
You're doing the right thing. The question is whether or not you're doing it the right way. For example, understand from the outset that dogs, like horses, resist a steady pull. Dragging your dog away from these distractions will tend to become a tug of war. Instead, connect your corrections with a command, like "Heel" as you walk away from the distraction. As you do this tie in a tug on the leash, and time the tug with the verbal command.

Good choice on your puppy program. But you truly need a much more updated, modern, sequential training program for overall development.

Evan
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes! It's great to hear I am going about this somewhat right! I do give the heel command with a short, sharp tug (Or a series of these). Is this something she will grow out of eventually? I realize she is just a young puppy, but when do you think I could expect her to start listening, or at least aknowledging my presence) in the face of distractions, like other people, animals, and objects?
 

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I've got my 16 week old CLM starting to understand the term "leave it". He's like a vacuum cleaner when we go for walks in the neighborhood or around the ball park, sucking up any little piece of trash he can find to put in his mouth. I pull him away from the distraction and tell him to "leave it", while working him back towards something that resembles the heel position. I started using that when I would sweep my finger through his mouth to get rid of something that I didn't want him have and he's caught onto the idea pretty well. I used that phrase rather than a simple "no" because I wanted him to know specifically that it was related to what he had put into his mouth and not whatever else he may have been doing correctly at the time.
 

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Yes! It's great to hear I am going about this somewhat right! I do give the heel command with a short, sharp tug (Or a series of these). Is this something she will grow out of eventually?
It's something she'll 'train' out of. As you continue to be consistent about requiring the behavior you desire she will form the good behavior as a habit, so the need for correction will diminish as she ages and matures.
I realize she is just a young puppy, but when do you think I could expect her to start listening, or at least aknowledging my presence) in the face of distractions, like other people, animals, and objects?
In your Sound Beginnings DVD Jackie shows how to treat train for fundamental commands. This isn't formal training. It's really just conditioning, but that's what we do with pups. Don't test; teach. Don't heel on a leash for a day or two, and then try it off leash. People do that all the time, and then wonder why their training falls apart.

At 15 weeks you can be more insistent upon obedience, but be patient. Keep teaching. Keep your pup on leash or a lightweight rope for control. Let me know anytime I can be of help.

Evan
 

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I would also recommend the Hillman puppy dvd. I found it very nice, positive approach that shapes a pup's behavior from the get-go and lays a nice foundation for future training no matter whose program you choose to follow. It's not rocket science, but Bill packaged it nicely in an easy to understand format. Merten's video is also good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you for your advice! Kimber is doing very well. I have been giving the command "No, leave it" along with a pop of the leash when she goes after something. I can tell it is sinking in as sometimes I dont even need much pressure, if any on the leash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I start teaching them to handle about this time. Just put a bowl at each base and then sit her at the pitchers mound. Run the bases and put your hand in each bowl but only drop a hot dog slice in one of them. When you get back to home plate cast her to the bowl with the treat. If she gets it right she is a happy girl and you can move the bowls out a bit after a few successes. If she doesn't get it right call her over and show her you were right all along. No pressure just fun and games.
It reinforces the sit means sit thing, encourages her to watch you and builds confidence (for both of you).

Hot Dog trainer regards

Bubba

PS- that might be my first official non_GDG post ever
This has been a great game-been working out very well! we both enjoy it and Kimber has really caught on fast. do you have any other great ideas for 'games' we could play? I've sent in my first application for a local retriever club, and I will be going to my first field trial on April 12th to check things out! pretty excited. thanks everyone for your help
 
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