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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know you shouldn't try to follow a schedule or compare dogs, and that you should train your dog as he progresses individually, BUT I would love some thoughts, opinions and you guys' past experiences when your pup was 17 wo. I'm just looking for ideas of things to add or change what i'm doing now.

I'm new to training and have been working with my Boykin pup in hopes of getting a serviceable retriever. He's super smart and is doing very well in OB. He's done a few marks occasionally and done pretty good, but really have been focusing on OB until his teeth are in. I know he needs more marks but a work schedule and neighborhood living cuts those back some. After the teeth are in I am planning on FF and increasing marks after that.

Thanks
 

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You asked so...

My pups were running marks and not doing formal obedience until about 6 months old. Unless you have a very wild and unruly pup, I think your focus on obedience is not the right path. But it depends on your pups drive. The higher drive the more OB, the lower the drive, the less OB.

My next pup, I'll be following the Hillman puppy dvd. Bill's method teaches getting the puppy wild for the retrieve, then balance with walking on lead and sitting. Before anything else, the pup should be wild for the retrieve.
 

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More marks, less obedience.

It's pretty easy to get them to stop...Go is the hard part.

Try doing easy very obvious sight blinds. Get them excited and looking for something when they come to the line.
 

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at 17 weeks i was trying to keep mine from eating everything in my yard and basement and just throwing marks till he got tired enough to sleep through the night.
 

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Had a good understanding the difference between a fun bumper and a mark.

She had a good understanding that once told to sit, she could not move till sent.

Sit to whistle.

Very simple short doubles.

Would "here" OK.

would walk on lead fairly well.
She saw her first birds. (eyes bugged out)

Her marking though was not that great. I had not let her see BB thrown marks for most of that 17 week timeframe.
Her marks up till that point were very short, and no cover.

I am following Hillman.
 

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Mine is about that age now. This is the first retreiver I've trained so take it for what it's worth.

She at least knows the basic commands (sit, here, kennel, heel). She knows that sit means sit and usually won't break. Been working on remote sit for marking.

We do water and land marks a bunch because otherwise she's way too hyper. She's good out to about 40-50 yds on both water and land.

Started sit to whistle.

Walking on lead is good.
 

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continue basic obedience adding at least some mild distractions...insist on 100% reliability, but realize you probably will not achieve this. lots of work on lead and/or check cord...whistle commands....plenty of marks (progressively more challenging) but not too many and instill success....look for signs of teething.....continue socialization
 

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One of the things I did at an early age was exposed my pup to a lot of different things and places in the field. Did marks where there was a simple bit of cover between dog and the mark was then out in the open as soon as they "busted" thru the cover. Did a few 5-10 yard marks into heavy cover where dog had to use nose. Did long simple marks increasing as confidence builds. Held collar until dog would sit or stay sitting on short easy marks. puppy doubles. everything about building confidence and drive
 

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Why not just call your pup 4 months instead of 17 weeks?...but either way.....reminds of people that call their baby 34 weeks old...that bothers me for some reason.

At 4 months my pup knew what chew toy was his....knew that the kennel was his home. He also understood his name and "no". Other than a few fun bumpers a day and some introduction to water that was about it for training. I did start introducing him to noises from day 1 like pots and pans etc.

I held off on anything formal until 6 months. He's 8 months now full of drive, great with OB, birds and water and gun. Force has just begun.

I don't think you have to rush anything. I still have 5 months until duck season. He will be just over 1 year old. Perfect timing for his first hunt and I didn't have to rush.
 
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