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Old 12-07-2012, 01:58 PM
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Starting an older boy

Good morning.
I'm thinking of starting my 5 yr old boy. He seems to feel very left out when we train our 5 month old girl. We are not tennis ball thrower people, so we never threw the ball much for him and never noticed him to be very "retrievy" or not. Our little girl is the first dog we've ever started on hunt training. So this is all new to us.

So we tried him on some dummies. He really go into it. He was super focused on the mark. Retrieved well. We did keep him on a long line. I did have to work with him a bit to sit correctly on the platform. He was so excited his jaws were popping (chattering teeth) and his body was vibrating after 2 throws. Pure excitement. He is a bit slower than the pup, maybe because he was a little unsure of what we expected out of him.

He is a good swimmer and can do miles and miles on a run. Very obedient dog. Very sweet tempered. I'm sure we can teach him all the hand signals and commands. Definitely not field breeding. Has displasia on all 4 legs, especially his elbows which can really give him the blues, especially after running for a few miles.

What do you all think? Should I pursue him as a trial dog? We have a WC test in August. Would you train him, or just have fun? How hard is it to bring along an older dog? I do bring him to work everyday and have a large shop to practice indoors throwing during the day.
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:51 PM
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Get a pigeon, pull a few flight feathers from it and put it down on the ground. Let the dog have a look to get a look at the dog's interest in birds.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:42 PM
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Basics, Basics, Basics. And remember, he doesn't know how old he is. Take things at his pace, and don't place expectations on him due to his age. Let him come along at his own pace. Lots of birds, as often as you can!

EvanG
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:18 PM
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My boy was over 3 before he saw either a bumper or a bird. He has his SH and we're training for MH. Has his HR (HRC) and training for HRCH.
Go for it!!
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run free my sweet, sweet loves, I will love you and miss you forever.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:02 PM
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My boy turned 5 in July, 2012 and didn't start hunt/field training until around April, 2012. Before this he only thought a bumper was what he retrieved when swimming or dock diving and he had never picked up a bird.

In early September, 2012 he was entered into his first 2 ever JH tests. He passed one test and got to the 2nd water mark before he failed the other - so one JH leg. Then at the end of September, 2012 he passed the GRCA WC on his first try. We have done minimal training so far - probably one morning every other week.

So... my answer is go for it. At the JH and WC levels I believe it's more natural abilities that are tested.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:59 AM
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Go for it. Your boy ill love it and all of you will share a comman interest and seal your bond even more.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:19 PM
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So we've been working with Reilly. We have a heated shop attached to our office, so we can throw out there. We can only throw for 40 feet, but it gives them the idea of what we're doing. Plus there is a lot of obstacles in the shop they have to run around like forklifts and boxes.

So Reilly is very happy to work. But he's very slow. He doesn't really run to the bumper, he wags his tail and walks over and picks it up. He's extremely gentle with the bumpers. He brings them right back and is excited to go again. I keep him on the long line which he doesn't seem to really need, he's very obedient. But he's just so darn slow. Do you think maybe he's trying to figure out what we want from him?

We did test him on a grouse tail. He really wanted to carry it around. He was extremely gentle with it and wanted to play with it. No aggression and he didn't try to eat it.

So what do you think, too gentle for hunting? Too slow for trials? He tears around the trails when he is off leash like a wild man. He just has the sweetest personality of any golden I've ever owned.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:29 PM
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How 'bout some video?

EvanG
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:57 PM
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Speed is nice but slow and steady and having good marking skills is better in my book.
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