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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-01-2017, 07:12 PM
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I guess that I'll be the contrarian on this thread ....

At 4 months, I believe that it's most important to do what I can do in order to maintain or even increase pup's momentum/drive/desire/whatever you want to call it ... the go-get-um-ness in the pup. Expose the pup to as many different environs as possible, preferably via puppy walks through fields, over fallen trees, through fallen treetops, through ditches and creek beds, through tall cover, etc. These are fun walks! While I don't train for upland, I have to believe that those things are important for pup to experience if it will be searching for birds therein.

As to obedience, it depends on the dog as to when obedience should be demanded ... some, the wild "off-the-chart" ones may need it early, but the more reserved puppies should be given a little more time to be puppies, let them build their curiosity and courage.

Also, bear in mind that different folks have different ideas as to making a pup "obedient," and how to go about making a pup obedient, and what level of obedience is to be required of the pup and at what age ... so everything said has to be considered in that light.


Last edited by FTGoldens; 11-01-2017 at 07:18 PM.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-2017, 07:26 PM
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One thing I try to avoid is fetching anything other than dokkens... I tend to avoid the tennis balls, pulling toys, etc. We have a teal-sized dokken we fetch then put away so they don't chew it up. A small bumper with a pheasant wing attached is great too. If you want them to be tough on a bird then teach them to pull on things. I like the dokkens because they are designed for them to learn to pick them up with a gentle mouth by the body and not carry by the head either.

In the crate for keeping busy I give them the fun stuff -- kongs, chewy things, etc. But for their "work" when it's training time it's the hunting stuff.

The others have mentioned the check cord, which is definitely probably the best idea here. lol. I'll never forget my about 4-month old golden in her first started hunt test (entered her for fun as our club was hosting the event) circling around and around for probably 10 minutes before she finally pooped in front of myself and the judges still with the duck in her mouth, then brought the dang duck to hand. She eventually made a MH out of herself. (Talk about embarrassing. It was also the first time we had the recall issue.)

20 feet will work great. Start whistling to bring the bird back just as they are picking the bird up. Don't give them time to think about going the other way.

Intro to gunfire can start with a pellet gun, working way up very gradually.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2017, 12:21 PM
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If you have a well bred field dog, all you should need to do is teach it basic obedience, hold and fetch. Then you need to introduce the gun (correctly) with some single marked retrieves, and you should be off and running.

The desire to put the nose down and hunt is inborn through proper breeding. You keep the dog in range through the obedience you've taught it. When the bird is shot, the dog pursues the bird, grabs it (fetch) and returns (obedience again), then delivers the bird to you (hold and drop). The dog might flush like a spaniel or it may point like a setter. (Goldens are known to do one or the other, sometimes both.) You won't know what you've got until you get there.

Work with what you have. If you have a dog that naturally wants to flush, don't try to make a pointer out of it. If you have a dog that wants to point, don't try to make a flusher out of it. Use what nature gave you, don't fight it.

"You own what you condone." ~ Mike Lardy
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