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In my earlier post, I described choosing a breeding, choosing my pup, and setting my goals. Now I am moving on.

Rooster was out of my own breeding, one that I am rather proud of. The big upset to report was that the puppy market seemed to have crashed before these kids were ever born. When the breeding was done, all was good. While in incubation, it all crashed. OUCH. In the end, I did not have homes lined up for them all by the time they reached seven weeks. After the first three pups were gone, they slowly left one by one. I found good homes for all but it took until the twelvth week to place the last. Why is this important? The reason is to state that Rooster was kept with his littermates until the end. He was trained individually but would be returned to the remaining littermates upon completion of training. Is this gonna hurt? I dont know.

One of the original reasons Rooster was chosen was that he stood out. Sometimes one cannot explain why, he just did. He seemed to have poise. He seemed to have stamina. We seemed to have a bond.

In weeks 7 to 12 he hung with his littermates and during that time seemed to fall flat. When I did some training with him, he just didnt seem special. I was very disappointed.

During this time frame, we introduced little retrieving games. Rooster had interest but it wasnt stellar. Rooster did not like to return to me with the toy or bumper. He liked to run off and hide. Though this is often considered a good thing, inside it bothered me. I countered this evasiveness by doing the retrieving games in a hallway. He now has nowhere to go but back by me. As he returns he is praised, the toy is left in his mouth. He can be proud. We kept these retrieves to between three and five per session. We did not want him to tire of the game.

At times he would be taken into the yard for little hand thrown retrieves. As for the actual marking of the fall, one or two of his litter mates would actually out perform him. Rooster would quickly give up on a hunt. Ouch. This one really bothered me. What if this continues? The last choice male actually really had a good mark and hunt and he was outperforming Rooster. I was bummed.

Also during this time frame we have introduced little obedience games. It must be noted that I am not going to compete in the Obedience arena. I am not looking for the same things that my obedience friends are. With my program, obedience is passively tought at this age and solidified later. HERE and SIT is what I am working on now. Again, quite passively. He is getting it. Also we introduced the leash. Success is hit and miss at this point. All told, I am satisfied with the obedience progress.

Later during this period I introduced a "gunner" to Rooster. The gunner is a person that stands in the field and thrown the marks for the dog. Some dogs are bothered by this. To counter this, the first marks should be thrown slightly in towards the dog. This prevents the dog from having to go by the gunner. The marks are eventually thrown square and then later angled away from the dog... but not now. The marks at this stage are thrown onto a field with no cover or very little at all. We want the dogs to be successful. THEY MUST EASILY FIND THE MARK.

One of my little tricks during the early phases of teaching dogs to retrieve is to use toys that the pup likes. That toy is then only used for retrieving. When the session is done, that toy is put up and not to be out again until the next retrieving session. My theory here is to keep them interested in the game. I dont want them to get bored with the retrieving object. With Rooster, I am using a very small canvas retrieving dummy. I am also using a small plush toy soccer ball (about the size of a softball). I really like the soccerball because is tends to sit up out of the grass and is very easily found.

A very good reference at this point is Jackie Mertens "Sound Beginnings." I am also using "Smartworks" by Evan Graham. His chapter on the puppy program is what I am focusing on.
 

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Old Gold is the Best Gold
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Good info! My lifestyle (six months pregnant, and live in the middle of the city in a state where there are gators in every lake and horribly hot weather almost all year) means I'll almost certainly never do field work with my Golden, but I find it interesting to read! I stick to lure coursing, since all that's required is a good dog and letting go of the leash when the hunt-master says "tally-ho" LOL I wish you much success with your pup!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the replies. My hope here is to give others the courage to try the field sports. However I completely understand not wanting to have my dog swim in gator infested waters!
 

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i am so thankful for your posts, and extremely interested.
 

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Remember that when the baby comes... he can be a "gunner." My 8 year old daughter was throwing marks for us today!

The WC, if I remember correctly is a land double and a two water singles. We flunked our first and only attempt because our dog was on the forefront of her heat cycle. We knew it was coming but decided to enter anyways. Her poor little hormones just got the best of her and left me extremely embarrassed at the line. She came into heat a day or so later and I then understood was happened to my little superstar. Win some and lose some. Since then we have moved away from anywhere near where a WC/WCX is held.

I wish you much luck in trying for that certificate.
 

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Barley & Mira's Mom
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Thank you for the posts! They are great. I look forward to keeping up with your progress!!
 

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thank you so much Klamath Gold :wavey: I love your threads.

I also want to get into field work with my golden, although have been mostly doing agility with her so far.

I would love to learn more about the sport before I get into it so your reading references are very appreciated.

One question though: I am what people would consider a 'positive trainer' (using clicker training and such) so do you have any book recommendations for the 'less traditional' training?

How positive vs traditional are the books you recommended so far?
 

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Where The Bitches Rule
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One question though: I am what people would consider a 'positive trainer' (using clicker training and such) so do you have any book recommendations for the 'less traditional' training?
Motivational Training For The Field Author is Lorrie Jolly. I think you will feel comfortable with her training methods.
 

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Thanks AmbikaGR!
 

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very interesting posts here.
I started a little Bumper training with Bogart all for fun and I'm sure not all right LOL since I'm doing it on my own. Bogart is now about 3.5 years old, the first couple of years he was not hugly motivated to follow any flying object into the brush or high grass (there could be cactus around). He is a little softy and he doesn't like prikly things.
Since about a year now he is getting more and more interested in retrieving, even going through the pricklies now (very gingerly but still), he finds tennisballs hiden in the grass (lost my other dogs) and we first just threw sticks and balls. Now I bought a couple of Bumpers and he really likes it. I have been working on steadyness which is is doing very well with. Sometimes on the trail I lose the Bumper on perpus we keep walking and I then send him back. I make him wait then keep walking throw the Bumper in the high grass then go back to him and send him. He is doing well. I just have to watch that I don't throw to many or he is getting bored or too long same thing he is getting bored.
I have only worked with one Bumper for now but have bought a couple more today and want to get him to work some more.
How long do you keep your sessions so the dog doesn't get desinterested?
I also do RallyObedience with Bogart and that's his forte so to speak. He really likes it. But I also like to try new things with him.
Also how do you teach the sit whistle stop or how ever you call it and the come whistle? I would love to teach him that.
Thank you,
 

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How long do you keep your sessions so the dog doesn't get desinterested?
With young dogs or older dogs new to it, the key is to keep it short. Watch your dog and try to quit before they become bored. You want it to be fun at this point.


I also do RallyObedience with Bogart and that's his forte so to speak. He really likes it. But I also like to try new things with him.
Also how do you teach the sit whistle stop or how ever you call it and the come whistle? I would love to teach him that.
Thank you,
I just start adding it to the command. We work on sit. When he knows that, I start blowing the whistle when saying sit. Keep at it and eventually you can blow the whistle by itself and he will know it means sit.

Same with the come in whistle. Sit him away from you, call him and blow the whistle.
 

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Where The Bitches Rule
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Also how do you teach the sit whistle stop or how ever you call it and the come whistle? I would love to teach him that.
Thank you,
First the dog must know sit and come on command before using the whistle.
To teach sit you blow the whistle one toot and say sit. You do this several times a day first starting out next to you then adding distance as the dog gets the idea. You will also see the dog start to sit after you blow the whistle but before you say sit. Praise this behavior. At this point you can start doing it in the yard randomly when he is busy doing something else. At first you may need to again add the verbal sit but he will get the idea very quickly.
For the come it is not much different. Toot the whistle two times then tell him to come. increase the distance gradually and once he starts cmimg after the two toots but before the verbal come you know he has the idea. Just like when teaching the come command in the beginning you may want to use a treat reward after he comes to you, but done "lure" him with it just use it as a reward.
 

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Where The Bitches Rule
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Reply posted two times, sorry
 

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Thank you, I will try this. Bogart does sit at a distance and downs in a distance also. It's always exiting to me to try something new with him. Usualy he always eager to learn.
All the best,
 
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