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Hey everyone. I am located in central alabama and am new to all of this! Hunting, my very first golden (Cannondale, Canon for short), and this forum. I've started hunting and I love it. That and being a notoriously good family dog is why I decided to get a golden. I want to train him to retrieve waterfowl and doves. Any beginners tips? Canon is 4 months old with no professional training. I have been teaching him the basics but as funds are limited I cannot afford a professional as of yet. Any suggestions are welcome!


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Two items can really make this go smoothly. One would be to acquire and study a proven, sequential training program. Another is to find a nearby retriever club. You're in a great part of the country for clubs, especially those who host hunt tests. I'll check around for you on that. How old is your Golden?


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EvanG, any tips on how to go about finding a training guide... I did buy the idiots guide to golden retrievers haha. But an actual training guide would those be videos, books, specific trainers that you would know that has published works?


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EvanG, any tips on how to go about finding a training guide... I did buy the idiots guide to golden retrievers haha. But an actual training guide would those be videos, books, specific trainers that you would know that has published works?
My program is called the Smartwork system, and the core of it is 3 books & a set of detailed DVD's showing everything from puppy-specific training through the first 6 months through formal Basics, and then through a period called Transition, during which your dog transitions his basic skills toward a fully trained state.

EVAN GRAHAM | Liberty, MO 64069 is our website. A good suggestion for you would be "The Works", package B. Please ask any questions you have anytime.


An example from the Puppy Program

EvanG
 

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Another good helper to get the pup going in the right direction get a DVD called "Training a Retriever Puppy by Bill Hillmann" and "Sound Beginnings by Jacke Mertens"

Both can be purchased on line, Amazon may have a used one or look in the retriever hunting section of this Golden Retriever site we are on...some are usually for sale their also. Evan Grams, Smartworks noted above is also a great choice, these tools will give you step by step help on training a good retriever. They all cost a little money, but when you think over the life of your Golden....it is a small investment. I dove hunt and duck hunt....also with my 3 Goldens...great fun it is! Good Luck....
 

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I am still reading the Spencer books and also recently came across this webpage. There is a link to many video clips as well.

A note from Bill Hillmann
 

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All of the above are great.
I got started last fall by first going to my puppy's breeder for direction. She pointed me to our local golden retriever club. The club has a field training group. So try your breeder, maybe they have someone in your area that works with goldens.
 

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Shagysteve,
Welcome to the World of Working Goldens!!! You live in a great location for dog training. Books and DVDs are nice, but the most helpful (by far) resource will be experienced and successful folks to train with. As Golden Gibby referenced, the Black Warrior Retriever Club holds a bunch of events on what used to be referred to as the State Cattle Ranch near Greensboro, now owned by Forever Pheasants or something like that ... a very dog friendly organization! It is a great facility for dog events. Black Warrior is holding a hunt test on the weekend of 11/08/2013 at that place.
As for Black Warrior, one of the most active members and an all-around nice guy is Butch Gregory. He's an amateur trainer that's been in the game for a very long time ... and he has Goldens!!! He will be a tremendous help.
Have fun with Canon!
FTGoldens
 

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Lots of great resources mentioned already. Another that I like to recommend to people with young pups to really get them off on the right foot is a book by Cherylon Loveland called Retriever Puppy Training: The Right Start for Hunting. The author is a young dog trainer whose specialty is putting a sound foundation into young dogs to prepare them for whatever retrieving game their owners want to play (hunting, HTs or FTs). The book is readily available on gundog supply sites like DogsAfield and GunDog Supply.

I also want to hugely emphasize the advice to find the retriever club in your area and find some in-person mentorship. If you can get connected with Butch Gregory through Blackwater you would be golden (pardon the pun!) Books and videos are all well and good but cannot replace good mentorship. Watch people run their dogs--the dogs should be alert and responsive, under calm quiet control, and happy about their work.

You are in a retriever mecca. Friends Dave and Marty Kress live in the area for the winter and are on the board of Forever Wild --really good dog folks, even if they do have labradors.... The pro who mentored me, and with whom I sometimes day train also winters in the area. She trains a lot of Goldens and does a great job with them. She is usually down there for November which is when you would want to be starting formal work with your pup. Her name is Sandie Bond and she is on Facebook as Dovetail Kennels.
 
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