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Hello everyone! Wow, haven't been on here in a while but thought I'd drop by and see how the "golden community" is doing. :) I also have a few questions about finding a field training program for my older but very energetic and field-driven golden retriever, Amber.

She turned nine in January of this year, but has the energy level of a five or six-year-old and picks up commands very quickly. My family lives in a somewhat rural area, so she is used to going out in the fields and around wetlands, ponds, and occasionally lakes. Amber has never been weary about water and loves to swim and jump in and retrieve a dummy (and the occasional tennis ball). Since she was a puppy Amber has always been very interested in ducks and other waterfowl type birds as well as pheasants. When she sees one of these she will freeze without taking her eyes of the bird for a second. Amber also is loves to learn new commands, and like I've said before she picks up on them quite quickly and with ease. Sometimes though she does get distracted by other activities (such as children or other dogs) which makes it hard when I'm trying to train her. :doh:

However, Amber has never had field dog or retriever training, so I'm wondering at her age is it too late to start her on obedience and field training courses? Also does anyone know if there are any reasonable gun dog or retriever training programs, clubs or associations in southeast Michigan? Please let me know if you all have any ideas, it will be surely appreciated!
 

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It's never too late to train a dog. I think an older dog would do great in obedience, they would definitely be more focused than a young dog. Once you get through novice she will need to jump so as long as there are no physical limitations she can go to higher levels for competition if that is what you want. Rally Obedience is another venue that is fun for all dogs - each venue has it's plus and minuses.
 

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Go for it there are several good programs. One you might look into is Danny Farmer/Judy Aycock. Not as expensive as some out there. But they are both an accomplished pro and an extremely successful amateur. They know their stuff and have proven it with their dogs.
 
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Ambigirl, I am in Michigan :wavey: I belong to MIHRC and Marshbank's golden retriever club.

I say TRAIN!!! Heck you may not get to do tests, but the training is FUN! Teddi my 4 year old, can mark until the sun goes down, however she will not pick up a duck. Not going to happen. Still I can play with her at her level. You may have to modify your "level" but maybe not. You just never know. I am a firm believer you can teach an old dog new tricks, you just have to be prepared to modify the goals. ;)

MIHRC is a great group of people. Really laid back. HRC is UKC hunt tests, different than AKC. Being a member allows us access to their training grounds in Fenton. There is a lot of land, and 4 ponds. Marshbanks has a monthly training session at Omega Farms in Williamston (3rd Sat of every month) until weather interferes. I think the last one is Oct but not sure. I am planning on going this month. I "think" they are open to non members, but you have to pay a higher fee at the practice. I know the one I went to, last year there were labradors there. They would not be members of the golden retriever club.

I hope I meet you out in the field!
 

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Wow, thank goodness for a GR forum!! :) I will definitley follow through with Amber's training and thanks to all for the great advice! Ambie has definite potential to become an excellent field dog with the right training, so I will contact these programs ASAP. Once again a big thanks from me and Amber!:)
 
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