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Hello, My husband and I just recently got our golden about 2 weeks ago, we are working through crate training and all that good stuff but I wanted to post on this section because we are waterfowl hunters and plan on having her be a duck and goose dog! I've watched a ton of youtube videos and looked through this site for waterfowl training, but I have a question on when to really start working on retrieves? She will always run after any toy we throw, but she is about 50/50 on bringing the toys back, is this pretty typical for a 9.5 week old pup? And if so, when should bringing items back be a real training focus, I want to make sure I keep it fun for her at this point.

Any other pointers for a waterfowl dog I will gladly take! Here are a couple pics of her of her, we got her a small bumper to play fetch with outside, still a little big for her I think.
 

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She's adorable!! We have 2 duck dogs, one we trained ourself and one we sent to a pro because we wanted her to compete in Hunt tests. First, always make retrieving fun. She's just a pup still and you want her to love what she's doing so keep it short and sweet until she's a bit older. Teal didn't go to train with the pro until she was 10 months old. I've heard of some pups going in as early as 4 months but I don't think I could bear to miss the cute stage. I like to stick with positive training only until a pup is 6 months or more. Both of our dogs were force fetch trained with ear pinch but I wouldn't suggest that unless you're working with a pro trainer.

Do you have access to live pigeons anywhere local, do you have frozen ducks for training? Live pigeons are great for building excitement for retrieving but we don't use them until a dog has an excellent "out" or "drop." You don't want to be teaching that it's ok for her to chew on birds. We never play tug with our dogs for this reason. If you don't have one already, buy a nice e-collar to use when she's older. Expect to spend at least a couple hundred dollars. Don't just throw it on her, but really take the time to read and watch videos about proper use. E-collars can be a great tool, or really hurt a dog in the wrong hands.What would really be a great help is if you found a local training group. Field training is all about knowledge and it's hard to pick up from reading alone. Have fun with her and enjoy the journey together :) and don't forget to share pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
She's adorable!! We have 2 duck dogs, one we trained ourself and one we sent to a pro because we wanted her to compete in Hunt tests. First, always make retrieving fun. She's just a pup still and you want her to love what she's doing so keep it short and sweet until she's a bit older. Teal didn't go to train with the pro until she was 10 months old. I've heard of some pups going in as early as 4 months but I don't think I could bear to miss the cute stage. I like to stick with positive training only until a pup is 6 months or more. Both of our dogs were force fetch trained with ear pinch but I wouldn't suggest that unless you're working with a pro trainer.

Do you have access to live pigeons anywhere local, do you have frozen ducks for training? Live pigeons are great for building excitement for retrieving but we don't use them until a dog has an excellent "out" or "drop." You don't want to be teaching that it's ok for her to chew on birds. We never play tug with our dogs for this reason. If you don't have one already, buy a nice e-collar to use when she's older. Expect to spend at least a couple hundred dollars. Don't just throw it on her, but really take the time to read and watch videos about proper use. E-collars can be a great tool, or really hurt a dog in the wrong hands.What would really be a great help is if you found a local training group. Field training is all about knowledge and it's hard to pick up from reading alone. Have fun with her and enjoy the journey together :) and don't forget to share pictures!
Thanks for the advice! that gives me a little better idea on timing. We froze goose wongs from this past fall, so I have some of those to use when she gets older, maybe tie them onto a bumper. There is a local retriever club around, I'm hoping to get out to see them this spring! We are in western NY so in the winter they don't do much I guess. Oh and yes we are avoiding tug of war all together, hopefully avoiding bad habits!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Very nice looking pup. Pedigree?
Thank you, we think she is adorable :) No real pedigree that we know of, she is AKC but I couldn't find anything on that K9 data site unless I'm missing something. Maybe when we register her you get to see their history?? They were just a family breeder, not show or trial dogs.

Her parents are:
Phantasie's & Phoenix's Amos Moses - SR76470501
Phantasie's Golden Ruby - SR79212001
 

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Kristy
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If you've never trained a retriever before, get involved with a club. There's so much that you can learn from just watching and listening to other people. And nothing beats hands on help if you hit a snag. Talking to people sooner rather than later also keeps you from doing things with your puppy that they would never let one of their puppies do. Lots of little things that might seem silly but would make sense down the road.

Hands down (besides keeping retrieving fun now) the best thing you can do to get started is to work on basic obedience with him. But go to club days to meet people, get him exposed to all the sounds and smells and have fun with asking people for help.

Western New York Retriever Club Inc. Dog Training, Retriever Training Buffalo New York

About | Empire Retriever Club

Welcome to Hunting Retriever Club, Inc.
 

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Kristy
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Do you have a pedigree with multiple generations besides the parents? If you can't find the parents on k9data, grand 0r great grand parents would probably be there. Since the parents are AKC registered, you could probably get a pedigree using their numbers on the AKC.org website.
 

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Excellent point about making obedience a priority. It's the foundation of pretty much everything. Read up on proofing a pup for shot gun noise. That you can start at home with a pop gun and move onto real shot guns when the warmer weather is here. Never take your pup around pistols or rifles, shot guns only. The frequency is much higher on a pistol. If you don't have property to shoot a gun on you can take her to the parking lot of a skeet/trap shooting club if you can find one.
 

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Pretty girl! What is her name? At this age they do not yet know to bring it back. I remember playing with Belle and having another toy in my hand to entice her to come back to me and happy to go for the next toy.
 

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Pretty girl! What is her name? At this age they do not yet know to bring it back. I remember playing with Belle and having another toy in my hand to entice her to come back to me and happy to go for the next toy.
Oh I like that idea of having another toy! Her name is Bennie, cause we use Benelli guns and one of our favorite songs is Bennie and the Jets :)
 

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I have input her parents into k9data-
if you will post her registered name, DOB, and we know call name is 'bennie'- and also breeder name, someone can make her a k9data page. I can check back after the dog show this afternoon in case no one has done it yet. Once the month rolls over, I can use my BOM bucks to get a full pedigree for k9data and then her page will be complete and you can see her pedigree.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have input her parents into k9data-
if you will post her registered name, DOB, and we know call name is 'bennie'- and also breeder name, someone can make her a k9data page. I can check back after the dog show this afternoon in case no one has done it yet. Once the month rolls over, I can use my BOM bucks to get a full pedigree for k9data and then her page will be complete and you can see her pedigree.
I haven't sent in her registration yet, I will be within the next few days though, we are trying to come up with the full registered name...its difficult lol
 

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I would highly suggest following Bill Hillmann's puppy program if you want to do this yourself.

Labrador Retriever Puppy Training - Hawkeyemedia - Training a Retriever Puppy

Yes, the DVD is expensive, but worth it. Your pup will be ready for more Hillmann, Lardy, Graham, etc or send to a pro once you finish it.
For young puppies, Jackie Merten's DVD, Sound Beginnings, provides a very good start. Jackie Mertens

Hillmann's stuff is very good, and Bill's success as a Derby Dog trainer cannot be disputed. (But OMG, Hillmann's DVD is ... ummm ... pretty boring.)

FTGoldens
 

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Swampcollie Lover
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For young puppies, Jackie Merten's DVD, Sound Beginnings, provides a very good start. Jackie Mertens

Hillmann's stuff is very good, and Bill's success as a Derby Dog trainer cannot be disputed. (But OMG, Hillmann's DVD is ... ummm ... pretty boring.)

FTGoldens
Yes, I guess it can be boring. I think it is much more comprehensive than Sound Beginnings though.
 

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Kristy
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I was going to suggest Sound Beginnings because they've never trained a retriever before but figured the real experts here would have better suggestions. I think there is something about Jackie's video that really takes those first steps down to the most absolute basic level that someone just beginning all by themselves can do it. You really can follow her and understand having never done training before. It's not intimidating at all.
 

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If interested in the referenced (or other) DVDs, you can frequently find good used copies over on RetrieverTraining.net, under Classifieds Gear/Equipment. But as mentioned earlier, the very best way to learn how to train a retriever is to find a club or a successful mentor to guide you along.
If you are a member of the GRCA, you can find helpful resources, including clubs, on the website. Also, the Field Education Committee of the GRCA has a Facebook page where you can often find interesting training information (I believe you must be a GRCA member to participate on the Facebook page).
FTGoldens
 

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For young puppies, Jackie Merten's DVD, Sound Beginnings, provides a very good start. Jackie Mertens

Hillmann's stuff is very good, and Bill's success as a Derby Dog trainer cannot be disputed. (But OMG, Hillmann's DVD is ... ummm ... pretty boring.)

FTGoldens
Can't help it but...

I watch Hillmann's DVD when I have trouble falling asleep. Outside of that, he has my respect. I do own one of his DVDs. And his stuff is excellent.
 

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Go to YouTube and look for Dog Trainers Workshop. That's Connie Cleveland. Wonderful obedience and field trainer. She has fabulous little videos for puppies. Great ideas on the kinds of games to play too.

I would always have a long line on your pup. Something you can get ahold of. For instance if you throw something and you want them to bring it back, just reel them in and tell them they are such a great puppy. They'll get the hint to come back. At first the item they went to get is their prize. So you have to convince them to bring the item back. With a baby puppy, I would use a very light weight cord.
 
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