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Obedience school comes first. Obedience training does several very important things that all hunting dogs must know.

The human is the alpha. Always, always, always.
The human is his gentle friend and confidant.
Basic commands.

Obedience training also creates the ties and bonding between puppy and master that are so important throughout the dog's life.

While at obedience school ask around to find someone in your area who can offer hunting training after the basics are "set".
 

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Serious hunters start at about 8 weeks. However, if you don't plan on competing, then you should be OK. You need to find a trainer, and be prepared to look around. There are lots of methods used to train retrievers, and many of those I would never use.

What you probably need to be carefull of is developing bad habits that then need to be fixed. In 5 months a puppy can develop a lot of bad habits.
 

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I hunt and run hunt tests/field trials with my two goldens. There are a number of excellent books on the topic. Picking one is hard, but I would recommend "The 10-minute Retriever" by John and Amy Dahl. You can get it at Amazon. It is easy to follow and good for a beginning trainer.
 

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Hunting Dog Books & Vids

Hi! I was just told Wolters is the best of the best, and nearly everything else is based on his studies. We kept one of our pups and have decided to train him for Field and hunting. My husband says the problem is the areas for bird and duck hunting around us in the Olympic Peninsula are disappearing every year.
 

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I have wolters book.. i have had it about 25 years.. sorry, but his stuff is very outdated. There are many books that have advanced the training of retrievers since Mr. Wolter's day. If you really really want to get into it, I would then reccommend the Smartworks for Retrievers series by Evan Graham or the Mike Lardy video series. However, for the average trainer, I would still recommend the 10-minute retriever.
 

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Hunting Dog Books & Vids

Thanks Greg!

I'll bring this info to my trainer friend for his input. He had mentioned the 10-minute retriever book but not the Smartworks or Lardy videos.

I'll check it out. We're new at this, so need the input. My friend's Lab just won a blue ribbon her first time in a show. She's incredible. She follows voice, whistle and hand signals perfectly. It's beautiful to watch a well-trained dog. I'm in awe. He told us Romeo could do what she's doing in 3 mos. if we work with him 20 min. a day. We want to spend the time well and train him properly with love and firmness.

Thank you.
 

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Shinecatcher,
I am not sure what level you are speaking of. I would recommend that you find a local retrieving club that does field trials and hunt tests. Normally one starts at the junior level. It has nothing to do with the age of the dog. At the junior level, you must get 4 qualifying scores in order to get that AKC title. UKC has a similar program with its starting level being "started". In both stakes, your dog is required to do single marked retrieves on ducks and deliver to hand. Even that takes work and practice. There will be 4 retrieves.. 2 on land and 2 on water... then you move up..and it is not all that simple. Getting to that level in 3 months at 20 minutes per day would be very good.. maybe to junior, but beyond that requires a lot of work. I train an hour or 2 per day and have been doing it for years.. It does require some dedication and time. I love the stuff, but then I am nuts..:D
 

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That's dedication, Greg!

20 minutes a day is pretty hard to snatch right now -- and it hasn't been consistent yet. I'm hoping hubby finds it to be so joyful that it becomes more of a priority. My part is finding the tools to help. The level I was speaking of is Junior. As of yet or as far as I know, there is no club on the Olympic Peninsula for Goldens. Want to move to the best hidden spot in the USA and start one?

P.S.

I'll try the Library for the books and videos you suggest. Couldn't find a good deal for the package online.

Where do you buy your bumpers, whistle, etc.?
 

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Being geographically challenged, I dont know where the Olympic Peninsula is. Washington? You are not looking for a golden-specific club. A retriever club.. one that involves itself in putting on field trials and hunt tests. Usually there are training groups within the club to hook up with.
good luck
 

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Know of one 2-1/2 hours away. I work, so it's a bit difficult. Hubby on the other hand...... I see some more honey do's in his future. teehee

You're right -- Washington State and lots of green. Gotta love the color green to live here.
 
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