Further training for puppy

Discussion in 'The Gundog Club and The Gundog Trust' started by Gill Smith, May 7, 2019.

  1. Gill Smith

    Gill Smith Registered Users

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    Hi. My beautiful lab boy is 9 months old and is responding well to basic training. I am a novice dog owner and Total Recall and the Puppy Handbook have been my bibles. Paddie is essentially our pet but I would like to take his training further as he is clearly very smart and it would be beneficial to us both. I cannot decide what direction to go in. He is from working stock with field trial champions in his ancestry which would suggest gun dog training. We live in a rural area with plenty of shoots around us - but I know nothing about the shooting world and to be honest I am not really interested in killing game (sorry!). Do people do gun dog training just for the fun of it and with no intention of going on a shoot? I would hate to turn up to a training club and be a laughing stock or worse cause offense. I have thought about other activities - flyball, obedience, agility etc. But I don't know the pros and cons of these either. For instance I worry that agility could put excess strain on his joints. I would appreciate hearing any thoughts on this. Thanks.
     
  2. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

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    Hi Gill. I'm not especially knowledgeable about gundog training but I did go to gundog classes for about 8 months with my dog from when she was about 9 months old. I had no intention of going on a shoot and the trainer was happy to have me despite this. I found it enjoyable and very useful and although I didn't continue I still occasionally put out dummies in a clock pattern and send Molly for the one I point to, or drop one on a walk and send her back for it. So if you fancy it contact a trainer and give it a go.
    For agility and flyball you would need to wait until your pup is at least a year old but you could try hoopers as a way into agility.
    I do rally which is a bit easier than obedience and you might enjoy that.
     
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  3. Gill Smith

    Gill Smith Registered Users

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    Thanks Joy. That's good to know. I'll have a look and see if there is a trainer local to me. I might have a go at a few things once he's older and see which we prefer. Rally sounds interesting too. I clearly have some homework to do.
     
  4. 5labs

    5labs Registered Users

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    Hi Gill
    Gundog training is great fun and great to develop teamwork between you and your dog. Many people do gundog training with their dogs who have no intentions of working them. What area are you in?
     
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  5. Gill Smith

    Gill Smith Registered Users

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    Hi. Thanks for this. I am in south Leicestershire. One concern I have is that some trainers might use harsh training methods that i am not comfortable with. I have just discovered the gundog club so hopefully will pick up some good information there.
     
  6. 5labs

    5labs Registered Users

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    Yes, you do need to be careful about which trainer you use. Unfortunately there are still some oldies stuck in the past who think it's fine to make a dog do something, rather than make it want to do something.
    I don't know of any trainers in your area, but if you join facebook group "Gundog girls" or similar, I'm sure someone will be able to point you in the diretion of a nice trainer.
     
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  7. Gill Smith

    Gill Smith Registered Users

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    Cheers 5labs. I'll do that . Thanls for your help.
     
  8. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

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    Yes, loads of people. You can do the Gundog Club tests - all Gundog Club instructors are force-free now, so see if there is one near you: https://www.thegundogclub.co.uk/?page_id=1003

    You can also do the KC Working Gundog certificate on dummies (non-competitive) and you can enter working tests (dummies) - none of these things involve shooting or work with game. If you are new to it all, I would suggest starting with a Gundog Club instructor as far as you can and then - once you have some confidence in the subject matter and basic training done - you can explore other types of training classes whilst sticking to your force-free principles.

    And do check out my podcast, which is all about force-free gundog training and features interviews with lots of Gundog Club instructors and Claire Brand, who's a trustee there: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/hold-the-line/id1461455322
     
  9. Gill Smith

    Gill Smith Registered Users

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    Hi Jo. Thanks for the information. I have decided to give gun dog work a go as it is in his genes. I ordered the 'passing grade one' book which I am currently working through. I have learnt a lot from it and I am picking up the language which helps. I will look and see what trainers are in my area and also look at your podcasts.
    Paddie will sit and will stay if told I hadn't really thought about staying in sit until released. This is something I am going to have to work on.
    Gun dog training doesn't seem to involve a 'down' but I would like Paddie to do that - he will stay much better when down rather than sitting. Unfortunately I have realised that I am bribing him to go down rather than rewarding him. Another thing to work on.
    We also went to a scenting class which was fun. I don't think this would interfere with the gun dog training (hopefully).
    Thanks for your time.
     

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