The order of doing things

Discussion in 'Gundog Training, Fieldwork, & Field Trials' started by Mat Hancock, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. Mat Hancock

    Mat Hancock Registered Users

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    Hi we are getting our new lab puppy from working lines at the end of January so starting my research now. I have used Pippa's book total recall with my parents extremely bouncey and boisterous labradoodle who we did not get until he was 18 months. Finally after many hours of work and effort I managed to get him to an ok whistle recall, walking to heel and sit stay. Never did crack the chase instinct but I was please with the progress.

    I am wanting to use gundog training and techniques again with our new lab and am aware how I need to build up the training layer on layer. My question is do I have things in the right order? Any help and opinions are appreciated.

    Sit, recall, lead and heel work, sit and stay, strong retrieve, delivery, steadiness, stop whistle.

    I am aware that this is a month and years process but want to give her the best chance of understanding and learning.

    Thanks

    Mat
     
  2. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Hi Mat and welcome to the forum. If you're interested in gundog training, maybe you should look at the graded training scheme from the Gundog Club? There are grades you can take at each stage which become progressively more difficult as you go. There are manuals that tell you how to train each thing.
    I'd also recommend a book called Clicker Gundog by Helen Phillips. This takes you through everything step-by-step, building up as you go.
     
  3. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    With a young puppy, don't worry about steadiness. You don't want to quash the desire to retrieve. Steadiness is easy enough to add at a later date.
     
  4. Naya

    Naya Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Hi and welcome. I think the most important thing with any pup is lead walking, sit, wait and recall. Once you have got these the rest will be able to be developed from this basis.
     
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  5. Karen

    Karen Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Yes, I agree - don't worry too much about what to expect in a year's time! Concentrate on your puppy, and get the basics down - walking to heel off and on lead, recall, sit - and then go from there. Play short retrieving games, make it fun, don't worry about steadiness or good delivery. Encourage anything that involves bringing things back to you.

    I do know a lot of people who start to train 'back' immediately with their puppies, so that they know from the word go to travel away from their owner in a straight line. They start training this with the food bowl, sending the pup to their bowl with the cue 'back' instead of just giving them their food.
     
  6. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Another suggestion, 2 quite simple and useful behaviours I have trained with my now year old pup, was the hand touch. This is an easy one to work on indoors, and has lots of potential uses, especially when you start to lure initially for a good position, or just want attention back on you. The second behaviour, was a good heel position. ie the dog sat close to your side, and a few inches forward of your toes. Another fun one to teach indoors too, without needing much physical exertion.
     
  7. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    So I'd say it's not so important as to whether you train back, come, sit or whatever, but it's more important to use the early months to sort of shape the experiences of the dog to instil the right behaviours. For example, I'd rather play a game with a puppy around around other dogs than try to train a small puppy to respond to a whistle around other dogs. The former is building foundations for the puppy being focussed on you, the latter is just training a cue which is a billion times easier later anyway when your puppy is very much engaged with you.

    The thing that I've done with my new puppy, which I'm very glad I did, is take her into exciting gundog environments early (with a plan for getting her to focus and settle in turn). I think this very much depends on the kind of dog you have, but for my puppy it's worked very well.

    My 7 month old pup can now settle and watch other dogs retrieve, watch dummy launchers going off, with shotguns and game, and not turn a hair. She is completely relaxed because I used the early months to get her to do this.

    My older dog, who wasn't introduced to those environments until he was 18months is a whining mess, which I've improved greatly, but this is something I'll never solve.
     
  8. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

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    I have had exactly the same experience as @JulieT . My youngest dog was taken to gundog seminars at a very young age. We worked hard on her settling and being calm around other active dogs, so much so that she can read my body language and settle without a cue. Complete contrast to my 3 young lab who was probably given a little too much "free rein" when he was younger, with less focus on control around other dogs who are doing exciting things, I am still paying dearly for that! :eek::D
     
  9. Mat Hancock

    Mat Hancock Registered Users

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    All thank you for your replies. I have ordered the books to accompany the graded scheme which will be the go to bible. However you all make so really good points which I will take on board. I am sure I will be back asking questions in the new year.
     
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