When to start training

Discussion in 'Labrador Training' started by Sbarter, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. Sbarter

    Sbarter Registered Users

    Dec 29, 2016
    Hi, I have a 4.5 month old labrador who I collected 2 days ago. I would like to train her as a gundog, I know the basic training like sit, stay etc but i was unsure what and when i should be doing things. I dont want to rush her at all as I dont want to potentially ruin something good.
    There are so many views out there about when and what to do.
    At present i was concentrating on sit, heel work and recall. I wasnt sure re retrieve as I dont want to bore her too soon?
    What should I be doing and at what age?
    I am going to find a gundog training group to go to and I have ordered a book,

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)
  2. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

    Aug 27, 2014
    Andorra and Spain
    Hello and welcome to the forum. I have a new puppy who I will do some gundog training with, and am just doing some really basic stuff as games at the moment. I wouldn't focus on steadiness stuff for now, because that's really boring for dogs and is easy enough to add in later. My puppy (9 weeks) appears to have a nice natural retrieve, so I'm gently nurturing that by rolling a little ball for her, in a location where she will automatically bring it back, no more than three times (total "retrieves") in a day. She gets LOADS of fuss and treats for bringing it to me.
    I'm playing recall games, associating the whistle with running towards me and great things like meals.
    I'm teaching impulse control where she has to be calm before she gets her dinner, let out of her pen etc.
    I'm playing attention games where I C&T for her ignoring distractions and looking at me instead.
    I'm teaching the hand target, which can be useful for positioning and for delivery later on - as well as being a fun game in itself.

    The Gundog Club has a good grading scheme you can follow for teaching the basics, with instruction manuals for each level.

    What is your girl's name?
  3. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

    Jun 15, 2013
    You could try 'the right start' book - it's available from the Gundog Club, written by Pippa. That contains an early programme for young puppies.

    That depends on the dog you have. :)

    Some dogs, sure let them chase and build up desire. Other puppies need to learn a degree of steadiness first. Betsy was asked for steadiness from the get go, and I really, really wished I had done the same with Charlie.

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