Celebrating 70 Years

Dog training

  • 18 Apr 2015 11:30 AM
    Message # 3306974

    I might be getting a new lab this weekend and need to think about training. I have never own or trained a hunting dog so this endeavor feels overwhelming. I'm looking for recommendations on dog trainers. Ideas?

  • 19 Apr 2015 8:55 PM
    Reply # 3308378 on 3306974
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hi James,

    How old is your dog?  Are you teaching to point, or to flush and retrieve?

    Looks like you are in the Southwest Chapter area, please correct me if i am wrong.  I am up in the Skagit Area (NW Chapter) so don't have any dog training contacts down there, but could put you in touch with some of the SW Chapter folks if you want...just let me know.  If you are looking for professional trainer, you could call Pat Murphy of NW Performance Dogs (near Monroe, WA) 206.660.6890 and tell him Rone gave you his number.  He may be able to give you a name of a trainer down your way, or can certainly help you out if you can come up north a ways.  There also are some good hunting dog training books out there, some for retrievers, some for pointers...some for both at the same time.

    Absolutely, hands down, first and foremost, consistency and frequency of training are most important.

    If still a small puppy, its all about deciding what commands you want to use, for example "come" versus "here", "down" versus "off", etc., then have everyone in your house use the same commands, and if they are willing to do little things like say "come" every time they want the dog to do so, or saying "sit" and GENTLY pushing the dog into the sit position, and of course, throwing a toy and saying "fetch" or whatever word you are using for fetch.  But with a young puppy it is mostly about making them feel SECURE, BONDING, and having FUN.  Consistency applies to on the couch or not allowed on the couch (or bed), human food or no human food...etc.  A habit you don't want is easier to avoid than it is to correct.  I also think using hand signs for commands is a good idea.

    Also depends on how far you want to take the dog.  Family dog that hunts and obeys is probably what most folks want...but if you want to get into trials or other competitions...then you really need to talk to a trainer and focus on the commands and approach required for the competitions you are interested in.

    I have trained all my dogs myself, as have my primary hunting buddies.  I certainly wouldn't say our dogs are perfect, but they have fetched thousands of birds over the past 35 years.  So you can do it yourself, by being consistent and doing things over and over.  Though I must say, my most recent dog has been a challenge and I did seek a bit of input from Pat on how to handle the issues.  So it never hurts to pay for a lesson or two and get trained yourself.  The good professional trainers spend as much time training the dog owner as they do the dog :-).  My most recent dog is nearly 5 years old and just now is settling in, this after chewing over $1,000 of shoes, boots, coats, socks, and other items, so keep in mind for some dogs it takes awhile to settle in.

     My number is  206.595.7481. If I don't answer I'll try to call back in a day or so. Or you can drop me an email (nwducks@frontier.com) with your phone number and I can call you.

    I'll emphasize, making a puppy feel secure and bonded is very very important.


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