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2 Weeks of Professional Training for my Lab?

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 Posted 10/17/2013 11:35:29 AM
 

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Hey all,

I am new to DU, and soaking up all of the information that I can!

I have a 14 month old chocolate lab that I really want to duck hunt with. She fetches well, swims well, and overall is a very well mannered dog. I have absolutely no complaints as a dog owner.

However...

When it comes to hunting, she struggles. I have had her out duck hunting twice, and it is just too much for her. She can't sit still, the duck calls make her all giddy and excited, she wants to grab the decoys, and she whines with frustration while I hold her leash. Basically she ruins the hunt...both because I am focused on trying to get her under control and because ducks won't come close with her antics.

I want to enjoy hunting with my dog - she is a fantastic dog and a loyal friend - I love her to death. I really, really want to be able to enjoy hunting together and obviously it would make getting the birds I kill a lot easier.

My question is this...

I am strapped for cash, but I can afford to have her go to a professional gun dog trainer for two weeks. He has been doing it 30 years, has champion dogs, is retired and trains them 24/7, blah blah blah. Seems like a good guy and a good place.

Is 2 weeks going to be enough to make a different? I know that ideally she needs much more training, but I can't afford it right now. Will 2 weeks get enough done with her to at least bring her hunting while I save to take her back for additional training?

Any information would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks guys!
Post #774355
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 Posted 10/17/2013 12:21:07 PM
 

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what I would hope the "Professional trainer" would tell you, without you having to ask us is:

NO, I can't make a noticeable difference in your dog's uncontrollable behavior in two weeks.

I he says he can.............go down the highway with the windows open at 90 miles per hour and let the money blow away.

your dog needs months of training, beginning with basic obedience.

wish I could give you a more warm and fuzzy feeling, but the truth is the truth, and I believe that's what you were wanted here.

you may very well have the potential of a fantastic duck hunting partner for life, but right now, you have a nice dog.

find a training program that you like, (DVD), start today, 20 mins, twice a day,  every day.

next year you will have the foundation of the kind of duck dog you want.

if you let these behaviors continue, it will be MUCH harder to make forward progress.

good luck.


"Cripples are our worst legacy. Hunt with a Retriever."

"Phil Robertson calls me for advice." :)
Post #774357
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 Posted 10/17/2013 12:41:51 PM
 

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Yeah, I hear you for sure. That is kinda what I expected to hear. I don't expect her to become a perfect hunting dog after two weeks of training.

I was more hoping that he could lay a positive foundation for her that I could build off of - perhaps that isn't really possible without going in for months of training and dropping thousands of dollars.
Post #774358
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 Posted 10/17/2013 6:38:16 PM
 

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Burton (10/17/2013)
Yeah, I hear you for sure. That is kinda what I expected to hear. I don't expect her to become a perfect hunting dog after two weeks of training. I was more hoping that he could lay a positive foundation for her that I could build off of - perhaps that isn't really possible without going in for months of training and dropping thousands of dollars.
 
 
foundations take a lot of hours. hours that become weeks and months.  it is lots of fun training your dog and well worth every minute.  AND, even if you did want a pro to do some of the upfront basics, it should not cost you thousands of dollars.  do your homework. there are lots of qualified trainers that are reasonably priced.

"Cripples are our worst legacy. Hunt with a Retriever."

"Phil Robertson calls me for advice." :)


Edited: 10/21/2013 8:19:33 PM by Swamper
Post #774365
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 Posted 10/18/2013 9:49:50 AM
 

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Grab book such as Tom Dokken's http://www.amazon.com/Tom-Dokkens-Retriever-Training-Developing/dp/089689858X and do the work yourself. I trained my yellow lab using this book, and some advice of local friends. Do I have a world class retriever? No. Do I feel safe with him in the blind or upland hunting? Yes. But, I work full time, and to be honest, I would put my dog against most "home schooled" dogs out there.

Edited: 10/18/2013 9:51:11 AM by Windjammer
Post #774377
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 Posted 10/18/2013 11:05:14 PM
 

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Something you might want to think about is obedience classes. If your dog is retrieving to your satisfaction now, then what you need is for the dog to be settled and sit means sit.  It needs to be locked in for it to stick under the pressure and commotion of hunting. Also you might want to forgo shooting on a few of your trips, let your buddies drop the birds and your focus can be on just your dog. 

Good luck 

www.muckmadnessretrievers.com
Post #774390
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 Posted 10/22/2013 10:45:51 AM
 

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I have decided to forgo the training, and do the work myself. I ordered an e-collar and I am reading through a few different training books to decide how I want to proceed.
I will be starting it all today. I am hoping I can get out a couple times with my dog before the end of the season. Not focused on the hunt, but just focused on working with her and getting her some time in the field where I am not concerned with a hunt being ruined. 

I appreciate all of the feedback - I am excited to be doing it myself!
Post #774444
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 Posted 10/22/2013 11:44:19 AM
 

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good choice.  take it slow.  a year from now, you will have a great hunting partner.

"Cripples are our worst legacy. Hunt with a Retriever."

"Phil Robertson calls me for advice." :)
Post #774449
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 Posted 10/22/2013 1:17:25 PM
 

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Right on. She has a good foundation for basic commands (here, sit, stay) - now I just need to reinforce these commands, and condition her to the collar.

Should be a fun journey!
Post #774453
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 Posted 10/22/2013 10:20:10 PM
 

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Good luck !

www.muckmadnessretrievers.com
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