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 Post subject: best retriever program for a new guy to follow?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:13 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:17 am
Posts: 28
while this is a bit late, i picked up a pointing lab at the end of november and hes 6.5mo's old now.

my breeder recommended i just be easy with the pup and dont do much formal training til he was around 6 months old. hes had a good amount of bird exposure and ive been in the field with him at least 6 days a week every week since bringing him home. recently though hes beginning to disobey me, not recalling well when i toss bumpers/etc. so i started some basic obedience stuff and have been doing it about a week and a half.

the thing is... the more i think about it, the more i want to just skip the whoa work and abandon the whole pointing endeavor in lieu of maximizing his retrieving potential. im going to be doing a lot of waterfowling next year and honestly pointing would just be an added bonus as opposed to a necessity.

ive been following much of julie knutsons book "training the pointing labrador" but since the decision to shift my focus a bit ive been wanting to pick up something purely retriever oriented.

any suggestions for a beginner friendly program that would cover the majority of what i need to build an exceptional retriever in the field/blind? would prefer dvd's since im a simpleton and would rather watch video demonstrations but im open to books/etc as well.

been looking at fowl dawg's, smartworks, and mike lardy's TRT stuff.

from what ive read lardy's material is hard to understand for someone without a backround in training.

smartworks ive read great stuff about but its a pretty good investment for the DVD/books $$$ wise, and seems a little daunting for a beginner like myself since there is so much material.

fowl dawg's i havent heard much about but is appealing.

i'm open to any and all suggestions. i really just want to train the best hunting companion i possibly can. one that i can be proud to take my friends/family out hunting with. at the moment i have no intentions of trying my hand at field trials but i wouldnt say the door's closed depending on how things go.


a pic of my partner in crime "tucker" taken a few days ago.

 Post subject: Re: best retriever program for a new guy to follow?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:45 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:59 am
Posts: 1105
Location: West Michigan
I like books!! Try "Game Dog" by Richard A. Wolters. If the dog is what you say he is, this book will make him a champ. (And you'll be a heck of a trainer.) Forget the DVD's and You Tube. Get the book and get the job done.

 Post subject: Re: best retriever program for a new guy to follow?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:02 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:55 am
Posts: 1513
Location: NW Wyo
6 months is the time to start a basic obedience class and a basic obedience class will have your dog paying attention to you in about 8-10 weeks. Check with your vet to see if classes are available in your area.
There are two videos on training pointing dogs that also include retriever training and they are:
The Perfect Start, The Perfect Finish and Training Pointing dogs by George Hickox. Two similar, but different methods and I prefer The Perfect Start/Finish.
Also, there are hunting trials that would put you in contact with people of similar interests.
Good Luck and have fun.

 Post subject: Re: best retriever program for a new guy to follow?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:28 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:36 pm
Posts: 316
First, identify what it is you want to use your dog for (upland, waterfowl, or both). Being you bought a "pointing Lab", I assume you want to hunt upland birds primarily. Make a list of goals you would ultimately like to achieve with your retriever and list them here with your question. It will be easier for others too answer your now rather open ended question if you get more specific about your expectations for the dog.


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