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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there all!

Usually find me on the waterfowl forum here but I am going to be the very honored and lucky recipient of a UKC/DRA registered black lab female in a few short days.:) She is absolutely gorgeous and appears to be very intelligent.

Her dam (AKC) and sire (UKC) are both good hunters. Mostly used in upland retrieval but I'm hoping she takes to water because I'd like her to come with me after those beautiful ducks.

Now, I'm confessing I'm pretty new to gun dog training. I've read a bit and she has been started by the breeder. Has basic commands down and understands 1 whistle command. How would YOU begin your socialization and training for this dog?

Also, she is probably 40 pounds (give or take) at 7 months...she has a more narrow head (not too narrow though) rather than the "blockhead". Her paws are still quite large, but how long do labs continue their growing? 1 to 1 1/2 years or so?

I just want her to be the best hunter she can be...and a companion.

Thanks for any and all information...

Dean
 

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strat69 said:
Hi there all!

Usually find me on the waterfowl forum here but I am going to be the very honored and lucky recipient of a UKC/DRA registered black lab female in a few short days.:) She is absolutely gorgeous and appears to be very intelligent.

Her dam (AKC) and sire (UKC) are both good hunters. Mostly used in upland retrieval but I'm hoping she takes to water because I'd like her to come with me after those beautiful ducks.

Now, I'm confessing I'm pretty new to gun dog training. I've read a bit and she has been started by the breeder. Has basic commands down and understands 1 whistle command. How would YOU begin your socialization and training for this dog?

Also, she is probably 40 pounds (give or take) at 7 months...she has a more narrow head (not too narrow though) rather than the "blockhead". Her paws are still quite large, but how long do labs continue their growing? 1 to 1 1/2 years or so?

I just want her to be the best hunter she can be...and a companion.

Thanks for any and all information...

Dean
Dean,
Seeing as you have a few days yet, I would suggest going and picking up "Game Dog" by Richard A. Wolters. Excellent read and easy to understand. Goes through the finer points of both a waterfowl retriever and an upland flusher. DON'T get hung up on the timeline, however. Move at YOUR pups pace. The book gets into socialization also. It's a good starting point.
Good luck and congrats on the new pup!!!

-Jason
 

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What you need to do is get the dog and find out what she really has learned. Then you need to decide whether you are training her mostly for waterfowl or for upland hunting adn move on from there. The Game Dog is a great book for both upland and waterfowl retrievers. The Ten Minute Retriever is another good book that moves at a great pace and trains for a overall retriever that is not specific to either the uplands or waterfowl.
She will continue to grow till she is just over a year old and then she will continue to fill out for another year or so. She should be at the peak of her learning ability so take advantage of it as soon as you get her. And I recomend getting her on birds birds birds as in bought chukars or quail. This will get her used to handling real live birds and get her ready for the real thing. Good luck and let us know if there are any questions along the way. There are some very knowledgable people and profesional dog trainers on this site that can help you with your new pup.
Ric
 

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Enroll her in a local training class even though she has had basic training. The exposure to people and working with other pups will be of immense value to say nothing of reinforcing the basics. I used one of Wolters books with my last 2 GSP's and recommend him also as did strat69. You will undoubtably will receive many more tips as to what books or videos to use as there are a gazillion out there. Whatever you decide upon, develope a plan and stick with it. Take your time and let the pup be a pup 1st, working her as fast SHE is able, not what some book or your own ego says. Above all, alot of love, a soft touch and voice will work wonders. Good luck and keeps us posted with her progress. Pictures are a must by the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Very much appreciate the comments and will try posting the two pics I have of her next.

However, I wanted to let you know that I will be training her mostly for waterfowl (I'd love it if she takes to grouse also, but that would be mostly a "plus") so the training should progress toward waterfowl handling.

Does that change ideas/tips/books etc?

Also, am I getting her too late to really work with her? I know the breeder knocked the price down a bit because of her age.

Thanks again,

Dean
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here is a picture of the pup. Sorry for the fence and snow. She is on her haunches next to alpha male of litter. A closeup of her eyes follows.

Let me know what you think?

Dean



 

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She is very pretty! I would take her in for a check up also though. Make sure all shots and worming is updated? What about heart worm?

I would buy "Water Dog" by Wolters, and pretend like you are getting a puppy and start from there.

About the weight, 40 seems light to me fro 7 months, she looks more in the 50 range to me.

Good Luck.

Fred
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Fred and all,

I asked about de-worming and shots...all have been done.

Fred, I'll go with your guess. I really don't know how heavy she is. Just guessing.

Thanks again.

Dean
 
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Dean,

You are definately not starting too late. I did not start working with my YLF Autumn until she was over a year old and started to do formal retriever training when she was a year and a half. Today, she is going on 2 1/2 and is a super great dog. I can share more about her if you would like to know.

I see you are in Ludington. I highly recommend that you give Mike Frederick of Opeongo Bird Dogs a call. He's located west of Cadillac off 115 and he trains dogs at his house but will also work with owners and their dogs on a one-on-one basis. He charges $10/hour. I know it's an hour drive both ways for you, but I think you will find it well worth it.

I can not explain well enough what a great trainer Mike is. He helped me take Autumn from a dog that refused to pick up birds to a dog that is bird crazy. We are working on her hand casting and multiple mark retrieves. I also have an 8 month old BLM nammed Hammer that I am training with Mike. Mike has a Golden Retriever named Tuck, a Springer Spaniel named Gunner, and 2 English Setters named Beck and Sweep. He trains for waterfowl and upland hunting with both pointers and flushers.

PM me your phone number if you would like me to call you with more info.

I'm training with Mike this weekend and you are more than welcome to come and check us out without any cost or obligation to you. Let me know if you would like to come along.

As far as books go, I like:

10-Minute Retriever by John and Amy Dahl
Training Retrievers for Marshes and Meadows by James B. Spencer

If you want Mike's phone number, let me know.

Good luck with the new pup. She looks like a winner.

Roger
 

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I used Water Dog on my first lab and Mike Lardy's tapes for my second. I liked Lardy's stuff better, but its pretty pricey. Water Dog is a good book to use for just starting out. I'd recommend getting the video or DVD also.

Eric
 
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