Dog Being a Baby

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RatDog
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Dog Being a Baby

Post by RatDog » Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:34 pm

Trainer said my dog is doing really well with bird work, enthusiastic, starting to hold points a little bit, finding birds. However, he is being a big baby about other stuff. He said when he tries to do lead work Tubbs will pitch a fit and whine and howl. He said that the problem has been more persistent than he typically sees with pups of this age (5 mo). I asked if he thought it would be a real issue or it was something they could work through? He said he’s seeing progress and is still confident that they can overcome it, but that he will let me know if it seems intractable. Also, said stubbornness is a double edged sword because it can be cause difficult problems but can also translate to persistence in the field.

I’m sure it’s a rare pup that is all rainbows and unicorns when it comes to training but have to say this is bumming me out. I’ve been reading that Wolters book and he makes it sound like the second you realize the dog has any kind of issues you should send him to the glue factory or you’ll just be beating your head against the wall.

My thought is that he spent the last several months mostly with my wife and kids being catered to and that this is learned behavior that’s been rewarded. Hoping he works through it and we can man him up.

Any similar experiences? Sage words of wisdom?


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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by Meller » Sun Apr 05, 2020 7:04 pm

Sounds to me that you have it pretty well figured out; with the wife and kids. He will be fine, and come out of this. :)

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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by RatDog » Sun Apr 05, 2020 7:21 pm

Meller wrote:Sounds to me that you have it pretty well figured out; with the wife and kids. He will be fine, and come out of this. :)
Thanks. You’re probably right. He said that’s what I’m paying him for and they change so much at this age that he could be a totally different dog in 2 weeks. Just have to see how things go.


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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by birddogger2 » Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:58 pm

The best part of this whole thing is that your dog will not attach any of the unpleasantness to you, but rather to the trainer. A dog pitching a fit because it is being REQUIRED to do something is not new and not a big deal. It happens all the time,especially when the dog has gotten its way by acting out.

I would expect that the youngster will soon come to understand that when he does what the trainer wants...life will get better. The trainer will see to that.

A dog needs to do what it is asked to do...when it is asked.

FWIW several of my pups have taken great exception to being put on a wonder lead and asked to heel for the first time. They all got over it fairly quickly when they discovered that they either came along on their own or got unceremoniously dragged. I believe they figured that coming along on their own was better than getting dragged.

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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by shags » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:22 am

That's annoying behavior but your trainer can work through it. Dog wants to act like a screaming marlin on the end of a line? Fine, stand there until ge's done throwing his tantrum amd move on. Dog doesn't want to walk on a lead. OK, then he can go for a nice drag on a lead. Dog doesn't have to like doing what he's told, he just has to do it.

The upside is now you know what kind of dog you have. You thought you have a sweet little cupcake there, didn't you :D Well now you know you have a tough little beast that thinks he's the Boss of Y'All. Personally, I prefer working it out with dogs like yours over dealing with the soft smooshy ones that require eggshell walking.

Don't worry, the family hasn't ruined your dog. The pup will sort out who commands respect and obedience and who he can manipulate. But I'd watch out for behavior like nipping or growling around the family and nip that in the bud. Also, teach the pup to accept things like nail trimming, ear cleaning, pilling, and that sort of thing because it will make your life much easier down the road.

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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by cjhills » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:41 am

Shags post says it all better than I can.
Burn the Wolters Book. It is mostly garbage. If all the dogs that had issues were sent to the glue factory we would have a lot of glue and not many dog trainers.
Think about this, if one of your kids got everything she wants for the first few years of her life, what would her first few months of school be like. It is a shock to the puppy when he has to learn to obey.
If the trainer is at all competent and he probably is the dog will be fine......Cj

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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by Featherfinder » Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:31 am

Spot on Shags/CJ. The thing to remember is that - although it was not your intention to develop a screamin' demon - pup is a product of his environment. While pups are pups, I believe the degree of what pup is, came from his home environment. So what is key here is that when pup returns home, you will need to revisit his life there-in. There will need to be changes I'm guessing, or you will have more/new issues very soon afterwards.
Here is where I disagree: I'd hang on to that Wolters book though. It may become a real collector piece! Imagine what a read it will be in another 10 years, kind-of-like that other "colorful book" out there that many still use to this day!

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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by gonehuntin' » Mon Apr 06, 2020 1:27 pm

At five months, I'd have never put that pup with a professional trainer. Pup is a baby yet. Pro's are not geared to training puppies and it's a terrible waste of your money.
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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by RatDog » Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:03 pm

Wow, thanks! That’s all super helpful feedback. Sounds like this isn’t all that uncommon of an issue and it can be worked through. Excellent point FeatherFinder about needing to think through how to change the conditions that caused the behavior in the first place.


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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by Featherfinder » Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:21 am

Gonehuntin', I couldn't disagree with you more regarding starting a dog with a pro at 5 months. Now, you touched on a very salient point. Not ANY trainer understands the value in getting a young pup and nurturing him along so that pup is allowed to blossom in a controlled setting. Heck, done right, pup doesn't even know he's/she's being trained!
Pups - especially at 5 months are like sponges!! Taking a pup through most typical training concepts that are based on, "Let that pup grow up. Let him be all he can be. Watch him RUN!!", is often why you require a "firm trainer" later on. Let me translate that archaic mindset, for you. It really means that YOU let pup get a pile of self-taught experiences - many of which YOU ( a trainer) will have to fix or require REMEDIAL training (some never go away 100% and can manifest into OTHER issues, etc. etc.). ??? Now, those archaic tactics might have to come into play.....maybe.
If you don't agree, you need to revisit some of Averageguy's videos. Marvelous...and so much fun! The whole concept of waiting 'til a dog is ~over 1 year is blasphemous. Actually, I do see it serving the trial community but I digress.
Ratdog, if your trainer is competent - and I have no reason to doubt that - you could have a fully finished and FANCY dog before he turns ~12 months old. It isn't unusual. That also means that you can take him wild bird hunting sooner. That means he will shorten the learning curve/application for handling wild birds! That also means you get your dog back sooner. And, just when you think you have a fine dog....he just keeps getting better.
I often tell my clients when they call to brag about their young dog, "You ain't seen nothin' yet! Stay the course (regarding the guidelines/rules because dogs will try to train you now and again) and he/she will keep getting better and better!"
I'm talking about a statuesque dog that handles with minimal intervention from his owner....sssshhhh! Points steady to wing, shot and fall, minus "Whoooa….Whoa...Whooooaaaa!!!" . And, retrieves to hand. SWEEEEET!!!

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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by RatDog » Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:19 pm

gonehuntin' wrote:At five months, I'd have never put that pup with a professional trainer. Pup is a baby yet. Pro's are not geared to training puppies and it's a terrible waste of your money.
I just totally disagree but I understand there’s sort of an old Gaurd vs. next generation divergence on the issue. I know ol’ Delmar said to wait a year. I’ve been told that some of that was due to the lack of vaccines and a relatively high risk of mortality in the first year as much as it was about development. I, for one, am glad to have a trainer working through these issues while he’s still pretty malleable. I think the later you started working on it the more entrenched the behavior would be. 5 mo is a little early according to some folks but 6 month is pretty common. Any trainer worth their salt should be able to read the dog and tell how much pressure or work they can tolerate and progress at the speed the dog is ready for at any given age. As for the money, I’m perfectly happy to spend it because I think it’ll pay dividends later in the form of a dog I can take a lot pleasure from and hopefully be proud of.

The great thing is you can do whatever works for you! I wouldn’t be as absolute when evaluating the way other folks are choosing to do things, lots of ways to skin the cat.


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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by averageguy » Thu Apr 09, 2020 6:08 am

The key point was taking a 5 month old pup to a pro trainer. Not that a 5 month old pup should not be trained.

Only when an owner is not able and willing to work with a puppy would I advocate taking it to a trainer at that young age.

I work with my 14 week old pup in very short bursts 4 or 5 times a day. I will have a great head start on Obedience, bird and gun introductions, retrieving, pointing, tracking. But the most beneficial thing I am doing is taking the puppy for walks in wild game country twice a day.

It would be a very rare pro trainer who will do what I am doing now currently on a commercial basis and most of what I am doing does not require any great skill, but rather just a dedication to doing it.

I suspect that was the point of GH's post.

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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by RatDog » Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:26 am

I would love to do it myself but my work schedule doesn’t allow it. I am away from home 2/3 of the time. That seems to imply that the trainer wouldn’t know what he was doing. I’m new at this and even I know that puppies should be trained for short amounts of time and it should be kept fun and pretty low key. My dog is the only one he has at the moment since it’s the shoulder season so it’s not really a commercial type of deal. I’m confident he’s doing what’s best for the dog. Just have to see in a month or so when I get him back I guess.


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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by averageguy » Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:39 am

Yes I recall you had mentioned your situation did not allow you to work with the pup at this time. Someone working with your pup is far better than no one assuming the proper approach.

A Pro only having one dog is rare. Out of necessity they are geared towards maximum efficiency in both occupancy and a production line process for everything from kennel cleaning, feeding, loading/hauling dogs to training areas, catching/transporting birds and equipment, working dogs.

The other thing that affects this in a big way is the maturity rate of puppies varies by breed and individual.

Sounds like thing are going well. Best of Luck.

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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by shags » Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:18 am

I don't think it's necessarily wrong to leave a young pup with a trainer. It has its advantages and I see it done frequently and have done so myself. Now, the pups aren't with the trainers to be broke and finished, or to be FFed, or anything major or stressful. But a little obedience, some time on a chain gang, running as a brace or a gang, getting a little bird contact, maybe a bit of exposure to gunfire, is better than the pup sitting home chewing on table legs when work and family life get in the way of the owner working with him.

Some trainers like to mess with young pups. It's fun, and it's a break from the pressure of producing results as there is with the big dogs. There are plenty of trainers who have puppy programs.

My family has had the experience of going the opposite way, too :D A local pro would sometimes have a litter of pups and he'd send one or two at a time over here for a while to be socialized to life in a house, and kids. Now that was fun!

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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by Featherfinder » Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:57 am

That is SO true Shags, because a pup is ALWAYS learning. I would LOVE to have had access to nice families to bring young pups along in their homes!!

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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by polmaise » Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:47 pm

Fortunately over here ,some good trainers of dogs keep whole litters up until they are finished and ready for the shooting field . So having a pup with them is not so different ...more beneficial sometimes

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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by cjhills » Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:22 pm

I have sold a few pups that went home for the first time with a MH. That seemed silly to me but what do I know.....Cj

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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by Featherfinder » Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:42 am

Why is it silly? I think it's commendable CJ. Of course, the price might have been marginally higher than for an untrained pup?

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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by RatDog » Fri Apr 10, 2020 6:25 am

What’s an MH?


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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by deseeker » Fri Apr 10, 2020 6:58 am

MH is an AKC Master Hunter title

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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by cjhills » Fri Apr 10, 2020 9:20 am

Featherfinder wrote:
Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:42 am
Why is it silly? I think it's commendable CJ. Of course, the price might have been marginally higher than for an untrained pup?
Do you think?
Do you have any Idea what it takes to get from the whelping box to a master title? Financially and the time involved. You Could probably buy a Master dog for half that.
It is not commendable. It is business......Cj

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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by Featherfinder » Fri Apr 10, 2020 2:10 pm

Oh...sorry CJ.
Actually, I do know what it takes to make a MH but that's no excuse for me complimenting you.

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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by gonehuntin' » Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:16 pm

So, here's the deal with leaving a pup with a trainer. They don't get much work and social interaction. A trainer may carry 20 dog's. Those dog's are trained daily but not given a lot of time. A pro is very efficient, makes no or few mistakes and doesn't need a lot of time with the dog's. In my opinion, a pup is different. They NEED someone to bond with. To learn at maximum efficiency and rate, they should be with the owner as much as possible, not 20-30 minutes a day. A pup needs a ton of love, exposure and training in a non pressure situation. A pro simple can't do that. I start training my own pups the day I get them. I would never take a pup from a client to do it because I know it would be a terrible waste of his money and that the pup wouldn't be getting what it really needs. Nowhere have I EVER advocated not training and exposing a pup at a young age. I sure as heck have advocated not pressuring them at a young age though.
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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by Featherfinder » Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:14 pm

Gonehuntin', I appreciate what you are saying and couldn't agree with you more.
I built my training reputation on taking 4 dogs in at a time...MAX. I used to take 6 when I was a bit younger. It's true. Some trainers have 20+ dogs and staff to help. Here, my clients don't want someone else looking after/working their dogs. They want/pay for me.
Bonding for dogs is not near what people think it is. "Bonding" happens with a pup if you feed it for three or so days in a row. This I know because I do take young dogs here. And no, they don't forget their relationship with their owners - not even months later. A dog's life relations are far less complex than ours, and that's a good thing for them.
For some young pups, being with their owners for most of the day can be a good thing. In far too many homes, it is not so good.
I think where we differ is your definition, understanding or past experiences of a pro trainer. That too, I get.
It's just not an issue here. But I completely understand why you feel the way you do.
For me, waiting just 1/2 of a year of a pup's life to get it started is a waste of about 6 months time.
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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by DonF » Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:15 pm

gonehuntin' wrote:
Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:16 pm
So, here's the deal with leaving a pup with a trainer. They don't get much work and social interaction. A trainer may carry 20 dog's. Those dog's are trained daily but not given a lot of time. A pro is very efficient, makes no or few mistakes and doesn't need a lot of time with the dog's. In my opinion, a pup is different. They NEED someone to bond with. To learn at maximum efficiency and rate, they should be with the owner as much as possible, not 20-30 minutes a day. A pup needs a ton of love, exposure and training in a non pressure situation. A pro simple can't do that. I start training my own pups the day I get them. I would never take a pup from a client to do it because I know it would be a terrible waste of his money and that the pup wouldn't be getting what it really needs. Nowhere have I EVER advocated not training and exposing a pup at a young age. I sure as heck have advocated not pressuring them at a young age though.
I'm on gonehunting's side on this! 5 mo old pup is a pup and needs treated like a pup and taught to live with humans!
I pity the man that has never been loved by a dog!

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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by Featherfinder » Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:21 pm

DonF, pups are born with and live with humans up to that 5-6+ months. If they haven't "bonded" by then, they never will.
It is far more stressful for a pup to be taken away from it's mother/littermates to it's new home (8 weeks old or so) than from that home to a decent trainer. It shows you just how resilient they really are. Not near as volatile as some would think.
Some pups are with their owners just long enough to be messed up from the get-go! And that, requires a different kind of training - perhaps one more attuned to what Gonehuntin' alluded to?

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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by gonehuntin' » Sat Apr 11, 2020 3:28 pm

Featherfinder wrote:
Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:14 pm
Gonehuntin', I appreciate what you are saying and couldn't agree with you more.
I built my training reputation on taking 4 dogs in at a time...MAX. I used to take 6 when I was a bit younger. It's true. Some trainers have 20+ dogs and staff to help.
With four dog's max, you must be charging at least $1,500.00 a month per dog. I never had clients willing to pay that.
Featherfinder wrote:
Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:14 pm
Bonding for dogs is not near what people think it is. "Bonding" happens with a pup if you feed it for three or so days in a row. This I know because I do take young dogs here. And no, they don't forget their relationship with their owners - not even months later. A dog's life relations are far less complex than ours, and that's a good thing for them.
My experiences do not validate that claim. At that young an age, I can practically guarantee you that NO pup would remember it's owner after 3-4 months with me. A dog's best friend is the one holding the food dish.

Featherfinder wrote:
Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:14 pm
For some young pups, being with their owners for most of the day can be a good thing. In far too many homes, it is not so good.
I think where we differ is your definition, understanding or past experiences of a pro trainer. That too, I get.
It's just not an issue here. But I completely understand why you feel the way you do.
For me, waiting just 1/2 of a year of a pup's life to get it started is a waste of about 6 months time.
You keep saying I'm advocating with 6 month to train a dog. That isn't true and I've never said it anywhere, anytime. I have said that you should not PRESSURE a put before six months and no real pressure before 8-10 months depending on the dog. I would never consider waiting six months to start developing a dog. They get started at 8 weeks. From then on I expose them to everything I can. Up to 6-8 months, exposure is everything. It sets the stage for how they will respond to training for the rest of their lives.
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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by RatDog » Sat Apr 11, 2020 4:39 pm

You don’t want to let perfect be the enemy of good. The options aren’t me training the dog myself at exactly the right pace and bonding or the trainer. It’s dog staying at home and chewing on a table leg getting walked a couple of times a day or the trainer.

I don’t know about dude’s finances or how he makes it work but he has 8-9 of his own dogs or dogs he’s finishing to sell and my dog was the only client dog he had when I dropped him off. Sounds like he does bird work a couple times a day and some chain gang and lead work mixed in. More than I would be able to do for him.


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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by RatDog » Sat Apr 11, 2020 9:23 pm

Latest update. Pretty reassuring.

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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by jasperb » Sun Apr 12, 2020 10:56 am

While I agree with some of what both sides are saying in regards to the pups age, sending a 5 month old dog to a trainer can be a risky venture. A lot will do with the trainer and what you are expecting, I think it's a perfect age to build a foundation but beyond that I feel it's a gamble that can end up doing more harm than good.
If the trainer is good and knows what he's dealing with then yes, it's a great time for a pup to get a solid foundation and learn to "learn" and be on its way to be a great bird dog. With that being said a 5 month old dog is simply a baby, it's maturity level is obviously not to par with an older dog and expecting too much and too much pressure can backfire. Unless you know darn well who you are dealing with, I'd have to think hard about sending it off, especially if outlandish guarantees of what will be accomplished.

I'm upfront with my clients about what the expectations should be, I have a 5 month old Llew right now that picks up things very quickly and actually is doing better than a few others that are twice her age but at the end of the day shes very much a pup and this has to be kept in mind. These young dogs have their entire life to be bird dogs, why send them for a masters degree when they haven't even enjoyed their first highschool dance?

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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by averageguy » Sun Apr 12, 2020 12:26 pm

Seems we are all in agreement that much can and needs to be done with a puppy starting the day it comes home. The key being how it is done.

Ratdog's work situation makes sending his pup to a trainer the best option and so be it. I am not picking at his situation or need to do the best for his puppy and family under the circumstances by sending it out for training.

On the bigger subject at large of sending very young puppies to a trainer however, no pro trainer I am aware of is going to spend the amount of time I spend with my puppies. Nor are they going to give them the varied exposure I give mine.

I took this video yesterday, my pup is 15 weeks old. She had been working this way in that cover for about 15 minutes before she was close and visible enough to take that short clip. She is learning to use her nose and hunts that cover for rabbit nests, voles, birds that flush and fly and the occasional pigeon I have set for her. Having worked that cover/field many times since she arrived she is bold enough to get out on her own at ranges over 100 yards at times. Which is not bad for a 15 week old pup in that type of cover.

I have also transported her to other similar natural areas 6 times now. She already looks forward to the excursions and tries to get up in the back of my pickup when she sees the tailgate down. She is much less bold in ranging out in strange territory which is the reason we go there. I walk and remain silent, she explores and learns. There are wild birds there and soon she will encounter them.

I am doing several short bursts of PR based obedience training and retrieving drills daily, have worked two pigeons in launchers, and done 4 gunfire introduction sessions (moved up to the 28 gauge yesterday), but none of that is as critical as those daily walks in developing my puppy. She spends 5 hours in the house with us through the evening hours teaching her to be a good citizen (lots more work there still ahead) and sleeping in our laps/bonding.

I don't see any pro trainer being able to compete with that.

Hence my belief the overwhelming general case is it a critical foundational period in the puppy's life that is far better handled by the owner.

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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by RatDog » Sun Apr 12, 2020 3:40 pm

Seems sensible. Not going to argue that point. If that’s possible, it sounds like the best case scenario to me. That’s awesome!


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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by Sharon » Sun Apr 12, 2020 5:20 pm

I would suggest that whenever possible you work with the trainer and your dog. Dogs can often work great with the trainer, and then when they come home they aren't used to working with the owner.
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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by RatDog » Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:56 pm

Sharon wrote:I would suggest that whenever possible you work with the trainer and your dog. Dogs can often work great with the trainer, and then when they come home they aren't used to working with the owner.
Yeah, that’s a great point. I probably need as much training as the dog does. I spent most of the day with him when I dropped the dog off and I look forward to doing the same when I pick him up. He’s doing a Rick Smith seminar this summer that I’m gonna go to which sounds cool.

I also found a really cool looking dog club that has separate meetings for retrievers, flushers and pointers. I look forward to checking that out as well.


https://www.mhgdc.org/


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RatDog
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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by RatDog » Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:58 pm

Best of all I booked a week in September chasing sharpies and Huns at a lodge in SD and a week in MN in October for grouse and woodcock. Really look forward to watching the guides handle their dogs!


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Sharon
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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by Sharon » Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:54 am

Those are great plans. I learned a LOT at the Rick Smith Seminar. You'll really enjoy it.
" We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote

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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by setterpoint » Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:03 am

put your book down and stop reading it, work with the trainer when you get your pup back
spend a day with the trainer and see how he worked the dog ask what you should do with the dog
iv seen dogs that did great with the trainer but seem to forget a lot of what it had learned, but it was the dogs owner that confussed the dog
so learn all you can on how the trainer reacted to the dog

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Re: Dog Being a Baby

Post by Sharon » Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:46 am

as he has planned to do. See the above posts.
" We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote

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