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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Complete novice to all this. Rufus is pretty obedient and I'm going to start training him for working. He does basic stuff: I can throw out a dummy, he'll watch it and then go and get it when I tell him. He can stop/sit/stay from a distance etc.

Just a couple of basic questions please:

I'm going to buy a whistle. Should I just get the basic PAH one or is there a special type to get.

Rufus is now almost 1 year old. His hips "couldn't be better" and are "excellent" (he had to go to sleep for a very short period of time to put some stitches in his leg following a bad cut, so I asked the vet to pop out a quick x-ray). He's very muscly and is used to a couple of good 1/2 hours walks a day we've been building up to. He's very springy and jumps a lot (clears obstacles etc). Should I feel pretty relaxed about him jumping obstacles now and maybe even think about small walls?

Thanks very much,

John
 

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Whistles, I would go for a cheap plastic Acme whistle, 210 or 211.5 pitch. You can get them from any gun shop online (have a look at Turner Richards) and because the pitch is guaranteed if you loose one than you can get another exactly the same. You will also need a lanyard so you can hang it round your neck.

Jumping, at a year old you can now start. Keep it low and keep it easy. Be more interested in jumping on command rather than height at the moment, and dont do too many. It's too early to have him out working this season so you have a year to build up the height in, so no rush.

Regards, John
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Great stuff - thanks very much!

I've never treated him to train him. Given that the gundog stuff is presumably harder to train, should I try treats as it will get results quicker (I'm certain of that!) and he's less likely to learn the wrong thing, or should i just reward normally (affection etc)?

John
 

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Most gundog trainers use very little in the way of titbits for training. We might as a way of teaching a sit or the like, but most training is a quiet "Good boy" and a gentle stroke. Most Labradors love to retrieve, so with a little thought the retrieve can be the reward for what went before.

should I try treats as it will get results quicker (I'm certain of that!) and he's less likely to learn the wrong thing
In fact, if the dog is focused on the treat it can actually take longer! The secret is to think what you are trying to achieve and break it down into the smallest possible parts and teach each part seperate, only bringing them together when each bit is learned.

Regards, John
 
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