Labradors Forums banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Someone please explain to me, because I'm feeling like I'm the only one not in on the big secret here?!!!

So,...it's wrong with a capital 'W' to start seriously training a pup too young (eg until 6 months), so how come pups who have had no serious training until, say 6 or 7 months can suddenly be competing and doing rather well at 9 or 10 months of age? What on earth are you doing in that 2-3 month slot between it being too young and then being at competition standard?? Even if you have a good recall, reasonable heelwork and the stop, how do you then cram blinds, directions, go backs, walk-ups, distractions, etc into that teeny space of time? I've seen dogs at training who are around a year old and have already done puppy tests and doing them very well...... how can that be????!
I'm almost clawing at the computer screen to know the answer! 8O I've always thought of training a pup as building up slowly on exercises and gradually introducing new things over time but it seems that, in this crazy, ol' gundogging world, pups go from 0-60 in about 2 weeks! Is there some big secret that you aren't telling? Are you all so flippin darn good that you can pick up an un-trained 6 month old and teach it everything it needs to know about gundogging in one easy session? Aaaagggghhhhh!!!!!
<<heads off to start rocking and dribbling in the corner!!!>>

Becs and The Gang
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
is that a set rule not to train them before 6 months, or is that only on the field trials, sorry if im being a bit dense,

Do they say that due to there young bones with all the jumping etc etc, but surely wouldnt the dogs be better if you was able to train them from 8 weeks old so they have the basics

sorry if im going in the completly wrong direction, do apologise if i have

gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,504 Posts
Dear Becs,

Ok, Allan just smiled. Opened another Beer, and said to me 'get out of that one!'...... and laughed like an evil leprachorn.... ;-)

Di
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,734 Posts
I must admit that is something I wondered considering we started with Theo at 7 months old and at 9 months although we have made some progress he is nowhere near competition standard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,534 Posts
Diana said:
Dear Becs,

Ok, Allan just smiled. Opened another Beer, and said to me 'get out of that one!'...... and laughed like an evil leprachorn.... ;-)

Di
:lol: :lol: :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,913 Posts
i'm guessing the kind of folks that don't touch the pup till they are six months are the kind that have there dogs kenneled.

You couldn't in good conscience live with a dog in the house and not have rules and there for learning of rules!

There are things though that are pointless cracking on with until the pups a bit older and more confident, but thats specific to each dog. You could well have your pup doing something at 5 months... that it looses the condifence in doing at 10 months.... and that would be soul destroying for the dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,504 Posts
Dear Becs

Allan here, I know and from what i've read in the past that Di is hinting towards you taking it slowly with mouse. All I can say is that from my own oppinion and experience, she is correct to try and pass this advice on to you.

At the end of the day nobody knows there own kennel better, than those that have spent the time and commitment learning about their own dogs and their breeding.
I for one have learnt alot from handling 'Jade' these past two years and it has helped me work how best to train her son. (Fish)(Mainly not to over do it and make him flat)

With regards to 'Fish' and his training, I can only report the following:

I have geared his training to suit his attitude and overhaul outlook on life, something i personally feel couldn't even be figured out until the dog is at least 6 months old and had sometime to develop.

I started Fish's training at approximatly this age, (obviously simple commands like 'Sit' for example were introduced alot earlier). My training sessions are 15 to 20mins maximum each outing.

He is 10months old now and we are working on memory backs over longer distances down a track to encourage the natural enthusiasm that exist's. I am yet to introduce handling (left or Rights) or the stop whistle which obviously goes with the handling.

I am taking it slowly with 'Fish' mainly because I feel that this is the age where the dog/bitch should be figuring things out for themselves and not becoming to reliant on their handler, above all it should be 'FUN' for the dogs.

I decided to enter the UGS 'Fun day' as a spur of the moment thing, as it just so happened I finished work early on Saturday and was able to attend. Obviously I entered knowing it would be a bit of fun and knowing full well that my dog doesn't handle yet or stop on the whistle. But hey, he's 10 months, so I don't care! It was encouraging more than anything to see that what effort had been put in, in the last four months has had the desired effect so far.

I will continue to train Fish gradually over the coming months, happy in the knowledge that taking it slowly seems to be the right way to play it with my puppy.

This is only my view and at the end of the day, it is a case of whatever works. All i can say is that handling a dog that trots for you because it's bored of the whole damn thing is far worse than waiting that little while longer to end up with a dog that lives for it, for life!!

Regards
Allan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
8O The Great Computer God was clearly displeased with me for a while and, after I'd got my little outburst out of my system, the computer said "no", lost connection and wouldn't let me back on until I'd gone for a nice walk, bought a new packet of ****, poured another XXL G&T and told me to go away and not come back until I could be nice!!

Sooo....Ok Al, I can see what you are saying and it only goes to highlight my novice-ish-ness (is that a word?!) I feel so left-behind and so bloomin 'old' to be starting something so new when there is so much to learn and so many billion mistakes to make and a trillion more just waiting in the wings to leap out and grab me just when I think I might be getting a handle on it all. Why wasn't I born and bred in a khaki-baby-grow and bought my first Field-Trial bred lab for a christening present?:evil: It's so frustrating to be trying to listen and read and go to classes, trying to figure everything out about a whole new way of dog-training when my elderly-braincells are reducing faster than house-prices.

I'm just reeling in shock/admiration/the pure ballsiness of entering a 'Funday' anything with a pup that isn't fully, totally, 100% and then some- trained because I thought that Khaki-folk took it all absolutely poker-faced seriously and that they'd make little staw-dolls of people who came along, entered and maybe ballsed it up, to burn at their 'funday-barbeque' later in the day 8O

Thank-you for explaining your reasoning and logic, and taking the time to try and explain to 'Mrs-she's-off-on-one-again'! I don't think I'm ever going to understand the whole khaki-malarky scene as I seem to have been born without a khaki-gene in my body (darn my Towny-genetics!) but me and my sluggish pair of wanna-be gundogs will continue to enjoy being bewildered by it all. :lol:

Becs and The Gang
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,504 Posts
Laughing at last night ;-)

Just to emphasise to GStuart and Goldiesgirl and so on, we aren't here, on this thread talking about 'training' as in sit, stay, come, heel - the basics of every dogs good manners. YES absolutely! That starts at 8 weeks or before.

We are talking taking training further (and I know the use of the word 'training' makes it a bit broad spectrum but we 'presume' the basics are taught) and moving on towards specific gundog training work.

That was what becs was concerned about, and that was what Allan was saying 'look, we haven't moved on as much as you think, its just the basics are sound (which allowed him to have a bash at a fundog working test and do reasonably well with our 10 month old) and now at ten months we stretch on a little to be more demanding from here on in...'

I hope that is a bit clearer. Its impossible to think of a dog of any age above 8 weeks NOT being taught the basics of good manners, kennelled or otherwise. Its the ore specific nitty gritty handling, retrieving, controlled hunting, extra additional commands work we now debate here....

I have these visions of folks thinking gundogs don't sit and come when they are called till they are six months old, and thats just not the case.

Di
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,504 Posts
Laughing at last night ;-)

Just to emphasise to GStuart and Goldiesgirl and so on, we aren't here, on this thread talking about 'training' as in sit, stay, come, heel - the basics of every dogs good manners. YES absolutely! That starts at 8 weeks or before.

We are talking taking training further (and I know the use of the word 'training' makes it a bit broad spectrum but we 'presume' the basics are taught) and moving on towards specific gundog training work.

That was what becs was concerned about, and that was what Allan was saying 'look, we haven't moved on as much as you think, its just the basics are sound (which allowed him to have a bash at a fundog working test and do reasonably well with our 10 month old) and now at ten months we stretch on a little to be more demanding from here on in...'

I hope that is a bit clearer. Its impossible to think of a dog of any age above 8 weeks NOT being taught the basics of good manners, kennelled or otherwise. Its the ore specific nitty gritty handling, retrieving, controlled hunting, extra additional commands work we now debate here....

I have these visions of folks thinking working gundogs don't sit and come when they are called till they are six months old, and thats just not the case.

Di
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,504 Posts
Laughing at last night ;-)

Just to emphasise to GStuart and Goldiesgirl and so on, we aren't here, on this thread talking about 'training' as in sit, stay, come, heel - the basics of every dogs good manners. YES absolutely! That starts at 8 weeks or before.

We are talking taking training further (and I know the use of the word 'training' makes it a bit broad spectrum but we 'presume' the basics are taught) and moving on towards specific gundog training work.

That was what becs was concerned about, and that was what Allan was saying 'look, we haven't moved on as much as you think, its just the basics are sound (which allowed him to have a bash at a fundog working test and do reasonably well with our 10 month old) and now at ten months we stretch on a little to be more demanding from here on in...'

I hope that is a bit clearer. Its impossible to think of a dog of any age above 8 weeks NOT being taught the basics of good manners, kennelled or otherwise. Its the ore specific nitty gritty handling, retrieving, controlled hunting, extra additional commands work we now debate here....

I have these visions of folks thinking working gundogs don't sit and come when they are called till they are six months old, and thats just not the case.

Di

PS Becs, something I forgot to say was it was for charity. A good charity. Hence having a bash. He wouldn't have entered a bona fide working test yet by any means - we have brakes but no steering right now ;-)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,716 Posts
I am loving the question Becs :wink: It's something that has crossed my mind too in the past.

I would say with my boy it's only the last 3 weeks I have upped the training. Before that it was all sits and stays, recall and heelwork. Nothing fancy, very few retrieves. No steadiness to the dummy, at all. In this short 3 week period he has come on in leaps and bounds, particulalry in the last week.

He is now steady by my side when dummies are thrown (only v recently). I am being so careful with casting him off, making sure he's set up right and looking straight down my arm, and he has quickly caught onto this. I've upped the complexity of the retrieves (thanks to our trainer pushing us a little bit on Friday, which we probably needed), for sending him to two memories at a time now (dummies spaced at wide angles to one another) and have steadilly these last two weeks increased the distance to the dummies quite considerably. Have brought in the stop whistle at a distance now, not far from me though and he's getting that too (but not on retrives, just for a thrown dummy or a treat). So all of a sudden, things are happening but that's on the back of knowing he's a keen retriever and has some of the basic basics under his paw now. It's definately an exponential curve of learning here. I don't know if that is normal or not, just the way things seem to be working out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,224 Posts
Becs - Vegas is 12 months and we're taking things very slowly - we've introduced the stop whistle and directions, but he's certainly not spot on with them, still learning them. He's also lacking in confidence on blinds, so we have stepped back on those at the moment and going back to memories for a few weeks.

I was hoping to put him into a puppy test last month, and I knew he wasn't ready so we didn't. I had hopes for this month... but again, he's not ready. I'm considering one in early September, but again it's likely he won't be ready. I don't want to enter him into a test unless I am sure he can complete the test - I want him (and me!!!) to come away feeling like we weren't abject failures.

So although his litter brother has been in a few tests, Vegas isn't ready yet so I'm not going to push him (I'm just letting Lorraine have all the glory with Sampson now, and we'll nick it all off her in a year or two's time!! LOL).

As my 1-2-1 trainer is constantly reminding me - Slowly slowly catchee monkey...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,734 Posts
Di - I was meaning Gundog work, I understand that most puppies are taught basics at a young age just in order for them to be mannered. It is the gundog work we have been doing with Theo for the past 2 months and are making extremely slow progress!! I honestly think this is probably partly my fault as I'm totally new to it, but also Theo is a very hyper strong willed little dog. He is very much the embarrassment of his training class, but we've been told by numerous people he will get there in the end it's just going to take a lot of hard work so I refuse to give up, even though at times normally at the end pf classes I do think why am I bothering... I was just curious how some people manage to get their dogs to a standard where they can consider entering tests with dogs not much older than Theo whereas others struggle with them at this age. I do understand this is probably due to the temperament of the dog and the experience of the handler I was just interested in the response Becs would get and I will say Al's response was very interesting and it does confirm to me that it is largely down to the experience of the handler as he knows a hell of a lot more than me so he'd have probably managed to iron out the problems we're having with Theo an awful lot earlier. I do often wonder if Theo would have progressed further if he had a more experienced handler !

Sorry for rabbiting on I'm not very good with putting across what I want to say in terms of words but I just wanted to clear up why I was interested in Becs original question and the responses she's got.

Lauren x
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
thanks for the info, really appreciate it, i thought the reason was not to train them in gundog mode until 6 months onwards due to there bones not being fully developed.

It is also at this age due to them hopefully being a bit steadier taking the command in more

thanks again for the info

all the best

gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,504 Posts
" I do understand this is probably due to the temperament of the dog and the experience of the handler "


... Hi lauren. I think its a lot to do with the grounding that the dog recieves before progressing onto more exciting stuff. I wouldn't for one second from a forum be able to take a stab at why you are struggling, but unfortunately it always has to come down to how well the basics are installed... and maintained (as they need maintenance).... and basically, I think the difference being, when you are learning the ropes, you go to classes a fair bit, where regardless of whather the dog is good or not, there is pressure on the trainer to push on for the sake of the rest of the class. On your own, which is how more experienced handlers start their dogs, you just stop in your tracks and go back a stage.... repeatedly if need be....until you get it just how you want it....before moving on again.

Classes can be quite counter productive to some dogs - both ends of the spectrum. dogs that need whizzing up, an hour sitting around with just a few minutes action each can switch them off terribly.

A whizzy dog can be allowed to commit 'sins' that can't be corrected because would take ages, and the instructor has to share his or her time, understandably.

So the expeienced trainer/handler has an advantage straight away because they will usually start their dog up to probably 6 - 10 months, maybe longer, on their own, at their own pace, and know how to correct problems that crop up. Where as the newcomer handler has to often rely on classes which is not always the best environment. 1 to 1's are excellent but expensive usually, so its all tricky... but hopefully you will get there! Never never give up. And practice tons at home, going back a step more often than you go forward to cement things...

Di
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,734 Posts
Yes Theo is getting left behind by his training class unfortunately, and last week I did very much wonder whether it was actually helping him, but I do understand for the sake of the other dogs things have to move on and it's the last class this week so I will take him and see how we go. The club doesn't commence training classes again until the spring so I'm planning to use this time to try and set in stone the things we have learnt and if I feel I'm making headway with him then try and do a couple one to one sessions with the trainer to progress further. And if need be next spring we'l go back in at the beginners stage and hopefully by then he will have calmed down a little more and won't be the worst in his class.

Thanks for your response

Lauren x
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That's really interesting about classes. I'm getting so confused and uptight as I'm being encouraged to progress at a fairly cracking pace with Mouse at class (and I have a lot of time and respect for my trainer, and she see's Mouse every week) but all the advice on here is to the contrary and makes total sense to me too.

I think I'm getting too caught up in it all now and I maybe need to just stop worrying so much about it because it's starting to send me a little bit nutty (!) and just get on with doing what I enjoy doing best which is training and having fun with my dogs. The more I try and follow all the excellent advice I'm getting, the more my confidence is hitting the deck!

I expect that Mouse will forgive me the mistakes I make along the way - she's very nice like that!

Becs and The Gang
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,722 Posts
Sorry Becs, I have kept out of these posts until now, but I find it impossible to say this:

You ask for advice and so you receive it - from very experienced people, if you would rather take the advice from your trainer (who you quite rightly point out sees Mouse every week) then why ask questions on here?

I very rarely ask for advice regarding Jake anymore on the forum - and that is not because I don't have any problems because I do, and its not because I don't value peoples' opinions from experience, because I do - but it was getting me into a tiz due to what you are finding - i.e. that there are differing opinions as to what to do in certain situations.

I also think who knows most about my dog and its characteristics? The answer for me: The Breeder. She has put in umpteen years' worth breeding these lines, working with these lines, knowing them inside out, so would know how to bring them on etc. Its not as though they haven't achieved anything so she must know something right? :wink:

Now I know you are more than capable at training your dogs to a high standard - that is not called into question, but the advice I would give having been in a similar situation (not knowing which way to turn) pick one or two people to advise you and stick with them. For example, Di sets me little programmes of things to work towards and we have private dialogue about progress, corrections etc. etc. and I have a local trainer who helps me out with 1-2-1s for the really sticky stuff that I need physical practical help with.

I really hope this helps... now Breathe! Slow Down and give yourself some thinking time - Mouse isn't going to miss out on anything if you don't do anything with her for a few days except let her be a puppy! :wink:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,702 Posts
Could I just give Rach a round of applause from this end for that post. :D

Believe me breeders do know there own dogs and it is well worth listening to what they have to say, and avoiding the confusion from asking for advice from so many different sources.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top