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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it ok to get someone to call into the house to take a pup to stretch his legs. I've just started a new job and occasionally I can only get home at Lunchtimes and wondered about Lab sitting etc

My Pup is 15 weeks old

I'm trying my best to keep commands simple and consistent and he's starting obedience classes in September

Is it ok for Lab sitters or anyone else. I don't want them letting him do things we don't want him to or let him pick up bad habits or things that may hinder Field trial training when the time is right

Or would it be ok if they take him on a lead and nothing else or would it all be to confusing and do more harm than good

Any thoughts and advice would be great
 

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I have a dog walker and I train my dogs towards tests and trial. I don't suspect I'll ever have a field trial champ, but I have a pair of dogs that love to work.

If you make the point now with your dog walker about the things you don't want them to do - tuggy games or too many retrieves then things should be fine.

I strongly feel that my boys know when there is play time - ie with Hazel, or when we are "working" there is a different attitude they assume.
 

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I agree with Fi - when we first got Mac i had every intention of working him sadly this has taken a back seat now) bu our dog walker was more than happy to follow our lead with any commands or intructions.

I honestly don't think I'd have quite the well behaved dog I do if it wasn't for her :wink:
 

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Walking to heel is a big part of gundog work, so is the dog walker able to cope with that? If the walker allows him to pull then you are going to have difficulties on that score. I understand your problem but dont know the answer. Certainly I would not want anyone to be handling my dogs. It's a difficult situation.

Regards, John
 

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My dog walker never has the dogs on a lead, she tends to go to places where they are not necessary. I actively discouraged her from doing anything like training or formal heel work when she has them - free running only! It means that when the lead comes out they know what it means.

The difficultys we do/did have though are that lots of dogs means lots of play in my dogs minds, that has been a harder nut to crack.

I had an interesting conversation with the dog walker about picures of my boys - in particular Pasco. The pup that she takes out daily does not look like the pup we take photos of! She says he looks softer in our pictures!

This is what leads me to believe they act differently with her than they do with me. Could be bunkum!
 

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I have a dog walker too, and also want to work towards competing and/or picking up.

I've just had to change dog walker (became too expensive for 2 dogs), but she was just fabulous. She's the trainer that all the local vets recommend and absolutely would not tolerate pulling on lead, shooting off without being released first etc. So, what I'm saying is, I think it can work, provided both you and the dog walker are talking the same language :wink:

In an ideal world, I wouldn't use a dog walker, but needs must..... and I'm not about to put my desire to train the dogs to competition standard before their need for exercise and socialisation. Over the past year various people have taken a sharp intake of breath and said 'oooh having a dog walker will bring nothing but trouble for gundog training. If I were you, I'd just get someone to let them out in the garden for a wee at lunchtime.' I tend to politely thank them for their opinion, but then ignore it. Being stuck in the house all day with only a 5 minute toilet break isn't what I want for my dogs.
 

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I've never felt there was a need for a dog walker for my dogs, but I would never let anybody other than myself (and my girlfriend) handle my dog while I'm training it. Certainly not during the first months until they are roughly 18 months old.
If you want to get to a high competition level, lots of free running on a daily basis is also something I would not recommend.
 

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I agree Dave but I do think this one short thread very interestingly shows the balance which is difficult to attain between PET/working dog and WORKING/pet dog.

I do think as long as owners understand they may hit a certain ceiling in their gundog work, partly because of the their routine and partly because of the fact the dog is a pet dog first and a working dog second then its right to agree with the statement mentioned that someone above said along the line of 'I'm not going to allow my dogs exercise/socilaisation to suffer because I might want to compete with him one day'.

If heady heights are desired, then no I agree I wouldn't want anyone else setting any of the groundrules for my dog daily. And anyone with daily or near daily contact is going to mould your dog's behaviour however much you hope they aren't.

I have recently come to the mind that with more and more pet dogs stepping into the working world (and how lovely that they are) as long as the owners enjoy the ride seeing how far they can go with them, but are realistic to the pits they may plop in now and then with consistancy, maybe noise, possibly desire to please on a 'every time' basis (rather than a 'sometimes' basis) etc etc, then its all a win win situation.

Di
 

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And as a quick footnote, remember, regardless of set up and daily routine, only gods 'chosen few' do really well with the first dog they decide to train up for gundog work (field trials are a long way off for even some of the best working dogs so its 'gundog training' you will be looking for labnick') ;-)

So do whats best in your eyes for your dog and then work with that to the best of your and her ability. Then see what tweeks to your set up and daily routine you might wish to make for dog two. They will become apparent in time.

Di
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks all for the great advice and putting it into perspective

I guess one of the reasons for considering Lab sitting/walking is that George is in his cage when we are not at home (to avoid any house destriction!)

He's perfectly happy in there and seems to like listening to Heart FM although they play a bit too much Take That!!! But he goes all night with no problems

But I get a bit of a guilt trip that he's in there for too long especially as he's 15 weeks and getting quite big - so that's another thing to solve. I feel a bit of Kennel investigation coming on?!
 

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Sorry I am a little late joining this thread. :oops:

I definitely used to be someone who would not be happy with others walking my dogs, let alone doing bits of training with them, but I have to say I have changed my opinion completely in recent years. I think it has been quite useful to let others handle my dogs out training not to say quite surprising at how well they cope with it.

I also when I have a beginner turn up here for a lesson will often give them one of my dogs so they can actually "feel" what proper heelwork is like. Its all very well explaining it to people, but I am a firm believer in letting them have some hands on experience of it.

So labnick I would say it would be better for your dog to be walked, and I would also give some thought to a kennel. I would be more worried about other habits like noise that might happen when being crated.
 

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I absolutely agree, compared to being crated through a full working day then definately a walker or someone to let the dog out should and I am sure will come before any consideration of him working now or in the future, for sure.

Di
 
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