1st Waterfowl Dog

foulshot

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I'm going to be getting my first waterfowl dog.  A 12 week old labarador retriever, with field champion lines, and I don't want to mess up the training.  I have done obedience training before, but no waterfowl training.  Are there any good books to follow?  Any advice would be much appreciated.
 

steve

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Fowlshot ,the author for Duck Dog and  Water Dog is last name of Wolters,heard real good things about him from many dog owners not just hunters.Book stores will have his books and I know Knutson's recreational sales inc has those books.I dont know if they have a web site here's their ph#1 800 248-9318.Good luck ,have fun just remember patience.
 

TealMan

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I am going through your exact scenario right now (my pup is now 7 1/2 months old), and read Waterdog, as well as a few others.  I found "Training Retrievers for the Marshes and Meadows" by James Spencer to be great.  Another awesome resources is the Gundog Forum at www.refugeforums.com
 

Speckmisser

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Here's another vote/recommendation for the Richard Wolters books (Gun Dog, Water Dog).  Great, very easy to follow instruction.  He also helps you understand WHY some of these things work or don't work.  

James Lamb Free's "Training Your Retriever" is also good stuff.  

I've used these three books to train every lab I've owned, and it works.  But no book can train the dog for you... you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO SPEND TIME WITH THE DOG.  Get out and work daily, even if it's only fifteen minutes or a half-hour.  It doesn't always have to be hard work, sometimes just taking a walk and practicing obedience commands (sit, heel, stay, etc.) is all you need to do.  Also, have to be completely consistent in reward as well as punishment.  

There's nothing as rewarding as watching a dog you trained perform just like he's supposed to when you hit the field.  And nothing as aggravating as having to scream your head off at one that doesn't perform at all.
 

Bodie

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I got my first Lab last December and I too read Wolters books.  I read Game Dog, Water Dog, and Family Dog.  All are excellent.  I bought my books through Amazon.com, but later found that people sometimes are selling used copies on EBAY.  Might be a cheaper way to find them.   New the books run $20-$25.

After reading Wolters book a friend gave me a copy of the Tri-tronics Retriever Training book by Jim & Phyllis Dobbs.  Only read this book if you plan on using an electric collar.  I found the book and the method of training with the e-collar to be very effective.  I got great results and a highly trained dog by following this book.  I also, used the forced fetch instructions in this book and it worked out really well for me.

Remember, the best thing you can do, is short (10-15) minutes training sessions on a daily basis.  I used to try and do two sessions a day.  The more consistent you are the better the results.  Also, if your dog stops progressing when training, remember to go back to the basics for awhile.

Also, the most important thing I feel, is to have birds available for training.  I primarily used pigeons because they are cheap, easy to get, and easy to keep until needed.  You can even freeze them so that you can use them over and over again.  Also, try to expose your dog to each bird species you plan on hunting.  The more bird exposure your dog gets as a pup the more birdy he will become.

Just my  two cents.  

Good Luck and have LOTS OF PATIENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Duke

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If you want to use a bird for retriving you can go to whistlingwings.com and buy retriving ducks.
 

mudroller

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the books are good, but both Wolters books and Dobbs books are on video now, and it is a LOT easier to learn using the videos. Also, pony up right now and buy a Dogtra e-collar, it is the best training money you can spend. Dogtra sends a training video with the collar, and it alone is nearly enough to do your training. Go to dobbsdogs.com to buy online,(they have EVERYTHING) or if you are in the Marysville/Yuba City area go into their store. They ocasionally have used/reconditioned e-collars for sale, at about 1/2 retail< in perfectly good condtion. Stick with Dogtra collars though, they are adjustable at the handheld unit and can be set so low they can barely feel it, you don't need to ZING the dog to control it, just a little pinprick. They sell a collar that has a vibrating pager like function, I have taught my shorthair and my chessie to come to that function, I never have to yell at my dogs. If that dog is 12 weeks, you should be able to intro it to birds soon, My chessie made her first "kill" at 16 weeks, but she had been retrieving bumpers and frozen dead pigeons for 6 weeks prior.
  All "play" time can be school time if you do as Richard Wolters says. I would tell your family what commands are going to be used and use those only. I have seen many great potential dogs ruined by well meaning wives.
 

Mike Riley

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Mudroller is right on the money.  Wolters on the basics and Dobbs to finish the rough spots.  Buy the collar directly from Jim and they'll give you a 1/2 hour walk through on how to use it correctly.  Worth the drive to Huncut for the lesson.

(Edited by Mike Riley at 4:54 pm on Nov. 13, 2001)


(Edited by Mike Riley at 4:55 pm on Nov. 13, 2001)
 

foulshot

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Thanks for all the good books fellas.  I'm going to hit the bookstores this weekend.  The new pup may trim down my hunting time the rest of the season, but it will be worth it in the long run.  I look forward to bonding with my new huntin buddy, and many good hunts together.
 

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