Another first timer needs help


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By AZfowler - 7/25/2012 11:48:29 AM
Good morning Ladies and Gentleman,

I plan on getting my first dog here the end of next week and look forward to training him to hunt. My question is about how to handle the fact that this is to be a family dog as well as hunting dog. I have three boys who love our old mutt to death and go nowhere without her and they are very excited at the prospect of the new puppy. Fetch is there favorite game and im just curious as to wether this is going to be an issue down the line in the dogs training. Will he be able to play and learn "bad" habits with the kids and differentiate between play time and work time? Im sure i am not the first to ask this question but i would really appreciate any help. Oh by the way he is a male black lab. thanks again. 
By Pit Boss - 7/25/2012 4:34:07 PM
I would not let the kids throw things for the pup. Chances are the pup will play tug of war with the toy teaching him to be hard mouthed at an early age. Your pup will also learn early on that he/she doesn't have to return on the retrieve. It is easier to prevent bad habits than it is to fix them.
What are the bloodlines of your pup? What kind of health guarantee? 
By Tim Price - 7/25/2012 7:08:42 PM
Agree with PB not to let the kids throw stuff for play. Better yet, if your kids are old enough, get them involved in the training stuff when you are around. First thing is get Mertens Sound Beginnings video. Make the kids watch it with you. They will learn what and why you are doing things. My kids were 10 and 7 when I got my last pup and they totally loved the video and loved being part of teaching the pup.

That really helps get everyone on board so you don't end up posting on here that "my pup listens to me but won't listen to my wife or kids. It bites them too. Why is that." The answer is simply because they don't know how to train a dog.

Best of luck
By AZfowler - 7/26/2012 7:38:13 PM
Thank you kindly for the input fellas, Pit the dam is a close personal friend of mines and the sire is a mutual acquaintence eyes are free of defect in both parents and hips in both are OFA acceptable. as far as bloodlines im not sure of the exact lineages but the trusted owner of the mother assures me they are good. I am very new to this aspect of waterfowling and while i strive for perfection in everything i do i will simply do my best and look forward to the experience more than anything. Tim, that is a great recomendation ian i had honestly had never even thought of it. my twin boys are seven and this would be a great experience for all us to have together. I really appreciate it guys and will keep you updated on my progress.
By Swamper - 7/26/2012 9:02:01 PM
everything you do will have some affect on the pup.  most will create bad habits that are hard to undo. 

having the children work with you, from day one, is a great idea.

if you want to have a working dog right out of the gate, then begin training from day one.

obedience is number one.

short leash always when outside. walking in heel position.

he won't know that "work" is his fun time.

no tug of war.

lots of praise for everything he does successfully.  repeat and repeat the mistakes until he reaches success. 

and always...........lots of love.

good luck.

here's a link i found surfing the net.   some good thoughts.

 http://www.duckhuntingchat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=21169&start=0&sid=f6b755c8f00993aa1e83c817fe0f58d7#p153714
By Pit Boss - 7/27/2012 9:53:33 PM
Swamper (7/26/2012)
everything you do will have some affect on the pup.  most will create bad habits that are hard to undo. 

having the children work with you, from day one, is a great idea.

if you want to have a working dog right out of the gate, then begin training from day one.

obedience is number one.

short leash always when outside. walking in heel position.

he won't know that "work" is his fun time.

no tug of war.

lots of praise for everything he does successfully.  repeat and repeat the mistakes until he reaches success. 

and always...........lots of love.

good luck.

here's a link i found surfing the net.   some good thoughts.

 http://www.duckhuntingchat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=21169&start=0&sid=f6b755c8f00993aa1e83c817fe0f58d7#p153714
Just a couple things different that I would do.
If this is a young pup, I would not recommend keeping the pup at heel on a leash. Instead, I would let the young pup drag a light weight leash around on short walks for several days until he gets used to the leash. Let him get use to it and it will save you a little fight. If you put a leash on the pup, he will fight you from the beginning. Instead of fighting him, let him drag the leash. If he doesn't keep up with you, simply clap, call him and run a short distance away from the pup. He should follow you eagerly.
Swamper may have been talking about a little older pup. In that case, I will always have a check cord on an older pup to ensure that he will return and develop good habits.
I would not recommend repeating mistakes. Instead, if the pup is unsuccessful at something, I would simplify.
Good luck and maybe Tim can find a link to some of his old threads.
By Pit Boss - 7/27/2012 9:56:05 PM
The best advice I can offer is for you to join your local retriever club. This will be the smartest move you can make in training a solid retriever.
By AZfowler - 7/31/2012 9:23:28 AM
I have been doing some looking into the clubs, i am equi distance from the central coast and bakerfield in the middle of nowhere here in california, i have just moved here for work i have found a couple on both sides. Is either area more reputable for trainers or clubs?
By Pit Boss - 7/31/2012 6:29:03 PM
AZ, I do have a couple questions that may also benefit others on this board.
You mentioned that the parents hips are OFA "acceptable"? I do not believe that there is such a rating. This is something you may want to inquire about.
You mentioned the hips had been checked but did they check the elbows? Both of these should have an OFA rating.
Good to hear the eyes are free of defects. The rating for the eyes should be clear.
Other very important tests that should be done for labs include EIC and CNM. If you are not familiar with these genetic disorders you should take the time to research these. I would not consider getting a lab that the parents were tested for these defects. Below is a link to the OFA site that will help you. 
Are you getting a health guarantee with the pup? If the people are breeding healthy dogs they should not have a problem giving you a minimum of a twenty six month guarantee. 26 months is very important. OFA will not give you a rating on a dog until it reaches 24 months. I have seen people give a 24 month guarantee. You might as well wipe your ass with that.
Have the parents been tested for these defects and if so they should have proof. If you are not sure feel free to ask questions.
A free or cheap pup is not necessarily a good deal and may cost you a lot more in the long run if it has any of these defects. Also, a poorly bred dog could be another costly mistake. I know you said that you trusted the owners and I am not suggesting they are lying, but many people think they have a good or even great lines when they actually have poor bloodlines. Feel free to post the pedigree and ask any questions.
I am not familiar with the clubs in California, but I would recommend one that runs hunt tests or field trials and not one that specifically runs WC or WCX. Even if you have no intention of running field trials, the basics are the same as hunt test. 

By Swamper - 7/31/2012 7:31:58 PM
yes, certainly don't repeat the mistakes..............

as for the leash, my advice was for a pup  comfortable with a leash around his neck.. walking around with a short leash dragging is a great start.
By Pit Boss - 7/31/2012 9:02:04 PM
Swamper, I thought you were talking about a pup that has already been introduced to the leash. I just wanted to make sure that was clear. I know people that put a leash on a 7-8 week old pup and dragged it down the street the first day they brought it home. Not a great way to start bonding with your new pup.
By AZfowler - 8/1/2012 9:41:33 AM
Pit, you have given me alot more research to do! it is an inexpensive puppy,hopefully due to my relationship with the mothers owner and not other reasons. to be completely honest i have no idea what OFA acceptable is, it is all i was told about both parents hips, elbows were never even brought up and i havent seen any paperwork to corroborate any of this including the eyes. both of the parents seem to be very healthy and active but i am far from a vet or an experienced lab handler. No gaurantee in terms of months has been set forth it is something else i will have to inquire about. I am feeling less and less adequetly informed about getting this puppy. i plan on inquiring about all of these things and will update by tonight. I will also try and and post a pedigree. Thank you for the link to the ofa website so can at least get an idea of what to look for in paperwork etc. While this is certainly the proverbial wet blanket i dont want to have the experience turn into a nightmare down the road because i went into it underinformed and half cocked. thanks again to everyone and i will update. 
By Pit Boss - 8/1/2012 5:24:12 PM
I don't think that most breeders are trying to deceive the client. I think most breeders are just not educated about the genetic disorders or willing to spend the money on the necessary tests. I think people would be shocked if they knew how many dogs were EIC carriers. It's not bad if you have a carrier, you just cannot breed to another carrier. One of the females I have is a carrier. If I failed to test her and bred her to another carrier she would throw 50% EIC affected puppies. If I breed her to a clear male she will not produce any affected pups. If you're not sure what EIC is, take the time to google a video.

Just think if you use 4 gallons of gas a week during the next two years to go training, add in vet bills and dog food. You will easily have spent a minimum of 2 grand. Now that does not include your time. Just imagine if after 2 years of your time and all the money you spent, you find out your free or inexpensive pup has a genetic disease or is dysplastic? Now that pup is no longer looking like a bargain.

I posted this some time ago so I will keep it short. My neighbor who I hunt with occasionally, use to give me crap when I would tell him about health clearances. He bred his female and gave a guarantee with the pups. He never had the necessary health tests done on his female. I asked him why he offered a guarantee and he said that he thought it would help him sell his pups. It did help him sell the pups, but now people are finding out that the pups are dysplastic and they are asking for a replacement pup or their money back. My point is, just because someone offers you a guarantee, doesn't mean they actually had the tests done. I don't think most people are as dumb as my neighbor, but verifying that they had the tests done are as easy as asking for their OFA #'s and EIC#'s and you may be able to find the parents on the CNM White List.

I am not suggesting that you cannot get a good dog at a cheap price, just be careful not to get a cheap dog at a cheap price. It may cost you a lot more money in the long run and a lot more heartache.

By Pit Boss - 8/11/2012 10:06:05 AM
AZfowler, did you ever get a pedigree? If the breeders have a web-site maybe you can attach a link to their site?