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Im looking at getting a dog for the season next year. Ive never trained a dog on my own but Im really wanting to get a Lab as my first dog. Ive heard that female dogs are a lot easier for beginners to train and are less stubborn than males. Any suggestions as to what I should get would help a lot.
 

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I would also add that what you expect from your dog makes a big difference. If you are a first timer - and want your dog to be field trial quality - you may end up disappointed. If you want a dog that will fetch ducks when you shoot them, mind you most of the time, and above all - be a great companion - go for it.:up:
 

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Breeding, breeding, breeding that can not be stressed enough. You get what you pay for get good genetics no use starting the training process in the hole! Read the book. FOLLOW the book and be consistent with what you expect. Dogs are like any other member of the family if you give an inch they will expect two inches next time! When you are to the point where you are seeing progress go to a hunt test somewhere ( anywhere) in the state and compete. You'll have fun and learn a lot.
 

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Water dog is a good one. I hear people say that it's not a good one, because it doesn't cover Force Fetching. Well i've seen jam up dogs that weren't FF'd and top trial dogs as well.
A regular Joe can train a field trial dog, it just takes time and dedication.
Don't buy said puppy, bring him home, play with it, teach it to sit, fetch and leave him in the pen.
For 10 minutes a day over a few months, you can create a duck fetching, retrieving machine. I've done it, a few minutes a day.
Get about 5 bumpers, a 30ft. check cord, you don't need a shock collar either, and save some ducks/wings for the freezer.
I've seen too many good dogs go to crap with people that use a shock collar too much, takes the drive away from some.
Easiest to train, Female blacks are suppose to be it, I've had everything. Blacks seem to be good, and females are less stubborn. But i've had some that were. Get a good bloodline, and not just look at names, see the parents work. Don't buy some hyped up 40# ball of fire unless you have lots of time to work this dog. And having around $500 to buy a pup would be a good start.
It's not hard to do, just a little time daily and remember it's a puppy, they don't understand much english, no matter how loud you scream it or what extra words you yell.
 

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I'm one of those people ARTom..........Waterdog is a good book......just outdated IMHO. I think you'd be selling yourself short by not adding "10 minute Retriever" by John and Amy Dahl & "Smartworks" by Evan graham. Never can have too much reference material when it comes to training a dog.:up:
 

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You can find good dogs for less money... I have seen $1000 flops just the same as $100 flops.... I personally have a newspaper dog that I got from a guy around Georgetown. If I could find him again I would buy another. I have a pretty good dog (handicapped by the trainer) All a dog needs is drive!!! Newspaper dogs have it the same as breeder pups... only thing you get with breeder pups is a slight less chance of having a flop.
 

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A lot of it depends on your personality and that of the dog. Generally speaking females are easier to train. I can tell you this though, outside of watching my son call in his first bunch and killing his first mallard in flight, one of my favorite moments has been Anna the Wonder Lab's first retrieve. Very rewarding to say the least.
 

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The best book I have found for training... Retriever Training for the Duck Hunter [Hardcover]
Robert Milner (Author) I have been training my labs for 35 yrs.. buy the best dog u can afford from someone who hunts them u are making a commitment for 12-15 years with any luck... if you got a lota time and engery get a male and you want him mostly to hunt get a male be prepared for him to piss on everything you own and chase in everything in heet that is in 20 miles... but they make the best die-hard hunter... Female are twice as easy to train and will stay closer to home both are great with kids.
 

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I'm one of those people ARTom..........Waterdog is a good book......just outdated IMHO. I think you'd be selling yourself short by not adding "10 minute Retriever" by John and Amy Dahl & "Smartworks" by Evan graham. Never can have too much reference material when it comes to training a dog.:up:
Smartworks will give you a VERY good start.

http://www.rushcreekpress.com/

As for the pup, color and sex don't really make much difference, so decide which you prefer, THEN the work begins. Select your litter very carefully and make sure the breeding fits what YOU want. This doesn't guarantee anything, but it does put the cards a good ways in your favor.
 

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Take this for what it's worth. You will hear about bloodlines, pedigree, blah blah blah; but the gist of it is this. Retrievers have been bred to do that retrieve. It doesn't matter what it's mom/dad/gpa did if you don't put in the time with it then you might as well have bought a pomeranian. Now, that being said I do think bloodline/pedigree is important from a health aspect. I would make sure the parents had good hips, eyes, etc. I like the Water Dog book as well but haven't read any others. I like his approach of early training and bonding with the dog. If your dog loves you, and respects you as his pack leader, he will live to please you no matter what you ask of him. The trick is learning to ask it so that he knows what you want him/her to do. Also, please don't be one of those people that sends their dog off to a trainer then leaves him in the pen 9 months out of the year and expects him to come out hunting. I love working with my dog, it is a learning experience for both of us. I don't have any kids, but I guess it's kind of like a kid. My dog just turned 2 and he's figuring it out. He always does something that shows some sign of advancement hunting that makes me like a proud father, but every once in a while he does something boneheaded that makes me want to string him up by his toenails haha. Just go with the dog you want, and have PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE and try to keep it fun for both you and the dog.
 

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Speaking of books has anyone read "Training Your Retriever" by James Lamb Free? I don't know that it's true, so don't bludgeon me for this, but I researched it and supposedly it is where Wolters got all of his methods from. I saw somewhere where someone had said that Wolters actually stole a lot of material for Water Dog from it, and that he was just better at marketing than Free. That's just what I heard now, so don't whip me with a wet noodle, as previously stated I am a Water Dog/Wolters fan. I bought the book yesterday on Amazon, just to check out but was wondering if anyone here knew anything about it.
 

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You can find good dogs for less money... I have seen $1000 flops just the same as $100 flops.... I personally have a newspaper dog that I got from a guy around Georgetown. If I could find him again I would buy another. I have a pretty good dog (handicapped by the trainer) All a dog needs is drive!!! Newspaper dogs have it the same as breeder pups... only thing you get with breeder pups is a slight less chance of having a flop.
Handicapped by the trainer? What the heck happened?...and what trainer?? Sorry to hear that.
 

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In my honest opinion you need to join a hunting retriever club, I see your in sw arkansas, thats great becuase the club that im treasurer of is 4 states wich covers sw arkansas. Joining a club will put you in a group of people who really understand what your looking for and what you want to do. I joined the club over 2 years ago and had a one year old yella male . I went to the first trainning day and watched all these other dogs doing stuff that i wanted my dog to do . These guys helped me , I learned so much in trainning a dog and was able to pull from several members experience. All the trainning is exactly what you would want any "GOOD " duck dog to do. I can honestly say that with out the help of the club members that my dog would not be as good as he is today . I am no expert trainner but I have 100 % trainned the dog I have and i would put him up against any dog in the woods. This was possible due to my commitment to the dog and to the trainning, and to the help of some really good guys in my HRC club. Good luck on your desicion and if you want to come see some of our club dogs in action we are going to have a trainnig day the second week of feb.
 

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I want to add too ya there Jet Foot being in a Cluib opens doors to training ground , gunners ups ,knowledge from people ,and fellowship HRC pride it's self that season never ends with us . I don't recommend Water dog cause it puts it on a timeline get something like Duck Dog Basics by Chris Akin or Dennis Voigt Training your retriever alone . Crawl Walk Run if your dog fails the first time Simplify leave them Salty setups for later . Just have fun with it I can tell you first thing get you a puppy bumper like a ATB Teal Avery makes 30 ft check cord a good pair of shoes to run in throw it in a hallway or a spot with sides thats long . You could go in your shop line stuff up and make a runner so your dog has to return it and thgey'll learn when I bring it back he'll throw it again . about 4 months you can start Obedience You want it your dog to sit , here , and kennel by 6months so you can Force Fetch . Have fun Run some Hunt Test join a HRC Club .
 

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While we're on retriever club topic, does anyone know if there is one in NEA? I think Languille River shut down. Akin said he thought about starting another one but I haven't heard anything. I'm getting my pup back in a few months and I would love to join one. Searcy is just a little far for me. But, it may be my only option.
 

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While we're on retriever club topic, does anyone know if there is one in NEA? I think Languille River shut down. Akin said he thought about starting another one but I haven't heard anything. I'm getting my pup back in a few months and I would love to join one. Searcy is just a little far for me. But, it may be my only option.
We'd love to have ya !! I hope Akin would Start one and over see it . I might would get involved with it too . I'd like to have another club to hold a hunt test other than west Tenn. or East Ark them both are 100 mile trips for me . Chris's North Kennel is just under a hour and a half .
 
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