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sprocket

Starting a retreiver from scratch - recommendations wanted

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sprocket

Hi All,

I've got a pup coming at the end of the month - an NSDTR - and I'm looking for recommendations for a trainer, training programs and any other sorts of help from the very knowledgeable crew here.  For all intents & purposes, this will be my first dog/training experience.  Waterfowl and upland are the primary quarry

 

I know we need to find puppy classes for socialization and obedience class for the obvious.  I'd like to attend the NAVHDA events and use their milestones as a goal for training as well.

 

If you can help a guy learn from your mistakes, I'm willing to listen as well.

Thanks All

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Hal Standish

Bring me up to speed, please. What is an NSDTR?

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DonT

Is it a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever ?   

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shinbone

JMHO, but if you want to train the dog yourself and have good results with your first dog, it is imperative to join some sort of dog training club appropriate for your breed that meets on a regular basis to give you guidance.  Again, JMHO.

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Irishwhistler

Sprocket,

Send me a PM with ye contact information (cell and email) and we can definitely help ye with ye new retriever pup.   I have trained, hunted, competed, and lived with retrievers for o'er 35 years and cross train retrievers to hunt both upland and waterfowl as well as for participation in both HRC and AKC hunt tests.  Gun dogs trained to meet your specific needs and hunting style.👍

 

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TEAM TRAD

 

IRISHWHISTLER 🍀

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polecat

mine all starts at the food bowl.

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shinbone
33 minutes ago, Irishwhistler said:

Sprocket,

Send me a PM with ye contact information (cell and email) and we can definitely help ye with ye new retriever pup.  . . . 

 

(photos deleted)

 

33 minutes ago, Irishwhistler said:

TEAM TRAD

 

IRISHWHISTLER 🍀

 

This is a very generous offer, and I'd jump on it right away.

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sprocket

Hi All - Yup I'm getting a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - or a Little River Dog as my Dad would say.

 

I know I'll need pro help and I was hoping to find something local-ish.  I'm north of Boston and I've got a line on a few people for the basics.

 

I appreciate everyone's input.

 

IrishWhistler - "You've got mail!"

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Flairball

A great start would be picking up a training book or two and reading them cover to cover. Even if you don't intend to fully finish your dog it's helpful understand the what and why of a training program. Pick one system and stick with it. Cherry picking can cause problems. 

 

You are correct that you'll need to do puppy basics before you get on to more advanced training. Don't rush any of it. Training a dog is not a race to the finish. Enjoy the journey. 

 

North You of Boston you say? Check out pro trainer Steve Church in Epping NH. 

 

NSDTR? Okay?

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sprocket

Flairball - any recommendations on a book?

 

I read "Hey pup, fetch 'em up" a dozen years ago but never got the dog...

 

I understand the training methods advice - got any particular ones that I should investigate?

 

Thanks to IrishWhistler for making the call.

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Cold Iron

I was going to send you a PM over on TW but seeing how you posted here feel it would be a better place to reply in an open forum. You have some good advice already. Join a local retriever club and it isn't a race, it takes time. Many will not hunt a one year old in the blind. And for upland I always consider the first year the fun year getting them excited. With safety, discipline and obedience of course.

 

It wasn't that long ago that no breeder would ever let you have a Toller as a first dog. They are not a Golden and far from a Lab that lives to please you. Their favorite radio station is usually WIFM What's in it For Me. Over the last 20 years or so I have a seen a huge shift in breeding for biddablity and it shows. The first book you should read IMO is the one most breeders used to give out with their pup Leader of the Pack. While some may say the book is dated it really isn't the principals still apply today. And most Tollers are very dominant. And a handful.

 

Watching a Toller finish his Master Hunter leg of hunt test you will often hear other retriever owners say that the Toller is lacking enthusiasm. That is because Tollers like to put their own spin on things. To get them to complete Tests many push them too hard, and the dog is no longer happy. They need a job more so than most dogs. But despite being dominant are very sensitive, and very intelligent. Which means they get in trouble easily, in addition to training you if you aren't careful. 

 

At the National Specialty 2 years ago a bunch of us were sitting around and one of the breeders asked me what attracted me to Tollers for all these years. I replied because I like my dogs like my women just a little bit naughty. Most all of them around me were female and understood exactly what I meant and busted out laughing. I've been around the breed more than 30 years now. The Toller pup sitting in the empty 12 pound keg of Red Dot gunpowder in my avatar has since passed on.

 

Find a retrieving club near you and join it. There should be several and research them first however. Talk to the members and others. It will give you access to throwers, gunners, discounted birds, and a training facility. There are plenty of different training programs out there Evan Graham, Mike Lardy, Bill Hilman, etc. I think you should pick a club first and go from there though and see what method most members use. Doesn't hurt to read up on them first either.

 

If your thinking of sending him out for pro training to at least get started, force fetched, etc. I'd recommend someone that has actually worked with Tollers. For me one at the top of that list would be Chuck Halstead of Soaring Heart Kennels down in Texas. Doesn't matter if you send your dog out to someone else or do everything yourself. First you have to define what it is you want from your dog. A surprising number of people don't know what they want.

 

Hunting pheasants in the Dakotas I don't want a dog to sit on flush I want a killer marking and hunting down a cripple unless it is a hen that flushes. Then when I call no bird the dog starts hunting again right where he left off.

 

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And I want him to hunt ruff grouse in the deep woods of Mn. and Wi. as effectively.

 

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Keep it fun, for both you and the dog and odds are you'll do fine. There is a lot of work too, just shouldn't feel like work to either of you. If it does time to call it quits and take a break. Hope that helps some. 

 

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Flairball
20 hours ago, sprocket said:

Flairball - any recommendations on a book?

 

I read "Hey pup, fetch 'em up" a dozen years ago but never got the dog...

 

I understand the training methods advice - got any particular ones that I should investigate?

 

Thanks to IrishWhistler for making the call.

Can't really make any recommendations. Don't know too many retriever references. Yet. What you decide on will ultimately depend on whether want a waterfowl dog first and an upland dog second or vice versa. 

 

I'm a springer guy who hunts mostly grouse and woodcock. My dog is a gundog which I occasionally field trail, so I trained it to be a gundog first. That being the case I dove into Mike Lardy's book for a lot of retriever drills. 

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sprocket

Thanks CI & Flairball - I'll check out the books - The words "It's not a race" just put me at ease, I've got time to do it right and want to avoid doing it twice...

 

To answer the question of what I want from the dog, I want a duck dog that can work the upland too - I have more duck areas than grouse covers locally but I often go north to grousey areas.  Of course there are stocked covers locally and in a 2 hr drive radius I have a lot of options.  As things progress I may just get into the grouse more.

 

My wife actually said, "Well if you get a dog you're going to have to hunt more."  I said, "I know - Wait, What!?" and we laughed.

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brushbuster

I have only trained two labs and had help with that but as far as books the one I always reread and refer to is "Training Retrievers for Marshes and Meadows" by Spencer.  

 

It just seemed to click for me.

 

 

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sprocket

BB - That was recommended to me also, thanks for the reminder.  With all this shopping I may have to Amazon Prime myself...

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