8 week old yellow lab puppy upland training tips.

Lyman

New member
I will be getting a 8 week old lab puppy on may 3rd. The sire has a hunting background and pointing traits. Does anyone know of any good upland hunting training videos/books. I will also be training the puppy for duck hunting. I've been a hunter my whole life, but this is my first hunting dog and I will be training him on my own. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
 

Gatzby

Member
I will be getting a 8 week old lab puppy on may 3rd. The sire has a hunting background and pointing traits. Does anyone know of any good upland hunting training videos/books. I will also be training the puppy for duck hunting. I've been a hunter my whole life, but this is my first hunting dog and I will be training him on my own. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
I don't know of any upland books to recommend, I assume there are some good ones geared to flushers like springers. I personally don't believe in promoting point in Labradors but that's just me.

For the retriever stuff I am becoming a big fan of Bill Hillman's stuff for young dogs, around transition I would switch to Lardy's TRT or Fowl dogs. A lot of people may push you towards Wolters books like Waterdog, his stuff was the gold standard and still has some value but its pretty dated. An old school training book that really gets little credit but is outstanding is Charles Journey book.
 

Lyman

New member
Thank you for the info, its greatly appreciated. I'm not sure about promoting the pointing traits either, do you know of any major negatives if promoting those traits in a flushing lab?
 

jonnyB

Active member
Thank you for the info, its greatly appreciated. I'm not sure about promoting the pointing traits either, do you know of any major negatives if promoting those traits in a flushing lab?
Dunno about the negatives re pointing lab; my Max(Golden) points, especially critters. And this has saved him from getting hit by skunks and porky's, but not every time. I don't find it a negative with upland hunting. The lab guy's may disagree...
 

George

Member
I would highly recommend the book Training The Pointing Labrador by Julie Knutson its a great foundation for dog training. If your dog points or flushes it doesn't matter don't try to force anything just enjoy the time in the field the dogs traits will come out with bird exposure.
 

david0311

Member
I will be getting a 8 week old lab puppy on may 3rd. The sire has a hunting background and pointing traits. Does anyone know of any good upland hunting training videos/books. I will also be training the puppy for duck hunting. I've been a hunter my whole life, but this is my first hunting dog and I will be training him on my own. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
Gatzby and westkansas—just about gave you the best advise you could get on training videos/programs all their recommendations are first class-though I don’t care for Wolters JMO

Fowl Dogs is great and easy to understand-Rick Stawski a first class gentleman
Hill man excellent as well
Lardy-his name and success speaks for itself
 

Labs

Member
I raise and train labs (amateur not pro). I found John & Amy Dahl's 10 Minute Retriever to be an outstanding foundation through about the first 6 months, after that I use Evan Graham's Smartwork and Smart Fetch Program through intermediate to finished. When I begin formal OB at 12-16 weeks I do two 10 minute sessions a day that gradually lengthen to maybe 20 minutes absolute tops at about 12 months, when a pup's ability to learn and attention span take off. Takes me roughly 16-24 months to train a dog from 7 weeks old to Finished. my finished lab has rock solid OB, is steady to wing & shot, delivers to hand, will do multiple marks out to several hundred yards, handles on land & in water (blind retrieves), hunts upland, and hunts waterfowl out of boats & field blind. Just for the fun of it I teach them to blood trail, article search, find and retrieve lost arrows, and find sheds. They love these little games which are simply extensions of their hunting training.

The best advice I got when I was learning training under a pro about 20 years ago is to let pups be pups. Let them explore, fiddle in shallow water, learn to potty outdoors, learn what they can chew & what they can't, just learn their world. Around 9-10 weeks a couple times a day I do puppy bumpers (mini-paint rollers work well for this) in a hallway with no open doors. I hold the pup then show them & tease them a bit with the puppy bumper, then toss it a couple feet in front. The pup will want almost from the start run and grab it but their inclination is to keep it and will look for a place to take it. Call it back, when it comes, praise it up, gently take the bumper, and repeat. Do no more than 2 tosses twice a day, then put the bumper up. The pup never gets to use the bumper as a toy, and you always want to stop with it wanting one more try. You will be amazed how quickly your lab pup puts it together and starts bringing it back for another throw. As it gets older and you take this game outside, use a light check cord on it's collar to "reel" him/her in as it will try to run away with the bumper (remember, it's instinct is to keep what it catches, not give it to you).

For waterfowl gundog training help, there is no better place than the Gundog Forum on The Duck Hunter's Refuge. Decades and decades of experience there, and they are willing to share...
 
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Ive always owned labs.You dont have to train them.Just 100's of hours in the field every year, and they dial in real well.When they are 4 months old, throw a retrieving dummy, with wing attatched, and fire 410.
 

Labs

Member
Ive always owned labs.You dont have to train them.Just 100's of hours in the field every year, and they dial in real well.When they are 4 months old, throw a retrieving dummy, with wing attatched, and fire 410.
That's kind of like saying "I don't need to send my kids to school, they will learn by themselves""...
 
That's kind of like saying "I don't need to send my kids to school, they will learn by themselves""...
Exactly ! Find a good solid program and follow it closely. Put in the time, set the dog up for success, and you will have a nice retriever.

Mike ☘🇮🇪🇺🇸
 
Labs are natural retrievers.It does not take training, just put them in birds for hundreds if hours.
I totally disagree. It is all relative to what your expectations are in a retriever. Some Labs have a "natural retrieve", others do not. Will a Lab naturally self train to be steady to wing, shot, and fall? Does a Lab naturally recall upon command? Is a Lab instantly gunfire conditioned? I could go on and on. Labs need to be trained if one is to get the most out of any dog. They do not train themselves just because of time afield or bird exposure, that widely general assertion being most misleading, especially to a new owner.

Mike ☘🇮🇪🇺🇸
 

Labs

Member
I totally disagree. It is all relative to what your expectations are in a retriever. Some Labs have a "natural retrieve", others do not. Will a Lab naturally self train to be steady to wing, shot, and fall? Does a Lab naturally recall upon command? Is a Lab instantly gunfire conditioned? I could go on and on. Labs need to be trained if one is to get the most out of any dog. They do not train themselves just because of time afield or bird exposure, that widely general assertion being most misleading, especially to a new owner.

Mike ☘��������
Whistler, you and I are on the same page...

Labs have a strong prey drive, and retrieve because it's enjoyable. Without training, the dog will play the game for as long as it wants and how it wants, not perform the task reliably on command when you want it to do it. And when the dog refuses the retrieve, which it will do sooner or later, without training you have no method to correct it. It's much easier to spend those hundreds of hours training the dog to do it's job properly, than it is to try to correct an undesirable self reinforcing behavior without the tools to do so...
 
Whistler, you and I are on the same page...

Labs have a strong prey drive, and retrieve because it's enjoyable. Without training, the dog will play the game for as long as it wants and how it wants, not perform the task reliably on command when you want it to do it. And when the dog refuses the retrieve, which it will do sooner or later, without training you have no method to correct it. It's much easier to spend those hundreds of hours training the dog to do it's job properly, than it is to try to correct an undesirable self reinforcing behavior without the tools to do so...
Well stated.👌

Mike ☘🇮🇪🇺🇸
 
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