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I have a lab, golden retriever mix. Which makes him the perfect bird dog. Does anyone have advice or hopefully a guide on how to train him? I want him 100% obedient. I love the pup and he is to smart to just be a pet. His name is Max.
 

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Check out The Retriever Journal for recommendations on DVD that will help you with your training.

We have a Lab as well and she has a high retrieve drive so we just played fetch with her like crazy. Hubby took her duck hunting for the first time last week and she didnt need much motivation to get her going.

We started training her to simply fetch, by throwing her a ball (or whatever) and then calling her name so that after her retrieve she would come right back to us. Secondly, we taugher her "Drop it" so that she would drop her ball/bird on the ground and eventually worked it so she drops it in our hands. Thirdly, we'd tell her to stay, throw the ball, wait a few seconds, then tell her to "go get it" and send her after the ball. The dog needs to learn patience when on a retrieve so please teach her to stay as soon as you can.

Those are the steps we took with our dog and she's showing promise. Make it a game for you pup and you'll tap into their instincts soon enough.

Getting a dog to be 100% obedient will take lots of time and practice, and lots of patients on your part. The only worry I have is that if you focus too much on the obedience, you may 'break' the dog and that will take more time to fix and get their confidence back up.

And one more thing, practice blind fetches....throw the ball behind something, get the dog to take its eyes off of where it landed, wait a few seconds/minutes, then send him on his way. This builds their memory. But start easy to build their confidence up. If you see the dog struggling, go back to an easier blind retrieve and go from there....

Good luck!!!
 

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Water Dog by Richard A. Wolters

Get a copy of Water dog and Gun dog by Richard A. wolters these are the gold standard for retrievers. They are both old books, but again they have stood the test of time and are the gold standard. Good luck and send some pics of your pup working......
 

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First off forget 100% obediant. If you try for that you are going to ruin a good dog. Remember to a puppy it is a game that he wants to play! Work on the fetching first. But make it a bird decoy that he fetches. DO NOT GET THE DUCK AND GEESE DECOYS if this is still a pup. Once you have the dog fetching and sitting on command. then keep the dog sitting waiting to fetch. Start out close then gradually work it out. As you start the training sessions, keep them short. Eventually the dog will be able to longer periods.

Take the dog for dailey swims and walks in nature. Forget the sidewalk thing with the poodle owners.

With another person, have that person shooting a low caliber gun a couple of hundred feet away while you play fetch with the puppy. Working your way closer. DO NOT TRY TO HOLD THE DOG DOWN AND SHOOT A TWELVE GAUGE NEXT TO HIM.. You will scare the dog and make him gun shy. Works every time in ruining a dog. You want the gun noises to seem natural to the dog, not something traumatizing.

Read some good books on Water Dogs, Retrievers and bird dogs. Then YOU be patient but work with the dog everyday. Most of training a dog is training the trainer. The Dog is a Natural.
 

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Also, to get the dog used to the gun if he's never heard it before, shoot it around him while he's eating. He knows food is good, so he'll eventually associate the sound of a gun to be a good thing.

We did this with our pup at the suggestion of our breeder (who trains dogs for hunt trails).

Just a quick note on the books mentioned - I've read them but got a very 'forced' feeling from them. I didnt like the idea of forcing a fetch on a dog by pinching them between their toes. Yeah, I get the idea behind it, but I think if a dog is trained in a more positive matter, he'll fetch regardless for you as long as the danger to him isnt present (yeah, retrievers will retrieve until they can barely walk but they're also smart enough to realize that they aint going after something if there is a danger you may not see).
 

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espn.com has some fantastic articles & a step by step method for training a gun dog.

#1. How old is the dog? You are referring to him as a pup still. I would read up on what the experts recommend with regards to how & when to introduce him to gunfire.

Be patient. Have fun w/him. Good luck.
 

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Prairie Girl is right: Retriever Journal and all its sisters are good publications. My grandfather has been breeding and training pointing dogs for 50 years and my father for nearly 20. I trained my first bird dog in 2006. My advice would be to stay away from artificial drills with dummy birds and all those other contraptions. Those toys are for trainers not dogs.

Take the dog into the field at all times of the year, particularly the fall. Most important: let the dog be a dog! He has been precisely bred to be a hunting machine. He only needs a bit of discipline and communication skill building. His instincts will do the rest. Good luck, he will be wonderful companion for years.
 

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At 4-5 months start him in a Basic obedience course then move to a Field training class at 8 months or older..keep it fun for the pup and you will have a dear friend for years to come..
 

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koehler method of dog training. check it out. start with basic obedience, build on the basics one step at a time. come, sit, stay, heel, "get it" pick it up, drop it, all need to be learned and practiced one step at a time. pup learns to be obedient only if you and the family are absolutely consistent in your directions and the way they are explained to pup reinforced with consistent understandable discipline. its all in the book. find a trainer who uses this method and who can explain it to you. the book may be all you need if you understand and follow the prescribed methods. Joining a dog training group
will give you and the dog experience around other animals and people and often groups like that have good facilities and tools to aid learning/teaching. keep us posted. bringing up baby might make a good ongoing thread or blog.
 

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Start off with basic obedience training, with five minutes in the home progressing into the yard then parks once they have it down pat.

Once you have this you can progress onto specific gun dog training. For this I suggest you look up your local gun/hunting/labrador club for experienced tutors or new friends to give you a hand.

Its best to teach your dog through kindness not violence. Clicker training is a great way to teach them. Check out You Tube as theres tones of good videos on there.
 

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I have a lab, golden retriever mix. Which makes him the perfect bird dog. Does anyone have advice or hopefully a guide on how to train him? I want him 100% obedient. I love the pup and he is to smart to just be a pet. His name is Max.
There were a few good videos on youtube that showed many different types of dog training, especially for birds.

A golden retriever is a great dog, I grew up with one and they are amazing dogs. She lived to be 19 years old. Miss the old gal.

Now I ended up with a wolf/husky mix and training him was loads of fun. Other than eating my house and truck, I finally got him to where we can meet eye to eye and now he is just a spoiled brat. So after he is spoiled by everyone now, especially the girls around town who kiss him and ignore me, I think his training days are now over. So much for training him to sniff out gold nuggets. LOL

Anyway, you have a great dog and they learn pretty quick if you start early or even after a year they still catch on fast.
 

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I have a lab, golden retriever mix. Which makes him the perfect bird dog. Does anyone have advice or hopefully a guide on how to train him? I want him 100% obedient. I love the pup and he is to smart to just be a pet. His name is Max.
My husband has a lot of experience. PM me if you have specific questions, he'll answer anything he can and he'll be honest if he doesn't know the answer to your question.
 

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I have a lab, golden retriever mix. Which makes him the perfect bird dog. Does anyone have advice or hopefully a guide on how to train him? I want him 100% obedient. I love the pup and he is to smart to just be a pet. His name is Max.
Crutch, my Dad used to train our dogs. We duck hunted and had Labs as pets and working dogs all throughout my early life. My Grandfather was a quail and woodcock hunter, so he had Springers, and Setters as point dogs. Even though I remember some basics of training, I'm no expert here. I do suggest you look for "Field Trials" in your area, and talk to a few people who work their dogs in competition and in the field. Their info would be invaluable.
 

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With another person, have that person shooting a low caliber gun a couple of hundred feet away while you play fetch with the puppy. Working your way closer. DO NOT TRY TO HOLD THE DOG DOWN AND SHOOT A TWELVE GAUGE NEXT TO HIM.. You will scare the dog and make him gun shy. Works every time in ruining a dog. You want the gun noises to seem natural to the dog, not something traumatizing.
I can't stress this enough! There are soooo many guys who show up with their pups at the skeet/trap ranges to "train" them while we shoot. Tiny pop caliburs, working your way up, until they are so fixated on their prey that they don't notice the gun.

I adopted a mixed bred hunting type dog from the pound. He will run a rabbit and point a pheasant -- not trained by me. BUT is petrified of gun blasts, and in fact, of the odor of the gun barrel. Somebody wrecked him.
 

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agree with the Richard Wolters recomendations..........

but get him to listen to Sit Stay and Come.........from there fine tune and you'll have a enjoyable lifetime partner.....

I wish i had trained my wife to sit stay and come hither better :).....just kidding
 

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start training the puppy now so he won't be gun shy. I took my pointer to the gun range three times a week just so the puppy could get used to the gun shots. Start off with a fairly quite 22lr then work your way up to the louder shotgun.

All the training will be worthless if your dog is gun shy.
 

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Get a copy of Water dog and Gun dog by Richard A. wolters these are the gold standard for retrievers. They are both old books, but again they have stood the test of time and are the gold standard. Good luck and send some pics of your pup working......
ditto used this and others to help train my hunting labs

just rem get the obedience stuff down pat FIRST!!!!!

Then add in the retrieves(which is mostly instinct anyways) later

even if the dog turns out to not be a great hunting dog at least he will be obedient around people and folks wont mind being around him
 
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