Best Structured program/timelines

Hints, tips, and discussion in regard to the training of "mini-peakes"

Best Structured program/timelines

Postby casjoker » Sun Jan 01, 2017 3:26 pm

Is there a "best" structured programs for Chessies? Also are there some basics that should be mastered by a certain age? I have been using some of Bill Hillman's stuff and I found the flowchart total retriever Flow Chart.pdf. I also have the 10-minute retriever and Waterdog books. I worry Bill Hillman and a lot of the newer training stuff is geared to much to the Lab crowd. Chessie's to me are just too different to really fall into the Lab programming (sorry Lab people of that came across as negative). Neither really shows any particular age/mastery benchmarks. I know all dogs are different and trainers/owners have different levels of experience so I am sure it's a bit of a sliding scale. However, for a dog from a solid breeding and with good temperament and drive is there an expectation of training level?

My dog is from a quality breeding, has good drive and seems to figure things out pretty quick. He is almost 5 months old. Knows come and sit verbal and whistle. Will sit up to about 6' away when told and holds well for bumpers and other distractions. Has been introduced to 22 blank fire and dead birds, he loves his birds. Been in the water some but it's been chilly so didn't want to ruin the water thing by getting him in cold water too soon. Working on healing and having the same gusto bringing bumpers back as he has going to get them. He behaves well in the house and seems to have good on/off switch, gets fired up for training but can be well mannered in the house. He has been around a ton of people but needs to get around a few more dogs for socialization. He does have the typical Chessie attitude of make this meaningful to me or we aren't getting a lot accomplished today. I don't want to push him too far too soon but sometimes it's hard to tell how much is attitude vs I am not mature enough.

My goal is having a very solid hunting buddy and maybe try some Hunt Test. I haven't trained a retriever in about 15 years. He is my third Chessie over the course of about 25 years.


I am joining my local retriever club first training session is this coming weekend.

Thanks!
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Re: Best Structured program/timelines

Postby Sharon Potter » Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:38 pm

I think Hillmann works very well for Chessies, mainly because it's low pressure and keeps things lighter and more fun. I don't find it geared toward Labs at all.

As for timelines/what should be accomplished at what age: Toss them out the window. It takes as long as it takes, and every dog is different.
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Re: Best Structured program/timelines

Postby moscowitz » Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:39 am

What's your dog's breeding. I agree with Sharon about Hillman.
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Re: Best Structured program/timelines

Postby Frank Pittelli » Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:39 am

I agree with Sharon and Mike about Hillman's approach. It works very well with my Chessies. Teaching takes time and shouldn't be rushed at any age.
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Re: Best Structured program/timelines

Postby casjoker » Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:02 am

Sire is Blackwater's Son of a Preacher Man, Dam is Spirit of Westwind (SH). I will look more at Hillman's stuff. I was told some of the new video stuff is more FT oriented and I lumped Hillman's program in with the rest. I have been using some of Hillman's youtube clips from his puppy training series plus the books I have. All of my previous retrievers were just hunting dogs. Well behaved in the blind, steady to shot, and would cast with hand signals. I have done the versatile hunt test with my German Short Hair, I enjoyed the competition and want to try retriever hunt test. I figure hunt test can only make a better hunting partner.
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Re: Best Structured program/timelines

Postby Jim Weitzel » Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:35 pm

Wow,never knew that breeding was made?Thanks for heads up Scotty..lol...please keep us posted on progress!!!Jim
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Re: Best Structured program/timelines

Postby moscowitz » Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:58 pm

Very nice breeding. I like both dam and sire.
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Re: Best Structured program/timelines

Postby Tim Carrion » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:30 pm

casjoker wrote: I enjoyed the competition and want to try retriever hunt test. I figure hunt test can only make a better hunting partner.


Books and videos can provide you with an organized approach or outline for training. Remember these publications are edited. Your interest in competition will demand you avail yourself to people that can help you "in person". No one trains a competitive dog alone.
Where are you located?
Look for people in your area that are competing at the level you wish. These groups can then guide you through these "programs".

Tim
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Re: Best Structured program/timelines

Postby jdavis92 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:54 pm

Sharon Potter wrote:I think Hillmann works very well for Chessies, mainly because it's low pressure and keeps things lighter and more fun. I don't find it geared toward Labs at all.

As for timelines/what should be accomplished at what age: Toss them out the window. It takes as long as it takes, and every dog is different.


I'd like to ask about tossing the timelines out the window Sharon. If you are an amateur trainer with some experience, you might not know what to look for when a pup has progressed to a point where it is time to move on to something else.

I'd like to think some loose timelines (every 6 months perhaps) could help establish what a dog should be doing at a particular age. As you said, that may mean the dog is just going to take longer to train. It could also be an indicator of inadequate training or something that was missed in training that the novice trainer can't see, or getting stuck focusing on one aspect of training to much.

I wondered about this with my older girl as I was training her and I wonder about it with my new pup as well.

Thoughts? Just wanting to re-ignite this topic for those of us who may be training new pups.

Thanks.

Jeff in Flagstaff

PS I really like Bill Hillmann's approach. I have a few of his DVDs. I wish I could get ahold of his puppy DVD but I can't find a used one.
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Re: Best Structured program/timelines

Postby Sharon Potter » Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:50 am

Timelines that expect a dog to have to be at a certain skill level by a certain age or within a certain time frame (did I use enough "certains" there? ;) ) are a recipe for failure.

Why? Because it doesn't take into account all the variables involved. Who is doing the training? How old is the dog? How much experience does the person doing the training have? Are they working with a mentor or group? What is the maturity level of the dog? How much drive does it have? How does it handle pressure and how has it been taught to handle pressure? And the list goes on.

When do you move on to the next step? When the dog is performing the step you've been training with confidence and consistency several days in a row. How long it takes to get there depends on all the other stuff above. ;)
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