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Hi all and hope everyone is having a nice holiday season. My wife and I recently got a puppy golden retriever (3.5 months old currently), and am looking for advice on what the best ways are to train him.


I understand the basics, but would love if anyone has any good recommendations on a good book or youtube page, etc. Mainly working on some obedience training now, but ultimately want to get him into bird hunting.


Thanks!
 

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I assume by bird hunting you mean pheasants and other "upland" birds? I think the single biggest thing is getting regular exposure to live birds.
 

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Golden pups are rambunctious. Great dogs. I have had 5 or 6 and it seems they stay playful longer than other breeds. My buddy got a pup about a year ago and he took it to obedience class and the difference in day to day behavior is surprising. If I get another dog I may start with a professional obedience trainer and then do the bird training myself.

I used the book "Water Dogs" to start training my first dogs.

BTW did you get that pup from a breeder near York? We were looking for a pup and by the time we hooked up she only had two females left but the pups would be 3.5 months old about now.
 

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The best recommendation I could give without seeing the dog is to find a retriever club near you. Any club will have a host of accomplished trainers, both professional and amateur, who can give you a huge amount of guidance. With that being said, the most valuable advice would be consistency and patience. I have a 7 month old Golden puppy and I always have to remind myself to slow down. A solid foundation of obedience is the best thing for a bird dog. If the dog isn’t obedient, it doesn’t matter how many birds it finds. It will be hunting for itself and not with you as a team.

Some books that I have in my library that have helped me include:

Tom Dokken’s Retriever Training
Great book if you will be going the pressure on/off route and will be using an e-collar later in the dog’s life.

The next will all be in the low pressure/positive reinforcement vein as that is how I decided to train my dogs. They all have the same premise of letting the dog mature at its own pace and putting an emphasis on rewarding desired behaviors.

British Training for American Retrievers by Vic Barlow

Game Dog by Richard Wolters

Retriever Training by Robert Milner

I haven’t tried it but I have heard good things about Cornerstone Gundog Academy’s online courses.

Most importantly, have fun.Some of the best times I have ever had have been with my dogs and I wouldn’t trade those memories for the world.
 

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Hi all and hope everyone is having a nice holiday season. My wife and I recently got a puppy golden retriever (3.5 months old currently), and am looking for advice on what the best ways are to train him.


I understand the basics, but would love if anyone has any good recommendations on a good book or youtube page, etc. Mainly working on some obedience training now, but ultimately want to get him into bird hunting.

Thanks!
"Hey Pup, Fetch It Up" by Bill Tarrant is still one of the best books for retriever puppy owners IMO. I highly recommend it.
 

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Bill Hillman’s video, Training a Retriever Puppy, is the best I’ve used for starting a young dog and has yielded great results. He also has some material online, but I’d recommend the video as it’s more thorough. The video can often be found used if you keep an eye on the RTF classifieds.
 

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I have used the book Water Dog for 5 Retriever's that we have had. The book is very easy to understand and apply . All of my dogs have been good waterfowl hunters , however I never had the chance to use them on upland . I found that the key to success is repetition and patience . Training should be fun for the dog and each session of the training the pup should be praised and always try to end on a good note . I also found that at least with my dogs bird training was necessary once the dummy training was achieved . In my experience there is nothing that brings it all together better than feathers .
Although sometimes hard to find , pigeons are very useful and can be trapped easily , except in Pittsburgh where some people think they are pets not flying rats , but that's a whole different story. All of the info you are getting is useful , just remember to be patient keep the sessions short and the pup will great hunting companion and courteous hunter while in the field or swamp.

Good luck and I hope this helps.
 

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I have several books on dog training and the one I like best is James Lamb Free's "Training Your Reteriver."

This was first published in 1949 and has been updated. You can use several concepts on breeds other than reterivers.

You can find very good used books on the web.

Dean Conklin
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Golden pups are rambunctious. Great dogs. I have had 5 or 6 and it seems they stay playful longer than other breeds. My buddy got a pup about a year ago and he took it to obedience class and the difference in day to day behavior is surprising. If I get another dog I may start with a professional obedience trainer and then do the bird training myself.

I used the book "Water Dogs" to start training my first dogs.

BTW did you get that pup from a breeder near York? We were looking for a pup and by the time we hooked up she only had two females left but the pups would be 3.5 months old about now.



Dogface- Thanks for the info! We actually got the pup from a breeder in Minnesota (long story with how that worked out).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the info guys! Have been digesting some of the books and videos mentioned and am having a good time using the methods with the pup. Seems so far he had a pretty good drive, but mostly working on obedience right now.



He does go nuts fetching and searching for his pheasant wings though!
 

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Good luck!! I love Goldens.
 
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