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TRAINING:

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A well-trained retriever should sit quietly in a blind or duck boat, and retrieve any upland game and waterfowl shot with a soft and tender mouth, and only on command. He must be a well-mannered, quiet, willing aid to the gun. The process of converting a day old retriever to an eight month-old started dog requires a number of disciplined, controlled training routines and simulated hunting experiences before one can reach the desired goals. Here’s an outline of training the young dogs go through at Bird Dog Kennels.

TRAINING BEGINS:

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Pups Under Four Weeks Old
Pups are picked up & handled daily; they're introduced to the feel, touch & smell of different types of bird feathers. The sound of gunfire, voice & whistle commands, and the sounds of different types of birds on tapes are introduced.

PUPS FOUR TO EIGHT WEEKS:

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Pups Four Weeks to Eight Weeks Old
They are let out of their pen daily to explore. They are taught how to use their eyes by tossing white objects to retrieve. The pups are also introduced to training crates, feathers, dead & live birds such as Quail. They are socialized by interaction with kids, and are also exposed to gunfire produced by cap guns.

Pups Eight Weeks To Four Months:

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Pups Eight Weeks to Four Months
Practice "here, heel, down, stay & sit" commands. They begin four or five simple dummy retrieves on land and four or five simple retrieves on water. During their daily hikes, they are introduced to live gunfire. Also, the pups are continually exposed to birds, crate training, riding around in truck & trailer, children, & different types of habitats.

Pups Five Months Old:

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Pups Five Months Old
Obedience traning starts at this point; there are no other lessions during this stage of the pup's life. Pups are taught the "sit" (through voice & whistle commands), "here" (also with voice & whistle), "heel", "stay", and "down" commands.

The Conditioned Retrieve:

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Six Months The Conditioned retrieve. (No other lessons are done during this process.) Pups are taught to hold & carry objects to pick them up off the ground or out of your hand on command. They are taught to retrieve on command.

SIX TO EIGHT MONTH OLD PUPS:

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Six Months To Eight Months Old
Pups are introduced to gunfire with the retrieves. The distance of retrieves is lengthened. The pups also are trained to do retrieves in high grass that require nose work. Retrieves in heavier cover, Practice sit to deliver, Work from a boat with decoys.

Also taught:
Simple doubles on land and water, Shake water off on command, Birds (dead & live), Jumping up into trailer on command, jumping up into back end of truck on command, jumping into boat on command.