Training Tips for the Retriever

1.    

The Trained Retrieve - Part I Preventing mouth problems, use of the training table, introduction to "Hold", the "Drop" command, the "Hold" command, holding the dumbbell, holding other objects, introduction to birds, reinforcing "Hold" with an electronic collar, introduction to carrying, the delivery to hand, "Hold" and carry on the ground. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, October/November '95.
 

2.    

The Trained Retrieve - Part II Progressing to the "Fetch" command, fetch off the table, the "three in a row drill", and "Fetch" off the ground. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, December/January '95/'96.
 

3.    

Training Your Dog to be Steady Introduction of the place board, using a place board to teach the dog to be steady, staying on the place board, going to the place board, adding distraction, transition from place board to ground. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, February/March '96.
 

4.    

Training Your Dog to Cast Advantages of casting to platforms; "Here" from the platform, teaching left and right "Over" to a platform, combining both left and right "Over," teaching "Back", combining "Back" and "Over", combining all casts; what to do if dog breaks or goes for the wrong platform. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, June/July '96.
 

5.    

The Training Platform - More Tips Using a platform to teach desired behaviors: waiting in the blind, staying in the heel position at the line, delivery to heel, introducing the "push-pull" drill, retraining the dog that "takes the steering wheel." First appeared in The Retriever Journal, August/September '96.
 

6.    

The Whistle Sit Teaching the pup; sit on command, whistle-sit, sit and stay, turn and watch the handler after sitting. Training the adult dog; introducing the electric collar for "sit", using the collar on the rump, teaching the dog that standing up "turns on" the collar, sit from motion while heeling, sitting from a run, moving the collar back to the neck, adding the sit whistle, whistle-sit during the come in, chaining-in other cues for "sit." Using the whistle-sit in drills; putting things together, don't accept a looping whistle-sit. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, October/November '96.
 

7.    

Handling Patterns for the Retriever The single-T pattern, the modified double-T pattern, benefits of the modified double-T, start simple, develop stamina, don't forget the "Come-in" whistle is an important cast. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, December/January '96/'97.
 

8.    

Prerequisites for "Taking the Line" Teaching the dog to sit straight in the heel position (spinal alignment) and to move with your leg cues, backwards heeling, the "pendulum", the return to heel, "close" and the "one-step sit drills." First appeared in The Retriever Journal, February/March '97.
 

9.    

Initial Lining Drills: Teaching the dog to take the correct initial line, four-bumper wagon-wheel, the 8-bumper wagon wheel, push-pull drill to adjust the dog's focus (focal alignment), staggered 8-bumper wagon wheel, 16-bumper wagon wheel. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, April/May '97.
 

10.    

Obstacle Training on the Modified Double "T" Drill: Teaching the dog to hold a line and not run around obstacles, correcting for running around the obstacles and using the positive comparison method, adding obstacles to the three parallel lines and the Modified Double "T". First appeared in The Retriever Journal, June/July '97.
 

11.    

Shorebreaking: Water is just one more obstacle; using the positive comparison method; Drill No. 1, Trimming Corners; Drill No. 2, "The Channel Concept," the importance of "concept" water. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, August/September '97.
 

12.    

Beginning Water Handling: The water "T", teaching a dog to tread water, casting "Over" in water. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, October/November 1997
 

13.    

Introduction To The Channel Blind: Developing and using channel blinds to teach the dog to accept staying in the water and to condition him to the idea of the long swim, Beginning water re-entry, developing a positive water attitude, correcting on the channel blind, stopping a "yo-yo", and increasing the challenge. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, December/January 1997/1998
 

14.    

Transition To Cold Blind: Uses several drills, done in the field to help a dog through the transition to cold blinds. Includes long permanent blinds, "Go as sent" flag drills, "Three-in-a-row, no squaring" drills, "Chair" drills, and for dogs that need momentum "Pop-up" cold blinds and "Swim to the other shore" cold blinds. First appeared in the The Retriever Journal, February/March '98
 

15.    

Advancing Handling In The Water: The "parallel to shore" drills will help your dog learn to negotiate a better "angle exist" from water and will increase his willingness to be handled close to a shoreline with out "bailing out." Includes "Over" parallel to shore drill; "Back" parallel to shore drill; and the "No squaring" drill in water. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, April/May '98
 

16.    

The "W" Drill: The "W" drill is a drill that will help your dog make the transition from yard work to a cold blind. Includes, setting up the "W" drill, running the basic "W" drill (lining), running the advanced "W" drill (casting), and correcting in the "W" drill. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, June/July '98
 

17.    

When the Go Bird is a Punch Bird: A punch bird is one that is significantly further away than the other marks in a multiple-marking test. What to train on, how to correct, being conservative, primary selection. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, August/Sept.'98.
 

18.    

Line Manners Part I: Exercise 1-Lining up at "heel" without getting out in front (use of platforms), Exercise 2-Calling the dog to join you and arrive carefully! Exercise 3-The leaving-the-holding-blind ceremony, and Exercise 4-Putting it all together. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, Oct/Nov 1998.
 

19.    

A New Step When Teaching the "Hold" Command: Teaching the "Hold" command thoroughly, Teaching the dog to grip, "Hold" until commanded "Drop", Firming the grip. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, Jan/Feb 1999.
 

20.    

Line Manners Part II: Good line manners help with marking, teamwork or a battle of wills-which will it be? line procedures for multiple marking tests, retrieving multiple marks, boiling over on line, the five basic skills required. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, March/April 1999.
 

21.    

Is Your Dog Working for You or is He Self-employed?: Prey Possession -What is it and what to look for, finessing a pup, extreme excitability, adjusting the working attitude, what to do---basic obedience, collar conditioning, and the trained retrieve. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, May/June 1999.
 

22.    

Teaching a Dog to Mark-Part I: Training for the "spot on the ground", some mistakes to avoid, first things first: the joy of retrieving precedes "marking", the elements of marking, staying focused on "the spot on the ground", early marking, the thrower's job, minimize thrower influence after the mark is down. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, July/August 1999.
 

23.    

Teaching Your Dog to Mark-Part II, More Training for the "Spot on the Ground": Training the dog to look at the end of the trajectory, eliminating other visual cues, importance of the thrower's job, minimizing the thrower's influence on the 'marking picture". First appeared in The Retriever Journal, Sept/Oct 1999.
 

24.    

Teaching Your Dog to Mark-Part III: Introducing a pup to cover, lengthening a dog out, drills to teach a dog to gauge the depth of marks, what to do if the dog fails. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, Nov./Dec. 1999.
 

25.    

Teaching Your Dog to Mark-Part IV, Double Marks on Land: Beginning doubles, four points to remember when marking the young dog, importance of lining, prepare using diversion marks and a blind, double configurations to practice. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, Jan/Feb 2000.
 

26.    

Teaching Your Dog to Mark-Part V, Common Marking Problems: Preventing and curing head swinging, overrunning, and switching. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, March/April 2000.
 

27.    

Teaching a Lab to "Point": How to train a lab to "Point", creating the chain that smelling a bird means stop, creating the fancy gun dog. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, May/June 2000.
 

28.    

Handling a Retriever-Part I, The Handler's Job: Points out things a handler should do to give the dog the best chance of seeing and interpreting the various casts, discusses using body motion, being aware of background, and common errors. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, July/August 2000.
 

29.    

Handling a Retriever-Part II, Recognizing Hazards: Discusses the various types of hazards: obstacles, diversions, contrary conditions, distractions, and distance and how they influence the retriever's ability to carry a straight line; use of sight blinds, permanent blinds and picture blinds when training the beginning dog to run a straight line. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, Sept/Oct 2000.
 

30.    

Handling a Retriever-Part III, More Handling Tips: The blocking technique and moving up, Removing the option to quit on water blinds, parallel shore blinds, handler tips to remember-"Over" to the Ribbon, "Back" to the Truck. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, Nov/Dec 2000.
 

31.    

The Angle Back Cast: Teaching the angle back cast; incorporating the "Y" drill into sight blinds, permanent blinds, picture blinds and cold blinds. First appeared in The Retriever Journal Jan/Feb 2001.
 

32.    

A New Way to Teach the Swim-by: Prerequisite training steps for the swim-by,shape of the swim-by pond, swim-by drill using a place board, incorporating the "T" drill. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, March/April 2001.
 

33.    

Upland Hunting with a Flushing Dog-Part I, Sit to Flush: Steadiness, the sit whistle, stop chasing birds, "volunteer" birds, sit to gunfire and sit-to-flush. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, May/June 2001.
 

34.    

Upland Hunting With a Flushing Dog-Part II, Quartering:Training prequisites, the figure eight pattern, casting, "punching" straight ahead, the "draw" whistle. First appeared in The Retriever Journal Sept/Oct 2001.
 

35.    

Upland Hunting with a Flushing Dog-Part III, Beginning Trailing: Teaching the dog to put his head down and follow a track, adding bird scent to the track, discusses speed, and the effects of wind and cover. First appeared in The Retriever Journal, Nov/Dec 2001.
 

36.    

Upland Hunting with a Flushing Dog-Part IV: Advancing the Dog's Trailing Ability .
 

37.    

"Dead Bird" Used as a Command Instead of a Cue.
   

38.    

Casting "Over"
 

39.    

Improving Whistle Commands: Part I, "Sit Whistle"
 

40.    

Improving Whistle Commands, Part II: "Come in Whistle"
 

Dobbs Home  •  Training Library Index

Dobbs Training Center
9627 Spring Valley Road
Marysville, CA 95901
(530) 741-0375 - FAX (530) 741-0242