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tealitup

Should I send my puppy to a trainer

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tealitup

So, my little puppy is about 13 weeks old. I have been training her almost every day. She has been exceptional in my eyes. However, I know that I could not train her to her ability. Would it be unfair of me not to get her trained by a professional? What I mean by this - is it an injustice not to bring a dog to their full potential?

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nine-tiner

I imagine you will get many different replies to this. My .02cents are this. If you have the time and energy to train your new puppy to YOUR potential, meaning to the level you would be happy with, then do it yourself. I sent my yellow lab to "basic" training with just a little bird intro at the end and came away satisfied. He performs just fine for me, on the other hand I hunt with people that would ask more and some that ask almost nothing from there dog. The trainer told me that my lab had excellent potential to be a great field trial dog with more training..but that isn't what I was after. I wanted an obedient companion that used its natural ability in the field. I can tell you that each dog I get from this point forward will go to a trainer it is well worth the money. Especially when others compliment on how well the dog behaves/hunts etc. Good Luck!!

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jigging-matt

Here is my opinion. I purchased a Britt pup this spring. I asked lots of questions here on the site, read lots of books and watched lots of videos. Took all of that information and tried the methods that I thought would work best. Digger seems like a smart dog and his training has went well. I am anxious to get him in the field. I don't expect a hunting machine, I expect a great hunting companion for years to come. I don't think you are wasting potential by training him yourself, I looked at it by making a better bond. It would be great to have someone train the dog for you, but I always looked at it as part of the responsibility/ enjoyment of owning the dog. Plus the added $$$ of paying the trainer. Like I said this is my opinion. If you choose to send your dog to a trainer, good for you, but I would not feel like my dog was getting shorted by not going to a trainer. grin.gif Which ever way you choose, good luck.

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gspman

Quote:

What I mean by this - is it an injustice not to bring a dog to their full potential?


No. There is no injustice. This isn't a moral issue. If you are happy with your dogs level of performance without pro training then be happy with what you have done for your dog. If you want a level of performance/training that you cannot give it then hire a pro.

For example, my dog currently has no real field training into it other than obedience. I don't have the time to train her to the highest level of training nor do I have the money to hire a pro and for personal reasons I do not want her trained to the highest level. My dog is running basically on all natural instinct and except for a couple of flaws I like it that way. And quite frankly most of the time it takes a lot of work to keep a dog at the highest level of training. You don't just train them initially to the highest level and they stay there. They make mistakes and regress all the time. There's a reason my signature line is what it is.

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1runhotshot

I send my truck to a mechanic and I send my dogs to a trainer. Could I do both? Probably. Wait til about 6 months (let them get their adult teeth). It's tuff at home not having the little guy around (Espically if you have kids). Time is almost always the biggest issue.

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FrankGWP

[Note from admin: Please re-read forum policy before posting again. Thank you.]

It's a personal decision. I sent my GWP to puppy class and a refresher this year because of Time & Toys & Know How. I wanted the pro to do gun and bird introduction because I was a nervous newbe and these are the two steps that can screw up a pup. Further, I don't have as much time as I'd like nor the fun/good training toys that do so much to benefit the early lessons. This includes easy access to birds, fields, launchers, etc.

Willow Creek up by Little Falls came highly recommended. They have a giant re-call pen with hundreds of chuckers and quail The birds spend each day outside then return to the pen each night. Young dogs get run through fields and thickets where this mass of birds spends its days. This gives the pups tons of exposure to birds, which are more or less free range. I cannot do this on my own. It would be impossible. Once I met Chad and Jody I was sold. They train both pointing dogs and retrievers. If your interested check out their site and giv'em a call.

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Harmonica Bear

Quote:

No. There is no injustice. This isn't a moral issue. If you are happy with your dogs level of performance without pro training then be happy with what you have done for your dog. If you want a level of performance/training that you cannot give it then hire a pro.

For example, my dog currently has no real field training into it other than obedience. I don't have the time to train her to the highest level of training nor do I have the money to hire a pro and for personal reasons I do not want her trained to the highest level. My dog is running basically on all natural instinct and except for a couple of flaws I like it that way.


Exactly!

I'm training my 4th dog and only once (my last dog) did I even think about bringing the dog to a trainer. And actually I never had to train that dog really to do anything, but whoa, fetch and heel. The dog was far from finished, however, or I should say far from 100% steady to wing AND shot. I guess it really didn't matter, that dog could just plain hunt, but it would have been nice just because. My current dog 14 months and myself are exactly in the same spot as gspman stated above. And that's just fine and dandy with me. Well at least Gus the Dog hasn't sat me down and told me he's unhappy and wants to go to a different school grin.gif

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Powerstroke

I think its a personal decision. I agree that there is no right or wrong about doing home training.

In my situation, I have the time too keep up training, but not the time to do 2-3 sessions a day, pick up birds, starter pistols, etc to do proper training.

My dog spent a total of 6 weeks with a trainer and I couldn't be happier. My dog isn't steady yet (only 15months old) and he's still rusty with other stuff, but the trainer showed me how to bring out his natural ability and control him with the e-collar. I couldn't be happier. He's a better house dog and a better hunter. If I want more from him I can try training him and if not I might send him back to the trainer.

I bought the books and have the videos too, but I'm not a dog trainer so I left it to the pros. If you can do it all at home I say good for you cause I couldn't do it.

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2thepointsetters

Quote:

So, my little puppy is about 13 weeks old. I have been training her almost every day. She has been exceptional in my eyes. However, I know that I could not train her to her ability. Would it be unfair of me not to get her trained by a professional? What I mean by this - is it an injustice not to bring a dog to their full potential?


The main reason I use a trainer is because the dog gets on a LOT more birds at a trainer than I can get him on. I am not sure what type of dog you have, but if your talking pointer I would use a trainer if its in your budget. Do a lot of research before you pick a trainer and I would wait for the dog to be about 12 months old before sending him. I have sent a pup when he was 4 months to a trainer and I don't think the dog got much from it because its still a puppy at that age but they do get some bird exposure. Now I wait until the dog is older and always hunt them one season before even considering training.

I highly recommend Chad Hines (willow creek)for pointing dog training.

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trailratedtj

in my opinion you'll never know how till you do. Im working on my almost 8 month old lab and have done all training by myself. Ive read books and seen helpful dvds. Me personally, i love training. If you can simply make a dog sit, heel, stay, and come why cant you make it retrieve or point birds. To me the things you want out of the dog when it comes to hunting are all natural to them. You bought that breed of a dog for a reason. Its amazing to wake the natural instincts of a dog. Training to me is just harnessing his abilities. Like everyone else said, everyones idea of their "finished" dogs are all different. Some are satisfied with simple work and some people demand field trail quality, its all up to what you want. Im in the process of training my first full blown retriever and be it he's only 8 months old this coming weekend will be his first hunt. In the past couple of weeks we have polished off his force fetching and along with the basic obedience commands, gun conditioning, and waking up his love for birds i believe this weekend will be satisfying. Is he finished with his training? NO! Will he ever be?...probably not. Will i ever be happy with him or myself?...i have been since i picked him up. He's a chocolate lab and he's a bit stubborn but with patience and repetition he and i both learn. Mistakes happen and there going too but if you take your time and dont push things over the top then most mistakes are avoided or fixable. if you train him yourself just establish a game plan, a basic program. Take one step at a time. Start with one task and after the dog has perfected it to your liking then move on to the next. Its a great feeling knowing you've done the work yourself.

I am by all mean trying to talk you into training your dog yourself but its also perfectly fine to send him off to a trainer. Just dont sell yourself short thinking you yourself cant do it. If you start training yourself alway remember if you somehow screw up you can alway fall back on a pro trainer. Those guys do it for a living and usually have seen it all. Plus if you ever need help im sure you can get through it with the combined knowledge of all the guys on this forum.

anyways...just my 0.02

have a good one.

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tealitup

I agree this forum is awesome to have. I have some time - about two hours a night; but I do not have access to birds nor do I know if I am doing things right.

In a perfect world I would be able to take her to joint classes once a week to work on things with her.... then work at them at home. Is there such a place? I do not know how much a trainer would cost, but I would be willing to pay around $1,000

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gspman

What breed is your pup? For $1000 you should be able to get 2 months worth of training from a pro. The Horse & Hunt Club sells birds as do other game farms. Then all you'd need is a field to plant birds. There are also plenty of dog clubs around that have training days. You could also wait until early spring/late winter and decide. Then your pup will be older and could get some meaningful training.

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tealitup

She is a yellow lab. I do want to wait until she is about six months. However, my wife would not allow her to be gone for 2 months at a time. two-three weeks would be the max.

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gonefishin11

Teal,

I trained a lab myself and it was awesome. I taught her all the basic commands at home and in the area parks (I lived in Fargo at the time). When she was about 6 months old, I bought half a dozen live roosters for her and planted them myself in the CRP at our hunting shack. If you have the time and resources, I would recommend training her yourself. Then you can train her your own way. The best part is watching the dog progress. It is amazing how fast they can learn and how smart they are.

Some people seem to get too worked up about having the "perfect" dog but my feeling is that as long as you establish trust and discipline right away, the dog will do anything for you. Demand perfection but don't expect it, if that makes sense.

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Ely Lake Expert

Quote:

Quote:

For example, my dog currently has no real field training into it other than obedience. I don't have the time to train her to the highest level of training nor do I have the money to hire a pro and for personal reasons I do not want her trained to the highest level. My dog is running basically on all natural instinct and except for a couple of flaws I like it that way. And quite frankly most of the time it takes a lot of work to keep a dog at the highest level of training. You don't just train them initially to the highest level and they stay there. They make mistakes and regress all the time. There's a reason my signature line is what it is.


I am with GSPMAN on this one. My dogs are the same way, no real training except for general obedience training that we have done ourselves. Everything they do in the field is instinct, they are not perfect but they do well. 2thepointsetters can vouge for that, they have flushed a few for him.

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uplander

In a perfect world every dog could hunt off instinct alone. This world is not perfect!!!! I myself have been fortunate. Most of my dogs have trained themselves..I put them in the right situation and they did what came from inside! It was easy!

I have seen dogs, my first dog ever, included( a black lab) go from, not so interested to, super freak hunting machine!!!!

Sometimes the instinct needs to be coaxed out....Now I know some of you will think I'm crazy but I've seen it more than once...A dog going from not interestested to very interested...setterguy will back me up on this...maybe, I hope.....

So I guess what I'm saying is I agree with gspman I like to do it myself..and i think that instinct is huge.. But there is no shame in getting a trainer that can .... and will...get the dog on more birds than you can..an maybe get something out of that dog that you could not!!

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Try Too Fish

Dog training is a lot like being a parent! You don't know if you can do it, till you do it. And just like parenting you kinda learn as you go. And like parenting there will be unwanted and unexpected challenges but taking the time to do it and patients and love are the 3 key ingredients! You will be happy you did!

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