posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 09:10 AM
As a former breeder of Labrador Retrievers and a field trials trainer, I can tell you there are a number of successful methods out there to train
dogs. Pick one and stick with it. The method I've used very successfully is very much specific to Labradors and hunting, but other methods work more
One thing I can tell you, which I haven't seen mentioned here yet, is one of the very first and most important things about training is what you name
your dog. A dogs name is critical in its training, and I can't underscore this enough. Seriously.
A dog's name should be two syllables. Not three, and not one...it should absolutely be two syllables, no more no less. Both of these syllables
should (ideally) start with hard consonants. The dog's name should not sound similar to any other common things it might hear. Don't use common
words you say all the time, the dog's name should be unique. It should know when you are talking to it, and not saying something else which will only
confuse the dog. The name should be as short as possible, but unmistakable to the dog. Remember, he's going to hear this name over other dogs
barking, other noises, wind and everything else. The name needs to be crisp and unmistakable.
Don't name your dog something silly like "Fluffy" or "Fido" or anything of the sort, there are 50 billion dogs already named that and there's a high
probability you'll go someplace where there is another dog named the same as yours. (Bad Ju-Ju when giving commands to two dogs with the same
I'm a big proponent of NOT training with food as a reward. There should be NO reward for correct behavior. The dog needs to understand this is the
minimum level of acceptable behavior.
Never strike a dog, particularly a hunting dog. It accomplishes nothing and only creates bad behavior. Disappointment is your best punishment
Above all else, your dog needs to come, absolutely, when he's called. No if's, and's or but's...come, and come NOW! Not when he gets around to it,
not when he gets done smelling some bitch's butt...but RIGHT NOW! No exceptions!
Dog's need ONE trainer. This means NOT five, not the family, not the kids, not even your wife/husband. ONE...and one only.
Don't train too long. Puppies should start out with 5-10 minutes, and then get play time. Work up to 15-20 minutes, then as always give them lots of
play time. Training should be all business, NO PLAY during training. Never mix training with play. Training is training. Play time comes
afterwards. No play time right before training either. You want them to look forward to training because they know they'll get lots of fun time
You have to get inside the dog's head. The dog has to understand that training is the time when he can impress you, when he/she can gain your
approval and praise. You want him looking forward to this more than anything else. This is where you start to instill the disappointment thing.
Reward him/her with praise often...when they do the right thing. Withhold this praise when they don't. Don't get mad at them, just don't praise
Lastly, don't try to do too many things at once, you'll only frustrate your pup. Work on one thing until they master it. Shower them with praise
when they get it right. Then let them repeat it so they can show you how good they are. They want, more than anything, to make you proud of them.
It's in their DNA.