Usually, sometime around the 5 month old mark, you are going to start to notice blood on bumpers, or the pup’s teeth missing and bloody gums. Sometimes it happens earlier than 5 months, so be watching for it. At this time, we need to stop the retrieving drills and let their mouths heal. One thing we don’t want to do is give them sore mouth or teach them that retrieving is painful, when we have been trying to make it fun and exciting all this time.
It is at this time we start with our basic obedience training. Sure, the dog has heard the proper verbage the last few months, (HERE, HEAL, SIT, AND NO), but now we are going to put them to use. For us this starts on a 6 foot leash, simply walking the dog beside us. Commanding NO when he tries to drag us, and HERE when he lags behind. To start, we make short walks, stopping and commanding SIT, which usually is us pushing down on the pups rear as we give the command. From the stopped position we command HERE to continue walking. Once the dog is sitting on verbal command, we add a single whistle blast and command SIT. Eventually, the pup catches on that anytime they hear the single whistle blast, they will sit.
After a week or two of this on a leash, you will simply be able to drop the leash while walking. Continue on in the training simply letting them drag the leash commanding them however you want. If they start to fault or get distracted use the leash to guide them the correct way. I am not against shock collars at all, but we strive to train dogs without them. In saying that our basic obedience course lasts 2.5-3 months. We spend that much time with basic obedience, because we believe that if you cannot control your dog verbally at 5-15 feet, you will have no control at 50-100 yards.
One of our females will be coming into heat soon, and this will be a repeat breeding. She is a black 3 year old, and will be bred to our chocolate 4 year old male. Hips, elbows, EIC and CNM cleared on both dogs. We will make the announcement once we have confirmation of the litter.
Capt. Nathan Beabout
N&M Sportsman’s Adventures
AB Kennels/M2 Breeding