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    1. #1
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      barry581's Avatar
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      Sending off for training

      Has anyone sent their puppy/dog off to be gundog trained? So far I've done a pretty good job with obedience training with Bruce, but I'm not really sure how to go about gundog/retrieving training with him. I've got a couple books so I understand the concept, the biggest problem is I don't really have the land/facilities to do the training, and there is no real public lands around here to use.

      I contacted a local training/boarding kennel who train up to and beyond senior hunt title training and I'm going to meet with them next Monday. The cost is $500 a month which includes training, room, board, etc, and basic gundog training takes about 4-5 months. I think the price is pretty reasonable, but I'm concerned about leaving Bruce there for that long. The other thing is I don't hunt, so I'm pretty sure Bruce will never hunt either. So I'm not sure if it's worth it to actually send him out for training he most likely will never use.

      Thoughts???? Comments????

    2. #2
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      That's a long time to be away from you, that alone would deter me from doing it.

      Also, if you're not going to be hunting save the money and do some agility or dock diving with him. It will a lot of fun and it would bond you two even more.

    3. #3
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      We decided against it for several reasons.

      1. that is way too long to be away from us!

      2. Really spendy

      3. we wanted to train Bacon to our commands and hunting style.

      4. We wanted to be the active trainers

      5. We wanted to see his progress and watch him grow as a hunting dog.

      It is really up to you. There are also programs around here where it is a 2 week boot camp, but I havent heard much about those. We are VERY happy we have trained Bacon ourselves. We consult with a professional, but have done everything ourselves. Even our hunting friends say he is the most well behaved young hunting dog they have ever met.
      Julie & Jake, Bacon's Humans

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    4. #4
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      Belle is in the current care of Quail Ridge Kennels and is being trained by our own Irishwhistler. I am a hunter and lack the proper facility for training at Belle's most impressionable age.

      I will be honest I miss that dog. But I had her back for a week recently while Mike was on vacation and the improvement in her handling was enormous.

      If you don't hunt I don't see the reasoning. But anybody reading this that does hunt and lacks the proper training skills and land to do it on I highly recommended it.

      As I've said before it is four months for the rest of her life.

      In the meantime my heart will mend.

    5. #5
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      I think it will depend on what you want to do with the dog. I was able to train Jagger and my older dogs just enough to pass the WC tests. I'll probably start working on double retrieves with them so they can pass the WCX next year. I don't hunt but I like doing the tests. Jagger's other owner wants him to be successful all around (me too!) so we might send him away once he is a Champion. The lady I know charges $650 a month and she wants 3 months and he should be able to JH tests then.
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    6. #6
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      Thanks for all the replies. The biggest negative for me is the 4-5 months he'd be gone. I really don't want to miss the time with him. I'm having so much fun with him, and he's learning so much. We had our second CGC class tonight and he did so well!

      I think if I actually was going to shoot over him, it would be worth the investment in time and money. There is a Dock Dogs training place fairly close to us, and I'm going to take him to the next practice day in September. I just wish there were more training classes/opportunities close by. The nearest training for Rally, Agility, etc is an hour away. It sure would be nice to have some closer!

    7. #7
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      I can't remember now if you are campaigning this dog in the show ring and maybe plan to breed or not, so disregard if he's strictly a pet.

      I don't hunt, but I feel it's important as a breeder to prove the dogs' natural abilities and trainability and the dogs have a blast. I can't say that I'd ever look at dock dog (or agility for that matter) titles the same as a hunt test or obedience title. Those are fun things to do w/ a dog, I"m sure, but if you are thinking of eventually breeding him, it's not really a significant measure of talent/trainability. JMO though.

      I've done agility, tracking etc also but will always prioritize for obedience and hunt tests, w/ tracking as a close 3rd because of the value to the breed in SAR etc.

    8. #8
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      If you're not going to hunt or show in hunt tests, why spend the money? You can teach your own dog to get a WC and probably a WCX and if you need help, get some lessons. I'm taking lessons about twice a month in a group setting and it's $35 per lesson, not to mention it's a blast and fun to watch the other ones and talk dog for half a day.

    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by windycanyon View Post
      I can't remember now if you are campaigning this dog in the show ring and maybe plan to breed or not, so disregard if he's strictly a pet.

      I don't hunt, but I feel it's important as a breeder to prove the dogs' natural abilities and trainability and the dogs have a blast. I can't say that I'd ever look at dock dog (or agility for that matter) titles the same as a hunt test or obedience title. Those are fun things to do w/ a dog, I"m sure, but if you are thinking of eventually breeding him, it's not really a significant measure of talent/trainability. JMO though.

      I've done agility, tracking etc also but will always prioritize for obedience and hunt tests, w/ tracking as a close 3rd because of the value to the breed in SAR etc.
      I agree with you 100%. This is why I am leaning towards having him trained. I have no plans on showing him, as I don't have the time to do all the traveling that would be required. Though in my opinion he has no significant faults that would disqualify from competing in the show ring, and I think he is developing nicely. I don't plan on having him neutered at this time, I want to see how he develops both physically and mentally first. I would also never consider breeding him until all the appropriate clearances are done. And I would never breed him to a bitch who also dis not have the clearances done.

      The only reason I'd ever consider breeding him would be to get a puppy in the future. My friends who bred Bruce and Sophie are both in their mid 70's now, although they are still very health and active, I'm pretty sure that they won't be breeding by the time I'm ready for another puppy.

      I guess I'm kinda leery about sending such a young pup away for 4 months, although we are allowed to go visit. I'll know a lot more next Monday after we meet with the trainer.

    10. #10
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      I think you have already answered your question, but here is some insight from my experience. I started with a rescue dog, got hooked on tests, and eventually bought a pup from field lines I liked to persue higher titles. Ryder was meant to be a companion first and foremost, a competitor second. We trained frequently when he was an adolescent, I did all his basics (steadying, CC, FF etc) and even got his JH before a year old. It was honestly the BEST feeling in the world to step to the line with my dog, who I trained and literally had by my side everyday. But Ryder outgrew our local training areas (public parks and soccer fields don't make the best TT fields) and he needed more water work as well, which let's face it, FL doesn't offer the best climate or safest water. We struggled to find safe training grounds, often driving two plus hours to a club who was well rounded in helping folks new to the sport. When I started my new career (in the medical field) my long work hours and stretch of work days, made it very difficult to travel, so we had to make the most of local areas and attended seminars with pros like Mike Lardy. We cruised through Senior and HRC equivalent, even going 4/4 in one weekend. He was two years old at the time and I promised myself, no matter what, as long as we were having fun, we would make it to Master level competition regardless of how long it took. We entered a Master test last year as a three year old, but he got a bacterial infection while hunting AL which required ten months of no water work. He is now four years old and (with the exception of test dog) have yet to run a Master or Finished test, but we enjoy training, attending seminars, etc.

      At the Lardy seminar, he told me I could put Ryder in the back hole (on his truck). It was a joke of course, but he really liked Ryder's style, enthusiasm, etc and as nice of a compliment as it was, it tore me up inside, wondering how much talent I was letting go to waste due to my lack of knowledge/training grounds. Then I remembered why I have Ryder and our accomplishments together, as a team. I constantly struggled with my decision (and still do), but I am grateful we had time to bond, learn and grow together. I know a LOT of people who send their dogs off, particularly those running field trials, and there is nothing wrong with it, but it's also not for everyone. I was lucky enough to have a knowledgeable friend to train with regularly during Ryder's younger years and if you can find a club or a pro nearby that will help guide YOU through Bruce's training, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at what you can accomplish.

      If you decide to send him with a pro, make sure you watch him/her train a few different dogs so you can see how he/she handles them, the direct/indirect pressure applied etc. View the property, kennel area, airing yards, etc. How about owners being pro-active in the training, and ask how he will be housed, fed, etc. and basically just get yourself comfortable with the trainer and facility to help put your mind at ease. Whichever you decide just know there is no right or wrong answer because you are doing what you feel is best for your dog and that's all that really matters.

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