Retriever Training Supplies as They Grow
When training a retriever, numerous supplies are necessary. Using each training implement at the wrong time, however, can set training back for weeks or even months. While individual hunting dogs develop at their own rates, below is a general guideline for which retriever training supplies should be used at each stage of your puppy’s development.
Before Your Puppy Arrives
A kennel is a necessary retriever training supply as it will aid in your retriever’s potty training, keep your curious pup out of trouble, and will eventually be used for transportation when you take your dog into the field.
8 weeks – 6 months
Your dog should have a lightweight collar placed on its neck as soon as possible to help him or her grow used to its feeling. In the field your dog may wear up to 3 collars at a time, so this lesson should be imparted early.
A 4 – 6’ leash will be necessary for the beginning stages of obedience training.
Individual dogs provide unique challenges for obedience training. A training book or DVD is one of the most crucial retriever training supplies as it can help you troubleshoot common problems you may experience, saving you valuable time in the long run.
A great way to bond with your pup while reinforcing retrieval instincts is to play limited games of fetch with bumpers or dummies from an early age. Reinforce the “drop it” command by offering your pet treats in exchange for the item.
Socialize your dog to the scent of the game bird by bathing bumpers or dummies in its scent, which can be bought commercially or imparted onto the item by placing it in a bag of bird feathers.
If you will be using a training table as part of your training, begin to help your dog grow familiar with the implement by placing him or her on the table for short durations and providing praise.
6 months – 9 months
As your dog begins to become more familiar with obedience commands, begin to overlay different whistle tones for use in the field.
Another crucial item on the list of retriever training supplies is the check cord. At this point, your dog should be familiar with commands such as “come.” You can begin to work on long range drills by using the check cord to provide reminders.
Socializing your dog to loud noises is important to make sure your pup does not turn out to be gun shy. However, introducing your dog to loud noises at too young of an age can cause fear and anxiety. Once your dog has developed confidence from obedience training, begin to introduce loud noises, such as in the form of caps or blanks.
9 months – 1 year
One of the most ubiquitous retriever training supplies is the electronic collar. If you plan to use this tool in your training, now would be an appropriate time to do so.