How best to preparing your dog for training.

     To give your young dog the best chance for success in either of our two programs your pup should be well "Socialized" and trained to be a "Good citizen".

     "Socializing" a pup and training a dog to be a "Good citizen" requires teaching a specific set of behaviors, and  applying appropriate levels of corrections that ensure  obedience.  

  • First: No barking or biting. Young dogs want your attention; thus, they bark and bite as puppies. Every time a pup either barks or bites he should get an appropriate correction with the command "quiet" or "no".   Cute at first, but annoying for everyone else.

  • Second: Retrieve.  Our program does very little to advance your retriever's marking skills. A young Lab's instinct to retrieve needs to be developed early. Throw anything to build his desire to retrieve. If the young puppy does not show a desire to fetch, throw his food one kibble at a time. After your dog runs off and eats the kibble, use a leash to teach him to come back to enjoy another kibble. Build from there.

  • Third: Swim. Your Lab should enjoy and be comfortable in the water. Make water fun. Swimming is best learned early. Puppies don't splash around when they get into the water, they just swim. Seeing a puppy swim like an old pro is awesome. Go slow. It is best to convince the puppy to swim out and grab something. But if that doesn't work, carry him out and let him swim to the shore to get out. Again, make water fun.

  • Fourth: Sit. Teach your pup to "Sit".  At first, you can use food to help teach him to sit. After he learns the verbal command "sit", enforce the command with an appropriate level of correction.  Use treats to keep him sitting until you say "Free". At first, have him sit for a short time. Gradually increase the length of time he is to remain on the command "Sit". Use appropriate correction levels to increase the length of time the pup is to remain on the "Sit" command. Only give treats (dog food) when he successfully sits until you release him.

  • Fifth: Leash introduction.  A puppy needs to have experience with a leash and collar. Use appropriate leash corrections to convince your pup not to pull on the leash, bite at it, or bark with frustration because of it. 

  • Sixth: Stay down. Don't allow a puppy to jump on you or anyone else. When he does, give an appropriate correction, maybe a bump on the head, to convince him not to do it again. 

    Teach a puppies commands and behaviors while using discipline to ensure obedience will teach a young dog: praise, reward, and discipline. Having these experiences will prepare a young dog for advanced training. 

     One word of caution, with each new command discipline 

starts softly , and then with growing concern of his obedience increase discipline. The need for more stern approach over time.

       I have never washed a dog that was properly socialized. One common reasons for "washing" a dog is that in the puppy stage the pup was ignored for long periods of time, while being kept in the same enclosure with other dogs during its formable stages of development. It is vital that the pup understands and accepts you as his caretaker and authority figure. Puppies should start "socializing" training at 8 weeks of age.