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This past winter I performed numerous hunting dog demonstrations throughout the northeast , showing the versatility of the English Springer Spaniels and Labrador Retrievers. During the show I was absolutely amazed at the number of avid outdoorsmen who had little, if any, understanding of the qualities that go into breeding world-class gundogs.
So, why do these individuals have such a keen understanding on selecting the appropriate guns and loads but do not demonstrate an understanding in selecting a suitable hunting companion? For better than a half-century, the sporting dog breeds have gone in two separate directions when it comes to qualities sought after by professional breeders.
Start with the best possible bloodlines you can afford and your days in the field will be more enjoyable. I am often reminded of how much time and effort goes into building a successful breeding program when examining the pedigrees of the top performing dogs at local and national field trials. Competent breeders seeks to understand the strengths and weaknesses of all the dogs in a four-generation pedigree and carefully evaluate each dog in the pedigree of a potential mating. Some breeders even breed generation after generation without checking either the hips or eyes of the sires and dames in their breeding program.
Most new puppy owners underestimate just how much mischief their little four legged friend can get into in a few short minutes alone.
Over 18 years ago my passion for hunting dogs lead me to a life long commitment to learning everything there is to know about training hunting dogs. To learn more about our dog training program at Woodland Kennel, please visit the Contact Us page. This year we passed 51 of 53 AKC Hunting Tests – (with both Spaniels and Retrievers). Gracie (Labrador Retriever) – Earned her Junior Hunter Title (JH) and 4 Legs toward her Senior Hunter Title (SHU) this fall.
Dixie (English Springer Spaniel) – Earned 4 Legs toward her Senior Hunter Title (SH) this fall.
My recommendation to anyone seeking a dog is that will be used as a hunting dog or if they would like to compete with the dog in AKC field event is to start with the best bloodlines they can afford. Filed Under: Dog Obedience Training, Hunting Dogs, Puppy Training Basics, Training Tagged With: dog training, hunting dog trainingHow Long Does it Take to Train a Dog? March 10, 2014 by Geoffrey English Leave a Comment If you have ever attended one of my seminars or had a dog trained by me what I am about to say should be familiar to you. All too often clients think one particular behavior is cute when the dog is a puppy but quickly becomes unacceptable as the dog gets older. Filed Under: Dog Obedience Training, Hunting Dogs, Puppy Training Basics, Training Training Your Dog with Treats — Good or Bad? So this begs the question; Aren’t we bribing our dogs if we use treats to train them? Training dogs using treats to shape behavior is very different than baiting or bribing a dog.
Remember in Operant Conditioning the reward is not presented until AFTER the behavior is preformed,  which makes the reward reinforce the behavior. Now I am not a Operate Conditioning purest who thinks that everything should be done as a reinforcement. I like to think of myself as a balanced trainer that knows how to read dogs and has many tools in his tool box to get the job done.
When you bait or bribe a dog to perform a particular behavior you produce the treats BEFORE and lure the dog into performing the desired behavior.
No matter when the treat is presented, before or after a behavior, proper placement of the reward is critical to the dog’s understanding of the behavior you are asking them to perform.
Remember, sometimes it’s necessary to bait dogs or use a body language to get your message across to the dog so they perform a particular behavior successfully.
Filed Under: Dog Obedience Training, Puppy Training Basics, Training Can You Teach Old Dogs New Tricks? Similar to humans, bad habits are hard to break and most importantly it takes time and consistency. When you were in grade school, did you get up in the morning excited about school or do you hit the snooze alarm a dozen times before finally getting out of bed?
As a professional dog trainer, I find so many clients are too quick to jump into a structured obedience program and use traditional corrections with their dog before taking the time to fill the glass with good positive experiences.
The simplest technique for puppy-proofing your home is to go about it the same way you would when making a home safe for a young child, except pay closer attention to items that a puppy can chew or scratch. The simplest technique to teach a young dog what he is allowed to chew and what he isn’t is to issue a stern “NO” command and then replace the item he is chewing with an acceptable chew toy while praising him for changing his behavior.
All the puppy-proofing in the world is no substitute for keeping a close eye on your young canine while he is learning the difference between right and wrong. If you ever watched a litter of puppies in the whelping box you will notice that puppies play with each other by using their mouths. The goal of working through this normal puppy behavior is to teach your puppy that mouthing is unacceptable and to encourage acceptable behavior.
The second technique is to teach your puppy to be gentle with hands and nipping results in unpleasant consequences. Often a child’s first reaction to being nipped or mouthed by a puppy is to shriek and quickly push the puppy away, only encouraging the puppy to play harder and act out further. Keep objects small enough for your dog to choke on, off the floor (such as coins, hardware, etc.).
Electric cords should be tucked behind furniture or encased to prevent electrocution as a result of chewing. Whether you’re on the road in competition or on vacation, the crate provides a convenient portable den that offers dogs and owners a safe and stress-free way to travel. Dealing with a crying puppy is often the first problem a new puppy owner must face when crate training.

Try placing an garment or blanket with the mother’s scent on it in the crate with the puppy. During the first night a puppy is separated from the rest of the litter he will often whine and fuss. Inevitably, you will find that as you close the door to the crate he will begin to whine and fuss.
After a few nights of dealing with the whining and carrying on, your puppy should begin to make it through the night with minimal fussing. Let him naturally find the crate in your kitchen, living room or wherever you decide the crate will reside.
An undergarment or a ticking alarm clock can comfort a new puppy during his first few nights away from his littermates.
Woodland Kennel is committed to providing the highest quality of professional dog training available. We recommend that all dog owners commit to and follow through with a structured obedience training program for their new puppy. Our advanced level dog training program is a natural extension of our basic training program.
We believe the success of any hunting dog training program begins with proper breeding and continues throughout the dog’s life. What amazed me while speaking to the average outdoorsmen was not the fact that they were unaware of a spaniel or the Labrador Retrievers’ versatility, but rather that they were unaware that there was a difference between show and field hunting dogs.
Throughout the course of these sportsmen shows and meeting tens of thousands of avid outdoorsmen, I would venture to guess that better than 70% of the folks I met were unaware that such a difference existed. Field trials have been and will continue to be a place breeders turn to evaluate and prove their breeding program and bloodlines. He or she should have proof of hips being certified and eyes checked for congenital defects.
This is simply irresponsible and can have ramifications that affect a client’s family for many years.
If you’re like most new dog owners you have been counting down the days since you have made the big decision to bring a new puppy into your home. I cannot tell you how many stories I hear of “Missy” ruining an expensive Italian-made pair of leather dress shoes. Teach your dog good citizenship around the house – This is a time when a new dog owner can quickly go overboard and nag a dog to death.
Begin with the end in mind – Think in terms of this pint-sized puppy growing to full size. If you are unable to watch your puppy, it’s a good idea to confine him in an area where he cannot get into trouble. They wrestle and tug on each others ears, tails, legs, or whatever they can get their mouth on.
It is simple and teaches the dog to be gentle with your hands and that nipping or rough play ends a play session immediately. It’s very difficult for children less than 10 years old to practice the techniques described above. Inevitably, you will find him or her out of the traffic area and lying under a table or a chair.
I have found dogs that are crate trained will experience much less stress on overnight trips than dogs that are not crate trained. Additionally, placing a ticking alarm clock outside the kennel can be comforting to your new puppy for the first few nights away from his littermates. If you buy a crate that is large enough to accommodate him when he is full-sized, block off an area inside the crate to make it just large enough for him to stand up and turn around. Make sure you place the crate in an area well circulated, free of drafts, and out of direct sunlight. Whether you are looking to add a new puppy to your family household or you are looking for your next future hunting dog companion,  we think you’ll find our Labradors and English Springer Spaniels to your liking.
Our puppies show the good looks, excellent temperament, remarkable intelligence, style and stamina that you would expect from their pedigrees. During the advance obedience training program we transition your dog to off leash application.
We work closely with our clients at every stage to ensure setting the proper environment for their new family member and life long gun dog companion. Ask those same individuals what gauge or shot size they would use to hunt a species of upland game or waterfowl and they could easily rattle off the pros and cons of each. Manufacturers spend countless dollars each year educating outdoorsmen on why one particular model or brand of shotgun is better than another when hunting their favorite quarry. Breeders have an ethical responsibility to do everything they can do to ensure that future progeny are free of both physical and performance faults.
Do not accept a puppy from a breeder who has not taken the necessary precautions to ensure at the minimum that both the sire and dam are genetically clean and can produce the documentation to back up this claim. My standard reply is, “Did you leave these shoes in a place where she could get to them?” To which they sheepishly answer, “Well, yea… I just thought…”. Some dogs will do anything to avoid the task at hand, to me that is lack of effort, others will try really hard and just not do what you are asking.
No, my standards have not change, what has changed is the methods I use each day to make regular positive deposits with that dog, instead of withdrawals. Fence off a part of the house where the puppy cannot get into trouble or better yet, use a crate to confine your young canine.
When you take a puppy from his littermates into your new home, it is not uncommon for this type of behavior to continue with you and your family.
After being nipped, look directly into your puppy’s eye and say “Ouch” in a high pitched voice, as if you have been seriously hurt.

Once your puppy begins mouthing you, grasp him by the scruff of the neck with the opposite hand, and take the hand that he was just mouthing and open it flat, with your fingers close together. For this reason during the first few weeks of puppy hood, dogs should never be left alone with young children. The early canine quickly realized that a small den just large enough to turn around in would offer shelter from the elements and allow them to efficiently conserve on body heat during the winter months.
Sometimes beginning with sessions measured in seconds rather than minutes or hours is the best approach.
Whether in the whelping box or in the wild, a puppy learns very quickly that when separated from the pack, calls for help will allow other members of the pack to quickly located him, thus reuniting him with his peers. Use common sense and consistency in your approach and soon the answer, as whether to crate or not to crate will become obvious. Placing food in the back of the crate will encourage your pet to explore and enter this new area.
According to 2001 AKC reports only 26 show champion Labrador Retrievers have achieved the Master Hunter title. He or she must also be willing to eliminate breeding stock from his program that exhibits substandard traits.
Don’t get me wrong, genetics are not foolproof, but taking proper precautions can dramatically reduce the risk of genetic problems in breeding programs. Also, if you own a hunting dog start thinking in terms of that dream retrieve when a dozen mallards set into your rig.
There are many factors that go into determining whether in old dog can learn new tricks or not. So it should go without saying that it is far easier to stop a dog from misbehaving when they are young and impressionable than it is to change a habit that has been ingrained for years. For example, if one minute you let him jump up on you and the next minute he is met with a knee to the chest. If you have not owned a puppy before, get down on your hands and knees and view your home from the puppy’s vantage point.
Make sure you have hard chew toys or rawhide handy when your puppy is loose so you can quickly make the correction and stop the undesirable behavior. To that extent, many animal behaviorists recommend allowing a new puppy to sleep in the same room with you to reduce this separation anxiety. Before putting your puppy up for the night, make sure he has had a chance to go outside and eliminate.
It’s only when a dog has been left in a crate too long that they are forced to eliminate in the crate. Worse yet, it only takes a single chew on a lamp cord to harm and electrocute your new puppy.
Remember, you have to reprogram the dogs associations with learning first — find out what motivates your dog and keep it short and fun. Electrical cords, cabinet corners, carpeting, and shoes lying around are all in plain view of your new companion. A crate that is too large will offer a puppy an opportunity to soil one area and lay down in the other.
Since dogs are social animals, ending the play session once nipping occurs can be very effective, however, it will take many sessions to for this technique to work.
Don’t hurt him but put just enough pressure against the back of his mouth to elicit a gag reflex, while saying in a low growling tone of voice, “NO BITE”. Topform Edward, MH, owned by Larry Reider of Independence, Missouri and trained by Bobby George of Blackwater Retrievers in Warrensburg, Missouri.
Some breeders will proclaim, “My dog’s hips are good” or “My bloodlines have no genetic problems” but cannot produce the certifications on their breeding stock to prove such claims. Simply put, he can’t trust you and its this bond that will have a lasting impact on the relationship you have with your four legged friend.
However, if this behavior is left uncorrected it can become annoying and can often escalate to more rough play. If he begins to whine, gag and squirm around (trying to remove your hand from him mouth) hold your ground and repeat the command, “NO BITE”. Employing the use of a crate in your home will provide your dog with a place he can call home.
A puppy that is allowed to creep when he is young is a good candidate to breaking on that group of mallards that set into the rig at shooting time. Don’t allow him to chew on one pair of sneakers and not another, that is sending mixed signals to the dog that will prolong the process. Once your young pup has given in remove your hand from his mouth and pet him with the hand that was just in his mouth. During the night, if your puppy seems to be stirring, get up and take him outside immediately. The last thing you want to do is reward this behavior by opening the crate door and comforting him. This technique teaches the dog rather quickly that mouthing your hand causes an uncomfortable thing and quickly his preference will be for chew toys rather than your hand. The only exception to this rule is when crying is a result of having to go to the bathroom.
Then if at all possible, wait for a break in the crying before opening the door, even if it is a break for only10 seconds.

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