It seems these days in our government that transferring power and authority from one leader to the next doesn’t always go as smooth as one might hope. However this doesn’t have to be the case when you pick your retriever up from the trainer! In fact as a professional retriever trainer for over 20 years it is my opinion that the absolute most important part of the training process could be the transition.
The transition I am speaking of is when the pup transitions from trading for the pro to training for his owner. While there are no guarantees in dog training here are a few tips that will help increase your chances of having a flawless transition.
First order of business is be sure to form a bond with your puppy. It’s true he will be going to a trainer but if you spend lots of time with him playing and building his confidence while he’s young, he won’t soon forget who you are!
The second step is one that may prove a little bit difficult depending on the trainers available in your area. However I have found it to be extremely helpful. Find a training facility that has more than one trainer. I started doing this at duckdogtrainer to allow myself more time off to do other things but I found that the more trainers that worked hands on with each dog, the better they worked for their owners. Multiple trainers will make the transition much easier.
Next, it is important for you to visit your dog somewhat regularly during the training process. By the term regularly I mean at least once a month. During this time you should observe the trainer and how he or she interacts with your dog. After watching the pro step up to the plate and give a swing at it yourself. Your trainer will be right there to help you and your dog through this process. This is going to establish trust and continue to build on the bond you created when you first got your puppy.
Fourth pay attention on pick up day and don’t be afraid to ask questions! This is the time to have your pro show you what your dog can do and to teach you how to do it! If you don’t understand then ask questions! I do not recommend leaving on pick up day until you have personally handled the dog to do everything he has been trained to do.
And last but not least if you have trouble once you get home ALWAYS call for help. As a pro trainer sometimes I can help clients with a few words of advice, sometimes I like to see video, and other times a quick return visit to the kennel is necessary. Don’t let the problems linger or worsen rather address them promptly Remember the ultimate mark of success is that your dog work for you! Be persistent and stay involved and you will enjoy many years as a team at home as well as in the fields and marshes! The Lord gave us something great when he gave us retrievers! Be sure to do your part. As always if I can help you with anything feel free to contact me! May God richly bless you and may your dog retrieve every bird!
Story by Brian Johnson