I leave that up to the owner/handler. It depends on how much work he/she wants to do and if there are any problems they cannot handle. The only thing I ask is they keep in contact with me during the time they are working with the dog, so I can advise them on what to do so we do not run into problems. I prefer that the client work with the dog themselves for at least the first 4-6 months so they can build that bond. Again, it is up to them. They know how much time & money they can put into the training process. Jim
I like to have the dog at least picking up fun bumpers and some OB work done. I have had a few dogs in the past that would not pick up anything. It would also help some, depending on the weather of course, that the dog be introduced to water.
<P>I do not think it is worth time debating this issue of FF. The one thing I could guarantee you is that I know I could get this dog to retrieve birds without the typical FF techniques. He/she is retrieving bumpers willingly, so through seeing the dogs response to the attempted retrieve will tell me what I need to do to motivate the animal to also willingly pick up birds. Confidence equals willingness to please and perform. There is a reason other than plain refusal to pick up. Have proved this point many times. Not willing to debate these issues any more, but willing to help in any way I can. Jim</P>
<P>I realized you did not mean any disrespect. It was just a good time for me to put the subject to sleep, as far as my debating the issue. Maybe I am just getting a little old and grouchy. <IMG src="http://www.websitetoolbox.com/images/boards/smilies/rolleyes.gif" align=absMiddle border=0> Jim</P>
To answer the original question: I am not a professional trainer. I own a dog supply business and train my own dogs. I help people whenever I can. A friend once told me he was getting a chocolate Lab pup and asked me if I would train it for duck hunting. He was willing to pay me the going rate for a pro, which at the time was about $450.00 per month. I told him I would, under one condition; that he would keep the pup until he was about 6 months old, AND that he would spend 10 minutes working with it every day (one 5 minute session morning and evening). I lent him my Sound Beginnings retriever training video, gave him a whistle and told him I'd work with him until pup came to me full time.<br> <br> I figured if he couldn't find 10 minutes a day to work with pup and use the tools I offered him at no charge, he probably wasn't very interested in having a trained dog. And if someone trained a dog for him, he would quickly undo everything through neglect. Do you know what happened? Sadly, he never did a single thing with the dog. I can't tell you how many times this has been repeated.<br> <br> So, to answer the original question, if somebody came to me to have their pup trained, I would tell them the same thing as I told my friend. I would want to see some time, effort and interest on their part before I took their money. Just my opinion.<br> <br>
<P>Good post Orion, I have heard so many waterfowlers over the years tell me this story. I bought a retriever. I want to have my own super duck dog. One year later. That sob all it does is eat and wont retrieve a bird. Must not have been from very good stock. How did you get yours to do that. Mine will never amount to anything but a house pet. People think they are born that way and fail to think of the hours that go into training one. You have to love doing it and be committed to have a working retriever.</P>