Tri-Tronics Retriever Training, or something like that. The program they describe is very very sound. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO USE AN E-COLLAR TO FOLLOW THE PROGRAM. Just take a little more time to solidify the commands and expectations the old-fashioned way.
The absolute best thing you can do for yourself and your dog is to JOIN A RETRIEVER CLUB and go out and train with a group of more experienced dog people. I'm surprised Kevin, "Orion", didn't mention that. A book will only get you so far.
I will be putting together a CD this summer, hopefully to be ready by early fall. It is going to be done with very little editing. It will be geared toward the everyday guy/girl that wants to train their hunting companion. We will use dogs of several different breeds, personalities, ages and issues. It will not be a canned, pre-edited presentation. We will cover everything needed to successfully get the dog into the duck blind. Will keep everyone up to date on the project. Jim
Bought waterdog to keep me entertained at the hospital and probly will be heading to the library soon to check out the others. Another question, how much of a problem is it to play tug of war with my pup? He seems to enjoy it but I can see it causing major problems down the line.
If you are in Pickering, in SW Ohio, your best bet would be the West Central Ohio HRC. Check out www.hrc-ukc.com to find contact information for that club or the Ohio River HRC. More of the West Central folks will be closer though. They have a hunt test coming up on April 23-24, go check it out and introduce yourself.
I thought Pickering was SE of Columbus? Guess I don't know my Ohio geography that well.
As far as playing tug with pup, most trainers, myself included, tend to think it is counter productive. One line of thought is that it tends to encourage hard-mouth and stickiness. Another line of thought is that pup must never win these matches; when pup wins, he moves up in the pack. I don't know for sure, but I do think that pups energy can be better spent in more productive activity.
I play tug with Jack, but he is 5 years old. We also use a special toy that is never used for training. Someday you may be able to have a rousing game of tug with your dog, but doing it when he is a pup is probably not the best idea.