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I just got a 8 week old chocolate lab puppy. i was wondering if anyone could give me some good tips on how to train him. any ways you guys use that work good for yourselves. he loves water and he isnt gun shy, so that is a good start. i would appreciate it if you guys would let me in on the tips. thanks zach
 

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Zach
I would recommend getting either of the following books, The 10 Minute Retriever by John & Amy Dahl or Smartworks by Evan Graham. Look into joining a local retriever club. Most clubs cost about $25 to $35 a year for membership, probably the best money you can spend on a dog. You will meet some great people who have a wealth of experience who can help you with training. Good luck with your new partner, hope the two of you have many great years of hunting ahead.
 

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The best way to start out you dog is with a ball or rubber bumper. Find a hallway in your house and start retrieving. Throw the ball or bumper down the hall. Once retrieved, the dog should come right back to you. This will get your dog used to bringing back the retrieved item to you. Start with a few throws at the beginning and work your way up. The retrieve is reward enough for your pup. Don't start spoiling him/her with treats. Take your pup with you everywhere, to get them socialized and used to riding in your vehicle. Make sure to crate train your pup. This is a multi-faceted tool. It's a place for them to sleep and it also helps in potty training your pup. I keep my dog in her crate whenever I can't devote all my attention to her. Picked that up from the Waterdogs DVD and from 10 minute retriever. Been crate training my dogs for years but never knew the trick about keeping them in their crate whenever you can't be totally devoted to them. It's never to early to get your dogs excited about retrieving and going to work. I also use training decoys and goose wings. It gets them used to retrieving and makes them "Birdy". You can't go wrong with either of the training aids above and I re-read my 10 minute retriever every couple of weeks. Good luck with your pup.
 

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Throw lots of dummys for him but only let him pick up at most 50%. This will teach you dog to break only when told, which will really help in the duck blind.
 
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