Ten tips for ultimate retriever training- Tip #5

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Continuing with our theme of ten tips for ultimate retriever training, today’s tip is:

Tip #5: Plan every training session.

What should I be training on next?

This is a common question we get at Otter Tail Kennels.

If you are following a training flow plan, such as Mike Lardy’s or mine, it should be laid out for you. However, training an ultimate retriever is not like baking a cake, you need to be able to recognize when your dog needs extra time or repetitions in certain areas. One way to help you notice this is to keep a logbook.

Every training day and session for each individual dog is logged here at Otter Tail Kennels. I do this for several reasons.

  • it helps me make sure each dog is on track and staying balanced (covered in a previous blog).

  • it helps me plan out what I am going to work on the following day or session.

At the end of the training day or just prior to the beginning of the next session, I review my logbook and plan what I am going to work on. This helps me get the most out of the dog.

Keep in mind that things can pop up in a session that can derail what you had planned to work on, this is okay. Just make note of it and get back on track as soon as possible.

What you need to avoid are nonproductive training sessions. These are sessions where you are working without a plan and just training on whatever comes to mind. Or, and this is probably worse, you spend the session only working on what the dog is good at or what you, the owner, enjoys doing.

Your dog needs to be pushed to expand their skills.

Until next time, happy retrieving.

Steve Smith