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Retriever Training Flow Chart

Here is a quick description in how this flow chart is meant to be interpreted.  The first section titled "Head Start Puppy Training" is intended to be a check list of things to be accomplished before the puppies adult teeth grow in which is usually around 5-6 months of age. This process should start just as soon as you get your puppy home.  The order or flow in which this training is done is not nearly as important as it will be when your pup begins the next phase of training. 

As formal "Yard Training" and "Field Training" begin, (after all your puppy's adult teeth have grown in) you will notice the two sided flow to the middle section of the flow chart.  The left side titled "Yard Training" lists the drills and techniques used for teaching and developing Blind Retrieving.  The right side titled "Field Training" lists the drills and techniques used for teaching and developing Marked Retrieving.  It is meant to be followed as closely as possible from top to bottom and left to right.  The balance of training is most important during this phase in order to develop a retriever that is as proficient and confident in accomplishing blind retrieves as well as marked retrieves prior to entering into any "Advanced Retriever Training". 

Once your youngster does enter into "Advanced Retriever Training" the flow and balance of training is still important but the order of things becomes less of a factor.  

- Ryan Fortier

Head Start Puppy Training

*Crate Training
*Socialization (letting go of the leash)

*Teaching Limits

*Retrieving in the Hallway

*Teaching Obedience with Treats
*Casting Games with Treats
*Intro to Bumpers
*Intro to Birds
*Intro to Water (weather permitting)
*Walking on a Leash

*Gunner Thrown Marks

*Yard Multiples
*Walking Singles
*Intro to Gunfire / Gun Breaking
*Teaching Lead Steady

Yard Training

*Formal Obedience & Collar Conditioning
*Hold Training & Force Fetch
*Collar Fetch & Walking Fetch
*3 Hand Casting (indirect pressure)
*Force to Pile (go stop come theory)
*Double T
*Swim By
*Start Simple Pattern Blinds

Field Training

*Singles off Multiple Guns

*Lead Steady & start Teaching Que's
*Introduce Retired and Hidden Gun Marks
*Bird in Mouth Procedure
*Taught Land Doubles
*Steady with Loose Lead
*Long non cheating Water Marks
*Simple Cold Doubles

Advanced Retriever Training

*Blind Drills

*Wagon Wheel Drills

*No-No Drills

*Pattern Blinds with Diversions

*Simple Cold Land Blinds

*Cheating Singles

*Shore Breaking

*Taught Channel Blinds

*Complex Cheating Singles

*Chinese Drills

*Taught Memory Marks (continually increasing the complexity of factors and concepts)

*Therapy Marks

*Retired Memory Marks

*Hidden Memory Marks

*Building Marking Concepts

*Start Handling for mistakes on Marks

*Literal Casting