There is an expression commonly related to retriever training - "It's not the dog". A pro friend shared this with me many years ago. Being aware of that description and doing something about it can be an on going challenge. One can often identify the issue from afar. However, personally recognizing it in the heat of a moment.....not so much. When the time comes to begin training retrievers, a person is solidly entrenched in who they are verses the reality that change is often an unusually slow process.
Therefore, after training several retrievers over a period of many years...my perceptions, habits and real time performance were firmly entrenched. Becoming aware does not guarantee that solutions will be simple. Therefore, drawing a line in the sand is the first step. Doing so will identify the beginning.
I have trained two retriever puppies with Hillmann's program. Bluntly stated, I would do many things differently...now. Differently does not mean switching to another program. The reality is when NOT being adept at doing the right things in every moment does not create an engaged, responsive pup. Learning from mistakes is often an unavoidable taskmaster. Poorly executed training sessions
happen because observing what is going on and responding correctly are not given skills. When a trainer knows how to maintain responsive interactions with a young, naive pup, they make it look
easy. It is not. My puppy won't do what I want him to do is not the pup's fault or the program.
Just recently, I was reviewing two YouTube videos in which skilled trainers were working. As the sessions unfolded, four thoughts came to mind. The first is, I am fairly certain my two pups were handicapped by a lack of proper trainer interactions (skills). The second is quite similar and simply restated on anther level. Many training issues can be attributed to the expression "It is not the pup." The third is, distance has an impact the trainer's influence with a pup which means work closely for quite some time. Lastly, the pups' ages in the following YouTubes "flies in the face" of present dogma.
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"Gigi" a Hillmann puppy
HR KwickLabs Fountain of Youth SH - "Pounce"
FC AFC KPR's Wet Willie X Grizzly's Scooter Magee MH
KwickLabs Gorgeous Georgia - "Gigi"
NAFC FC AFC Cody Cut A Lean Grade X HRCH Rainmaker's Lady A MH