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Starting Your Puppy the Right Way

Three basic retriever behaviors to shape early in your training.

Starting Your Puppy the Right Way

Start small and dream big by building on your puppy's basic retrieving instincts. (Tony J. Peterson photo)

I’ve written many times about how important it is to have a training plan in place as soon as you bring your new retriever puppy home, but what I’ve never touched on is a couple of easy-to-overlook behaviors that start out as little tendencies, only to bloom into something much bigger. While it’s totally understandable to dream big when you pick up a new pup, to the point where daydreaming about triple blind retrieves is common, it’s the seemingly insignificant stuff at this stage that makes all of the difference later.

With any sporting dog youngster, you’ll see glimpses into behavioral issues when they are eight weeks old that portend future action...

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