During your dogs first 6 to 7 months, I recommend that you get the training video called, Training a retriever puppy with Bill Hillman. If you socialize and start your puppy right, it will go a long ways as you place your young dog with a trainer. I recommend taking your dog to a pro trainer after he or she is 7 or 8 months old to get the most out the money you spend. When picking a trainer, plan to place your dog for a minimum of 4 to 6 months for a good started dog. For a finished dog you may need to leave him or her there for a year. A finished dog with run cold blinds, multiple marks, is steady, will honor other dogs and is a thrill to watch. It is good to choose a trainer that is close enough that you can go work with him or her once a month, with your trainer. This will help you and the dog develop together and will let you see the progress that is being made.
When picking a professional dog trainer it is important that you do your research, and talk to people in your area of who they may recommend. If you choose someone that a friend has had good luck with, you up your odds of choosing the right trainer for your dog. You don’t want to choose a trainer that doesn’t have time to train your dog every day, and then when it’s time to run a Hunt Test or a trial, uses excess pressure to get your dog ready for the competition.
If you want to have your dog compete at the high level of Field Trials, you need to choose a Pro Trainer that has a history of running trials and comes out with wins consistently. You need to decide what your goals are with your dog and what you would like when your dog is finished with his or her professional training.
You can always ask us for suggestions on trainers we recommend.