top of page
  • Pat

"The Art of Dog Training: A Retriever Trainer's Biggest Challenge"

Teaching dogs how to respond when they're uncertain is truly the essence of dog training. First and foremost, our goal should never be to instill fear in our dogs when faced with uncertainty. This strategy demands patience and compassion on our part because it's through this process that our dogs learn to trust us. Trust is built on fairness, and it's crucial to ensure that we're always fair in our training methods. It's important to gauge when our dogs are feeling overwhelmed and adjust our approach accordingly. Over time, exposing our dogs to challenging situations and ensuring positive outcomes will help them develop a confident mindset of "I can figure this out." When it comes to using e-collar pressure, it's essential to err on the side of caution. My rule of thumb is "When in Doubt, Leave it out." Eventually, our dogs will learn to rely on their training when faced with uncertainty, responding to our cues, fighting factors and avoiding old falls are a few of the trained responses I’m referring to. Witnessing the development of a resilient attitude in our dogs is truly gratifying, and it's a testament to our role as trainers.

This principle holds particularly true when teaching our dogs advanced water marks. I've learned that these complex tasks are among the last skills to develop in retrievers, both for the dogs and for us as trainers. It has taken me many years to cultivate patience and allow things to progress naturally. In my earlier years, I was too quick to jump to conclusions. Now, I've learned to observe patiently for patterns to emerge before drawing any conclusions. I've learned the hard way that making a premature correction can be more detrimental than missing an opportunity to address a problem. If there is a genuine issue, it will manifest itself again in due time.

I've also included a video where I discuss the management and development of water marking in retrievers. I hope you find my perspective insightful and enjoyable.

Until Next Time...


560 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page