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TRAINING TIPS ON YOUNG DOGS

One of the greatest things to watch is a young, happy, flashy, accurate marking dog. The first step in training a young dog is gaining his confidence and being able to keep it. When the young dog does the work right, give him a “happy time” so that the next time he jumps out of the crate, he ...

TRAINING TIPS ON YOUNG DOGS

One of the greatest things to watch is a young, happy, flashy, accurate marking dog. The first step in training a young dog is gaining his confidence and being able to keep it. When the young dog does the work right, give him a “happy time” so that the next time he jumps out of the crate, he will be raring to retrieve.

As I start with a young dog, I like to give him a few birds, but I would prefer to thoroughly force break him to retrieve before I make birds a regular occurrence. In most cases, this stops many problems from occurring, such as sloppy pick-up, poor bird handling, hardmouth, and besides, it frequently assures a clean delivery.

In my opinion, trainers of young dogs frequently put too much emphasis on doubles. I have had more success in always starting with a single and adding birds, up to triple, as the dog is successful on each test. Triples for a derby dog do not serve much purpose. The main objective with the young dog is to help him learn how to find that key bird, the memory bird, and if you can concentrate on this, you will survive more trials in good shape.

When you start the water work, remember that you want to have the dog charging out into the water. This is best accomplished on easy singles. When you start on the tougher water marks and when a bank is available for the dog to run, be sure to have enough help to prevent bank running. If you can block him the first time, he is less apt to try it again.

Here are a few handling tips that might be helpful. In training, don’t make a habit of waiting too long to call for a bird. After you think the dog has spotted the gun, call for a bird quickly. You are hoping that the dog will form the habit of paying attention as soon as you sit him down on the line, whether it be in training or a field trial. On the other hand, handlers should give a young dog time to think after he delivers the fist bird and before sending him for a second bird. Take the time to line the dog in the right direction before sending him on a retrieve, particularly the second bird.

Young dogs are great to work with, but always remember, whether your objective is field trial work or hunting, keep the young retriever happy so that he will do his best to please you.


Taken from “The Retriever”, Volume 1, Number 3, November 1969
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About Us:

Although we no longer train field trial dogs we continue to train dogs at our Swan Kennel facility. 

Swan Kennel now offers:

- Waterfowl Hunting
- Upland Hunting
- All breed obedience training
- Head Start Puppy Program
- Private Lessons
- Kenneling
  • Call Swan Kennels to learn more: 940-458-7154

Our History:

Jim Swan purchased his first Labrador in 1965 from Dick Wilborforce in Amarillo, Texas. He went to watch his first field trial in Dallas, Texas in the spring of 1966 and after two days of observing, he knew he had found his calling. A month later, Jim went to work as an assistant for Tom Sorenson, and then later worked for Floyd Hayes. Both taught him a great deal about training and managing a kennel. In January 1968, Jim and his wife Marsha moved to Jonesboro, Tennessee to manage Ripshin Kennel. It was there Jim qualified his first dog for an Open National.

Jim moved his family to Lake Dallas, Texas, in the spring of 1970 and built Swan Kennel. Ten years later, the Swan’s relocated to its present location in Sanger, Texas.

Wanting to learn more, Jim visited Rex Carr numerous times in the seventies and added to what he had learned from Tom Sorenson, Floyd Hayes, D.L. Walters, Joe Schomer, Jay Sweezey and Delmar Smith.

In 1989, at a field trial, Jim met Geoff Cole from Sydney, Australia. Mr. Cole asked Jim to help restructure his training program and improve the bloodlines. In 1991, Jim did a training seminar in Sydney, Australia, which helped raise the standard of training and trials. Jim sent frozen semen from two well-bred male dogs that he was training. One of the dogs was a line-bred grandson of Volwood’s Ruff and Reddy and the other a son of Ironwood Tarnation. After two select matings, the result was Mr. Cole won three Australia National Championships with the same dog, in 1998-1999-2000.

The retreiver sport has been very good to Jim. He has had his share of fine dogs and great owners. He qualified and competed in numerous Open Nationals and titled many Field Champions. Two dogs that Jim trained and campaigned were elected to the Hall of Fame: Trumarc’s Raider, 1995, and Volwood’s Ruff and Reddy, 2000.

Through the years, many friends have been made all over the United States and Australia. Jim knows his success would not have been possible without the support of his wonderful family. Jim would like to thank his family, friends and the Retriever Hall of Fame for this great honor.

Taken from the Retriever Field Trial Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, 2005.

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