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What do I do now?

I am starting to work with my one year old chesapeake and think I am doing well. In the yard and on lead he does quite well, we still have work to do. He gets a little stubborn off-lead so I keep working with lead and now a checkcord (30 ft) sit, stay, and heel all with a whistle ( I don't know if he understands the whistle but I figure with time he will) We have been in training for about two months all together. My two real questions are 1. Should I be getting quicker results? I would think after 2 months he would be doing better (are my expectations too high?) 2. What is the next logical step after obedience? I have read all the books and they make it sound simple but I really don't know how to get to the next step.

The dog is primarily a hunting companion. Field trials are not out of the question but a test champion is not my primary concern. I enjoy working with and training dogs but this is the first time for me on my own.

Just as there are different retrievers breeds, all dogs within a breed are not the same, their ability to respond to training can be different, some are soft, some are stubborn, some are very smart, others are slower to learn. Just be patient, and continue to train him. Remember to give praise when he does well. You can reduce the length of the lead you are using on him going to 10 feet, 6 feet then down to 2 feet., ending up with a piece that is 12 to 15 inches. My next training step after he is doing all obedience off lead would be to decide if you are going to want him to be able to handle and do blinds. If you are only going to use him to retrieve birds when hunting, then I would teach him the hold command. If you want to be able to use him for blind retrieves then he will have to be force fetched. After force fetch you would start him casting, to a pile. If you have a good book it should include information on force fetching as well as a section on teaching a dog to handle. If you have any additional questions please let me know. Good luck.

Kim Moses
Hunters Marsh Kennels

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