Our training program begins when the pup is 7 months old or more and we keep them here for a MINIMUM of 2.5-3 months to accomplish Basic Retrieving Course.
In this first Basic Retrieving Course your dog receives more obedience training (assuming you will have started your pup on some already), delivery to hand (force-fetching) using the ear-pinch method, evaluating them in the field to find their strong points as well as their weaknesses (i.e.: marking, hunting, desire, etc.), retrieving pigeons and ducks, exposure to gunshot & decoys and encouraging basic hunting skills. They are worked on basic field and water retrieves.
Beyond the Basic Retrieving Course additional fieldwork to enhance hunting skills, marking ability for retrieves at greater distances (in excess of 50 yards), retrieving crippled birds on land and water and/or beginning casting drills starting with fetch to a pile with hand gestures and converting the fetch command to "over" and "back" commands as well as converting the word "sit" to sitting on a whistle blast is a month to month basis.
Depending on how much time you can spend with your dog reinforcing what they've learned during our Basic Retrieving Course (camp) will determine if it's best to either they stay longer to apply the skills they've been taught, or go home for you to continue and apply these skills.
The key element is time dedicated to work with them.
Your dog can always return for more advanced training such as forcing on back and running the "T" pattern which is fundamental for any blind retrieve work. Doing "double retrieves" and steadying (to stay sitting until sent for a retrieve as well as honoring another dog's retrieve) would be included in this "additional training". At least 4 months is required to complete this phase of your dogs training.
We usually need confirmation to reserve a space 2-3 months prior to the start of the anticipated training date.