Steadiness Starts Early: How to Stop a Retriever from Breaking

May 07, 2020

You’re wanting a steady retriever who waits with anticipation for you to release it for the retrieve. You’re taking the time to train your dog, and you want it to reach its full potential. 

Oftentimes, hunters end up with a retriever that breaks because they didn't spend enough time working on steadiness. Steadiness is a skill set that takes constant work, even when your dog is older.

In fact, you may be noticing steadiness isn’t natural for your puppy. You may be afraid your dog will end up breaking. You should never have to settle for a dog that ends up breaking. 

At CGA, we understand the desire to have a steady dog can be overwhelming. Especially if you aren't sure how to train for steadiness or just aren't sure what to do when it comes to retriever training. We know how to train a steady retriever, and we have a simple plan so you can know what to do. 

  • Practice steadiness in everyday areas of your dog’s life. 
  • Minimize fun bumpers at...
Continue Reading...

What to Do When Your Retriever Becomes a Disobedient Dog

Apr 24, 2020

"What do I do when my retriever stops being as obedient as it used to be? How do I get my dog to listen to me?"

If you are asking these questions, then this is for you. A lot of people run into this big problem. They've been putting in work training their dog.

The dog has been doing well, and all of a sudden the dog's behavior changes. The dog is no longer being obedient.

This is so frustrating! Honestly, this blindsides a lot of people and tempts them to give up. 

No need to worry. There is a solution!

What do you do? How can you move forward and end up with the retriever you've been dreaming of and working towards? First, understand why it happening, and then, respond accordingly. Here are two reasons this occurs and what you can do about it.

  • Your puppy has reached an age barrier.

When you're working with a puppy, it will often hit a stage, usually around 6 months of age, where it starts to branch out and explore new things even if that means not obeying. This is a very...

Continue Reading...

How to Calm an Over Excited Dog

Apr 17, 2020

Does your dog's excitement ever cause problems? When a dog jumps and bites when excited, it can scare off friends and family. Do you have a new puppy that you want to instill calmness in from the beginning? I know you want your friends and family to love your dog as much as you do.

Some dogs are simply excited and naturally energetic. A dog's energetic responses could also come from some habits you inadvertently reinforced. It could be that the air is colder outside, the puppy's been up, and it wants to get outside and get all excited. There are a number of reasons why your dog could be overly excited or your puppy could turn into an overly energetic dog. 

A full-grown dog that is still excited to the point of causing problems was very likely caused by the excitement of the puppy being reinforced. This goes back to the roots of when you first bring your puppy home. 

Regardless of the cause, how do you handle that? How do you calm your dog down or your puppy down? 


Continue Reading...

How to Stop My Dog From Playing Keep Away

Apr 10, 2020

The dreaded scenario: You send your dog on a retrieve. It runs out as fast as it can and grabs the bumper perfectly. Your pup starts coming back and then looks right back at you....

Your puppy decides to turn the other way or start doing a big victory lap. It won't come back to you.

Can you feel the frustration?

What do you do when this happens? Better yet, how do you prevent this from happening altogether? 

If you can prevent this normal dog behavior from happening, you will be much better off. First, we will cover how to prevent this in your training sessions. Then, we will talk about what to do if you are already in a situation where you can't get your dog to stop playing. 

There is nothing more important than prevention. It's always better to prevent than to have to find a cure for something. This actually starts as soon as you bring your puppy home. When you first get your puppy home, you get to teach your dog so many valuable lessons that, when done properly, will...

Continue Reading...

How Often Should I Train My Dog?

Apr 02, 2020

Have you ever thought about whether or not you're really getting the most out of the time that you are training? 

If so, then congratulations, and if not, you may want to keep reading...

The amount of dog training time per day you need is probably less than you think, and it doesn't even have to be every day. I am about to share with you some valuable information that will help you avoid the frustration, and best of all, it will help you get more done with less effort!

The duration of the training session is important to keep in mind.

If a training session is too long, then you may lose your dog's attention, and then you will see a decrease in how well your dog performs.

If a training session is too short, then you aren't getting the most that you can out of that session, and it slows the overall progression of your dog's training down.

Another thing to consider is the age and experience level of your dog and whether or not you're working on something new or your working on...

Continue Reading...

Five Steps to Handling Difficult Retrieves Using A Dog Training Whistle

Mar 23, 2020

Watching a dog work is one of the most exciting parts of the hunt. Whether it's a fast day and you've limited out within 30 minutes, or maybe it's a slow day, and you only get one chance, it is all worth it when you get to watch your dog pick the retrieve.

A great marking dog is always a joy to work with and to watch work.


There's nothing quite like watching a dog work with its handler to pick a LONG blind retrieve.

It often happens both in the duck blind and on upland hunts.

A few birds go down quickly, and then the last bird gets winged and glides WAY out there.

Then the question is posed: "Hey, you think your dog can get that retrieve way out there?! That one might be gone!" 

"Watch this!" -Dog and Handler

Everyone becomes quiet as the handler and dog step up to pick the bird. 

The handler lines the dog and then...


The dog explodes from the side of his handler without hesitation. 

40 yards...

50 yards...

70, 90, 100...

150 yards and he's...

Continue Reading...

How To Make Your Retriever Even Better This Hunting Season.

Sep 23, 2019

Hunting season is a time that we all look forward to! It's a time where we travel and invest countless hours into creating a successful hunt. It's also a time where your retriever's training can either falter or advance further than ever before.

Many times retriever owners stop training during hunting season and only focus on the hunt. This results in a dog that is rough around the edges after hunting season. But...

If you handle it right, you can actually come out on the other side of hunting season better off than when you started. Let's talk about how to get the most out of training during hunting season.

First things first, keep training when you're not hunting. The worst thing you can do is stop training just because it's hunting season. If you do this, your dog is sure to pick up some bad habits from the hunting season.

Second, be sure to take notes on what your dog does and how they handle the hunt. Use your phone, a note pad, or anything you can get your hands on....

Continue Reading...

5 Things I Learned Training My First Retriever

Sep 17, 2019

Five Things I Learned Training My First Retriever

Are you considering training your retriever? If so, you probably have many concerns, and at the same time, you are probably eager to get started. Not too long ago, I was in the same position as you. I remember how it felt. It was a feeling of great excitement, but it was also a weight knowing that I was going to be responsible for how my retriever turned out. It is one of those things that you know will be challenging, but so rewarding when you complete it. With all of that said, I am going to share five valuable lessons that I learned training my first retriever. These five lessons will enable you to avoid some of the pitfalls that many fall into and will accelerate your journey for success. Are you ready to get started? 

Number One: It Can’t Be Done In A Day… Or A Few Months For That Matter

This is something you are probably already familiar with and have heard before, but I want to emphasize this point and...

Continue Reading...

When to Take Your Retriever First Time Dove Hunting

Aug 15, 2019

Should I take my young retriever dove hunting this year?

The kids are back in school, football season is starting up, and fall is fast approaching. We can hardly wait until hunting season! But, the precursor to it all: Dove season.

It is nearly time to pull out the shotgun and clean it up. We are looking forward to trips to the outdoor store to pick up some shells. Before you know it, it will be time to fire the first shot that starts the rest of the season.

For those with a new puppy or a young dog, this is a time to decide whether or not to take it to the field. If you have been considering taking your pup to the dove field, here a few thoughts that will help with your decision.

If you ask around, some will say to take your pup out as soon as possible. They say: "It's a great way to let your pup see what it's going to be doing one day." Others say: "No way! That's a great way to ruin your gun dog quickly!" With all of the mixed messages, you may be having a hard time deciding...

Continue Reading...

My puppy is barking! What do I do now?

Mar 11, 2019

> Is your puppy barking all night?

> Are you asking how to get your puppy to stop barking?

> Are you losing sleep because your puppy is keeping you up? 

> Or anything along these lines? 


Puppies sure are cute.


When the barking starts, it can cause questions to arise...

- Was this a good idea?

- What have we gotten ourselves into?

- Will my pup ever stop? I don't think I can take this!

- How do I stop my puppy from barking!?

My wife and I recently brought home a new puppy, and we decided to call her Violet. 

Even though puppies barking and playing at the breeder's can be cute, it is not something that many want to bring home with them. Neither do we. Now, even though Violet is the quiet one out of the litter, we're not immune to barking. None the less, there's always the hope that the pup will be quiet. 

At the time, we lived in an apartment complex, and with her being the quiet one, we thought to ourselves, "This is perfect!...

Continue Reading...