Fun activities for youth at club training days?

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Fun activities for youth at club training days?

Postby Densa44 » Sun May 14, 2017 10:02 pm

I'm looking for some ideas here. Over the last 50 years I've seen young people at training days wit their (usually fathers but not always) and I've seen how some of these families turned out. The boys don't speak to their fathers and don't own a dog or hunt. These were my retriever days and I think I know why.

You can't turn the clock back but it is possible to change what we are doing now. We have a number of young ladies, who come with their fathers and have a love for the dogs and are interested in handling a dog.

I'd like to know if other clubs have ways to engage the children in the hobby. We have no facilities to teach shooting at our present location but anything is possible.

I'd be happy to lend my dogs if that is a suggestion. Thx.
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Re: Fun activities for youth at club training days?

Postby ANick » Tue May 16, 2017 1:42 am

It could take a bit of organization and more thought, and not just a little effort, but depending on the age and inclination of the kids..

Nature walks. Getting into the bugs, small critters, plants and seeds that a good many (not just kids) will walk right past and never see. Some will like a bit of that.. others, not so much.

For really young pups, of both 2 and 4 legged varieties, socialization time. Mix in some fun there too. Laying scent tracks for pups.

Bird handling and care, for older?

It doesn't have to be all about hunting. There's something to be said about flying a kite too! Or a map and compass.. A cheap, used low power microscope and or magnifying glass..

If you ask them. They might have an idea, or more likely, they don't know enough yet about what is available to learn more about.

Hanging around, bored, waiting for Mom or Dad to get done doing whatever it is with the dang dog... that's a miss.
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Re: Fun activities for youth at club training days?

Postby Densa44 » Tue May 16, 2017 9:05 am

Thanks Nick, I was hoping that it could be something that I could volunteer for, and biology is not my strong suit, walking either. I very much appreciate your efforts to help. It may be other clubs have not got a program for youth. I'm 72 and you can't build a club on senior citizens.

I was trying to think if we could set up some handling drills that the children could run a dog in, heeling and maybe a mark or two. My 2 finished dogs would love it and are quiet enough for a child to handle (they don't wear a leash).

As Nick observed, hanging around being bored is not going to get us our next generation of dog handlers.
Pine Ridges Ginnieve NA 112 UT pz 1 200
Camridge's Sienna NA 112 UT pz 1 204
Foothill Joce NA 112
Czarina Vom Oberland VJP 70 NA pz 112
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Re: Fun activities for youth at club training days?

Postby marsh » Tue May 16, 2017 9:33 am

We don't have an event but with my kids 7 and 8 I asked them to do drags, flush the birds after a point. When Olaf was young and we were working on steadiness I allowed my kids to pop the bird from the launchers.

I have been trying to get them more involved in working with the pups from other members, with their approval, since there is no shooting yet. It allows them to see how the pup learns too. I know that this is different than what you are asking for... Perhaps similar to a pro trainer day- the chapter could put together a kids training day. This would allow kids to handle the dogs and learn the love for them like we do. I know in yard training at our house- lake house- my son brings the dog to the line and makes him sit. We launch a bumper into the lake and he sends the dog and gets to take the bumper from him. He enjoys it immensely. We do similar things through the state of Michigan DNR for youth programs too.
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Re: Fun activities for youth at club training days?

Postby ryanr » Tue May 16, 2017 1:50 pm

Don't overthink it, this isn't rocket science. If you want the next generation of dog handlers then just get them involved in actually handling and learning how to handle and train dogs. Isn't that what training days are for? Most of the time if a kid is there at training it's likely because they're interested in learning or they like dogs and puppies. So get 'em involved in that. You can also reach out to NAVHDA International or visit there website and the Youth Program page for ideas and funding for youth programs.
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Re: Fun activities for youth at club training days?

Postby JONOV » Tue May 16, 2017 2:47 pm

Densa44 wrote:I'm looking for some ideas here. Over the last 50 years I've seen young people at training days wit their (usually fathers but not always) and I've seen how some of these families turned out. The boys don't speak to their fathers and don't own a dog or hunt. These were my retriever days and I think I know why.

This had very little to do with the dogs. My dad doesn't golf much, because his dad was a little intense on the golf course and it was borderline miserable for him. But he still had a great relationship with his dad.

If they don't speak to their fathers there is far more going on than dragging them to the dog training once a week or once a month, and unless they neglected their families pursuing retriever trials I doubt it has anything to do with dogs or hunting.
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Re: Fun activities for youth at club training days?

Postby Willie T » Wed May 31, 2017 3:13 pm

My son is 18 now and has been my training partner since he was about six. In the fall it will be time for him to spread his wings and he will leave for college. I will be flying solo again. He has been the gunner in our training since he was around 12 and I thought that would be his preferred training activity but it is not. When I am training retrieving skills with a young dog I like to do some obedience drills before we start, to keep the foundation solid and get the dogs to focus. I often let my son do this. He recently told me that was his favorite part of training when he was younger. He said it made him feel big to be the boss of something. We took it a step at a time and he learned how to put them through their paces. Hopefully that is useful information that you can use with the youth, and the dogs get something out of it as well.
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Re: Fun activities for youth at club training days?

Postby Constructeur » Wed May 31, 2017 9:47 pm

Kids always love the bird shed. Of course you have to watch them like hawks when they are inside. Try to use that to some advantage...
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