Lardy for GSP

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Lardy for GSP

Postby Andrew539 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:56 am

I'm new to this forum and new to dog training. I have an 8 week old GSP that I plan on training to duck hunt and upland hunt. I duck hunt 98% of the time. I have read the AHDC's training book and as of right now I plan on using it as my main training material. However, I am curious to know if anyone has trained a GSP with Mike Lardy's system? I know this has no upland training in it but it if I was to go that route I could overlay with upland training. I have been told that Lardy's system is obviously geared toward true retrievers and that even though GSP's are great retrievers a GSP would not be able to handle Lardy's system. Anyone had any experience with this?

It just got me thinking that if you can train a lab as a flushing dog with the AHDC's training system then would Lardy's system really effect a GSP in negative ways? Again, I have no experience in this so any insight would be appreciated.

Thank you,
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Re: Lardy for GSP

Postby Doc E » Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:04 pm

I would go with the Smartwork series (books and DVDs) by Evan Graham.
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Re: Lardy for GSP

Postby crackerd » Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:38 am

Andrew539 wrote:...It just got me thinking that if you can train a lab as a flushing dog with the AHDC's training system then would Lardy's system really effect a GSP in negative ways? Again, I have no experience in this so any insight would be appreciated.


I did just as you've posited almost 20 years ago with another versatile breed, following the AHDC Orange Book for force fetch, then overlaying Lardy's yard, basics and transition program as laid out in Volume 1 of his Retriever Journal training articles. Worked pretty seamlessly for a (then-) first-timer and would still recommend Lardy's Vol. 1 (review/overview for it and Vol. 2-4 at https://www.retrieversonline.com/articles/review-of-training-with-mike-lardy-volumes for an intro to specialized (multiple marks, land and particularly water blinds, advanced drills) retriever training.

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Re: Lardy for GSP

Postby JONOV » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:44 pm

I don't think you'd damage the dog at all.

But I do think that the further you progress, the more you may struggle. FF'ing the dog is easy enough.

Teaching that same dog to do the work of the higher level retrievers is a lot harder, in fact almost contrary to their instincts. Not the retrieve, the desire to break off into a search pattern rather than take lines, etc...
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Re: Lardy for GSP

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:24 pm

I have trained a few GWPs to do basic Blind retrieve handling and achieved a decent result for my hunting purposes. They are quite a bit different than working with a Lab and the general case is they will get bored with it far quicker than a Lab will, and they also will not take to the use of Force well. You will need to find ways to motivate your dog. I use dead birds and dolkens quite a bit. I would check out some Bill Hillman DVDs. He stresses and uses a lot of positive re-enforcement in his training which is more apt to suit a GSP is my prediction.
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Re: Lardy for GSP

Postby crackerd » Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:46 pm

Agree (99%) fully with AverageGuy. I tried the Lardy methods with a versatile breed because I had just started to get into formal retriever training for competition (hunt tests and field trials) with retrievers, and enjoyed it so much that I wondered how such training would suit a versatile breed if I tailored it to my own thinking insofar as repetitions, distances and above all use of the e-collar which retriever trainers have turned into a science. If you have any plans to run retriever hunt tests, for which GSPs are eligible, that tack might suit you, too. But again, for hunting and working a dog on waterfowl only, AverageGuy has put forth your best bet.

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Re: Lardy for GSP

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:11 pm

I'm a firm believer in Lardy's system but, as AG and Crackerd pointed out, you'll need some modification because the GSP won't handle pressure like Labradors. I know there are at least one GSP HRCH champions so I know the dogs can do the work. As you're new to training, the AHDC methods will work better for you but I'd be careful following any one strict program. I would not suggest Graham's methods because of his reliance on pressure. A positive only get-r-done method that I'd think would be good for duck hunting a GSP would be Milner's, "Absolutely Positively Gundog Training".
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Re: Lardy for GSP

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:00 pm

GSP'S can be the most stubborn, worst of all dog's to train. I love Lardy and Grahm and have used it for over 40 years. You have to remember this about GSP'S: many will HATE any rote work, so piles can be difficult if not impossible. Don't expect to get a Lab from a GSP.
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