Pounce came home at seven weeks old and I planned on using Hillmann's puppy program. The initial focus was to work (early on) with the excitement of chase, walking on a lead and sit. The rationale is to develop an "on/off" switch. This was the critical point in deciding to go this route and it was a rather large deviation in what I had always done in the past.   

                                                  Pounce - 1st day home

I never used a checkcord on a pup early on. The focus was going on long walks and imprinting the "joy of here". Fun and bonding was THE "big deal".

Common sense dictates that if the program of choice is laid out in a particular manner, you follow it. In Hillmann's "here" comes later after establishing a stable "sit".  So I adapted and soon realized there are many ways to have fun and bond. Some are more effective than others.

Pounce began every session wearing a long, light lead. She's chased, walked on lead and done a lot of sitting. This photo is one of her first days in the field. Pounce is running loose (wearing a checkcord) and we are focusing of the "program".
                                       Pounce at seven weeks - "flying away"

                      Pounce - having fun the following day on a walk with Lylah

Almost every day (in the house on the living room floor) we do a "tether session". I'm a firm believer in having a pup learn to "give neck" early. In addition, biting is always a problem  with pups and dealing with "issues" when they are LITTLE is much simpler for everyone. I could not "wean" myself off these steps and figured they were not contrary to the program. 
note: this is not part of Hillman's program

                                             favorite picture (ten weeks old)

The daily sessions are planned around balancing the excited chase, walking on
lead and sit. Often times we have done more of one and less of another to keep
an even keel. Some days we just did other "stuff" like taking free walks with my Granddaughter. Each day follows a set structure with well spaced times when "other things" take place...like trips to duck camp, boat rides and a couple of adventures on isolated Mississippi River islands. She's been a busy girl.

                                                            Toad Island
                                                             "The Ride"
                                                       Teal Island - big water                            


I am very pleased with the results to date. The on/off switch has been established and is improving. The compartmentalization of "exciting chase", "walking on a lead" and "sit" has made it simpler to integrate the three into training sessions. "More of this and less of that" makes it possible to keep Pounce in balance. She's very young, smart as a whip and "get's it"......me too.
         note: I did have to move to a longer lead because she is just too darn fast.

                                                    Pounce at 3 months old


Pounce will be four months old October 5th. Even though she is a "live wire" on retrieves in the field, seeing her in the early stages of a stable sit (relaxed and responsive) is "pretty darn cool".  

                                                 Pounce Archives (Link)
                      updated 09/25/14