Woody’s Way

We Should Be So Lucky


There are two kinds of Labs.  There are Labrador Retrievers and Labrador Deceivers.  A Labrador Deceiver is a dog that has no retrieve drive.  If you’re reading this, you probably are in the Labrador Retriever camp.  Playing retrieve with your lab puppy is very important whether you are a hunter or not.

Throwing marks for your puppy is a wonderful way to bond with it.  They really enjoy it and look forward to it.  It is a great way to exercise your puppy.  They love it so much that it can also be used as a reward.  You will be amazed at what you can teach your dog to do when its only reward is being allowed to retrieve.

Until the Department of Defense started the Afghanistan pull out, my son and I trained some very special Labs for the Marine Corps.  They were IED detection dogs who worked remotely for their handlers.  They had to be able to be handled by whistle and hand signals to any suspicious looking area (buildings, vehicles, etc.).  They also had to quarter like a windshield wiper at 100 meters in front of a platoon of Marines on the move.  When they located a bomb of any kind using their magical noses, they would turn around facing their handler and lay down to signal a find.  That’s what we call a passive response.  If the dog has found an IED, we don’t want it to be aggressive in identifying where it is. We want the dog to locate the bomb, not set it off.

What these Labs learned to do was truly remarkable.  The motivational reward they got for doing all that is even more remarkable: a fun retrieve for their favorite “happy” (tennis ball, kong toy).   That’s it!  Labrador Retrievers can do things no other breed group of dogs can, and they do it to be rewarded with one happy retrieve.  Are you getting this?  The greatest reward a properly trained lab can ever get is the chance to enjoy retrieving.  That’s why, hunter or not, you need to share your dog’s joy at being able to feel so good.  And we can share that with them.

Here’s a video of Perry’s dog Twin Lakes Ben Kanobi, call name Obi. He is unquestionably one of the best bomb detection dogs on the planet.

Watch the simple reward he gets for doing such a complicated task. If you share your dog’s retrieve drive, these are the kind of things you can teach it to do just for one wonderful opportunity to share retrieving with you.  Oh, by the way, that’s not a real bomb, but rather a small amount of ammonium nitrate, one of the primary ingredients used by terrorists.

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Become a happy owner or learn about our Labrador Retriever training services:  Call Woody and Judi at (910) 462-3246 for more information.

About Woody Thurman:  Woody and Judi Thurman of Twin Lakes Kennel have been breeding and training world class Labrador Retrievers for more than 35 years. Twin Lakes Kennel is the number #1 resource for Labrador Retriever puppies.  We select from the most dominant American field bloodlines and breed for natural hunting instinct and tractability. Our Labs, both puppies and adults, are out of the top working Labrador Retriever bloodlines in the country. The end results are the most talented, well rounded Labrador Retrievers possible, making them a most desirable family pet.

More than eight thousand (8,000) Labrador Retrievers have been bred and trained during those thirty-five years. During this time, Woody has titled more than 200 AKC Master Hunter Labrador Retrievers. Woody has also qualified 47 retrievers at AKC Master Nationals. He has won the Ducks Unlimited Open Championships twice. In addition, two of his Labs, Drake and Rondy, bred and trained at Twin Lakes Kennel, are in the Master National Hall of Fame.

Our Labrador Retriever puppies are the culmination of a 30 year search for the most talented, well rounded Labrador Retriever possible. We select from the most dominant American field bloodlines and breed for natural hunting instinct and tractability. Our puppies begin a structured socialization program in the litter box and are introduced to birds at six weeks.

All our Labrador Retriever Puppies carry a guarantee against hereditary defects and to have basic retrieving instincts. Parents of all our Labrador Retriever puppies are physically sound with certified hips and eyes.  They are out of the top working Labrador Retriever bloodlines in the country.

We guarantee all our Labrador Retriever puppies to be free from hereditary defects.

© Woody Thurman and WoodyThurman.com, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Woody Thurman and WoodyThurman.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 


Call Woody and Judi Thurman at (910) 462-3246 for more information.