I recently purchased a 7 week old female puppy that I want to train to shed hunt, and hopefully cross train to blood trail. She did not come from a breeder, but from a hunter and hunting guide who who uses the dam as his primary retriever for ducks/geese, etc.. and she as well as the sire both have strong hunting pedigree and both are hunting retrievers. Not upland labs, although one generation back on the sire's side the sire was both upland and retrieving master hunter. So I'm hoping the antler thing works out for her.
I remember seeing a reply to only use antlers as play toys, and I have been letting her play with a tiny shed. I am ordering the training dvd today, but she has been playing witih lots of different toys the past week, as we have another little house dog that has tons of toys. I don't want to take away the other dogs toys and don't want to separate them either, but if it is crucial I will. Until I receive the training video in the mail, any suggestions for now. She will be 8 weeks old tomorrow.