My lab will be a year old April 22. I picked him up in June of last year and used Richard Wolter's book as well and followed it religiously. I was amazed at how quickly he picked things up. The basics sit, stay, come, and heel came pretty easy to him and I used the whistle as well as the verbal commands from almost the beginning. I let Bama (that's his name) tell me how much he could handle just as long as he seemed to have fun. I always quit before he wanted to. By late fall Bama was bird hunting with me. He quartered field's and flushed and retrieved birds the first time out. In addition to upland work we worked on water retrieves and at nine months he retrieved his first duck. Now having the patience to sit still for duck hunting was kind of hard for him so I only took him when I hunted with a buddy that had trained his dog and knew what he was in for. I'm looking forward to duck season next fall already. I know how much fun you're having with Tank. It's amazing to see how much they can learn if you just spend a little time with them daily. Good luck!