Our foundation program is our most basic training program. Simply put it lays the proper foundation that will allow your dog to become a great family companion and successful bird dog. Our program uses a balanced training approach to teaching your dog the things it needs to know in order to be successful. It’s important for your dog to have fun during training but also understand that a command isn’t a request. This is why a balanced training program is so important.
During this program, we focus on developing your dog’s natural ability, building it’s confidence, and teaching it the basic obedience needed to be a great family companion and successful bird dog. We will properly introduce your dog to birds and develop it’s natural pointing instinct and prey drive. We will also properly introduce your dog to gun fire during this time. This is absolutely essential to your dog’s future as a bird dog and unfortunately this is a process many people do incorrectly. We want your dog to love the sound of gun fire and understand it’s a good thing. We will also teach your dog how to handle in the field so that it will turn on it’s name and go with you. During this program your dog will also be properly introduced to water and we will make every effort to develop your dog’s retrieving ability naturally. This development often leads to a dog that has a sufficient retrieve for hunting purposes without the need for doing a trained retrieve at a later date.
Your dog will also learn the basic obedience and structure needed to make it a more enjoyable family companion. Your dog will learn to reliably come to you on the HERE command. We will teach your dog to KENNEL and LOAD UP. During this program your dog will also learn the basics of the commands HEEL and WHOA. Your dog will heel on lead extremely well at the end of this program and be ready to transition to off lead heeling. Your dog will understand that whoa means to stop and stand at the end of the program but will not be whoa broke. Remember, this program is meant to build a dog’s confidence, teach it how to learn, and create a solid foundation that will allow the dog to be a great family companion and successful bird dog.
Your dog will also be properly crate trained during this program which will greatly help in it’s transition to living in your house. Your dog will be let out on a frequent and regular basis so that it learns to relieve itself outside. Your dog will also eat each and every meal in it’s crate. Thru this process of frequent and regular let outs and feeding your dog in it’s crate it will learn that the crate is a good place. It will learn to love it’s crate which will help to prevent the unnecessary whining and barking that often occurs when a dog is crated.
Finished Dog Program
Our Finished Dog Program is for dogs that have completed our foundation program. This is where the polish and finishing touches are applied! In this program, we take your successful bird dog and family companion and mold it into an even finer version of itself. During our Finished Dog Program, your dog will develop the skills needed to pass upper level hunt tests, run in broke dog field trial states, and/or be a truly finished bird dog.
Prior to starting this program, we will need to understand the goals you have for your dog. Do you have plans to run your dog in Senior Hunt Tests? Master Hunt Tests? I the goal to run in NAVHDA's Utility test or compete in Field Trials? Maybe you want a more polished dog for competing in NSTRA, NBDCA, UFTA or BHU events? Or maybe you aren't interested in testing or trialing but just want a finished bird dog for hunting? We can use this information to tailor our Finished Dog Program to best meet the goals you have for your dog.
The Finished Dog Program focuses on teaching: advanced heeling, advanced whoa training, advanced honoring, stop-to-flush training and advanced steadiness training. Depending on your goals, your dog will learn to become stead to wing, steady to wing and shot, or steady to wing, shot, fall and release. This program also includes our Trained Retrieve program for any dog whose natural retrieve could be improved upon for the owner's needs or to meet the demands of upper level testing. If your goals include waterfowl hunting and/or testing your dog in the NAVHDA Utility or Invitational Test, we will also work on steadiness in the blind, water retrieves (including marks and blinds) and duck search.
Trained Retrieve Program
Our Trained Retrieve Program focuses on building a fast, clean, dependable and polished retrieve. Upon completion of this program, your dog will not only love retrieving, but it will also understand that there's a certain way to go about retrieving. A quality retrieve should consist of quickly making a straight line to the given object, a quick pick-up of the object, a quick straight-line back and a controlled delivery. Anything less than that is unacceptable. You won't have to beg your dog to retrieve a bird, watch it parade around you in circles or chomp the bird to pieces, or just completely avoid making the retrieve all together.
This program teaches a dog that FETCH means go pick-up that object and hold it until told otherwise. We use a lot of praise in our program but also overlay e-collar stimulation when needed to guarantee your dog will always, without question, make the retrieve. We seen a lot of time and use a lot of repetition to build your dog's confidence in its ability to make any retrieve.
After Each Program
As part of each training program, we will expect you, the owner, to come spend some time with us to learn how to handle your dog. This is typically done at the time we schedule your dog to be picked up. Please plan to spend a couple hours with us so that you can watch your dog work, observe us handling your dog and then learn how to handle the dog yourself! This is probably the most crucial part of the training process! Without you making the commitment to carry through with everything we've done with your dog, there almost certainly will be a decay in training and your dog will revert back to old habits. Although this might be good for our pocketbooks, it most certainly won't be good for yours and it totally defeats the purpose of everything we've spent time accomplishing!
We want to see you be successful with your dog! To do that, you've got to be willing to improve your handling abilities and knowledge as a dog handler. We also welcome owners to come out during the training process to visit your dog and spend time learning how to handle him. These lists are by appointment only, but we do want you to feel welcome.