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Program Guide for Retrieving and Flushing Breeds

Head Start Programs - Retriever

Head Start Hunting (2 weeks)

Our Head Start Program is designed for young dogs 5-6 months of age or older dogs that have not yet had these first experiences. In the hunting program we focus on developing a dog’s natural ability for hunting. We begin by exposing young dogs to birds through simple retrieving drills and hunts in light cover for liberated game birds. These drills develop the skills of retrieving and scenting. As the dogs become more skilled and confident, we create more challenging hunts. We work to develop a young upland hunter with a strong interest in quartering through cover to find and flush game. At the same time we are gradually introducing gun fire along with the bird work so the young dog learns to associate the gun in a positive and exciting manner with hunting and retrieving. We begin by introducing a .22 black pistol in moderation during bird drills. We then introduce the 28 gauge and finally graduate to the 12 gauge.  We also introduce water work and retrieving ducks during warmer weather months. 

Head Start Obedience (2 weeks)

In the obedience program we teach and develop basic commands and introduce the electronic collar. The initial commands include heel, sit, come, come around, off, ok and kennel. We begin with simple obedience sessions in a basic yard or indoor area. Then gradually add additional distractions as dogs are ready. Our techniques help teach consistency with commands in real life situations and develop a confident young dog.

These two programs can be combined for a complete 4 week program or done separately.

Gun Dog Program - Retriever

Gun Dog Program (4-10 weeks)

For dogs 8-10 months of age and older. Our Gun Dog Program is designed to take basic hunting experience and obedience training to the next level. Valuable hunting experience is gained in more challenging upland and/or waterfowl situations, depending on your hunting preferences. Obedience is taught and reinforced in higher distraction and real hunting situations.  This helps ensure a well behaved companion during day- to-day life, whether at home, the dog park or afield. 

We focus on:
  • Advanced obedience and e-collar conditioning
  • Establishing quartering within gun range
  • Proper retrieve
  • Recall on fly away and missed birds
  • Trailing and handling running game
  • Water work
  • Single marks
  • Steadiness in the blind
  • Whistle commands
  • Boat and decoy work

Finished Dog Program - Retriever

Finished Dog Program (4-8 weeks)

Designed for owners that have goals of competing with their dogs at advanced levels or simply want a truly finished hunting companion. This work includes: developing good obedience during the highest levels of hunting distractions, handling for blind retrieves and hunting well with other dogs and honoring their retrieves.  

We focus on:
  • Multiple marks
  • Honoring
  • Lining
  • Hand signals
  • Sit to flush

Maintenance Program - Retriever

Maintenance Program (2-4 weeks)

Our Maintenance Program is a great way to help get an experienced dog in physical shape, fine tune their hunting skills and their obedience for the upcoming season. We can also develop a plan for problem solving and correct any issues that may have developed at home or in the field.

 We focus on:

  • Reinforcing obedience 
  • Correction training 
  • Conditioning