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Training - Programs and Pricing For Bird Dogs

Want a bird dog you can count on? To follow are commonly requested bird dog programs, however we are willing to custom tailor a program to suit your unique needs. What do you want your bird dog to do?

Overview of Bird Dog Programs

Field/Woods/Blind Skills

Retrieval Skills

Skill/Fitness Refresher

*For the avid hunter and/or dog trial enthusiast, it would be ideal to enroll your dog in the Jump Start, Puppy Development, and Field Obedience & Collar Foundation sequence. Doing so will allow you to most fully maximize your dog's potential and build your handling skills/knowledge so you can truly enjoy your dog's style and presence during the hunt or trial. A well trained dog is a joy to be around.

This three step training sequence has been devised with the assistance of our customers for three reasons: economic practicability, training maximization via practice of newfound skills, and most importantly minimizing your dog's stay away from home. We have found that it is fairly easily to pick up where we left off in the training. Therefore, you may stretch out your training sequence to two or even three years.

As you read on, you will notice that we have age and stay recommendations for our programs. These recommendations are best effort estimations based on our experience. As you know, dogs learn and mature at different paces.


*ProgramOPTION 1...The Jump Start Program (Step 1). The jump start program is for puppies, preferably age two to five months, that have not been exposed or had little exposure to birds. Why two to five months? Week six until 20 is considered the "imprint stage." This is a critical time in a pup's life for learning that will set the foundation for future hunting and life success. Through this program, training will focus on

  • proper exposure to birds and the gun shot,
  • crate training,
  • building prey drive and field run,
  • preliminary point of contact establishment for future steadying work,
  • table work which fosters willing acceptance and is the foundation for retrieval skills, and
  • socialization skills including pack acceptance.

DOG AGE/PREREQUISITES: Pups age 2-5 months. No prior experience needed.
POINT OF CONTACT STEP: Human touch.
RECOMMENDED STAY: 2 weeks.
PRICE: $175 per week, plus tax. Includes dog training, boarding, and food, as well as owner education.

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*ProgramOPTION 2...The Puppy Development Program (Step 2). This puppy development program is an extension of the Jump Start Program or geared toward the older pup or inexperienced dog. This program will provide your dog with pre-collar foundation training. What does this mean? In a pre-collar foundation a point of contact moves beyond the human touch and to the rope (i.e., a lead or check cord). We will focus on

  • the review and continued building of the Jump Start Program skills,
  • the pre-collar foundation through lead and check cord work,
  • retrieval desire in the field,
  • preliminary steadying around game in the field, and
  • running your pup with older, more experienced dogs.

DOG AGE/PREREQUISITES: Pups 6 months and older or inexperienced dogs. No prior experience needed.
POINT OF CONTACT STEP: Human touch to rope (i.e., a lead or check cord).
RECOMMENDED STAY: 4 weeks.
PRICE: $175 per week, plus tax. Includes dog training, boarding, and food, as well as owner education. Upland birds may be shot over your dog for an additional charge.

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*ProgramOPTION 3...The Field Obedience & Collar Foundation Program (Step 3). This program addresses everything from hunting obedience and extreme bird exposure to build prey drive, to instilling steadying and backing skills. Through this program your dog will gain a collar foundation, meaning he/she will be ready to hunt. We will also work on the skills described in the Puppy Development program. Keep in mind that there are levels of training within this program in terms of hunt ability. We can take the training to the point of your desire.

  • Level 1, Collar Foundation...Your dog will
    • wait for your cue to hunt the field,
    • cover the field in front of you to find game, and
    • hold point/sit to the flush.
  • Level 2, Taking Away the Chase...Your dog will
    • wait for your cue to hunt the field,
    • cover the field in front of you to find game, and
    • hold point/sit to the shot or shot/fall or shot/fall/release (your choice).
  • Level 3, Collar Transitioning...Your will dog will
    • fulfill "level 2" and
    • you will be able to cue your dog to stand/sit still, go with you, and come to you all from the neck via e-collar. Generally, retrieval issues are also correctable at this stage. (FYI, retrieval skills are instilled throughout the process.)
  • *Backing/Honoring (instilled throughout the process)...Your dog will
    • fulfill "level 3" and
    • honor other dogs in the field.

Sometime after "level 1" and before "level 3" we usually recommend one free puppy season if your dog has not already had one. With this we hope that you will get out, as often as possible, into the woods or fields on birds, better yet wild birds. Your dog will learn a great deal, building his/her bird experience. Through this process you can also build your skills and back the training. If your schedule does not allow time for this effort, we will be happy to assist you.

DOG AGE/PREREQUISITES: Pups/dogs 12-24 months and older. Puppy Development completion suggested.
POINT OF CONTACT STEP: Rope to cue (i.e., e-collar, verbal, whistle, etc.). You now have a working language with your dog.
RECOMMENDED STAY: 6 weeks.
PRICE: $175 per week, plus tax. Includes dog training, boarding, and food, as well as owner education. Upland birds may be shot over your dog for an additional charge.

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*ProgramOPTION 4...The Trained Retrieve Program. This program will help your dog with his/her retrieval skills. The training is primarily conducted on the table and then transitioned to the field. The process we utilize is truly a bonding experience between the dog and handler. The dog and handler work face-to-face. Unforced personal contact is a vital component as the dog needs to enjoy the process on the table in order to have a successful transition to the field for ground retrieval.

FYI, customers that have successfully completed the Puppy Development and Field Obedience & Collar Foundation have found that they may not need formal trained retrieve training since retrieval work is incorporated in the puppy and field training process.

DOG AGE/PREREQUISITES: Dogs 24 months and older. Puppy Development and Field Obedience & Collar Foundation completion suggested.
POINT OF CONTACT STEP: Rope to cue. You now have a working language with your dog.
RECOMMENDED STAY: 6 weeks.
PRICE: $175 per week, plus tax. Includes dog training, boarding, and food, as well as owner education.

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*ProgramOPTION 5...The Conditioning Program. In early fall, dogs need to physically prepare for a hunting or trialing season in the same way that a person will train for a marathon or any other major physical activity. Beyond physical conditioning and equally as important, the dog also needs mental conditioning. Your dog needs to get his/her head back into the game.

This program is for trained dogs. It offers conditioning opportunities through roading and field work. Upland birds may be shot over your dog as part of his/her conditioning. Furthermore, you are welcome to assist with your dog's bird work in order to fine tune your skills as well.

DOG AGE/PREREQUISITES: Dogs 24 months and older. Field Obedience & Collar Foundation completion suggested.
RECOMMENDED STAY: Customer determined.
PRICE: $175 per week, plus tax. Includes dog training, boarding, and food, as well as owner education. Upland birds may be shot over your dog for an additional charge.

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