People often go to our website to find out about our training program, costs, concepts and philosophy, etc. We have always strongly encouraged those people to call us personally to discuss their dog, their needs and expectations, and our program. Deciding upon a trainer or a program should be based on far more than a compelling web page or well-written sales pitches. Ideally, it is best to actually watch a trainer with their dogs; what is the nature of the relationship, how controlled and responsive are the dogs, and what is the dog’s attitude toward work and its training process? This should be based on watching multiple dogs, not just a good show-off dog or two. However, it is not very realistic to expect people to be close enough to see this, or even have the time or ability to do it. That is why we wish to speak with people personally about their dogs and their expectations. We will however, outline the approach and methodology we have in training people’s dogs for them. 

Dog training begins at the age you bring a pup home, whether you are aware you are training your dog or not. People buying a retriever should have a program in mind already for raising their dog with a great attitude and with the age appropriate tasks and skills. We do not believe in too much training too early, but instead the development of a good attitude toward retrieving and responding. That is probably more difficult than the obedience skills of heeling and sitting. Our monthly tips and our articles detail our idea of the best way to raise a young pup.

It is ideal for a dog to go into formal training somewhere around the age of 6 or 7 months, when it acquires it’s adult teeth and is mentally prepared for more demanding training. That tends to get the most ‘bang for the buck’ in training, as opposed to bringing in a more mature dog with some not so good habits that must be ‘unlearned’ before the right kind of learning can begin. Dogs that come here are first schooled in basic obedience as a way of life and responding, not as a set of command they obey during a training session. Important distinction. Once the obedience is relatively in place, the dog is taught to carry out obedience lessons holding the training bumper. This is followed by force fetch and retrieving. When the dog can ethically retrieve and deliver to hand, we switch exclusively to birds, since that is what these dogs are about. The skills of marking, steadiness and diligently hunting the area of a fall are developed. 

For dog to be used in the upland field, it is very helpful if the dog has been on a number of wild bird contacts prior to coming.  That boldness on upland birds is a strong priority in developing an upland dog, pointing or flushing.  Once through obedience the control is established, the dog will return to the upland field to encounter unplanted upland birds.  When the dogs have become proficient in the bird search game they will be ‘dechased’ or taught that flying birds are not fair game, only those dropped.  This is a precursor to steady to wing and shot and steadiness on point for those dogs that point upland birds.  All bird usage in discussed and agreed upon before it takes place; bird bills tend to run from $20 to $40 a month at most.

For waterfowl work and marking work, we use ducks, pheasants and chukar. When the dog is skilled at marked retrieves, we shoot ducks for them, again on a pre-agreed upon basis, for which the training bill is charged. Hunting or competitive dogs can only become good at what they dog if they actually practice the real thing, and that requires live birds.

When any dog is here, it is closely monitored for any injuries or health issues. They are fed at the completion of each day to assure no dog is worked on a full stomach (torsion danger) and housed in individual kennels inside a kennel building. Dogs are trained at a variety of training spots, since that is necessary to assure dogs can hunt or compete somewhere aside from their backyard without being unnerved about an unfamiliar environment. Dogs are carried in dog trucks that drive into the kennel building at the end of each day, so no dogs are ever in danger of being lost or running off . Security for these dogs is of paramount importance and it is built into the facilities themselves and the handling of each dog. Heat, cooling, lights and classical or country music accompany the dogs in their building.

You cannot train dogs for a living successfully without possessing a great love and respect for these individual dogs. It is with that approach we started and have maintained our business. We have also found respect and care for the owner goes a long way in the success of the dog as well. We do not double dogs up in kennels to increase training income, nor do we keep dogs in training that lack the talent or ability to merit the cost of training. We are booked approximately 4 months in advance at any given time, so if there is interest in having a dog trained here, we encourage early contact with us so we can reserve a slot. We do not take deposits to hold spots, but ask that people reserve their spots and stay in touch with us. The cost is $735.00 per month which includes Purina Pro Plan foods, daily training except Sundays and top quality training and care of the dogs. Live birds are additional. Dogs that come here must have a current shot record and kennel cough, and be on heartworm. Owner participation in strongly encouraged after the first month. We take pride in producing the best dogs and dog owners around! 


If you would like to see if we have space available for your dog, please click here.

Gunclub Labradors

Gunclub Labradors Training