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There are a number of options in who to choose to train your dog – and it can be a very difficult decision when thinking of sending your precious friend away to someone who will be shaping it's future! So what do we think a person should consider when looking for a trainer?
- PERSONAL CONNECTION. By this we mean that if you feel uncomfortable with the person who his going to take your dog, it's best to keep looking. This is a commitment between the trainer, the owner and the dog and should never be taken lightly. Together you will be working to take your dog to the next level and there must be trust between all involved.
- TRAINING PHILOSOPHY. What is the training philosophy of the trainer? If they cannot describe in detail the methodology of training – the how and why – perhaps another choice might be in order.
In that vein, Our philosophy is:
- Each dog is an individual. Our goal is to Maximize your dog's Natural Abilities. There is no “one program” that works for every dog. Each student will go through learning processes at a different pace. Having the experience of multiple breeds and multiple methods of helping the dog learn set us apart from other trainers. We train on the dogs learning ability, not our calendar.
- CAPACITY. There are trainers who will take any dog that comes along, so long as there is a check involved for as long as the owners are willing to pay it. We suggest you do some math – if there is one trainer and they have 30 dogs, how can they possibly get individual attention?
- We take new prospects in for a two week evaluation. At the end of that time, we offer our opinion on the dog's natural ability, trainability, potential roadblock issues and whether we will accept the dog for further training. Because we limit the number of dogs we train, so that we CAN actually train them, we are very honest and straightforward in our evaluations. Side note: we can take dogs in for conditioning/vacation/puppy intro at any time without the evaluation process.
- LOCATIONS. We all love the convenience of a close by trainer. The problem most people face is that there are no good grounds nearby where they can train a bird dog. All dogs can be started in the neighborhood lot, but there comes a time in every dogs learning process where they need more and varied training locations. Does the trainer train in the same place everyday, year round? This will produce a dog that will work very well on those grounds (technical caveat - dogs are very good discriminators, but not very good generalists), and not well on new or other grounds.
- We rotate grounds between Raymond, CA - Davis, CA, Leases in South Dakota and also endeavor to get training time in before and after trials to expose the dog to multiple locations and maximize their learning potential. This adds a significant level of complexity in logistics and expense for multiple leases, but our goal is to do the very best for the dog, not our convenience.
We are unique in that we offer a rotation of training grounds and scenarios for the bird dog and owner/handler. Beginning February 2012 we will be training at Searles Ranch in Raymond, California. These grounds offer us good cover, rolling hills, open expanses to work on reaching objectives, wild coveys of quail as well as released chuckar, quail and pigeons. In April we move from Raymond to our Ranch near Davis, CA. We work this farm country until approximately July, when we offer our Summer Camp and migrate North East to North Central South Dakota. On these wonderful prairie grounds we are able to expose the dogs to wild Hungarian partridge, Sharptail Grouse and Pheasant. Then we rotate back to the winter grounds at Raymond. We also run the Field Trial Circuit. Locations and dates are subject to change depending upon the dogs we have on our string and the trial locations.
Training Services we offer are:
- Monthly Full Service Training
- Puppy Introduction to the Field
- South Dakota Wild Bird Summer Camp
- Conditioning & Pre-Season Tune-ups
- Field Handling
- Private Consultations & Training Program Development
CONTACT US. We are often in somewhat remote locations with limited cellular and internet services. Please leave a message. We try each day to find the top of a hill to return calls at the very least. It can be several days before we are in an area where we have Internet service so e-mails may take more time for us to respond.