We begin right away with with positive re-enforcement obedience as well as drive building exercises. Later we use a balanced approach with more traditional "reward vs. pressure" type of work during a pup's adolescence.
Puppy Head Start is designed to maximize the benefit of proper introduction to: gun-fire, real birds, swimming, and other important social experiences of the field retriever's world.
Our obedience field program for puppies includes 2 sided heeling, "on leash" steady to shot and marks. We will cover the behavior: Sit/stay, Down/stay, Here, & Kennel. Depending on the length of time your puppy is with us, we may also begin introduction to whistle commands and begin "baby handling" and "baby blind" exercises.
After puppy training, for young dogs it is time to "fine tune" some of those skills while maintaining drive, building memory, and broadening the education of young dogs. We offer consistency, repetition, and every day dedication to training that most owners can simply not provide in a home environment. We recommend at least 3 months to get started at this level.
After completion of this stage of training, your dog should be ready to spend a comfortable day ofduck or dove hunting with you, run an AKC Junior Hunter Stake,or a UKC Started Stake. This stage of training also starts to prep the dog for learning cold blinds and the introduction to concepts needed to run Senior Hunter AKC tests.
Depending on your dog's aptitude, drive and over all length of stay we will cover:
Electric collar conditioning.
Proofing whistle commands for "sit" and "here".
Field related obedience including increased steadying, line manners, holding blind manners.
Single marked retrieves and building up to multiple marks.
Intro to handling skills (3 handed casting).
Transition and Advanced:
After completion of this stage of training, your dog should be ready to run SH or MH level hunt tests. In this phase of training the dog will begin running short cold blinds which will gradually increase in difficulty based on each dog's capabilities and learning process.
After a solid foundation has been established we move your dog into these more complex stages of training:
In the Yard we will move forward to: Pile work, single T, and Double T as well as other drills to establish and improve movement on the line (such as push/pull, lining drills, wagon wheel, and more). We will also work to establish some marking and blind running concepts by practicing training routines like no-no drills, stand alone marks, and more.
In the water, we will work on "Swim-By" and "De-Cheating" for proper entry, re-entry, handeling, and exits.
Your dog will be taught to honor another working dog and will be trained for scenarios such as "poisoned birds," "diversion shots/birds." A dog's marking capabilities is also enhanced during this stage as we progress to "walk-up" marks and multiple marked retrieves in tandem with cold blinds (on both land and in the water or combination of the two).
Note: An average dog with good desire can take up to 3 years from start to finish through transition an running complex multiples and cold blinds. Your dog may learn faster or slower and variables such as weather (extreme heat and cold) play a factor in the month to month process. We encourage you to learn along with your dog and take him/her home often to continue the training techniques we instill here at BlackFoot kennels. We look forward to a long relationship with you and your dog!