Puppy socialization is available at Dynamic Retrievers. We can only take one puppy between the age of 7 weeks to 5 months old for socialization. Puppy will live inside, taken into the community for social outings, socialized to the training environment and trailer, introduced to birds, fun retrieves, fun obedience games, and thinking games meant to take advantage and optimize this vital time of brain development. Puppy training most closely follows Bill Hillmann’s philosophy of encouraging “balance” from the beginning. We absolutely recommend the Hillmann puppy training DVD for those working with their own pup. Go to WWW.HAWKEYEMEDIA.NET for more info.
We conduct field trial training for puppies through early all-age training. Handling services are offered for the derby and qualifying stakes. For most dogs, running a lot of derbies is a detriment in the long run, therefore we encourage running a few derbies for the dog’s experience but avoiding “derby fever.” The
qualifying stake requires a more balanced dog, running marks and blinds, versus strictly marks in the derby. A derby dog can be wild and out of control and still win or earn a placement. The problem with that is when their derby career ends at age 2, the dog is not prepared for more advanced work and has developed bad habits in competition. We do not handle dogs in the open all-age stake, but we can make recommendations that are a good match for you and your dog.
We encourage our owners to run their own dogs and are happy to offer advice during training to improve the human’s skills as well.
Young dog development for those wanting a well-trained hunting dog and family companion has been and continues to be an important part of the training going on at Dynamic Retrievers. We ourselves are hunters and understand the importance of having a well behaved yet stylish retriever afield. We generally take in young dogs at around 6 months of age, and like owners to commit to a minimum of three months of training. This allows us to take the time and do things right, without unnecessarily rushing or pushing a dog too much. Solid basics, although not very exciting, are very important to a young hunting dog’s entire career. Your dog will learn obedience, formal hold and fetch training, bird and gun training, water and land marks, upland hunting, and exposure to decoys and other hunting scenarios.
For those wanting a finished waterfowl dog, it is highly recommended to continue training to include hand signal and blind retrieve training. This is often 2-4 months more of training, depending on the natural skill level of the dog and the amount of training desired.
The biggest reason dogs struggle in hunt tests is because some aspect(s) of their early training is weak or missing. Temptation to run dogs that are very young and/or rushing to run a dog without adequate training also limits their success in the future. These dogs often fail to reach their full potential and the lack of proper training can result in frustration for the dog and handler throughout the dog’s life. Good habits are a result of proper training conducted over a long enough period of time and in a variety of places.
The best way to train a hunt test dog is to train it for field trials! Although we do not require hunt test dogs to complete some of the longer retrieves, their training is initially the same as field trials dogs. This is the best way to teach proper marking and blind running skills. These dogs transition very easily to running hunt tests with only a week or two of hunt test exposure. A hunt test dog’s training should largely resemble field trial training, without extreme distances, for their entire career!
Lauren runs a few hunt tests in Texas and then typically has a more intense hunt test running schedule while in Minnesota during the spring and summer. Lauren handles dogs in the junior, senior, and master stakes. Tim is very supportive of the hunt test program but no longer runs dogs in hunt tests. We strongly encourage our clients to run their own dog(s), it’s a lot of fun!
For owners who want their dog ran in the master national events, a great option is to have basics, transition, and early advanced work done on their young dog at Dynamic Retrievers. The solid foundation work will serve the dog well throughout their career.
Owners that have a dog in training or had a dog in training with us are always invited to train with us, just give us a call a day or two ahead of time. For everyone else please call Tim or Lauren to discuss options.