Ridgemark Retrievers Gun Dog Training
Our gundog program is designed to teach duck hunting concepts so your dog will be prepared for any situation while in the field. The minimum age for the gun dog program is 6 months and the program is laid out into a 4 month schedule. During this time we will teach basic obedience and evaluate your dogs retrieving desire on land and water with dummies and birds. We will also teach the hold and fetch commands, steady retrieves, diversions and direct gun fire. Once the program is complete your dog will be ready to hunt.
Evaluation on retrieving desire on land and water with various objects including real birds. We would like to see a strong desire to retrieve and a good work ethic because it will take these traits to complete the program. Once the dog has been evaluated we will then begin the obedience which includes heel, sit, stay, here and kennel up . We will not leave obedience until complete. At the end of the first 30 days your dog should know how to do all of these commands on the leash with and without the whistle and should now be able to retrieve under control following our commands. Once this has been complete we will then test for gun shyness.
This month consists of electronic collar conditioning on known commands and hold and force fetch training. Force fetch training is probably the least understood part of the retriever training process. We are simply teaching the dog how to hold, fetch and deliver an object to hand on command. This month is in my opinion one of the most important parts of the training process. If this is not completed properly your dog will struggle through the rest of the gun dog program and also advanced training. Proper force fetch is necessary because it is the foundation for the rest of what he will be introduced to while enrolled in the gun dog and advanced dog program.
The third month consists of more obedience, steady single and double marked retrieves on land and water. Your dog should be able to do steady singles and doubles with the gun and birds at the end of this month.
This is a tie everything together month where we will repetitiously simulate duck hunting scenarios. We will take all that the dog has learned and test him on each of the gundog concepts until he is perfect at them. Your dog will be ready to hunt and the foundation will be laid for the dog to enter the advanced dog program once the fourth month is complete.