Gun Dog Program
Dogs who show proficiency at retrieving and fieldwork will be permitted to enroll in this program after satisfactory completion of the extended training program OR equivalent training level. Duration for this program is variable depending on the desired proficiency of concepts and each dog's individual training understanding. There is a 1 month minimum for this program, though the recommended time duration for most dogs is 3 months.
Obedience in the Field
Strong obedience foundations are critical for a gun dog. We train with a strong emphasis on proofing dogs on "sit", "stay", and "heel" in an intense, high-distraction field environment. Your dog will learn steadiness while waiting for release on marks, honoring another dog's marks, a solid left-sided, off-leash "heel" with automatic sit, and maintaining position on a "place" board such as may be found in a hunting blind. To proof many of these foundations, we condition the dogs to an e-collar. This allows us to communicate effectively with the dogs across long distances and ensures we can enforce commands in any situation to keep the dogs safe at all times in hunting scenarios.
A Trained Retrieve
An important part of gun dog training is teaching the dogs they must retrieve a downed mark and to deliver to hand without dropping it. It would be unfortunate in a hunting situation to shoot a bird in the middle of a lake and have your dog refuse to retrieve it! To prevent this we teach a trained retrieve. This process introduces the commands "fetch" and "hold". Good gun dog protocol dictates a dog always retrieves a mark when sent to do so, delivers to hand, and maintains a soft but firm hold until ordered to release.
Building the Confident Retriever
Ridgeview is proud of our dog's natural marking, retrieving ability, and perseverance in the field. We further hone their inherited talents by exposing them to marks of increasing difficulty and distance. Your dog will learn to retrieve over various types of ground terrain and water. Dogs will be encouraged to use their noses to hunt in varying cover. Our goal is to build a confident hunting retriever.
Simulated Hunting Situations
During training, we simulate a true hunting scenario as closely as possible. We train using birds, duck calls, gunshots, decoys, blinds, and even boats to ensure the dogs know what to expect. We believe experience is the best teacher. If there is a particular type of hunting you prefer (upland, waterfowl, etc...), please confer with our trainer so we can best prepare your dog to be your best hunting companion.