gun-dog-training

GUN DOG TRAINING

OUR GOAL IS TO BALANCE OBEDIENCE AND SPIRIT, MAKING THE EXPERIENCE FUN FOR YOUR DOG.

WE ARE EXPERTS IN TRAINING!

In 1975, Pine Hill was founded to provide a facility where gun dogs can get an early start and reach their potential. Pine Hill has helped hundreds of new dog owners better understand the finer points of dog training and handling through seminars and private lessons. Drawing upon a vast amount of experience, there is little in the world of canine behavior that they haven’t seen and fixed. Pine Hill training produces results.

Gun Dog Training Guidelines

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PRIVATE LESSON PROGRAM

This program consists of a series of five sessions of private instruction for you and your dog. These classes are for pointing breeds, flushing breeds, and retriever breeds.

 

Professional training of a young dog is a valuable service. Educating the owner may be even more critical to success. You can accomplish both with a package of one-on-one training lessons. Often ineffective handling techniques and training can erode a dogs hunting skills and confidence. Don’t let this happen to you. The knowledge gained in these lessons will ensure your ability to bring out the best in your current hunting buddy and every dog you may enjoy in the future. The majority of gun dog problems are easily prevented yet difficult, costly and time consuming to cure. It pays to do it right the first time by having an experienced professional be a training partner to ensure success. You will be given homework assignments after each lesson and the rate of your dog’s progress hinges greatly on your commitment and follow through between lessons. Our sessions will be spaced appropriately according to your dog’s progress. Although lessons are customized to suit your dog and your specific needs, the basic outline is as follows:

  • Introduction to the field, birds, and gunfire.
  • Establishing a productive hunting pattern and modifying range when necessary.
  • Whoa training (for pointing breeds) -essential for steadiness on point.
  • Obedience – includes both voice and whistle commands in the field as well as general manners for family life.
  • Encouraging and developing natural retrieving instincts.
  • Water work (if applicable to your needs).
  • Problem prevention.

 

If your dog is starting from square one and you wish to achieve a high level of successful training, plan on two lesson packages. The first prior to their first full hunting season, continued with advanced training the following spring.

 

ADVANCED LESSON PROGRAM: This is for the dog and owner who have successfully completed their first package of lessons and would like to continue on to a higher level of training with emphasis on any problems or challenges you may be experiencing.

PUPPY PROGRAM

This program is designed for all pointing, flushing and retrieving breeds. This training develops the inherent instincts in your pup. Introduction to the field, game birds and gunfire are the focus. We also work to encourage natural retrieving skills, to teach the pups to kennel on command and to build in a release command. This program will lay the foundation for the more formal training that is to follow as the pup matures.

RETRIEVER AND FLUSHING DOG PROGRAM

This course is designed specifically for the flushing and retrieving breeds. We can take your lab, golden, chessie or spaniel and, in roughly six weeks, mold them into an obedient and productive hunting partner. Our focus is to build enthusiasm for searching and flushing and to, hunt and retrieve downed game. The other half of the equation is obedience work, which includes whistle signals for prompt handling response in the field.

INTRO POINTING PROGRAM

This 60 day course serves many dogs and their owners well. Young pointing breeds are taken from square one and are given the necessary training to develop into solid bird dogs. Our started dog program covers whistle signals for field handling, whoa training, obedience, manners, seeking and finding game and encouragement of natural retrieving skills. This training provides an enjoyable hunting companion which will put birds in your vest this fall.

ADVANCED POINTING DOG PROGRAM

This course covers everything included in the introductory program and takes it all to the next level. Graduates of this program have a higher level of obedience to all commands and are more advanced in their bird work. The extra 30 days allows for a higher level of whoa training and most dogs leave reliably steady on point and will not chase birds that are missed or not shot at. A dog in this program will also have had the opportunity to experience more actual hunting time and be better prepared for the upcoming season. This program is 90 days in length. Due to either the age of your dog or seasonal changes in training conditions, we will often split this into two segments of 45 days each.

FINISHED DOG PROGRAM

This program molds a naive puppy into a highly polished, productive bird dog as well as an enjoyable companion. Accomplishing our goal of a truly finished dog requires 180 days of training. This will be divided into two or three different periods of training as your dog develops. Repetition is what trains dogs, not force. When young dogs are pressured with too much too fast, they become discouraged and problems are guaranteed. A complete hunting dog is one that goes about the task at hand with confidence and enthusiasm. After completion of this level of training, the owner and dog will become an impressive team, highly successful in the field and at home.

Your dog’s initial time is spent accomplishing two critical steps toward our goal. We spend a tremendous amount of time building a close bond between trainer and student along with developing the pup’s inherited instincts and talents. Many inexperienced trainers forsake the importance of this and dive right into a no-nonsense, rigid obedience training program. Graduates of that school will usually obey basic commands but they never really learn to hunt and become good bird finders. A young dog needs a great deal of time in the field to become comfortable and confident in the various conditions he will encounter while afield. Then they must learn all about birds. It’s the same as a person who excels at what they do; it never comes quick or easy. Introduction to gunfire is also accomplished at this time.

Now your pup has progressed. He or she is hunting well and consistently using their inherited talents to locate game. Only now do we begin modifying their skills to suit your specific style of hunting. Whether it’s a grouse and woodcock specialist, or a genuine pheasant dog you’re after, we have the knowledge, equipment, grounds and birds to make it happen. The next segment of their training focuses on obedience. We build a solid foundation of come when called, heel, whoa, as well as whistle commands for handling in the field. As always, regular hunting trips to our farms are part of the routine for the trainees.

The remainder of their time in training is perhaps the most critical. This is the time in which they put it all together and are hunted extensively. Whoa training is strengthened and steadiness to wing and shot achieved. Proper retrieving manners are ensured through a course in conditioned retrieving. The field and obedience work come together to produce a dog you will be proud of and will put birds in your vest this fall. Once the dogs are looking sharp, we then insist on working with the owner. This ensures a smooth transition from training to home. As your dog’s friend and leader, your education is just as important as the one they just received. We will then cover with you all training and handling techniques, how and when to correct a dog for breach of manners, as well as how to read your dog’s body language. The result of this program is a top-notch bird dog and an owner capable of bringing out the best in each other. This program unquestionably produces our finest students season after season.

CONDITIONED RETRIEVE PROGRAM

It is not uncommon for many of today’s gun dogs to have little or no instinct to retrieve downed game. With most dogs, this can be remedied with a specific course for conditioned retrieving.

GUNSHYNESS

Over the years, we have developed a system which regularly cures many dogs of their fear of the gun. We accept a very limited number of these each year as this type of problem solving is very time consuming. The length of time required varies with each individual and the severity of the gun shyness. Dogs will only be accepted after an evaluation.