Training Programs

Training a hunting dog takes a great deal of time and commitment. Owner involvement is vital to this process.
I have had many people bring their dogs to me after their owners have tried to train them on their own. Some of the dogs were not given the basic building blocks to make them successful. I have seen gun-shy dogs because owners just didn’t realize the basic steps and started their dogs off incorrectly. At Colorado Gun Dogs, we have the experience and knowledge to help get you a polished hunting dog in the most efficient and affordable way. Please come and see for yourself. Make an appointment with Colorado Gun Dogs and I will show you dogs in various stages of training. I welcome you to bring your retriever to Colorado Gun Dogs. I will evaluate the dog and we can begin the process together of turning them into a great hunting companion.

Puppy Head Start Program

Puppies are like children; they learn at an exponential rate. This is the best time to start molding your puppy into a great retriever. This program gives puppies the fundamentals and confidence that they will carry throughout their lives. Puppies should be about 4-5 months old for this program. I encourage you to bring your pup to Colorado Gun Dogs when you first get them so I can guide you with tips to do at home before they start the program. On average, this program is completed in 30 days.
  • Introduction to birds
  • Introduction to water
  • Familiarization with decoys
  • Basic commands and obedience
  • Socialization
  • Development of confidence and drive

Basic Program

This program builds on what your dog learned in the Puppy Head Start Program. This can also be a starting place for older dogs that may have missed the head start but learned some basic obedience at home. This program provides the basic building blocks of training. The program focuses on field work and obedience. Dogs in this program should be able to accomplish an AKC Junior Hunter title. On average, this program is completed in 90 days.
  • Field obedience
  • Control
  • Focus
  • Vocal commands
  • Whistle trained
  • Bird to hand delivery
  • Introduction to gun shot
  • Marking birds on land, water and a variety of terrain
  • Quarters/Upland training

Competitive or Advanced Program

While the basic program will provide you with a great hunting dog, this program will take your dog to the next level. We will focus on polishing the dog’s training to give you a finished gun dog. This program is more technical in nature. The dog will start to learn multiple marks, how not to cheat the marks, delayed triples, and poison birds. The dog not only needs to know how to hunt, but will use their intelligence to understand the scenarios. This is a great program for competing in the AKC hunt and field trials. Even if your dog doesn’t compete, this program will give you bragging rights the next time you are at your hunting club. This program does not have an average time frame as it will depend on the level of competition you want your dog to achieve.
  • Knows all aspects of the basic program
  • Multiple marks on land, water and a variety of terrain
  • Land and water blinds
  • Honoring
  • Steady to wing and shot
  • Polished, performs with style
  • Ready to compete in the AKC Field Trials and Hunt Tests
I always encourage owners to be part of the above process. I can hand you the keys to a Lamborghini but will you be able to drive it? It is important for dogs to take commands from their owners and know the owners are the ones with the keys.

One on One Sessions:

If you prefer to train your own dog and just need help from a pro to get it right, I offer classes once a week on a limited basis. Part time work equals part time results, so I do expect you to make the commitment to work with your dog on a daily basis. As with all of our training, owner involvement is vital to your dog’s success.   Please contact me for availability and pricing