Guns Up!

 

Dartmoor Retrievers offers several different training options for those interested in field work with their dogs.

 

During the season, March through October, we train 6 days a week. Because this is such a demanding schedule, we offer the opportunity for owners to leave their dogs with us for the season. This is not only the most cost effective option as we offer a reduced rate for stays over three months, it also gives the dogs a very important chance to socialize with the pack in the kennel, and that daily interacton allows us to bond with the dogs in a way that positively affects their training. Our clients' dogs are treated like our own dogs; the kennels are part of the house so that we can monitor the dogs day and night. All dogs go out in our clean and safe turn out area at least six times daily so that they receive plenty of exercise and are never bored. The kennel is heated in the winter and we use Kuranda beds for the dogs' comfort. We feed a high quality 30/20 Purina dog food for optimum nutrition for our canine athletes.

Owners are welcome to join us at any training session, to participate , to watch their dogs work, and to get invaluable training in how to handle their dogs themselves. And the wagging tails when a dog's family comes for a visit prove that dogs never forget their owners!

 

We also welcome clients on a drop in basis.  If you choose not to leave your dog with us for the season, you can certainly come join us at a training session with your dog one or several times a week, just be prepared! Retriever training is a group activity and we have no problem putting you right to work. Our mission is to educate you about the sport and to train you as well as your dog. Be aware though, that depending on your goals for your dog, it may not be possible to achieve them if you are training on a less consistant basis. Some dogs need the structure of the kennel in order to progress to a high level of competence. This is something that Paul will discuss with you as you advance in your dog's training.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul is also available to handle your dog in competition and does that for many clients every year. This is the quickest and easiest way to help your dog achieve AKC titles, if that is the route you choose to go, and  many clients are not comfortable handling their own dogs in a competitive situation. If you do wish to do it yourself, Paul will help to coach you through the process and give you invaluable help and tips to help you to succeed. Most training sessions are run in a very similar manner to an AKC Hunt Test, and so you will be very comfortable with your role by the time you finally bring your dog to line.

 

Olga Lassalle photo

Olga Lassalle photo

Olga Lassalle photo

Olga Lassalle photo

Olga Lassalle photo

We start all of our puppies with gentle obedience training. This is the foundation of any dog's education, and especially our retrievers. We generally start this at about 10 weeks, working on teaching our puppies not to bite, housebreaking them, socializing them, and eventually starting to teach sit, and heel. At this point, training is done with little or no pressure. At some point we will progress to some short and simple retrieves, introducing birds and working on recall. Training at this point is never more than every other day, and two or three retrieves at the most. Even if you are not planning on competing with your dog, or hunting with him, these are invaluable tools for you and your dog to have. If your dog retrieves well, you have a quick and easy way to provide exercise for your dog, and basic obedience including recall are essential to ensure your dog's safety in many situations. The decoy drills we do, teaching the dogs the command "leave it", are applicable to anything that you come across that you do not want your dog to approach or pick up.

After your dog completes basic obedience, we move forward with our retriever training. At this point, it does not matter whether you are interested in training your dog for competition, or just for hunting. The training is the same. We will begin to introduce concepts and varied terrain. We have access to many different training grounds so that we can provide many different looks and realistic hunting scenarios. Once your dog is ready to begin multiple marks, as long as he or she is finished teething (usually around 6 months) it is time to put him on the table and teach force hold, and force fetch. We do not use pain for this stage and we find that the dogs respond very quickly and well to our approach. This is a time intensive process, however, so if your dog is not staying with us during this period, you will need to invest time at home daily into his training, as well as scheduling several private sessions so that we can help you and your dog stay on track.

Olga Lassalle photo

Olga Lassalle photo

Olga Lassalle photo

After the basics are solidly ingrained in your dog, we continue with the more advanced aspects of retriever training with those who wish to pursue it further. Even if you intend only to hunt with your puppy, and not to compete in Hunt Tests or Field Trials, we strongly recommend that you continue your dog's training at least to the Senior level, which includes multiple marks and handling on blind retrieves on land and in water. This will give you the most wonderful hunting companion that you can imagine. At this stage we will be working on lining drills and introducing three handed casting. We will practice more difficult concepts like tighter marks, and begin water lining drills as well. We train with both bumpers and birds, using ducks, pheasants, geese and pigeons so that your dog is exposed to many different types of birds and we will be working on breaking tests using live flyers. We train six days a week so that our dogs are able to maintain a high level of physical fitness, and so the difficult lessons that we are teaching them become good habits.

At this point your dog should have a clear understanding of the various hunting scenarios that he may encounter. He should have great understanding of obedience, be steady on line, and be able to handle competently on basic blind retrieves.

Some dogs have the talent and drive to continue their education to the highest level, and if this is appropriate for you and your dog, we are ready to help you achieve your goals. Paul has finished over 50 Master Hunters, for himself and for his clients and has qualified dogs at the Master National, as well as achieving a high level of success in Field Trials. He has developed a training program which results in happy, healthy dogs who have a tail wag every time they go to line, and who look forward to their work every day.

Olga Lassalle photo

website  created by Olga Lassalle katydidfarm@mac.com   all photos property of Olga Lassalle unless otherwise noted