Hunting is a past time enjoyed by many, often because it's a sport that can be shared with our best friends and family. A well trained gun dog can be both a great friend and a wonderful part of that family! Saltgrass Retrievers can give your hunting companion the necessary skills to be a true asset to your hunts, providing increased recovery of birds and many years of great memories. At Saltgrass Retrievers we ourselves are avid hunters, so we know exactly what your dog will be called on to do when you take them out into the field. The program has two levels of training:
This level generally takes 4-6 months to complete. A dog completing this stage of training is reasonably steady, can perform simple double marks and long singles on land and water. They will have a good foundation of obedience, conditioned to perform using an E-collar and will deliver to hand. Most dogs are also beginning to learn the basics of a blind retrieve by using hand and whistle signals. Dogs completing this program have been exposed to firearms, live birds, dog blinds and stands, boats, and a variety of decoys and hunting settings. Dogs at this level are capable of passing a Junior hunt test.
Our Advanced Gun Dog program takes from 6 to 10 months to complete (in addition to the basic program). This advanced level of training will prepare your dog for Senior and Master level hunt tests and to be a well rounded and efficient hunting partner. Advanced training involves learning more complex marking scenarios on land and water,improved steadiness and honoring other working dogs. Basic handling skills are extended so that your dog will be able to run cold blind retrieves, even with diversions present.
It's important to keep in mind that much like people, dogs learn at different paces, and actual training time will vary depending on your dog's natural ability and maturity level. We encourage owners to be a part of their dog’s learning, and welcome them to check in on their pet’s progress at anytime. Owner involvement is key to understanding what a dog has learned and to maintaining those skills. Just give us a call a day or so in advance of your visit to find out when and where we will be working that day!