Gun Dog Training Program

Our main emphasis at Deep Fork Retrievers is on training quality gun dogs. However, whether a dog is run in competition or used as a hunting companion, the basic training program is the same. We believe the key to successful training is to view it as a developmental process and our training curriculum develops all of the skills necessary for your dog to become a top-notch hunting retriever.

Gun Dog Training Program Overview

The $600 per month training fee includes premium feed, birds, and appropriate training supplies. Owners are responsible for providing up-to-date veterinary records and a pedigree of their dog. Airline shipping through major carriers is available through Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. We provide twice monthly telephone updates on progress and encourage frequent appointments to observe and participate in the dog’s actual training.

Once your dog has acclimated to our kennel, we make sure it has been taught everything we are going to train it to do in our Gun Dog Training Program – it has been properly exposed to its work, its drive has been built into a frenzy, it understands the common field scenarios of training, aggressively attacks the water, and has a strong love of birds. For our upland hunting clients, we add quartering and trailing exercises to the curriculum. Remedial steps are taken if necessary to ensure a solid foundation.

Our retriever training program progresses with collar conditioning. Your dog is taught how to turn off the mild pressure of an electronic training collar by responding to words associated with the motions of the retrieve – coming towards the handler, going away, and sitting with different cues – when and where it’s told. These are the primary movements of your dog’s work with the end result being control of its body.

The next stage is force breaking, necessary for retrieval to hand. Force breaking achieves control of the dog’s head by training it to fetch, hold and drop birds on command. Control of the whole dog is achieved only by combining the disciplines of both collar conditioning and force breaking. With this training, your dog perceives that retrieving is an enjoyable job.

We can now take your dog back to the field, a place it has learned to love, and overlay the control we have gained through collar conditioning and force breaking. By incorporating realistic hunting scenarios into the curriculum, we can fine-tune its marking skills. During the marking process, your dog is taught how to swing off the end of the gun barrel to facilitate accurate marking and remain steady under all conditions. It is also taught how to trail wounded birds and to dive for cripples. These skills make your dog not only a top-notch hunting retriever, but a true conservation tool!

Once your dog has completed the Deep Fork Retrievers Gun Dog Training Program, it is ready to hunt – competently marking, steady to wing and shot, and reliably delivering to hand. This level of training competence is typically achieved in four to six months, depending upon the dog’s ability and background.

Consideration for this training program relies on pedigree/background or an evaluation, and current health certifications. Contact us to get started.