Experiences with upland/pointing dog trainers

Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by Michael&Tanner, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. Greetings and Salutations,

    I'm just curious to hear about the experience people have had with dog trainers in Washington.

    I have a 13 week old vizsla, who is going through some basic obedience training right now. I'd like to get some guidance for training for grouse and pheasant...

    Good experiences? Bad experiences? Recommendatations?


    Michael and Tanner
  2. Dan Houk here in Spokane (4 lakes/cheney) is one of THE best pointer trainers in the west. His kennel is called Dunfur Kennels.....the dude is legit
  3. I can personally vouch for R.J. Marquart, of Quicksilver Kennels in Moses Lake. RJ is a great guy with tons of experience and the titles to go with it. He's not cheap, but he's one of the best. He did a very fine job on my young English setter.

    Link: http://www.quicksilverkennels.com/index.html
  4. I have found that training the dog is pretty easy.
    Training the owners is the hard part.
    Know matter who trains your dog, you as the dogs owner and handler must stick to the same commands as given by the trainer.
    Easier said than done.
  5. Thanks for the replies.

    Jmills and Cliff,

    I've sent emails to both Dunfur and Quicksilver kennels, asking them both to contact me regarding their training programs.



    Yes, I suspect that training ME to think like Tanner is really the key. A dog is going to be a dog. We, as the owners, need to have a better understanding of how they work. I think having a trainer to utilize to set up a program and then coach us as we work through that program, is really the key to success. consistency.

    I want to be actively involved in Tanner's training. I don't want to ship him off somewhere. I'm more interested in spending some time each month with a trainer, and then working on reinforcing what we've learned until I meet with the trainer again. I'm not sure if that is a valid training technique, but it's what I have in mind.

    Thanks again,

  6. Best of luck to you, Michael. Gary is dead-on about trainng the trainer. I lucked out in that I had a friend in the business and he helped me a lot (this was with my older Lewellin setter). Money was tight so they guy offered me a deal where I would join him every other Friday and assist him in training his clients dogs. In return for my help my dog and I would get a freebee session at the end of the day. I learned a LOT about training this way. Videos and on-line tutorials are very helpful, but IMO there is no better way than hands-on training with a pro. I think RJ offers these types of sessions for his clients.

  7. Michael,

    Different breeds require different training, and different individual dogs require yet different approaches to the same basic training. I've never trained upland dogs- just retrievers, so I won't speak to the specifics. I know guys who have shipped their dogs off to trainers for months at a time, and the dogs returned, trained. Sometimes they're sent back for refresher courses. Me, I would never send my dog off to be trained by someone else. First off, I want the dog to respond to ME. I want the bond that regular training forges. But I have taken dogs with me to trainers, in which case the training is, as noted, for both handler and dog. If your dog has basic obedience down solid, then move toward field work. And if your dog is tuned into you- will do whatever you ask of him, his desire to please should make the field training enjoyable for you both. When I trained my first dog- a knot-headed Chesapeake, I was young and knot-headed, too. I made mistakes. I got impatient. I'm not proud of some things I did. So remember through all the hard knocks and frustrations that you will encounter- your dog is your buddy, and he wants to learn. He will. Enjoy- sounds like he's got a good owner. What you suggested about working with him to reinforce between formal sessions is spot-on. Read your dog, day to day. He'll be an adolescent during his training, and won't always be in the right frame of mind for training. On those days, just have some fun with him and don't force the issues. All of my dogs have had those days where, like a kid, they just didn't want to do their schoolwork. When they acted up, the session was over. My best advice, in a nutshell, would be to have patience and keep it positive. Of course you'll have to come down hard on him at times, but make that the exception rather than the rule. And welcome to the board.
  8. Thanks for the replies... It's a good feeling to hear that I appear to be on the right track. After the number of replies here, I've contacted a couple of trainers.

    Tanner and I work at home, very casually, every day.

    Additionally, we're working with a once-a-week puppy obedience class. (8 week class, an hour a week.)

    Next, we're meeting with our 'coach' next week, for some live-bird exercises.
    We'll keep working with that trainer every 3 to 4 weeks for the next several months.

    At 6 months, we'll move to a weekly schedule, and start to travel a bit more.

    So far, so good.
    At 14 weeks, Tanner is housebroken, knows his name, sits, stays, comes, and retrieves to hand. He's weighing in at 22.5 pounds, and loves the training. The first day I see him point a bird will make me a proud dad.
  9. Sounds like your on the right track.
    I have had pointers and it was more work than upland training a retriever.
    I have had Goldens now for 14 years and I think they are training me.
    Always a great feeling to have that first point/flush a good shot and retrieve.
    Have fun.

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