Waterfowl Widowmakers offers training services for all breeds of medium to large size dogs, six months or older. The dogs stay at the kennel during their training and are housed in individual runs.

Pre-scheduled, one-on-one, owner training sessions with you and the trainer are included with all of our training programs. It is important to remember that all dogs mature and learn at different levels and speeds. Therefore, training time can vary depending on your dogs's natural instinct and ability.

Obedience training is one of the best things you can do for your dog and yourself. It is the key to having a great dog, and the foundation for all future training. Training opens up a line of communication between you and your dog. This communication is necessary to instruct your dog about what you want it to do.

It is extremely important for your dog to start off on the right foot, whether its future involves being a playful companion or a highly trained, hunting retriever. In order to have a dog that everyone wants to be around, you must start with obedience. An obedient dog is also the foundation for all other training and is the most important factor in having a loyal companion or a skilled working retriever.

The obedience training program at Waterfowl Widowmakers generally takes 2 months. During this time, we will teach your dog the following commands: sit, down, heal, here, place, and kennel. All dogs begin with obedience on lead. At the conclusion of this program, your dog will comply with all of these commands off lead and at a distance. Your dog will also be taught general manners and what not to do, such as excessive barking, jumping up on people, play biting, etc.

Obedience training is the same for all dogs whether you have a pet, a hunting dog or a trial dog.

This is the most important part of retriever training and is the foundation of all retriever training to come. Our basic retriever training program consists of basic obedience commands (whistle), collar conditioning, force fetch (hold, fetch, and drop), introduction to birds, gun fire, and basic marking concepts on land and water.

When a dog completes our basic retriever training program, it will be obedient to verbal and whistle commands, deliver birds to hand and be retrieving out to 100 yards or more on single marked retrieves, on land and in water. They also will be reasonably steady to shot. It usually takes about 3 to 4 months to get to this point in training.

At the completion of our basic retriever program, your dog should be capable of handling basic hunting situations, and successfully compete in Started and Junior level hunt tests. Upon your request, we can enter and handle your dog in Licensed AKC and UKC hunt test for an additional charge.

If you wish to pursue more advanced training, the foundations are in place to move to the next level which is multiple marks, blind retrieves and other advanced concepts.

Our advanced retriever program is for dogs that have completed the basic retriever program. It normally takes a 4 to 6 month period to make it through advanced retriever training.

During advanced training your dog will learn a variety of new concepts and strengthen ones that they have already learned. Dogs in the advanced retiever training program will learn 3 handed casting, remote sit, and be forced to the pile. They will learn to retrieve multiple marks and perform blind retrieves. Your dog will also learn the concepts of steadiness, honoring, diversion birds, and walk-ups.

When your dog completes our advanced retiever program, it will be able to complete difficult multiple marking concepts, will handle smoothly, be steady, and honor another dog's work. Your dog will be able to handle most situations that may arise in an average days hunt and will have the skills necessary to compete in Seasoned and Senior level hunt test.

The finished retriever program is for the above average dog. Not all dogs are capable of successfully completing this program. We will conduct an evaluation of your dog's abilities prior to admitting them to this program. If we do not believe that your dog is capable of learning the finished hunting retriever concepts, we will not accept it into the program.

Our finished retriever program includes perfected handling, literal casting, carrying a straight line, land and water triples and quads, and how to fight the factors. During the finished program, your dog will learn advanced marking concepts and advanced blind retrieves, with emphasis on precise marking, handling and staight lines through cover, diffucult terrain and water. Hunting scenarios will include exposure to poison birds, blinds under the arc, inline marks, etc. By this point in the program your dog will be retrieving multiple marks over 250 yards and running blinds in excess of 300 yards.

When your dog completes this program, it will be prepared to compete in Finished and Master level hunt test.

Before a dog will be accepted into our training program, we require documentation that the dog is current with its rabies, distemper, parvo, and kennel cough (bordatello) vaccine. This helps to protect all of the dogs at our facility.

If you are interested in our training services, we would love to hear from you.