I just sent my 10 month old off to school this weekend to a trainer that I have known since the mid 80's. Meanwhile, me and my 8 year old male Labrador Retriever, Boss, will enjoy the rest of hunting season together while junior learns the art of the trade of becoming a " FINISHED" working gundog.
I chose Jerry Day-Days End Retrievers to finish Chief off on his Advanced obediance training and to take him through TRANSITION training. This will probably take 4 to 6 months, I will finish him off once Jerry has him through the Double T and the Swim-By procedure.
Having been around retriever training since the mid 80's I know most of the who's who in the game of retriever training for gundogs and trial dogs in Georiga and could have chosen from a short list of 8 or 10 good ones but went with Jerry. My reasons are many but one key reason is it boils down to my knowledge of his training skills and my trust in him. However their are many other reasons I chose Jerry and thought I would list them so others could perhaps use my guidelines to go by. They are as follows:
1. His facility-within less than two hours drive so I can visit on weekends, become involved and see the progress or lack there of. This is important.
2. The kennels and grounds are outstanding with technical training ponds and lakes on the property, duck blinds and above all and very important to me is that he maintains "live gamebirds", so dogs get both live and dead Ducks and Pheasants on a daily basis.
3. Training Groups-Jerry allows both Field Trial and Hunt Test training groups on his land as well as dog clubs by prior appointment. Saturday I was invited to join a working training group with both my dogs, something hard to come by in Alpharetta, GA where I live.
4. TRAINING GROUNDS-Can't get enough places to work your dog and Jerry has friends all over the country, especially in Georgia and takes up folks on invites. This is pivital to getting the dog to understand concepts in different areas.
5. CREDENTIALS-Jerry has Won so many trials and titled so many Hunt Test dogs, including his ESPN Super Retriever Series Champion FC AFC MHR Super Sue MH he could build a house with all the ribbons. He has demonstrated an ability to participate in any event anywhere and you can bet he will be in it to the end.
Of interest while I was there was a fella who's dog had been with a another trainer for 12 months and the dog had not learned how to run cold blinds. An unacceptable situation by any standard and I told him so. Hindsight being 20/20 he should have picked his dog up long before the trainer got into his hip pocket that deep. This was a hard and expensive lesson for this young fella, now he has to pay it all over again or simply tolerate a three rock dog.
If you have read the above, I hope you got some ideas on when you go to shop for a dog trainer what to look for and thats what this post is about. Its about finding the right dog trainer-I know I have but have you.
Make sure you do your homework and check out the dog trainer you are about to put your pooch with. Then communicate regularly with them and go see your dog work, learn what an appropriate time frame is for reaching certain goals and objectives. Know what the RED FLAGS ARE before you spend your money and place your dog with a stranger. Cheap does not denote good in dog trainers-believe me you get what you pay for and sometimes you don't even get what you pay for if you don't keep your finger on the pulse.
Here is Jerry's website-cruise it if you want to see his facilities-there are plenty more around as good as his and perhaps some folks may have some other to recommend. Jerry is usually full and requires advanced bookings of 3 to 6 months. Other Quaility dog trainers will have wait times as well. http://www.daysendretrievers.com/
No, I was not asked to put this on here, no I do not get a discount- I did it to help others find quality trainers!
Enjoy Your dog!