Hunting Dog Training in Billings, MT
Hunting Dog Training/ Gun Dog Training
The vast and diverse terrain at Thunder Ridge Kennels in Billings, MT provides a fantastic setting for gun dog training. Owner/trainer Leonard Houser has over 30 years’ experience training hunting dogs for both individuals and competitive field trials. Leonard is known for his training abilities throughout the U.S., specifically for getting good results with all types of mannerisms and different hunting dog breeds. Leonard knows the strengths and weaknesses of each dog he trains, and he provides a flexible program to meet the needs of the dog and produce a top notch hunting dog ready for the field.
Our Dog Training Program
At Thunder Ridge Kennels, instruction and moderate pressure are the key points the dog will be exposed to so they gain confidence in their ability to perform various hunting styles. Obedience and manners are instilled in every dog being trained, as well as marking, teaching the dog to navigate to the fallen bird through various cover including water, and moderate pressure to build the dog’s confidence and keeping them enthusiastic.
Hunting Dog Breeds
Many breeds of dog can make excellent hunting dogs. Some of the most common and popular breeds of hunting dogs we train at Thunder Ridge Kennels in Billings, MT include:
- Labrador Retrievers
- Golden Retrievers
- Springer Spaniels
- Field Cocker Spaniels
- German Shorthair Pointers
- English Pointers
- Wirehaired Pointers
- English Setters
- And all other gun dog breeds!
A well trained gun dog will sit quietly, waiting for birds, waits to retrieve until he is told or sent and does his retrieving with enthusiasm, speed and style. He will retrieve the birds efficiently and deliver them promptly and softly to hand. The dog is also obedient and comfortable with gunfire around him.
Each dog is started with basic obedience. He is introduced to birds and retrieves. The next step in training is force fetch. The dog is taught how to retrieve in a disciplined manner. Once the dog is retrieving nicely, he is taught marking. The dog must accurately navigate to the area of the fallen bird in various types of cover, including water. The dog must also learn these techniques in different wind conditions and weather conditions. In this respect, he is developing the ability to use his nose to find the bird. The dog learns to sit quietly until he is sent on a retrieve. Live fliers are used in training so the dog is on an actual hunt throughout his training in the field.
It is preferred to have the dog at least three months (minimum) in order to establish good hunting behavior as well as continued training. During this time, the dog is allowed ample practice time to develop his hunting ability and to become more reliable.
By the age of 6 months, most retrievers are ready to begin their formal training. Most dogs can reach their level of consistency in three to four months of training, although, some require more. It is preferred that the owner plan to spend at least on training session with us before taking the dog home. It is important to learn how to continue training in a consistent manner and keep the dog in tune to all he has worked for. Remember, the dog is working very hard to please you.
At Thunder Ridge Kennels, we have been training dogs for over 30 years! Although our specialty is hunting dog training, we also offer obedience training for non hunting dogs as well. In fact, our vast experience dealing with the challenges of training gun dogs makes us an ideal choice for general obedience training. Even if you don’t hunt our dog training experience can provide you with a well behaved, loving, and obedient pet!