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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After losing my last hunting companion to the road last winter I find myself desperately wanting another one since the grouse opener. Haha. I've got the fever! Anyways once I get the pup I would like to send him away for some gundog training as I did with my last one. I have neither the time or knowledge to properly train a good hunting dog. Even though the last guy did a great job and would recommend him to anyone...I would prefer somewhere that specifically deals with pointing breeds for grouse. Any and all help and suggestions on trainers are much appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Agreed. Justin is one of the best gun dog trainers in the country from what I've been told and I've been extremely happy with the work he's done with 2 of my dogs. My 3rd will be going to him in a week or so. He only takes a limited number of dogs and fills up quickly. Dogs get worked daily and his facility is top notch and super clean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the replies. Nice to hear the same place mentioned twice. I'll definitely be giving them a look
 

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I took my dog to Dunroven kennel and am happy with the results. Rich Hollister took a pup I was completely frustrated with (high energy and no brains - so I thought) and made him into a hunting machine! He hunts and points everything. The best part was that Rich took a lot of time with me as well to help me continue the training.

This is my first pointing dog, but I wouldn't hesitate taking my next one to Rich also.
 

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Concerning Grouse dogs, The old sage advice that I have led to believe was let the Grouse train your dog and let the dog learn about birds.
 

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I've been around sporting dogs for a long time.
By and large, it's genetic. If it's not born in to it, it can't be expressed. So, there are occasional duds.

I am in the field many fold more hours/year than the average person working my dogs on grouse, woodcock, snipe, and pheasant. I have tried on several experimental dogs an "exposure to wild birds only" approach, and the rest have been started as pups on pigeons and quail.

I have always achieved more satisfying development with the dogs started young, and on libbies.
It's not that it can't be done, it's that wild game is an undependable teacher for the .time you have available.

I no longer have the patience and remaining years to do the all natural approach anymore. It wasn't worth it to me. Same results, faster, more dependably, with more clarity, working on released birds.

I am currently working with a setter that spent 5 years on the couch. So far, she has shown very limited interest in birds. I attribute it to there being a window of maturation that narrows with age, and if a pup doesn't hunt enough or see enough birds by that time, they never get to a level worth toting them around.

And it is the closing of that window that is the risk you take when attempting all wild training with undependable wild birds.You might not put the dog on enough before it closes. For all kinds of reasons.

So, excluding the rare person like myself or Roy Pool, I would say, "Get your dog to a pro, get them on libbies as young as you can, pay the bill, and have 10 years of field happiness."

YMMV of course.
But it really is money well spent.
 

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I agree, I had my dogs finished by a trainer,lots of pen raised birds,but after that they still have lots of learning on wild birds! And they do learn.
 

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I've worked with dogs that saw 100 grouse in a week, and were just as hopeless as when they started.
Teach it in the yard, proof it in the field.

Truthfully, I hate it when a gun brings a dog along to do the "all wild" thing. It means the dog don't know squat usually.
 

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I agree, I had my dogs finished by a trainer,lots of pen raised birds,but after that they still have lots of learning on wild birds!

:yeahthat:

I've had a fair amount of experience with bird dog trainers over the years and I find it difficult to believe that you will find a trainer who admits to training pointing dogs "...just for grouse..." For starters it would not be economically feasible for the trainer and what would a trainer do in those years when grouse are at the bottom of the cycle. A "grouse dog" needs a LOT of exposure to grouse over a number of years to become a really good grouse dog.

A good trainer will get a dog on the path to becoming a good BIRD DOG and once this is established then it's pretty much of the owner to expose the dog to the wild birds of his or her choice over the years and hopefully - with patience - not undo what the trainer and your $$$s have done for you.


While I've never employed Justin at Black Creek Kennels I've talked to him numerous times and others who have their dogs with him , kenneled my dogs at his place and have every reason to believe that he is a very, very good bird dog trainer. Never forget though that you, the owner, will be the final determinate in whether or not you are pleased with your dog.
Hope this helps, good luck with your dog.

Hoppe's no. 10
 

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Plenty of good advice also remember you can train him all year except for the nesting season.I run my dogs on grouse more out of season than in season this gives them more contacts with grouse but it takes more time.first to pics are points on quail second to pics are grouse first weekend in august my pics aren't the best but if you look close in the pic in the woods you can see the other dog behind the fern.last pick all three of them on top off each other on the I call the pointer pil
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After losing my last hunting companion to the road last winter I find myself desperately wanting another one since the grouse opener. Haha. I've got the fever! Anyways once I get the pup I would like to send him away for some gundog training as I did with my last one. I have neither the time or knowledge to properly train a good hunting dog. Even though the last guy did a great job and would recommend him to anyone...I would prefer somewhere that specifically deals with pointing breeds for grouse. Any and all help and suggestions on trainers are much appreciated. Thanks.
http://www.hifivekennels.com
 
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