Webfoot Kennel - Tara

Webfoot Kennel - Tara

This will be the final lesson for Platform Training and it will be off-lead.  Please remember to always use caution when using an Electronic Collar.  If not careful, you can do more harm to a dog than good if an Electronic Collar is misused.

Webfoot Kennel - Jake

Webfoot Kennel - Jake

Start your lesson with the lead on and heel your dog while commanding “Kennel” to the platform from all four sides.  With and without Electronic Collar pressure, keep it light and happy.  Now remove the lead if you feel your dog is ready and has not needed the assistance of the lead to get on or off the platform.  Up to this point, you have been moving towards the platform and have had the assistance of a lead if your dog needed assistance.

Webfoot Kennel - Zoey

Webfoot Kennel - Zoey

Heel your dog next to you at one of the four starting points that you have chosen.  Command “Heel” and move towards the platform while commanding “Kennel.”  Try it again this time while dropping the lead and use stimulation only when needed.

Go back to the starting point and remove the lead.  Heel the dog and start towards the platform while commanding “Kennel” and keep moving if needed to help your dog reach the platform.  Use collar pressure as needed.  Repeat lesson.  Each time, you move less and less until you can send the dog to the platform on the command “Kennel” from all four sides.

Webfoot Kennel - Augie

Webfoot Kennel - Augie

Once your dog is going to the platform with no assistance, try the same principle on a dog stand, in a dog crate and in a boat!  Start each new place at the beginning as we did with the platform lessons.  Each time you teach your dog to kennel to another place, the lessons should advance much more quickly.

If you have any questions or need any help, please don’t hesitate to reply to this blog or contacting Mitch or myself.

You can contact Mitch at Webfoot Kennel.  You can contact me at Total Retriever Photography

I hope you have enjoyed learning about platform training.  Please come back next week to read, Training With Mitch.

Mitch and I hope to see you at the line!!

Wendy
Total Retriever Photography

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Welcome fellow Retriever and Hunting Friends! I would like to introduce you to “HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH.” Grab your popcorn and enjoy reading!

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH, Owned by Kenneth Farris

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH, Owned by Kenneth Farris

I was contacted by Kenneth Farris to photograph his dogs while attending the Music City Hunting Retriever Club’s Spring Hunt Test. We met at the hunt test and booked a setting for early morning Sunday.

Ken brought out one dog at a time for me to photograph. After I photographed one dog, he then went to the truck and brought out HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH. When I took my first glance at Brody, my jaw dropped. As I write this, I am trying to think of one word to describe my first thought of Brody. I can’t describe him in one word.

As he heels next to Ken while walking towards me, he looks regal. His gait is beautiful. Powerful. Stunning. Mellow. Well behaved. Attentive. Aware. Attractive. A stellar looking Labrador Retriever.

Each time Ken gives Brody a command, Brody does what his master asks willingly and obediently with no question in his eyes. I take many photos of Brody. My lens following his every move. I asked Ken to sit him so I could get profile shots. His profile is magnificent. He has a block head that is exquisite. Brody sat for Ken and he willingly sat peacefully while I took as many photos as I liked.

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

I wanted Brody in the water. Water is my favorite place to shoot retrievers. Again, Brody obediently did what his owner commanded of him. He ran into the water. I took several shots. I had goose bumps watching this dog work in the water and on land.

As much as I didn’t want to photograph another dog, I had a job to do. Ken put Brody away and brought out another Labrador for me to photograph.

I knew Brody was running in the finished test that day so I made sure to come back to photograph him. Keep in mind that when I took his photos in the morning, he was working but we were mostly playing in and around the water and on the land. I had seen enough that I knew I wanted to watch this dog work, to hunt. To do what he was bred to do. I had to come back to watch him in his test.

I attend a lot of hunt tests. Even finished dogs in the holding blinds whimper, bark, and some try to break away to the line to pick up a duck. Not Brody. Brody does exactly what Ken commands of him. I was so amazed at his manners that I took a photo of Brody in the down position with no lead on. It was just before the test. When most dogs would be acting up and going crazy because they know what is about to come their way, here lies Brody as calm and collected as he can be.

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

As calm, cool and collected as Brody is off the line, he turns it on at the line. His line manners are second to none. You can see the switch flip in his eyes once it’s time to go to work. He drives hard and fast. He marks like a pro. His blind work is straight on. My positioning for taking photographs wasn’t the best. I thought I would have plenty of time to move around from where I was and get set up for the next shots of Brody. Once he left the line to go after the next mark, he was just gone. I didn’t have much of a chance with Brody. His test didn’t take long at all. Once a dog leaves the line, I move up by the handler so I am able to get better shots of the dog swimming straight back at me without disturbing their test. Once they are about half way back to me, I have to move and get out of their way so I do not distract the dog. Brody was out and back in no time.

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

I was amazed after watching this dog. So amazed that I wanted to write about him. I asked Ken if I could write Brody’s story. Sure, I love most Retrievers. But there are a few that are special. I see hundreds of Retrievers work at hunt tests. I have my favorites. I know the difference between a good retriever with drive and desire and one that does not have that desire or possess the marking skills that others may have. You know when you see a champion. You know when you see that one Retriever that you would want in your blind and in your kennel. Brody is one of them.

I will get to Brody’s story in a moment but there is something I would like to say before I do. Brody is a must see. I give him 10’s across the board on temperament, conformation, desire, drive, ability, skill level, intelligence and beauty.

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

Brody did not come from a pedigree full of hunt test titles. Does that mean that Brody or his offspring are not capable of being a champion? Absolutely not. Brody is beginning his own pedigree right now as if the hunt tests are just beginning now. I would use Brody in a heart beat as a stud dog. I invite you to go see Brody. Don’t hesitate to contact Kenneth and ask him where he and Brody will be running at hunt tests. You can contact Kenneth Farris by email. Click to email Kenneth

Here is Brody’s story.

Brody, a 6 year old Black Labrador Retriever was purchased by Kenneth Farris of South Wind Outfitters at 14 months of age for a mere $100.00. Brody is named after one of the Crimson Tide Quarter Backs! The lady who owned Brody and sold him to Kenneth was a University of Alabama football fan. Ken thought that was ironic because he had heard that the particular quarter back that Brody was named after bought a Chessie and named him after Joe Nameth! Kenneth kept the name Brody but added his kennel name to his registered name and started his training.

Kenneth trains a few duck dogs yearly as started dogs. He thought that maybe Brody would be a good candidate to train and sell as a started duck dog. Kenneth knew the moment he saw Brody that he had to have him. Kenneth took home his new Labrador Retriever.

Once the training started, Kenneth ran into one small problem. When Brody arrived to his new home with Kenneth, he wouldn’t retrieve a biscuit!! Soon Brody began to pick up training at a fast pace and Kenneth found out that his Labrador was trainable and Brody worked very hard to please him. The best part, Brody enjoyed his job.

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

Although at first Brody didn’t want to retrieve a biscuit, once he was introduced to ducks, it was “game on” for Brody. His whole attitude changed. He needed them. He had to have them. His drive was his motivation. He worked as hard and as smart as he could because he knew he was going to get a duck in the end.

I asked Kenneth at what point did he decide to keep Brody. His response, “Anyone that has ever spent any time around Brody would feel the same way. He has such a great attitude about his work and so much personality. Besides that, my wife Dawn is my partner. She told me that if I sold Brody then I should go right behind him.”

Brody does have the health clearances that South Wind Outfitters require to breed. He was purchased originally to train as a duck dog so at the time, Brody’s pedigree didn’t matter to Kenneth. Brody does have some HRCH and GRHRCH in his pedigree and it was a total surprise to find that out. So if you are looking for an excellent stud dog, don’t hesitate to contact Kenneth via email. Brody has sired a few of Kenneth’s litters and the pups went to duck hunting homes.

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

I asked Kenneth about Brody’s future. He said, “Well, Brody loves his job. So, as far as I’m concerned he’s gonna get to keep doing it every time we get the chance. He retrieves hundreds of ducks every year and unless I’m letting someone else work their dog, I would not think of going to the blind without him.”

As far as Brody’s HRC and AKC career goes, he has titled HRCH and MH but Ken sees no reason to stop. Ken replied to my question by saying, “We have had many failures along the way but Brody’s attitude kept the team alive. When we failed it did not slow him down a bit. Just another day at the office for him. “Come on Boss, set ’em up and lets try again,” is his way. He wanted to keep going even when I wanted to quit. Now that the titles are behind us, the game is a lot more fun for the both of us. The pressure is off. I may run him in Master test when I have other dogs to run but, my current plans are to continue running HRC tests with him at least to the 500 point mark. He has just over 200 points now. Our main push and focus in life has been duck hunting. We spend as much time in the duck blind as is possible and still keep a job. (we push that limit) Everything we do with the dogs has always revolved around that. The Hunt Test games came later but have become a big part of our lives. Brody came to us for that purpose but made such an impression that it would have been impossible to let him go. He has changed our lives in such a positive way. I spend many hours with him in the solitude of the blind or on the road to the next hunt test or just resting up for the next days work. I probably spend more time with him than any person I know.”

Well folks, that’s Brody’s story. I hope you have enjoyed reading about this wonderful creature. Once you see this beautiful retriever run at a hunt test, please come back here and let us know just how much you enjoyed watching him!

We hope that you are able to see Ken and Brody at the line!

Sincerely,

Wendy Porch
Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store

Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store

Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store


Welcome to “Training With Mitch.”  Below you will read the next lesson in our series on platform training.  If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact Mitch or myself.

As always, when using an e-collar you must use it carefully.  If you do not know how to use one, please contact one of us or someone who you may know before you use your e-collar.  If e-collars are not used properly and/or are used in an abusive manner, they can ruin and harm any dog mentally and physically.

Please never use your e-collar if you are becoming discouraged with your retriever and your training lesson.  Your lesson should be fun for both you and your retriever.  If at any time it is no longer fun, please walk away from your training lesson until a later time.

E-Collar Sessions to Platform

Now comes the pressure/release part of the training.

Set your E-Collar to the lowest setting that your dog will feel but without a visible or audible response.  Mitch prefers a collar with incremental settings so he can start very low and move up the threshold with small increments.  The dog should appear that no stimulation has been given on your 1st trip to the Platform.  Always check the e-collar for adjustments as the collars can loosen as the dog moves.  Readjust until contact points are firmly against the side of the neck.  Do NOT put the contact points in the throat latch.  The photo below of our model Angel shows the proper way to put the e-collar on your retriever.

Shadowhill's The Hunter's Little Angel

Shadowhill's The Hunter's Little Angel

Go to your same starting point.  Command heel on lead to get you and your dog moving to the platform.  Now you command “Kennel” while holding down the continuous stimulation button.  As soon as the dog’s front feet touch the platform RELEASE the button so that the dog feels pressure enroute to the platform and feels relief as soon as his front feet touch the platform.  It is IMPORTANT that you DO NOT use collar pressure while your dog is on the platform.  The platform is his “safe place” and it represents relief.  Timing is everything to the dog’s learning.  Watch your dog for signs of pressure such as a head twitch.  This is where the dog’s head moves toward the area of the collar contact points.

Webfoot Kennel, Mitch Hainsfurther

Webfoot Kennel, Mitch Hainsfurther

Command the dog to heel on lead away from the platform and back to your starting point.  Check dog’s e-collar for correct tightness and now increase intensity level to the next level.  Repeat the previous step by heeling toward platform on lead and command “KENNEL” while holding down the constant button.  Release as soon as your dog’s front feet get to the edge of the platform.  Release the pressure and command “SIT” as soon as he is on the platform.  The dog has the lead on so that you can help him get on the platform and release the pressure.

Webfoot Kennel, Mitch Hainsfurther

Webfoot Kennel, Mitch Hainsfurther

Repeat the previous lesson while giving a “Free” no collar stimulation on every 3rd time.  The collar pressure needs to increase each time to the point of seeing a reaction from the dog, the head twitch.  If collar pressure causes a vocal response, STOP and reduce the pressure.  As you have continued up the ladder with increasing pressure and have found the level that you see a visible reaction.  Now, start back down the ladder by decreasing the level of stimulation each time and continue giving free ones with no collar stimulation every 3rd time.  End the session on low or no collar stimulation.

Repeat the session 2 more times over the next few days.  Each session should work up the ladder with pressure and with free ones every 3rd time and down the ladder with lower intensity stimulation.

Below is a photo that shows you the end results of platform training.  You can use your platform training in a boat, in a duck blind, in a holding blind, a crate and in your vehicle.

Webfoot Kennel, Mitch Hainsfurther

Webfoot Kennel, Mitch Hainsfurther

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.  You may contact me at Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store or Mitch at his website Webfoot Kennel, Carlinville, IL Both Mitch and myself are able to reply to any posts here on this blog.

Have a great weekend and Mitch and I hope to see you at the line!

Wendy Porch
Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store
Shadowhill Retrievers

Retriever Line-Up

June 13, 2010

I’m working on an article to post about various Retrievers who each of us see at the line.  These are Retrievers who impress our world with their skill, desire and talent as well as their beauty.

You may want to pay attention to the Retrievers I write about if you are looking for a pup to keep, to sell as a started dog, or are in need a stud dog.  At the least, I will also be posting information as to who the sire and dam are and hopefully their pedigrees or a link to read their pedigree online.

Once a week or every other week (I haven’t decided how often, maybe once a month) I will post a new dog and his/her story.

First up in my Retriever Line-Up is Mr. Brody, a black Labrador Retriever.  I am working on Brody’s story now and hopefully I will have it posted next week.

One thing I would like for each of you to keep in mind when reading about these dogs is that when hunt tests started years ago, the dogs and their ancestors did not have a pedigree full of titles to back them up.

I am telling you this because there are two phenomenal Black Labrador Retrievers who I have met on the line.  They are excellent markers, they are full of desire to hunt and retriever and they have the best temperament.  In my opinion, they are excellent Labrador Retrievers.  I would take these two dogs in a heart beat and believe me, I have tried!!!!

Years ago when  hunt tests first came about, the trainers took the dogs to the line, the dog passed and that marked the beginning of hunt test titles.

Brody and Easton are beginning their hunt test title careers.  These two dogs are no different from years back when the hunt tests first began.  I invite you to watch Brody and Easton at hunt tests.  You will be amazed.  These two Retrievers do not have a pedigree that people maybe looking for but I can tell you that these are two Labrador Retrievers that any hunter and or trainer would want in their blind and kennel.  Please remember that titles began years ago with the very first title being handed to one dog.  The first title was the beginning of that dogs pedigree for future offspring to behold.   Remember that just because a dog may not yet have a pedigree full of titles, it doesn’t mean that it is not capable of starting its own for its future offspring!  The dogs who are new to hunt testing just may do very well and by all means are very capable of throwing some of the best offspring in the States!!!! I can assure you that Brody and Easton are now in the process of beginning their very own fabulous lines.  You do not want to miss out on watching these two dogs.  You will want their offspring in your blind, in your kennel and at the line with you, I can promise you that much.

So, be on the look out for Brody and Easton.  They are two beautiful, talented and very healthy retrievers who did NOT come from a back yard breeder or puppy mill.  They have very good parents who are excellent hunters without titles.  Here comes Brody and Easton with all of the ribbons they can handle plus some while they continue to charge after every mark and blind with fierce desire and grace.  They are tearing up the lines, passing test after test, waterfowl hunting and living the life they were bred to live.

Easton

Easton

Brody

Brody

Augie

Augie

Please stay tuned to read all about Brody and Easton and follow their career.  Other Retrievers I hope to include in my Retriever Line-Up will be:  “Augie” WAR EAGLES AUGUST GUNTHER, “Gauge” Lone Oak’s Ten Gauge, Terra, “Tick” Ten Bears Road Trip, “Coca” King Henry’s Coca Bear, Zoey and many more.  Coca Bear and Zoey are out of Tick.  Amazing animals.  All of the above are MUST SEE Retrievers!

Thank you so much!

Wendy Porch
Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store

Fellow Retriever Trainers:

Last week I blogged that Mitch and I would be writing about Platform Training.  I posted the equipment list for you.  In hopes that each of you have built your very own platform to prepare for our platform training series, we are now ready for your first lesson.  It’s time to put your platform in a place that it will stay put for the duration of platform training, grab your E-Collar, your heeling stick, handler’s tab and let’s go.  By the way, don’t forget your retriever!

Before we get started, please always remember to have patience with your retriever.  If you get tense or upset, please walk away from training.  If you have not previously used a heeling stick and or E-Collar, please speak with someone who has experience and ask that they show you the proper way to use a heeling stick and E-Collar.  Most times, a light tap with the heeling stick will get the point across to your retriever.  Also remember that in this training process, we are teaching your dog in steps.  It’s easier for the retriever to learn in steps.  Once your retriever learns each step, it will tie all of the steps together to complete the process in whole.  Happy Training!

Mitch Hainsfurther, Webfoot Kennel

Mitch Hainsfurther, Webfoot Kennel

Where to place the platform?

Place platform in a safe convenient place that you can utilize several times per day/week.  Keep the platform away from the kennel or other distractions.  If you have a sidewalk adjacent to a grassy area in your yard, place it on the sidewalk and leave it there for all of the initial lessons. (Important).

LESSON 1

Duration 4-5 Minutes.  Important, no more than 10 minutes training time.  After 10 minutes, go onto something else.  Do not make this a marathon.  Keep the lessons short and ALL BUSINESS.

Mitch Hainsfurther, Webfoot Kennel

Mitch Hainsfurther, Webfoot Kennel

Place the E-Collar on the dog.  Attach a short (6-12 inch) handler tab on the collar.  Instruct your dog to heel as you walk to the platform.  Encourage the dog to get on the platform.  Help with the handler tab as necessary.  Give a little praise when the dog has four feet on the platform and sits.  Make sure to reinforce sit with a heeling stick as needed.  If the dog wants to come off of the platform before you have asked it to, use the heeling stick to tap its front feet until the dog learns that all four feet remain on the platform.

Mitch Hainsfurther, Webfoot Kennel

Mitch Hainsfurther, Webfoot Kennel

Instruct the dog to heel as you heel the dog off the platform to the place where you started, approximately 5-10 feet away.  Use this same spot to start your training lesson each time.  Do NOT try from different spots yet. Use the same path to and from the platform.  Do NOT allow the dog to move from the platform until you command heel and go back from your starting point.  Use the heeling stick for violation of the sit command for correction.  Use the heeling stick if the feet come off the platform, just tap the toes.  Repeat as many times as it takes over several sessions until your dog will easily go to the platform and sit.

When the dog will easily go to the platform and sit, start using the “Kennel” command.  Standing 5-10 feet from the platform, instruct the dog to heel as you walk toward platform and command “KENNEL.”  Important:  You give 1 Command for 1 Action. Do not say to your dog, “Kennel, Kennel, Kennel,”  Tell it once, and make sure the dog does it the one time you command it, unless you want it to do nothing until you have repeated yourself 3 times.  At this point, your dog has no concept of what “Kennel” means.  So, repetition is the key.  Continue at least 3 lessons using the “kennel” command.

Mitch Hainsfurther, Webfoot Kennel

Mitch Hainsfurther, Webfoot Kennel

You have now completed 5-6 lessons in platform training.  The dog goes willingly to the platform with you and it sits.  If not, keep teaching until the dog understands to heel along by your side and will kennel up onto the platform.

Please make sure to have fun with your retrieving companion while training.  Keep it simple and your dog will love it.  Having your dog kennel, sit and stay on a platform, in a blind, a dog kennel, boat or anywhere you wish is so rewarding.  Both you and your dog will be much happier once this training series is completed successfully.  Dogs need jobs to do.  When you train them and they are able to work, they feel worthwhile.  They won’t get bored as quickly because you are keeping their brain and body active!   Always keep the following in mind when training:  Exercise, rules and boundaries then reward with love and affection!  Given that, please come back and enjoy reading Lesson 2 of Platform Training next week.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask here on the blog.  If you are looking for an excellent trainer, you can contact Mitch from his site at

Webfoot Kennel, Carlinville Illinois

If you would like photos of your hunt test, are in need of stock photos or need retriever training supplies, please contact me at  Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store

Take care and Mitch and I will hopefully see you at the line!

Wendy Porch

Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store

Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store