Johnny “D”  from Backwater Outdoors Radio drove to Central IL from Tampa, FL to go hunting this weekend.  I was pleased when I received his phone call Thursday to meet over a cup of coffee.

I was stuck in the office today so after Johnny was done shopping at Midland’s Farm & Home Supply Store, I asked if he could just stop by the office to visit.  He finally arrived at the office after taking the wrong turn out of Midland’s!!

Meet Johnny "D" Backwater Outdoors Radio

Meet Johnny "D" Backwater Outdoors Radio

It was great to meet someone and put a face to a name.  Johnny has a great outdoors radio program and if you like to listen to talk about hunting and fishing, please tune in.  Just click on the link above and it will direct you to the radio broadcast.  It will be well worth your while.  When you are listening, feel free to call into the show.

Backwater Outdoors Radio also has articles to read, blogs to read, you can read all about the cast on the website and much much more.  I highly suggest this site if you are a hunter, train dogs, handle dogs, fish, deer hunting, turkey  hunting….any kind of hunting you can think about!

I want to give a huge thank you to Johnny for stopping into my office today and brightening it up for me.  It was great to meet him and folks, what a down to earth gentleman he is.  Hats off to Johnny “D”

Happy Listening!

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As always Southern IL HRC put on one heck of a hunt test.  All aspects of their hunt test weekend was very well-managed. Members and non-members all pitched in to help when needed.  Southern IL HRC members welcome everyone with open arms, they always have a smile on their faces, they are packed with loads of laughter and are just a darn good time!  I want to thank Southern IL HRC board, members and all of the wonderful judges, for doing an awesome job once again.  Southern IL is my favorite hunt test to attend.

Blu and Kimber both earned titles spring of 2010 at Southern IL’s hunt test and Kimber just earned her HR with Southern IL this past weekend!  Hopefully next year will be no different and Kimber and Blu can both earn their CH titles at Southern IL!

The location was absolutely beautiful.  Check in and hunt tests were held at Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park.  Rend lake is nearly 19,000 acres big and is known as one of the premier waterfowl hunting places in Illinois. Both ducks and geese make Rend Lake their home during migration so you be assured of a great waterfowl hunting season!  The trees were a mixture of red, yellow, green and orange leaves that were just beginning to change.  What a sight to see.

Once again, a big thank you to Southern IL HRC, the board, the members and all who attended for holding a premier hunt test at a premier location!  I look forward to attending spring and fall 2011.

Wendy Porch
Shadowhill Retrievers
Total Retriever Photography And Supply Store

Hunt Test Training

September 7, 2010

I was at Busch Wildlife in St. Louis, MO Sunday.  We practiced for HRC and AKC fall hunt test season.  Kimber, my chocolate Labrador Retriever and I worked on our seasoned test for HRC.  She did really well.  Below are some photos that Matt Settlemoir took of us.  Thanks Matt!!! 

Kimber Chocolate Labrador Retriever

Wendy and Kimber, Chocolate Labrador Retriever

 

Photo by Matt Settlemore

Wendy and Kimber, Shadowhill's The Hunter's Gunpowder & Lead at Busch Wildlife in St. Louis, MO

 

Kimber training for seasoned hunt test

Wendy and Kimber, Shadowhill's The Hunter's Gunpowder & Lead at Busch Wildlife in St. Louis, MO

 

Hunt Test Training

Kimber on her Walkup

 

Busch Wildlife, St. Louis, MO

Wendy and Kimber, Shadowhill's The Hunter's Gunpowder & Lead at Busch Wildlife in St. Louis, MO

 

Kimber’s sire is Cuda’s Blue Ryder. 

Shadowhill Retrievers
Total Retriever Photography and Supply Store

Maggie

August 16, 2010

Her name is Maggie.  A beautiful, spirited black Labrador Retriever. Maggie, ABA Jake was Maggie’s registered name.  Owned by Lowell and Marilyn Summers, Southern Illinois.

Maggie, RU Spring Hunt Test 2010

Maggie, RU Spring Hunt Test 2010

I first met Maggie this past spring in Southern Illinois at Gun Creek’s HRC Hunt Test. I saw her again at RU and at SIHRC Hunt Test, fully expecting to watch this little gal run this fall for her HR Title.   Maggie is such a dream to watch.  She was fun, spunky and a darn good retriever.  I always looked forward to watching Maggie at the line the next time.  This past spring when I knew Maggie would be at a hunt test that I was attending, I would look for her and Lowell.

We see people and retrievers at hunt tests each spring and fall.  Before we leave, we say our goodbye’s until the next hunt test.  We take for granted that we will see our friends and their retrievers at the line the next time around.

I sent Lowell an email a few weeks ago telling him about a litter that a friend knew about, asking him to pass it on to anyone who was interested in a well-bred puppy this fall.  I was not expecting the reply that I received.

Maggie, Gun Creek Spring Hunt Test 2010

Maggie, Gun Creek Spring Hunt Test 2010

Lowell wrote back to me.  Maggie was 13.5 months old when she was struck by a vehicle last month and killed.  When the door was open, she got out of the house and ran towards the road.  Lowell (Buzz) and Marilyn brought Maggie home when she was 7 weeks old.

Maggie had just finished her SHR in April. This past year she had retrieved 107 ducks and 47 geese. Four times she traveled with a group of hunters and Buzz in a 500 horse power 24 foot air boat across the frozen reaches of Rend Lake to hunt geese.  Buzz wrote to me that Maggie was something to see retrieving geese over ice.  I believe it!

Buzz took her everywhere he went each day. She loved to ride in a golf cart that Buzz used each day to take her to the water.

Buzz had a dog blind set up in the house and each night he would tell her to go to  her blind and she would enter it and lay down.  When Buzz told her to come out, he would give her a treat. After a while she would sit down in front of him and if he said nothing she would go to her blind and lay in it.  Maggie’s favorite toy?  The three rubber rings you see in every pet store was her favorite.

Buzz never had children and his wife Marilyn has one grown daughter from a previous marriage.  I am sure each of you reading this can see how important Maggie became to Buzz and Marilyn.

Maggie and Buzz SIHRC Spring Hunt Test 2010

Maggie and Buzz SIHRC Spring Hunt Test 2010

Buzz has now placed a deposit on a pup from David James, a well-known trainer in Central Illinois.  He is going to name her Casey Fork’s Junkin.  I asked Buzz why that name.  As we all know, almost all dog’s names come with a story or some sort of meaning.

Buzz and Marilyn reside near the  North end of Rend Lake.  Actually a thousand feet from a boat ramp that gains access to the Casey Fork Sub-impoundment area that becomes 2000 acres of flooded crop fields in the fall. Nearly 5000 ducks are killed there each year.

Buzz retired as a Park Ranger at Rend Lake after 30 years and now hunts 60 or so days each year.  Hence the Name Casey Fork.  Junkin is a combination of the pup’s Dam (Jump) and Sire (Duncan).

I wish the best for Buzz and Marilyn and their new Labrador Retriever, Casey.  I am looking forward to watching little Casey at upcoming hunt tests.

Maggie RU Spring Hunt Test 2010

Maggie RU Spring Hunt Test 2010

Any of us who knew Maggie and had the pleasure of watching her work will miss her very much.

Buzz, Casey & myself will see you at the line,

Wendy Porch
Shadowhill Retrievers
Total Retriever Photography And Supply Store

All of us look for the best laundry soap for our camo that doesn’t smell like flowers and that won’t ruin our expensive camo.  I have a solution.  I have made this and love it.  You don’t smell it, it’s very inexpensive and it works well!

The cost of this laundry soap is approximately 11.00 per 576 loads of laundry.  I use it at home and with my camo.  You can purchase the ingredients at most grocery stores.  They can be found at Rural King stores and most farm and home stores as well as Schnucks in the laundry isle.

You need the following:

  • 1 box of 20 Mule Team Borax
  • 1 box of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
  • 3 bars of Fels-Naptha
  • 1-5 gallon bucket with a lid (I purchased mine at Home Depot)

The three bars of Fels-Naptha with the two other boxes will make enough laundry soap for approximately 576 loads of laundry.

Note:  I also put a half of a cup of Oxy-Clean in my mixture for a little extra boost.

Many people say that they have made and used this laundry soap and are very pleased and impressed with the recipe.  Mostly, they like the cost because it is inexpensive and works as well as Tide, if not better.

Step 1:  Finely grate approximately 1/3 bar of Fels-Naptha bar soap and put it into a sauce pan with 6 cups of hot water. Do not boil the water.  Keep it hot though and stir it until the soap melts.

Step 2:  Once the soap is dissolved, Add 1/2 cup of Borax Laundry Booster and  1/2 cup of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda to the sauce pan.  Stir until all powder is dissolved.  This is where I also add 1/2 cup of Oxy Clean.  You do not have to but I do.

Step 3:  Add 4 cups of hot water into your bucket.  Once you have added the 4 cups of water to your bucket, add your soap mixture from your sauce pan and stir briefly to mix.

Step 4:  Add 22 cups of water to the bucket.  Make sure the water is room temperature.  Stir to mix and let stand COVERED for 24 hours.  Contents in bucket should gel.

USE 1/2 CUP OF FINAL PRODUCT PER STANDARD LOAD

Note:  If it doesn’t gel, it will still work fine.  if it doesn’t gel, I would stir it before using it.  Store product in your closed bucket.  If you don’t, the water will evaporate out of the mixture.

For home use, once the mixture is cool, I add 15 drops of Geranium Essential Oil and 10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil.  I then stir it up and let it sit with lid shut tight for 24 hours.

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

Noah, Blu and Angel

Noah, Blu and Angel

The above photo is from left to right, Blu, Angel and my grandson, Noah.  Noah was watching the blue gill in the water and the dogs wanted to check out Noah to see what he was doing.  I thought this photo was just precious.  The dogs watched out after the kids while they were playing in and near the water.  You would have thought Angel was Noah’s nanny.  It was a sight to see.

Mickey and her fish

Mickey and her fish

My Grandchildren, Mickenzie and Noah visited me the past few weekends.  Noah loved fishing but to my surprise, Mickey was the one who constantly hounded me to fish.  The first words out of her mouth when she woke up each morning was, “Grandma, may I go fishing?”  They had a ball and they kept me busy.

If they weren’t fishing, they were in the lake with the Labradors.  Noah wanted to fish while playing in the water.  If they weren’t fishing or playing in the lake, they were feeding the geese!  We lived on the decks and on the dock for nearly 4 days.

Mickey watched a goose come up and take the food right out of my hand so she bent over the dock as I did and waved the food in front of the goose.  The goose ate out of her hand as well.

I think I may have a few Jr. Handlers to take with me to a fall hunt test.  They picked up on commands easily and enjoyed handling the dogs in the water.  They actually did a great job!

Noah is my little hunter.  Soon he will be going hunting with the Labradors.  He constantly talks about wanting to turkey and deer hunt.

Good night!

Wendy

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


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