Yes, politics are important.  Better yet, who we vote for is MOST important.

Guns aren’t banned yet but if this administration had its way, they would be.  What this party can do it make it nearly impossible for us to own guns by making it a law to have outrageous insurance.  Another way to keep us from owning or using guns would be the outrageous price of ammo.

Peaceful decent human beings have the right to own guns.  We don’t use our guns as weapons.  We obtain them legally.  We use them legally whether it be when we are hunting, trap shooting, shooting at ranges and training/competing our hunting dogs.

Think of what we could lose if the wrong person were to be elected into office.  The responsible people who have purchased, trained, acquired titles and who love their Retrievers would be out of business.  That is just for starters.  If we are not allowed to use or are not able to afford to use our guns, we can’t hunt, train and compete our beloved Retrievers.  Some of us pay thousands of dollars for our healthy Retrievers.

There would no longer be hunting shows on television or the Internet.  That means that photographers, video masters, production companies and many more would be out of business.  Networks would lose hunting shows, which leads to subscribers dropping stations.  Training supply stores and firearm stores would be out of business.  No more hunting licenses.  The list truly goes on and on.

Crime and mortality statistics are often used in the gun control debate.  Controls often create burdens for law-abiding citizens and infringe upon constitutional rights provided by the Second Amendment.  Some would argue, including myself that nationwide gun ownership is one of the best preventatives to crime as well as to a potential dictatorship, whether it be by our government or gangs.

Please pay close attention to who you vote for.  The wrong party could and would try to strip away the rights of law-abiding citizens.  To take away our right to bare arms and defend ourselves against criminals.  They will not only take our right to defend ourselves away, but this action could strip us everything that we have worked hard for.  They could and would try to take away our American Dream, the TRUE American Dream.

Trump for President?  Ted Nugent for President?  It’s a thought!  A great ticket might be Trump and Nug for his running mate.  Crazy or not so crazy?


  1. Has nothing to hide.  We know it all about his professional and personal life.  He lost millions and billions.  However, he did work to get it all back and is now better off and has even moreso than before.  He knows how to run a business.
  2. He has enough money to run his own campaign without asking for millions and promising a bunch of pork.  No need for him to bribe anyone for votes.
  3. Trump has back bone.  He would say “NO” and he would mean it.
  4. He would bring jobs back to the States.
  5. He is very informed when it comes to the US Constitution and our rights.
  6. Illegals?  What illegals?  There would be no more.  Especially if Nug is his running mate!
  7. I could go on and on and on.

Me?  I’m in hopes that Trump decides to run.  I think he would be the best choice for the US.

Possible running mates for Trump?  Palin.  Bachmann.  Nugent.

Hunters, Retriever breeders and trainers, Target Shooters and more….please remember that politics are most important.  Please study everyone running and make your choice wisely.

Labrador Retriever Training

August 13, 2011

Training is starting up again. Getting ready for fall. Will have beautiful Labrador photos to post.

Fall HRC Hunt Test

September 3, 2010


Terra, Owned and Trained by Mitch Hainsfurther Webfoot Kennel, Carlinville, IL

Once again it’s time for fall hunt tests!  I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and their retrievers.


Kaya, Trained by Mitch Hainsfurther Webfoot Kennel, Carlinville, Illinois

Total Retriever will be photographing at Midway, Southern IL Hunting Retriever Club in Marion, IL and Gateway in St. Louis, MO.  I’ll be posting more hunt tests soon.

Good luck to everyone who will be attending the hunt tests.

I’ll see you at the line this fall.

Wendy Porch
Total Retriever Photography and Supply Store

Last Summer I had the pleasure of training quite a bit with Deb West of Brownwaterdogs.  Work has not allowed me to train with much of anyone this summer and I do miss it!  Deb has several beautiful, hardworking, talented and very smart Chocolate Labrador Retrievers.  Deb has owned, loved, trained, competed and has hunted with Chocolate Labrador Retrievers for 25 years.

I asked Deb, “In your eyes is there any other color than a Chocolate Labrador Retriever?”  Not for Deb!  Deb believes that any color lab is great but she  just prefers the chocolates.  Her love for Chocolate Labradors started in 1989 with her first chocolate dog, Snickers.  Deb was one of VERY few chocolate owners at the time to run hunt tests.  She took a lot of ridicule for owning a Chocolate.  When she would walk to the line at a hunt test, she could hear snide remarks such as, “What is that?  Would ya look at that dog, what is it?”  Deb said, ” They have no brains.”  The one that got to Deb the most  was the comment, “Here comes that short woman with that ugly brown dog.”  At that moment Deb decided it would always be brown dogs for her and that eventually she would have some of the best around.

Deb’s dogs do not have dual titles but their breeding and health certs speak for themselves.  Deb has Brownwaterdogs in IL, MO, AR, MS, TN, NY, AL, and Canada.  Many are HRCH’s, MH’s and GRHRCH’s.

Brownwaterdogs Brave of Heart Tic

Brownwaterdogs Brave of Heart Tic

The man who made the statement to her about being short and owning an ugly brown dog is a judge and judges her often.  Deb said, “He has probably forgotten he ever said that to me.  Maybe one day I will tell him how he inspired me and gave me a goal in dog  life.  What is funny is…I have one male dog who every time this man judges us, as we are leaving the line, my dog runs over and pee’s on his chair!  Hilarious.”

Deb now owns 6 Chocolates and she co-owns one.  She has 2 males, the rest are females and the co-owned Labrador is a male also.

I asked Deb why she likes Labradors so much.  She replied,  “Hunting waterfowl and upland was the main reason.  I also like larger dogs.”

Deb trains her Labradors mostly by herself up through the HRCH title.  At the Grand Level she hires and works with Scot Barnette in Eldorado Arkansas. Deb still works to afford her dogs so when it gets to the level that they need a lot more time afield than she can give them, they go to Scot.  Deb did say, “Although next year I am going to run the Grand myself with one of my girls that is not going for outside training.  Going to try it at home!”

Tic’s full registered name is GRHRCH Brownwaterdogs Brave of Heart.  She is 6 years young and still a beautiful hardworking Retriever.

As each of you well know, most dogs have a story behind their names.  I asked Deb if Tic had a story.  Tic’s story is amazing and I knew the story before I asked her but I love hearing and reading it over and over again.

Deb had a litter due out of GRHRCH Ouchita River Squeler at the same time her husband was to have his 4th open heart surgery.  Four open heart surgeries are almost unheard of.  Tic was born 2 days before Tom’s surgery.  While Tom was recuperating, Tic gravitated to Tom and they became great friends.  They named her “Brave of Heart” for her husband Tom and Tic for ” heart.”  Brave of Heart was coined by Deb’s friend, and cheap kennel help, Barb Wedemeyer.

Tom and Squeler Fall 2009

Tom and Squeler Fall 2009

Tic has a Grand Hunting Retriever Champion.  The highest you can go in HRC.  Deb’s dogs only run in HRC Hunt Tests.  Deb had run dogs in field trials but that was many moons ago and very unappealing for Deb.  Deb loves the HRC organizations and although she believes there are many great organizations out there, HRC is her family and dear to her heart.  The fact that HRC handles the gun and the realism of the tests is also another reason that Deb only runs her dogs in the HRC Hunt Tests.  Deb stated, “We train to hunt, hunt testing just means our season never ends.  The ribbons and the titles are just a plus!”

Deb does handle her own dogs at the hunt tests and says, “That’s the fun of it. And I encourage all women to do so.”

Tick  is the daughter of GRHRCH Ouchita River Squeler, also Deb’s dog,  and her sire is GRHRCH Gator Pts Magnum Gentle Ben.

When she was a puppy Deb realized that she had what it takes to go all the way to the Grand.  She had great desire to hunt and to please as well as trainability.  Deb told me that the three are the basic ingredients to start.

I asked Deb what kind of preparation did it take for Ticker to train for the Grand.  Her reply, “First you must have at least 100 points on your dog to enter a Grand Hunt. Normally that is a Hunting Retriever Championship title.   You have to pass the Grand test at least 2 different times.  Each Grand hunt test is 5 days long. It consists of 2 water series, 2 land series and an upland test.  You have to then have at least 300 points on the dog to be actually awarded the title.

Preparation actually starts when they are puppies, making sure that they are allowed to be pups while young, and not pushing them to hard while at the same time training them for good manners, good marking, and good lining drills.  Then once a HRCH is achieved, you start fine tuning even further.  Longer marks, blinds, then even shorter marks and blinds, obsticals, in all-weather conditions and terrains.  You never know what you will find at the Grand in a hunt scenario.  A lot of people think it is the longest marks and longest blinds…not necessarily so….they can be short, and they can get very technical.”

Tic has passed the Grand twice now and has earned her GRHRCH Title with UKC/HRC.  Scot Barnette in Arkansas trained and handled Tic for her Grand Title.  “Scot isn’t a big name trainer but he is very good.  He has taken several dogs through to the Grand to earn their titles,” said Deb.



I asked Deb to tell me a little bit about Tic’s temperament.  Deb stated that Tic is very mild-mannered.  She does get a long with most dogs.  At home, Tic is very protective.  Tic, like her mother is a people dog.  Tic would rather be with other humans than other dogs.  Deb said, “That’s funny cause I would rather be with dogs than a lot of people I know!”

Deb is planning on breeding Ticker in the future,  in fact this fall.  A southern gentleman named Cash has been courting Tic!  Tic very well may become a “Southern Belle” soon!  Cash has passed the Grand once and is running this October for his title.

If anyone is interested in a puppy, they can contact Deb via email at

Deb does have an application process that potential owners must complete before they can purchase a puppy.  Deb likes to screen the folks who her pups go to.  Her pups are bred for hunting so she wants to make sure that hunting will be a part of their lifestyle.  A deposit will be required to hold one’s spot on the list for male or female.  Deb did tell me that the first 2 females are already spoken for from her next litter.  The price is not set yet, but there is a break to HRC homes!!

Now that Tic is a GRHRC, she will be working towards earning her 500 points with UKC/HRC.  If any of you have a chance to watch this dog work, she is a must see.

I asked Deb how owning Tic has changed and/or added to her life.  In Deb’s own words, “Tic is one of my favorite girls.  She is very much like her mom, Squeler and one day I will probably get her licensed as a therapy dog as well when Squeler retires.  She is great to run in tests.  You have to have confidence in one another and we certainly have that.  She is also a very beautiful chocolate, very dark, in fact some people ask if she isn’t black! She is a pleasure to have.  I cherish everyday with all my children!!”

Deb and I hope to see you at the line!

Wendy Porch
Shadowhill Retrievers
Total Retriever Photography and Supply Store

Training Ducks

August 4, 2010

Is anyone else around the United States having a hard time finding good live ducks for retriever training?

A man from the state of Washington drove all the way to MO to find good flyers.  Many trainers and hunt clubs  in the Mid-West are having trouble find flyers.

If you know of any places you know of, will you please post on this blog?

Thanks so much,


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!!

Total Retriever Photography

I had a request on an order that I didn’t see until after I had ordered prints for a customer.

I was fulfilling orders this evening getting customers photos packaged up so that I can go to the post office tomorrow to mail them out.

As I looked up an order for the address, I saw a message on the order asking me if I would remove a weed from the front of the dog in one shot and to also remove the saliva from the mouth on another shot.

When I use Photoshop, I use it to brighten photos and to lower the resolution so that the copies of my original photos will upload to my website easier and quicker.  I do not and will not use Photoshop to remove or move things on my photos.  I do not manipulate my photos.

I guess my feelings on this are that these are natural photos of working retrievers.  I’m not into graphic design, I don’t want to be and I certainly do not want to be known for publishing fake photos.

I am working on learning to create photo montages which would be several photos of a dog all put together artistically into one photo.  However, I am not moving or removing and replacing anything in these montages.

I’m just wondering if anyone has any thoughts or opinions and if so, would  you please let me know your thoughts? I did tell the client that I apologized for not seeing the note first before processing the photos.  I also said that if they are not happy with the photos, I’ll gladly return the money.  I did assure her that I thought she would enjoy the photos and would want to keep them.

Thanks for any help.  I hope to see you at the line!

Wendy Porch
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

I have thought of another topic that I am going to write about once a week.  As you all know I travel to hunt tests each weekend to photograph retrievers in the spring and fall season.

Each hunt test I attend, I am amazed at the beauty, talent, brilliance, agility, athleticism and work ethic of these retrievers.

I have to admit that I run into retrievers at each test that I want to adopt and take home with me.  I beg the owners, try to get the retriever to kennel into my car when the owner isn’t looking, you name it.  However, it doesn’t work!  If I would have succeeded in taking each retriever home with me, I would have about 100 retrievers in my home with me by now.  🙂

So, I opted for plan B.  I’ve been creating my own wall of fame.  I have started printing my favorite retrievers and now have a special wall of fame room that I am going to hang my prints in.  I can see my favorite retrievers on a daily basis now.

I’ve now decided to take this one step further.  I want to write about my favorite retrievers.  Augie, Terra, Brody, Easton, Gauge, Ruger, Tick, Maggie, and so many more that it’s almost impossible to name them all here.

In fact, I have all of Brody’s story and just have to put it all together.  Within these stories, I will post photos of the dog that I have taken.  You will enjoy Brody’s story.  It’s cute, loving, and all about training and hunting!  Not only that, he is an absolute dream to photograph.  Brody is a beautiful black Labrador Retriever.

I have to work on getting photos up on my site from hunt tests.  I am behind so once I get my photos posted, I’ll begin writing stories about the amazing retrievers that I am fortunate enough to photograph at hunt tests.

Take care and I’ll be back here posting in the very near future!

Wendy Porch

Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store

Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store

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).


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