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The Gundog Success Program offers the most complete retriever training program available today. With our 36 unit heated indoor/outdoor kennel, 6 training ponds and over 1000 acres of diverse land to train on, our knowledgeable, full time staff have all of the tools to successfully bring your retriever to its maximum potential.


For more information about our general training structure and how to get started, please refer to the Our Program page.


The following are outlines of the three levels of retriever training that we offer. Because each dog is an individual, training times are listed as a general guideline only.



Retriever Level 1: Basic Versatile Hunter


This training will take Approximately 3 to 4 months of training (minimum 3 months).


During this phase of training your dog will learn:

  • Basic obedience, including whistle, voice and hand signals for sit/stay, recall and change directions.
  • Collar conditioning (teaching the dog that electric collar pressure is substituted as an “extension” of the lead).
  • Conditioned retrieve (teaching the dog to pick up and hold an object in order to avoid negative reinforcement)
  • To retrieve both bumpers and birds in a stylish yet disciplined manner with a finished delivery to hand.
  • To be “steady” and wait to be sent on a retrieve in the yard and field.
  • To quarter, find, flush and retrieve upland birds in the upland field.
  • To stay within gun range and respond to obedience commands in the upland field.
  • To complete retrieves in many venues (long distances, through decoys, through cover changes and in many simulated hunting environments)
  • Introduction to basic multiple retrieves.
  • Introduction to casting (hand signals).

Retriever Level 2: Transition


This portion of the program involves approximately 3 months of training past level 2.


Not all dogs are capable of attaining this level. During this phase of training, your now-experienced retriever will be making the most noticeable advancement in his abilities in the field. A great deal of new exercises and concepts will be taught and therefore must be learned by the owner. Dogs finishing this level will be capable of competing at the U.K.C’s seasoned level, or the A.K.C.’s senior level and can be considered the average hunter’s finished dog.


During this phase of training your dog will learn:

  • Extensive yard drills, including multiple lining and handling drills
  • Simple blind retrieves on land and water.
  • Longer, more complex marks on land and water
  • Multiple marks on land and water.

Retriever Level 3: Advanced


This portion of the program involves approximately 1 to 3 months past level 2.


Only the most talented of retrievers are capable of this level. This phase of training is for those who want to have more than just a great hunting dog. Dogs completing this level of training can participate at finished U.K.C. or Master A.K.C. tests. Many more training exercises will be added to the repertoire.


During this phase of training your dog will learn:

  • Complex, long blind retrieves with cover changes and diversions on land and water.
  • Complex multiple marks


Want to learn more? Simply fill out the form below or call 217.395.2588.

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