Hunting Retriever Foundation Training
A calm, steady retriever is a must. Pups must respect
the leash and be calm on the mat. The place mat is used
to teach a pup where to hunt from for waterfowl work and
aids in teaching him to remain calm and will aid the pup
when steady work is introduced.  
Above...This young retriever pup gets scent of a pheasant, tracks it into the food
plot and then flushes the bird.  Click on the pictures for a larger view......
Premier Gundogs Training Kennel
Dale and Kris Taylor
Hallam, Nebraska 68368
Copyright  2005   Dale Taylor
Our Foundation Training program introduces your retriever to water that is "pup
friendly" and easy to access for your young hunting partner.  We introduce the
youngster to water that is warm (summertime water) and without sticks, logs,
weeds, etc. We make sure it is a pleasant experience. Shallows build
confidence, as the pup can wade around at the start. We only advance when
the pup tells us he is ready.  As the pups advance, we add in decoys, calling,
etc, much in the same way we advance a young hunting retriever on the ground.
A large part of an effective hunting retriever is an obedient dog that is calm and quiet in the blind. The building blocks of obedience
are started at this time.  Whistle work and Leash work, to show the pup how to behave, is a must and is much easier perfected later
in our formal training program if started at a young age
Our building blocks approach to Foundation Training brings out the pups natural bird drive instincts.  By allowing the pup to flush
and chase birds, we create a strong desire to hunt and locate birds, as well as building confidence in the field. We always start
by allowing the pup to find and flush quail first and then advance to larger birds like pigeons, chuckar and hen pheasants.
Our Foundation Training Programs teach the pups where to hunt for birds.
Young pups learn by "association" or "imprinting".  
By allowing the pups to find birds in true hunting cover, the pups imprint where to hunt for birds.
Our training grounds provide several types of cover such as food plots, CRP and brome.  
The pups quickly learn to aggressively search these areas and are rewarded by finding, flushing
and chasing birds out of the heavy cover.
A pup that is bird crazy is easy to gun break.  Not until the
pup is flushing and chasing birds with confidence, do we
introduce gunfire. This method of introducing the sound of a
gun ties the flight of birds to gunfire. Pups advance quickly
from the sound of the .22 crimp, .209 primers and then the
sound of a light gauge shotgun.       
Many 5 to 6 month old pups that have been through this program
are able to go on an "
easy" teal hunt in the early fall when
temperatures and water are still warm.
Left and above:  This four month old pup aggressively chases and then
retrieves a fresh killed chuckar.  We cap the gun from a longer distance at
first and slowly move in.  This pup has advanced to where he knows the
sound of the cap gun means a "dead bird" and he will advance quickly to
actually shooting birds to him.  

Drills like this not only socialize a young pup to gunfire, they develop
predator drive by getting more birds in the pups mouth and teach marking
skills of a downed bird and retrieving.
Foundation Training... the footings to the building of any Hunting Retriever. This program is
completely about building a bird dog.  The love of birds, confidence with gunfire and the hunting
environment both on land and water are the essentials we build into your pup. Without these, you have
no hunting dog.  Our Hunting Retriever Foundation Training Program is designed to bring out the
natural predator instincts in your pup and create in him a strong desire to hunt and retrieve and to learn
that gunfire means birds.  The training techniques used in this program advance the young retriever as
both a waterfowl and an upland dog  There is no substitute for foundation training and all retrievers,
regardless of age, must have the basics and become a bird dog before advancing in their training.