Dale and Kris Taylor
Hallam, Nebraska 68368
Copyright 2005
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, 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.   
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.
Click on the pictures for a larger view
Above...This young retriever pup gets scent of a pheasant, tracks it into the food plot and then flushes the bird.
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.        
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
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.
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.
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 when
started at a young age.