mud creek retrievers, Illinois
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Mud Creek Retrievers: Training

The first step in our training program is to consult with you and get a clear understanding of your expectations.  After expectations are established we will create a training program for your pup.  All training programs will have a focused balance of yard work and fieldwork. The balance in our program will enhance your pups desire to retrieve and allow him or her to enjoy training time.  Our goal is to develop a team attitude with your pup.  

It’s also important that your pup gains social skills during training.  We are very proud of our high quality kennels and the social skills that we include into our program.  Your pup becomes a member of our family, not just another dog in a large kennel operation.  We focus on high quality and believe all successful pups require time in every critical area. We place importance in basic areas that support successful training such as diet, exercise, kennel cleanliness, airing, and watering.  We have seven indoor/outdoor kennels of which four kennels are occupied with our dogs. We put a tremendous amount of time and effort into every pup.  In order to provide this quality, we do not exceed more than three dogs at a time for training services.

We strive to simulate real hunt situations in our training programs.  During season we also give your pup the opportunity to get real hunt experience.  We make trips to several states throughout the hunting season and all dogs travel and train during hunt season.  Our goal is to create a confident retriever that displays his abilities both in the field and home.

Obedience training is one of the most important steps in our program.  We will consistently teach your pup six commands during this period of time; here, heel (2 sided), side and front sit, sit to whistle, kennel, down and quiet. We keep our standard consistent so your pup knows what to expect.  

In addition, we will work your pup in field situations, (land and water). We will introduce single marks, gun shot, live birds, dead birds and enhance your dogs desire to retrieve.  The pups enjoy this time in the field and it introduces the early steps in developing marking skills.  This training should be completed with 1-2 months depending on your pups learn abilities. It’s important that all dogs understand and can execute these commands.  These commands will allow you to affectively communication with your pup throughout his life.

Force Fetch is the foundation for any successful program.  During this important phase of training we will teach your pup how to hold and fetch.  The finished product of this training will create a clean pickup and delivery to hand.  However, more importantly it will setup your dog’s ability to perform "blind retrieves". If you expect your pup to compete in hunt tests and perform as a finished gun dog, the force fetch training is an absolute requirement.  We will incorporate fieldwork throughout this phase and start to teach double marks and simple casting drills.  Depending on your pup’s ability, this step takes 1-2 months and involves several levels.

Several Levels include:

Teach Hold command on table
Teach fetch command on table (ear pinch technique)
Fetch command from ground (ear pinch tech)
Walking fetch
Stick fetch
Final step must be finished with e-collar fetch, which must be revisited after your pup is collar conditioned

Collar Condition Training.  It’s very important that your pup successfully completes both the Obedience and Force Fetch training phases prior to starting collar-conditioning work.  We use the collar as a tool to enforce known commands during this time period.  We will place your pup back on lead and collar and start to introduce an electric level of pressure.  The e-collar replaces the lead and stick pressure during this period.  

We will re-teach sit, here, heel, and fetch with the e-collar.  Your pups confidence and understanding of these known commands will support his ability to quickly "get out of pressure".  If a pup does not react correctly to collar condition it may be attached to a failure in early training phases. We don’t teach commands with the collar.  The collar is a tool to enforce the commands "after" the pup has been taught.  A proper correction is always connected to the pup knowing how to end the pressure.  

We will continue to teach your dog double marks and casting drills during this phase.  We always train with real birds in every phase to promote desire, and help maintain a great attitude during stressful periods of yard work.  Collar conditioning can be completed within a 2-3 week period depending on your pup’s abilities.

Advanced Gun Dog Training.  We also offer an advanced gun dog service, which supports finished gun dog work, or hunt tests.  All Mud Creek Retrievers have earned hunt titles. We have demonstrated success on a consistent basis at all levels on AKC hunt test (junior, senior, and master).  We have earned titles at every level of UKC as well (started, seasoned, finished).

This transitional level of training is very involved and requires a serious commitment from both you and your pup.  Due to the complexity of work and the different levels of competition we would customize an advanced level program to meet your goals.

Handler Training.  It’s important that you as a team member and handler understand how to affectively communicate with your pup after he goes home.  We want you to get the same results that we do at MCR's. We can teach you how to properly enforce known commands, work an e-collar as a tool and how to continue the development of your pup.  The handler training is incorporated in all levels of our training programs.  We encourage you to visit us at any time during your pups training program to learn along with your pup!

We are very proud of our dogs, kennels and quality of training grounds.  We conduct free demonstrations of dogs working at every level.  We enjoy sharing time with potential clients and sharing our love for the game/breed.  Your pup will be placed in a labs dream lifestyle as he develops into that working companion and family member.  Come and visit our retrievers, tour our grounds and spend some time training with us.

The advanced stages require a long-term commitment and may require out-sourced training at different intervals.  We have outsourced our own dogs during certain phases and times of the year.  It’s very hard to train an advance dog when your water is too cold for training.  We have strategic alliances with professional trainers.  In order to prepare a dog for spring competition we will send dogs south (Texas, Florida, and Georgia).  We have created great relationships with trainers that compliment our services and strengthen our overall training capabilities. Mud Creek Retriever’s primary goal is to make you 100 percent satisfied and support you throughout every phase of your pups life.      

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