How do you choose a trainer?
Today we can put a dog on a plane and it will go anywhere in the US, Canada or Mexico and it will be picked up in 4-6 hours at a cost of about $300.00. So location is of little consequence. In other words I would send my dog rather than drive him somewhere that required a long drive. Do you know someone who had their dog trained professionally? Maybe by us? If no, references might be the best approach. References are honest. If they are happy they will say so. We provide unsolicited references. Some of the dogs would have belonged to the customer and some of them would have been our dogs that we sold as trained dogs. Either way is all the same. Whether your dog or ours we train them all the same.... Should you want to call someone, I think that most of our references are more than happy to help. I recommend that you just call and ask how their dog worked out, and that you were considering having us train your dog.
What "Method" do we use?
Well, I can tell you this....we do not use any "Method". What works with one dog does not, and I repeat does not work for another. I suppose some of these "Methods" apparently must work but it seems to me with all these "Methods" it gets pretty confusing for the average guy with a puppy . Magazine articles, books and videos. Do you swing him, barrel him, electrically stimulate him, or make him stand on a balance beam to teach him to"whoa"? How about hanging weenies on a fishing pole out in front of him, or do you hook him up to ropes and a stake in the ground? The list goes on and on. I don't want to sound like a know-it-all but you can invest just about however much money you want to invest in gimmicks, books, videos and "must have" training equipment being promoted by the guys who are making money from their endorsement, and.... never finish your dog. They will appreciate the income. Have you noticed you can't even buy clothes or boots anymore without them being called "Pro Trainer", "Pro Guide","Pro This" or "Pro That". Pop up dogs, bird launchers, tracking devices, beepers,and command series transmitters for a whole list of electronic gadgetry. I say all of this just to say that NO!!!! we do not follow any"method" that someone else has developed/marketed and we do not use any of the "must have" products that are required as "training aids" for any particular "method". In order for my my Grandpa, Dad, Uncles, Brothers and everyone else that I grew up with to have bird dogs they didn't have to have any "method" to follow and "must have" training equipment either.... What did they have? Birds, check cords and a whistle. What do we have? Birds, check cords and a whistle. Very seldom do we have a "washout".... It is just not that complicated.
Do we use "Shock Collars", and if you train my dog will it have to have a "shock collar"?
Yes, we use shock collars. Shock collars are for discipline and correction. Shock collar conditioning is part of training a bird dog. They do not electrocute a dog and they do not "stimulate" a dog. What they do.... is help in developing a well trained, enjoyable dog to hunt with. Stimulate sounds a whole lot more acceptable than shock. It's like some people "harvest"game and some people "shoot" or kill" game... a harvested bird was either shot or killed. A stimulated dog was shocked. We do train with a shock collar and your dog will be conditioned to respond to a shock collar.... but no your dog will not have to have a shock collar. But then all dogs seem to hear much better when they have a shock collar on, whether you ever use it or not, and it is much more enjoyable to hunt with a dog that can be controlled than one that is.... "like a lawn mower on the loose". Most all experienced bird dogs get excited when they see you with a shotgun ...and most all experienced bird dogs get just as excited when they see you with a shock collar too. Can a shock collar ruin a dog? Of course one can.... but then feeding a dog to much would ruin him too. Over weight dogs won't hunt and neither will a fearful dog afraid to move. We are not going to send a dog home 20 pounds over-weight and we are also not going to electrocute him silly either.
If you train my dog will it do what bird dogs should?
Bird dogs should come when called, turn when a whistle is blown, stop when whoa'ed, point staunchly, and retrieve a bird without chewing it to pieces. A "Gun dog" knows that a gun kills birds. We will shoot approximately 75 birds for your dog, Bobwhite Quail. By then he will know what a gun does. Most dogs get excited when they see a shotgun. Dead Bird is something they hear over and over. I am a firm believer in "whoa". A dog that will "whoa" solves most all problems associated with hunting with a dog. Here and whoa. If we have your dog for training we can usually get him where he needs to be in 90 days.
Will my dog be steady to wing and shot?
No.... I personally have never seen a bird dog used for hunting that was. Unless I am sorely naive about it, neither have you. Steady to wing and shot is for trials and tests. It has it's place.The magazine article steady to wing and shot senerio is this: Flush the birds, shoot one or two(hopefully),and the dog remains standing on point. After having congratulated each other on your shooting and smoked your pipe you proceed to the dog that has the point, tap his head and he then makes an unerring retrieve. All the while the other dog/dogs will continue to honor/back. Of course, unless you smoke a pipe, shoot a double barrel 28 gauge and wear only "Pro Trainer" series clothes it doesn't work. Me, I shoot a 12 gauge so I have never got to see this feat. I'm pretty sure if a Pheasant falls near a badger hole I would want him there as soon as possible anyway.In all earnestly the average guy who hunts with a dog needs a dog that is happy to mind, steady on point, retrieves satisfactorily and be able to hunt with his dog enjoyably. Our aim in training is to teach the dog to love the birds, the gun and the boss. A well trained gun dog has class and manners. We get the dog ready to take hunting. We do not train for NAVHDA tests or AKC hunt tests. However, a dog taken straight from here to NSTRA will compete just fine.
Do you have inside or outside kennels?
Our kennels are inside with outside concrete runs. We feed a high quality dog food of course, and keep things clean. How can you not?
What breed do we specialize in?
Does that mean that I think that the German Shorthairs are better or best?No... I believe any dog that has desire and is a "bird" dog is my kind of dog. Pink, purple, polka dot, or pea green with a cork screw tail... it makes no difference to me if they do what bird dogs are supposed to do. They all have their own style, but pointing, backing and retrieving is the same in them all. I don't think the dogs are near the breed purists their owners are.
How much do you charge?
We are competitive on fees and fees are inclusive. No added fees for birds, kennel, etc. We prefer billing arrangements by Credit card if possible. Flight arrangements are handled by us as the airlines can be exasperating if you are inexperienced at making arrangements with them. A simple procedure can become a real experience with them sometimes.
MUDDY CREEK KENNELS
Craig,Elizabeth and Daniel Burns