At Hickory Ridge Kennels our training program is adjusted to your dog. We meet the dog and understand his needs before we train him. We do not try to influence one type of training technique on every dog. They each have their own personality, temperament and abilities. We train at many locations to fully challenge your dog. We also encourage the owners to train with us. That way we can teach you how to handle your dog. Then he can be a hunting partner with you and also a house pet for the entire family.

When to Start
The best time to start is about 6 months of age. After the baby teeth are lost. We start our own dogs at about 6 weeks of age.But the real serious training starts at about 6 months with obedience and force fetch. The length of time you need to leave your dog depends on what level you want.

This is approximately a 4 - 6 week program. In that time your dog will be taught all of the basic commands. Ii will be introduced to a whistle, off lead obedience and collar conditioning.

Force Fetch
Your dog will be taught to pick up and hold an object. It will also be introduced to field work and birds.

Hunting dog
This depends on the owner. This dog is obedient, forced, running singles and sitting on a whistle. He can be taught hand signals.

Finished dog
This dog is very obedient off lead, sits on a whistle, takes hand signals, runs blind retrieves, honors, runs a triple mark. This depends on the dog's ability.

When you drop off your dog you will need to bring the first months payment, heartworm preventative and flea/tick preventative. Also you need to have your dog up to date on all of his shots and kennel cough. Any trip to the vet here after you will be responsible for.

Please call for our training and boarding-only rates.

Puppy program

Once you decide to purchase a puppy the real work begins. Puppies are full of energy and curiosity that needs to be channeled in the right direction in order to be a good citizen in your community. It is important to expose your puppy to as much as you can. Remember you are trying to create a bold, confident, and outgoing puppy that will take to new situations smoothly. Be there for your puppy to provide calm and reassurance in environments that could become scary to them.

Monitor your puppy's behavior in all types of situations, praise behavior that is acceptable and discourage behavior that is unacceptable such as aggressiveness or barking. A firm "No" in conjunction with a tap on the nose is sufficient puppy discipline. Be aware of how your puppy reacts to your discipline, if the puppy cowers your reprimand is too strong, if their behavior persists the reprimand is not strong enough. Be consistent! Don't allow your puppy to behave naughty one day and discipline him for the same behavior the next day. This will only confuse your puppy diminishing their trust in you and can ultimately make your puppy resentful toward future lessons.

Routines and consistency will help your puppy learn and thrive. Nurture and build your puppy up by putting him in spaces they can wander and explore without harm. Soccer Fields, Baseball diamonds and Nature walks are great for this, here your puppy can romp, run, explore new smells and sounds without being reprimanded or put in danger. These are all things that will become less distracting to them when they are required to stay focused on their field work in their future training. Our puppy program is designed to provide the following:


Our program is designed to better prepare your puppy for formal training. This is the time in your puppy's life when good and bad habits are formed. The foundation of routine and consistency will lay the ground work for future learning and good attitudes towards lessons being taught. The right start is essential in the success of any productive and well mannered companion. We hope to provide our owners with years and years of enjoyment from the dogs that complete our programs.

Please call for our puppy training rates.

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