Our training philosophy focuses on reaching the maximum potential for every dog, not simply pressing a dog through a program. One does not train a pointing dog, one develops the dog. What people take as "training" - the steadying, launchers, lines, helpers and all that that has nothing to do with developing a bird dog. The whoa, the handling and steadying which is the focus in so many programs will not give you a bird dog, It is the "package" that will give you the tools to handle your bird dog once you have developed the dog.
Developing a bird dog is not done through restraining, correcting and setting up situations. It is done by having the facilities, the birds, the land and the experience to develop the genetic potential of the dog using the only reward that is large enough to ensure positive learning - birds ! The essentials of a bird dog - bird finding ability, discriminating scent, seeking out likely objectives, relocating on moving birds a trainer can not train into a dog. Our job is to let the dog teach himself on game birds that themselves have chosen their cover - and with the reward for learning being birds. No praise or absence of correction will be relevant in rewarding this behavior.
When the dog exhibits intense hunting behavior and drive we start to teach the dog to handle, without inhibiting the dog on birds. The dog learns to turn on the whistle(or voice), stay in front and we establish the dogs range according to the owners objectives (within the dogs natural range). This we can do effectively, making a superbly handling dog without losing intensity in the dog because the reward for the dog - the birds - can be enjoyed by the dog with no inhibitions once they find them. There always has to be a reward for the dog doing the right thing in the learning process - if one is using some pressure to teach a dog to handle and then when the dog gets on birds the reward is drastically reduced by the dog then receiving more pressure on the birds - then learning is greatly reduced and all sorts of problems start cropping up. We always have to remember this is not obedience training in any traditional sense as we do not possess the reward that will ensure learning - only birds are the reward that creates a lasting impression for a bird dog.
When the dog has had at least 100 bird contacts, we see that it knows to search out likely objectives, can discriminate scent from where the birds where to where they are now, can handle moving birds - and essentially the dog is establishing point on its own and holding at least until one can walk up until 10 feet from the dog before it goes in and flushes. That is the time we teach the dog "whoa" and make the dog steady. The dog will show us when it is ready - if one introduces pressure on birds before a dog knows how to handle them and find them - then one greatly reduces the potential of the dog and open up the possibilities for a host of common problems - ie blinking, false points etc. Doing it too early one takes away from the dog the opportunity to learn from its mistakes and develop as a birds dog. This is the part of the process where most mistakes are made.
We are accepting all breeds of pointing dogs for training. We strive to produce quality foot walking gun dogs that are a pleasure to hunt over and a joy to own. Our dogs love people and want to please you. Big Country Kennel can offer you the total package with our 25 years of experience, knowledge and access to wild birds, the end result - an excellent dog you can be proud of.
We train in the following areas:
Big Country Kennel has 75 covered runs. Outside runs are 6 ft by 10 ft. We also have a brand new boarding facility with inside/outside kennels - each kennel individually ducted for AC and heat. Also large outside airing yards.
We currently have 20 hunting dogs that are boarded with us full time.
We have Texas Covey Houses on our training lease as well as an abundance of wild quail to train on. We lease over 6000 acres to train bird dogs on.
Dog Training Gallery