Gun Dog Training Programs

dog retrieving a game bird while training a hunting dog

Lonny Taylor has designed a variety of training programs to help a dog progress through several levels of training. Lonny’s starter program, yard program, finished dog program, and upland bird program are sequential steps toward producing an enjoyable hunting partner that can also compete in hunt tests and field trials. But training the dog is not all—it’s essential to teach the dog’s owner how to hunt and handle his dog! Lonny offers private instruction and seminars on gun dog handling for his clients.


Starting with solid obedience, Lonny moves a young dog through the introduction to birds and the gun, responding to a whistle, steadiness, collar conditioning, and weather permitting, an introduction to water.


The groundwork for more difficult retrieves is laid in the yard program. This is the important fundamentals of basic hand signals, multiple marked retrieves, double and single T handling drills, and the foundation of sound water work. After this program, most dogs are ready for senior level hunt tests.


This is the road to making a finished gun dog. (see article LINK) In this program, the dog becomes a fine-tuned hunting companion and competitor. Precise handling, multiple marking, retired guns, and intensive lining drills are the features of your finished retriever. This is the program where the advanced concepts are taught and honed into your dog.


A good waterfowl retriever can also excel in the upland field! Because Labradors and other retrievers are very biddable, have great noses, and love birds, they can be superb upland game dogs for hunting pheasants, chukar, quail, sharptailed grouse, prairie chickens, and Hungarian partridge. The upland program involves teaching a dog to quarter to cover the upland field in front of gunners; flushing; and staying in gun range.


It’s great to have a classy, well-trained gun dog, but it’s not much use if you don’t know as much as your dog knows! Lonny Taylor specializes in teaching dog owners to handle and hunt with their well-trained hunting dogs. Lonny is also happy to work with hunting clubs and other groups to put on dog training and handling seminars.


For a gun dog to excel in training, it’s essential that the dog has access to quality facilities and great water. Trainers in the Deep South often travel to northern states in the summer to avoid the extreme heat, humidity, and snakes and to take advantage of cool water. Lonny Taylor’s training grounds near Wichita offer excellent training eight months a year, but during the hot summer months, Lonny travels to 9,000 feet in elevation in north-central Colorado for cool water and a nice climate. When the ponds freeze over in Kansas during the heart of the winter, Lonny travels to south Texas for open water. If your dog is really making progress, you don’t want his training program to stall out for two months because of frozen ponds or oppressive heat. Book your dog for a training trip to keep the ribbons rolling in and the hunt test passes coming so he can win a title!

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Gun Dog Training Programs