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Old 04-11-2012, 02:28 PM
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Default retriever trainers whos the best?

looking to send my lab pup to school any suggestions?
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Old 04-11-2012, 02:52 PM
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Unlimited budget? Tough to beat Hugh and Al Arthur

Reasonable Budget? Lots of good ones, Stephen Durrence has been getting it done for the past few years. It is tough to argue with his record in the hunt test circuit. There are LOTS of other good ones in the state as well.

Lower budget? Tommy Dewitt is a great one, Kyle Moody is just getting started and I believe will be successful as well.

Go out and meet as many as you can. See who you trust, find references that the trainer does not give you. You will know when the right one comes along.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Burritoboy View Post
Unlimited budget? Tough to beat Hugh and Al Arthur

Reasonable Budget? Lots of good ones, Stephen Durrence has been getting it done for the past few years. It is tough to argue with his record in the hunt test circuit. There are LOTS of other good ones in the state as well.

Lower budget? Tommy Dewitt is a great one, Kyle Moody is just getting started and I believe will be successful as well.

Go out and meet as many as you can. See who you trust, find references that the trainer does not give you. You will know when the right one comes along.
Great advice and some good suggestions! Go visit. Go to tests and watch them work. If you pay attention, the dogs they handle will tell you more than any reference.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:18 PM
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Kyle Moody at Foul Mouth Retrievers. His kennel is fairly new but he has been training dogs for a while. Runs are super nice and he is a great guy. His training grounds are awesome as well. He is getting passes every test the past month. pm me if you need more info. He is located about 30 minutes east-northeast of Macon, just outside of Milledgeville.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:33 AM
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Jeff Mann. Fowl Master Kennels. He's good people! http://www.fowlmasterkennels.com/
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:15 PM
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Dropped my man off this morning with Brad Arrington at Mossy Pond Retrievers just outside of Patterson Ga.
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Old 04-14-2012, 01:52 AM
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Thumbs up Coon Dogs

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Originally Posted by Burritoboy View Post
Unlimited budget? Tough to beat Hugh and Al Arthur

Reasonable Budget? Lots of good ones, Stephen Durrence has been getting it done for the past few years. It is tough to argue with his record in the hunt test circuit. There are LOTS of other good ones in the state as well.

Lower budget? Tommy Dewitt is a great one, Kyle Moody is just getting started and I believe will be successful as well.

Go out and meet as many as you can. See who you trust, find references that the trainer does not give you. You will know when the right one comes along.
Allot of folks dont know that Hugh is also a great coon dog trainer. I worked for Hugh when I was back into dogs and trials for a number of years and I have known Al since he was a teenager. Hugh is great and he will tell you the truth. You may not like it but it will be the truth.Good Luck!
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:23 PM
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Dropped my man off this morning with Brad Arrington at Mossy Pond Retrievers just outside of Patterson Ga.
hands down the best....
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:51 AM
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Hugh and Al Arthur are top notch. They can handle 60 dogs and have 4 full time trainers. they are hard to reach sometimes but they are great. $750 a month with a 3month minimum tho may be a lil steep for some.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:05 AM
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Kyle Moody with Fowl Mouth Retrievers. Best guy for the all around dog. He trains for the hunter meat dog but has them trial prepared if your interests are in that area.

As for my experience, I have an 8 month old down there now and she is going to be tough! I have been around labs for a long time now and Kyle is definitely bringing all her potential to the surface. She has only been down there 2 months and she is exceling every week. Kyle trains based on the dogs drive and personality. Each dog is different and requires different styles and techniques to get the most out of your dog.

Also another high point, Kyle is straight foward and very reasonably priced (~400.00 a month) He can be found on facebook under Fowl Mouth Retrievers or PM me and i will give you the contact info. He will not waste your time and money if he is not getting positive progress from your dog. Stand up guy and easy to get a hold of to check your dogs progress or even come down for training sessions.

I highly recommend and will send all my dogs to him from now on.

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Old 04-17-2012, 07:17 AM
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:28 AM
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Steven Durrence w Taylor Farms Kennels. Check out his Facebook page.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:17 AM
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Best advise i can give is go watch em train the dog they have on sight. Go see as many as you can. This is what i did. I went and watched about eight different trainers and found one i liked alot. My main concern is how they treated the dogs. I saw one trainer who treated the dogs he had very badly and i wasnt there bout 15 minutes and left. The trainer i picked treated the dogs and mine like they were is own. My dog is apart of my family and he stays inside and sleeps in the bed with my little boy so it was important to he that we treated the dog as i would. While my dog was at the trainer he stayed inside with his family. So just look around and you will find the one for you and your pup that fits your needs.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:28 PM
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Ray Shanks. www.swamprunretrievers.com Ray probably has more master passes and master national qualified dogs than most of these other guys combined.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:39 PM
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x3 on Mossy Pond Retrivers in Offerman. I've got a Boykin out there now
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:15 PM
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Hugh and Al Arthur are top notch. They can handle 60 dogs and have 4 full time trainers. they are hard to reach sometimes but they are great. $750 a month with a 3month minimum tho may be a lil steep for some.
You get what you pay for. All Those folks that are talking about hunt test dont know who Hugh is. Hugh was the man that trained the 1986 National FLd Champion. Hugh has probably never run a hunt test and I know for a fact that he was in retreivers before before there were hunt test. Now thats not saying that hunt test are easy and that the the folks that are pro dog trainers that focus on hunt test are no up to par , far from that. It takes allot of time and know how to train a great gun dog. But it does take more to produce a Fld Champion. With out fld trials you would never have had hunt test.I know I was there when hunt test came into being . Richard Walters was one of the folks that got that ball rolling with NAHRA. Which was the organization that the AKC started hunting test . At about the same time the UKC came on with the hunt test to.
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:53 AM
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You get what you pay for. All Those folks that are talking about hunt test dont know who Hugh is. Hugh was the man that trained the 1986 National FLd Champion. Hugh has probably never run a hunt test and I know for a fact that he was in retreivers before before there were hunt test. Now thats not saying that hunt test are easy and that the the folks that are pro dog trainers that focus on hunt test are no up to par , far from that. It takes allot of time and know how to train a great gun dog. But it does take more to produce a Fld Champion. With out fld trials you would never have had hunt test.I know I was there when hunt test came into being . Richard Walters was one of the folks that got that ball rolling with NAHRA. Which was the organization that the AKC started hunting test . At about the same time the UKC came on with the hunt test to.
I know who they are. They trained the sire of my lab, and sires owner is from Texas. They are great trainers, but some folks can't pay 750 a month. Alot of your big time FT owners never see the dog. They may pick it up as pup then take it to them, or buy sight un seen. We are talking about folks with alot of $$$, and its a tuff game to play. But now if you talk about the SRS, it has the both of best worlds, a little HUNT TEST and FT in them. When you run a FT, there can only be 1 winner. So if a trainer brings 8 dog to a FT, he has to beat all the dogs on his truck. You can have the best dog in the world, but every dog has its days. Some time they are on their game and sometimes not. THEY ARE GREAT TRAINERS
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:14 AM
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Thumbs up I think thats what I said

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I know who they are. They trained the sire of my lab, and sires owner is from Texas. They are great trainers, but some folks can't pay 750 a month. Alot of your big time FT owners never see the dog. They may pick it up as pup then take it to them, or buy sight un seen. We are talking about folks with alot of $$$, and its a tuff game to play. But now if you talk about the SRS, it has the both of best worlds, a little HUNT TEST and FT in them. When you run a FT, there can only be 1 winner. So if a trainer brings 8 dog to a FT, he has to beat all the dogs on his truck. You can have the best dog in the world, but every dog has its days. Some time they are on their game and sometimes not. THEY ARE GREAT TRAINERS
No body said bad things about gun dog trainers. Now I think I was in the dog game long before allot of folks here. When I started I was a youg Army staff sgt. that made 800 bucks a month. I did not have smart works or any other training systems. I had Water Dog and a few other books. The way I got my training was by cleaning kennels , Throwing birds and doing any other dirty work around some pros kennels. If you want a trained dog, You can train him yourself. That is the best way. You are right about much of what you have said a bout Fld Trials. But its always nice to say that you have duck hunted over an FC. Its even better to say that I trained my dog. Not every body can say that. Not every body has the time to train there dog. There is nothing wrong with a steady dog that minds in the blind that picks up single marks that has been trained by a kid that in high school. That kid can hold his chest out further and be as proud as anybody hunting over an FC or Master dog if he did it himself.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:26 PM
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I would look for the best that I could afford that was nearest to you. It as important that the trainer teach the client as teach the dog.

With that being said, there are many great trainers mentioned above from the Arthur's to Ray Shanks. All of them have their own style and games they play and train for. That doesn't make them greater than anyone else, if your looking for the best get on a waiting list and you better have the best puppy money can buy.

Good luck with your choice of a trainer and your dog, just take in consideration what your looking for in a dog, what your willing to spend, and one that you can visit as much as possible.
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:06 PM
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Shopping for a trainer is much like a marriage, you're going to spend a lot of time and money with them, so you better pick someone you like and that thinks the way you do.

We've had some clients that we weren't a good fit for as I'm sure most trainers have. Whoever you choose, you need to like spending time with them.

Heres the top 3 in order of importance:
1. Get a trainer that you can afford. Nothin worse than a client that is struggling to pay his bill. It shows, trust me.
2. Get a trainer that you like to spend time with (see comment above)
3. Do not shop on price (see several threads on this very board about a "cheap" trainer
4. Do not be afraid to travel. We have clients as far away as Virginia (10+hours)

Hope these help. There have been some VERY good recommendations on here. Good luck, enjoy the ride.
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:01 AM
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The last two post are dead on.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:58 AM
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go to hunt tests and watch all the trainers run dogs.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:38 AM
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go to hunt tests and watch all the trainers run dogs.
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:29 PM
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go to hunt tests and watch all the trainers run dogs.
Very good advice. I have seen most of these guys run dogs, and there are a few that I would not even think about sending my dog to.
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:33 AM
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Very good advice. I have seen most of these guys run dogs, and there are a few that I would not even think about sending my dog to.
Yep a couple listed in the thread that look like dogs were unprepared for the work they were supposed to be doing.
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:09 AM
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Thumbs up You know you got good and bad.

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Yep a couple listed in the thread that look like dogs were unprepared for the work they were supposed to be doing.
Allot of folks have never seen a well trained hunting dog and just cause a dog has tons of training does not make him a goo hunting dog. I had a dog once that was a great trial dog. Not hunt test dog trial dog. He was 2 points away from his FC. The year was 87-88 and fishing creek was full of Mallards. The dog flared more birds than I could count because he would bark at the birds as they worked. Some time Fld trial training and hunt test training can not replace time in the blind.Turkey trax is so right when he says you should know your trainer before you send your dog to him or her. Another hard truth is that not every dog has what it takes . Dogs can be from the best blood lines out there and still turn out to be nothing. Be ready to get rid of a dog that can not do his job. Some you can train till the end of time and they will never turn out.
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:57 AM
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Another hard truth is that not every dog has what it takes . Dogs can be from the best blood lines out there and still turn out to be nothing. Be ready to get rid of a dog that can not do his job. Some you can train till the end of time and they will never turn out.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:38 PM
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go to hunt tests and watch all the trainers run dogs.
Ding ding ding we have winner! Point on!
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:22 PM
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I don't disagree with watching them run at HT. The only problem is that most new folks don't know what to look for or look at during the tests. Just because the dogs can't "do the work" for that particular test doesn't mean that the trainer isn't any good. Dogs have bad days just like us. The biggest thing to look for is "how" the dogs run.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:43 PM
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I don't disagree with watching them run at HT. The only problem is that most new folks don't know what to look for or look at during the tests. Just because the dogs can't "do the work" for that particular test doesn't mean that the trainer isn't any good. Dogs have bad days just like us. The biggest thing to look for is "how" the dogs run.
I see your point. I think its more about watching the dog and the trainer together. There are dogs running test that arent ready and a trainer can only give his advice. If the client wants to run the dog then they will, but if the dog isnt ready it shows. But I think you can get alot more useful info hanging around a hunt test or with them when they're training. Either way your gut is usually right
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:49 PM
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The big advantage is that you can usually see multiple pros in one spot. Especially at a larger test or trial. And you're right, there are some folks that just want the pro to run their dog, and some of the pros do.
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:34 AM
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Default This is so true.

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The big advantage is that you can usually see multiple pros in one spot. Especially at a larger test or trial. And you're right, there are some folks that just want the pro to run their dog, and some of the pros do.
Great post.
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:35 PM
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A lot of good posts here. Brad Arington gets my vote as well. He usually has higher master pass rates than most at hunt tests. He is also usually running some of the youngest dogs at the tests he attends. Some of that is good dogs, but a lot of it is good training. I know for a fact that he master titled/qualified three dogs this year that were between 24 - 30 months old...mine being one of them.
He is a great guy and only an hour from you so it would be easier for you to spend time with him and your dog...which I HIGHLY recommend. Do Not just drop the dog off and then come pick it up when it is ready.
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:48 PM
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who were the parents to your dog richard?
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:39 PM
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I will have to look. He came from Mike Keen in Hoboken. Brad found him for me. He is out of FC, MH and HRCH stock. He was out of training for three months this summer due to some surgery and still should have finished his titles in February...had some mishaps along the way.
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:23 PM
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Chris Akin, Web Footed Kennels, Jonesboro Arkansas. His track record is undeniable both AKC and UKC. He runs a tight kennel and has more results for MH, HRCH, and QAA dogs. Some of the best HT blood lines come from his kennel.

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