Our Approach to Gun Dog Training
Dogwood Brittanys has over 30 years experience training gun dogs. We have studied all the major approaches...West/Gibbons, George Hickox, Dave Walker, Mo Lindley, NAVHDA and the Smith Method. (Delmar, Rick and Ronnie Smith) We borrow the best from each approach, but 90% of what we incorporate in our approach is based in the Smith Method, or Silent Command System. Because the Smith Method starts with a deep understanding of pack behavior and how a dog is wired, we see the dogs succeed and move through their training more quickly while retaining their style on birds.
The Making of a Brag Dog
A brag dog is that dog who is successful in any endeavor their owners choose to participate in, whether it is a family companion, hunting partner, jogging partner, therapy provider or high level competitor. Regardless of the venue, the steps are the same:
Puppy Head Start
Puppy Head Start Advanced
Adult Obedience (Canine Good Citizen.)
Puppy Head Start
In Puppy Head Start the focus is to teach the three basic skills that every dogs needs to be successful in every stage of training and life. Those skills are Come To Me, Go With Me and Be Still. Everything a dog learns is built on one of those skills, from house breaking to winning a National Championship! Puppy Head Start begins at 8 weeks of age through 13 weeks and also begins their formal crate training, house breaking, walking on a lead and sit/stay. In the field it introduces hunting forward, turning with you and recall. We offer a limited number of Puppy Head Start training slots to our customers for $500 plus expenses.* for the 5 week program. Additional weeks beyond the initial 5 week period are billed at $100 per week. *Expenses include, but are not limited to vaccinations, deworming, wellness and vet.
For years, our Puppy Head Start training has been the foundation that all our other training builds upon and is the beginning of every Dogwood Brittanys formal training. Our Puppy Head Start training is rooted in the Smith Method and based on our 30-plus years’ experience of raising and training Brittany pups. We offer this training opportunity to our customers as a 5-week program from 8 weeks to 13 weeks of age on a limited basis and many have taken advantage of the opportunity to leave their pup with us for this all-important phase of training. Starting this summer, we are adding a new opportunity to take advantage of our Puppy Head Start training.
In Puppy Head Start the focus is to teach the three basic skills that every dog needs to be successful in every stage of training and life. Those skills are Come To Me, Go With Me and Be Still. Everything a dog learns is built on one of those skills, from house breaking to winning a National Championship! The Puppy Head Start training begins at 8 weeks of age through 13 weeks and initiates their formal crate training, house breaking, walking on a lead and sit/stay. In the field it introduces hunting forward, turning with you and recall.
In our Puppy Head Start Clinic, we will walk you through the entire training program, teaching you the fundamentals and crucial elements of each phase of training. This is a four-hour clinic covering all the aspects of our Puppy Head Start training program. The clinic will be held from 8 AM- 12 noon on Saturday, June 26 at our farm in Peoria, IL. The cost is $200 and includes the training sessions, snacks and water and a take home bag full of resources and goodies.
If you are currently on our waiting list, we highly recommend you take this clinic. It will give you a head start in preparing for your puppy’s Head Start!
Ronnie Smith Seminars
Dogwood Brittanys is proud to host Ronnie Smith for the Foundation Level gun dog seminar each spring in April and the Intermediate Level gun dog seminar in October of each year.
The Foundation Level Seminar is excellent for any dog, and perfect for the novice handler or a great refresher for the more seasoned gun dog trainer.
The Intermediate Level Seminar is excellent for any dog who has been through the Foundation Level seminar or completed the Whoa Post training.
Our seminars are all about teaching you how to train your bird dog. So come prepared to be given a lot of information! We are not training your dog over the course of the weekend. We are training you to train your dog!
All pointing and flushing breeds are welcome at our seminars! If you have a puppy, feel free to bring him. He may not be old enough to begin his formal training but we can introduce him to birds! Children under 16 attending with their parent are free!
Mark your calendars and register for our 2023 Foundation Seminar!
Our 2023 dates are set for the weekend of April 16-17 at our farm in Peoria, Illinois. Registration is limited to 30 handlers for the weekend. We typically fill up quickly and we are already receiving registrations for next spring. Click on the buttons below to view the seminar packet and to sign up.
We get started on Friday evening with a meet and greet with Ronnie Smith, snacks and refreshments, a tour of the kennel and bon-fire. On Saturday and Sunday we go from 8AM-4PM with breakfast and lunch provided. Whether you are just getting started with your new pup or have years of experience, you will leave with lots of new tools to use in training your Gun Dog.
Mark your calendars and register for our 2023 Intermediate Seminar!
Our 2023 dates are set for the weekend of October 7th-8th at our Training grounds outside of Princeville, Illinois. Registration is limited to 12 handlers for the weekend. Because this is limited to only 12 handlers, we will fill up quickly. Click on the buttons below to view the seminar packet and to sign up.
At the Intermediate Seminar you are well on your way to having your dog trained using our training system! At this point, your dog has a solid foundation, you've completed the whoa post series, and you are ready move on! The Intermediate Seminar will take you through the transition to the e-collar. This transition to light cues with an e-collar allows an off lead heel, handling in the field, honoring another dog’s point, and steadying your dog on game.
We get started on Friday evening with a meet and greet with Ronnie Smith, snacks and refreshments, a tour of the kennel and bon-fire. On Saturday and Sunday we will leave from the farm together to arrive at the training grounds in time to begin at 8AM and go to 4PM with a light breakfast and lunch provided.
Puppy Training Video's from Purina and Mike Stewart
Dogwood Brittanys is proud to be Purina Pro Breeders. Purina is the research leader in canine nutrition and behavior and the leading sponsor of field trials, hunt tests and Pheasants Forever. We feed and recommend Purina Pro Plan formulas for every stage of the dogs life.
Recently, Purina introduced a series of short Puppy Training video's with Mike Stewart of Wildrose Kennels. Mike is a world renown trainer and breeder of Labrador Retrievers and developed a positive training methodology called "The Wildrose Way."
Click on the button below to visit the Purina Pro Page and view these excellent video tools.