DS530: Gun Dog Foundations 2 – Upland Training

Instructor: Cassia Turcotte

Course Details

This class is designed for the upland hunting dog –hunt test competitor, upland hunting dog, or versatile hunting companion.  While we will focus on pointers and spaniel tests, this course will apply to retrievers working to build a foundation for HRC or NAHRA upland tests as well. 

We will build on Gun Dog Foundations to give you the skill sets you will need to progress to the next level and beyond.  The focus will be on proper mechanical skills of both dog and handler to develop independent proficiency using a concept based approach.

These skills sets are broken into six specific context areas complete with progressions, fun training drills, and games.  Each concept can be progressed and generalized at different rates based on the specific focus points of each team. This class is a perfect fit for those who want to do any level of upland hunt test work or take do upland hunting in the real world.



Next session starts: December 1, 2017
Registration starts: November 22, 2017
Registration ends: December 15, 2017

Registration begins at 9:30am PDT. 

Enrollment limits: 12 gold, 25 silver, unlimited bronze. If you are interested in a bronze level spot, you can sign up any time during the registration period.


Week 1

Concept: Hunting

Lectures: Foundation Hunting Styles, All About Wind, The Affects of Weather, Seeking Out Cover, Hunting Games to Improve Bird Finding Ability

Skills: Baseline, Mechanics, Games

Week 2

Concept: Pointing (or Sit To Flush STF)

Lectures: Whoa Review (or STF), To Long Line Or Not to Long Line, Auto Whoa, Developing Staunchness and Intensity, Introducing Birds

Skills: Hunting Progressions, Pointing Baseline

Week 3

Concept: Retrieving for Upland Dogs

Lectures: Delivery to Hand, Marking for the Upland Dog, Bird Generalizations, How to Introduce Cripples/Wounded Game, Residual Scent Versus Source Scent

Skills: Hunting Progressions, Pointing/STF Progressions, Retrieving Baseline

Week 4

Concept: Steadiness and Honoring

Lectures: Steadiness to Wing/Shot/Fall, The Visual Honor, Fly Aways, Steadiness and Honoring Progressions, Balancing Arousal, Steadiness, and Desire

Skills: Hunting Progressions, Pointing/STF Progressions, Retrieve Progressions, Steadiness Baseline

Week 5

Concept: Trainability and Foundations Review

Lectures: How and When to Use the Starter Pistol, Whistle Stop, Whistle Recall, Whistle Directional, Heeling

Skills: Progressions and Foundation Baseline

Week 6

Concept: Sequencing

Lectures: Putting it All Together, Specific Test Scenarios, Developing a Training Plan for Long Term Maintenance, Incorporating Conditioning for the Upland Dog

Skills: Progressions

Prerequisites and Equipment


Gun Dog Foundations


-          A range of toys for tug/ball play and treats

-          Video Camera Access to Youtube Upload

-          Deadfowl Trainers or Bumpers

-          Placebox or Barrel

-          Whistle

-          Long Line

-          Upland Collar (Flat Buckle Orange Collar, Bell Optional, GPS Optional)

-          Flagging (orange)

-          Starter Pistol

-          Blank Loads that fit your starter pistol

-          Tall Traffic Cones or Driveway Stakes or Lining Poles

-          Gamebird Wings (12-18)

-          Flirt Pole or wing on a string

-          Live Gamebirds (this is optional for younger/newer dogs, but necessary for dogs that are already working on live birds)

-          Access to Field Locations or home yard at least once per week where you can use blank pistols… and birds (if you are at that level)

Course Testimonials

Brand New Course April 2016

Please refer to the instructor bio page for sample testimonials from other courses she has taught.