Instructor: Cassia Turcotte
If you want to compete in retriever hunt tests or train your own waterfowl hunting companion, then this course is for you. We will build on Gun Dog Foundations to give you the skill sets you will need to progress to the next level and beyond. We will focus on the proper mechanical skills of both dog and handler, to develop independent proficiency using a concept based approach.
These skills sets are broken out into five specific concept areas complete with progressions and fun training drills and games. Each concept area can be progressed and generalized at different rates based on the specific focus points of each team. This class is perfect for those with limited time and/or access to training grounds. Finally-- a complete retriever program for the +R owner/handler/trainer.
There are no scheduled sessions for this class at this time. We update our schedule frequently, so please subscribe to our mailing list for notifications.
Registration will begin at 10:30 AM Pacific Time.
For answers to commonly asked questions see our FAQ page.
Enrollment limits: Gold: 15 students, Silver: 10 students, Bronze: unlimited.
Silver level for this class is offered as "Working Silver". In addition to asking GENERAL clarification questions about the class lecture materials, silver students will now have the opportunity to submit two short videos, one minute each, for critique and review. You may submit two questions. Each question MUST have a one minute video attached so the instructor can actually answer a question that they can see. The question must relate to a topic in the class and the video must be a demo of the question. Please see the discussion forum for a detailed explanation - feel free to sign up at bronze, read the explanation, and then come back here to upgrade to silver if that interests you, and if space is available.
If you are interested in a bronze level subscription, you can sign up at any time during the registration period.
Lectures: Overview, The Art of Lining, Stationary Drop Points, Variable Drop Points, What is an angle? Pt1, Terrain Generalizations
Skills: Mechanics, Lining Drills
Lectures: Choosing Your Casting Style, Casting Basics, Discriminative Casting, What is an angle? Pt2, Cover Generalizations
Skills: Pattern Casting, Lining Progressions
Lectures: Types of Marks, Angles Applied to Marking, Preventative Water Marks, Wind Generalizations
Skills: Lining and Casting Progressions
Concept: Foundations Review and Obedience
Lectures: Foundation Maintenance; Heel To Line Sequence; Balancing Arousal, Steadiness, and Desire; Weather Generalizations
Skills: Marking, Casting, and Lining Progressions
Lectures: Suction, Hedge Row Drill, Decoy Generalizations, Advanced Whistle Sit Challenge, Honoring
Skills: Foundations, Lining, Casting, and Marking Progressions
General Review: Developing an Individualized Training Plan
Lectures: Strength and Weakness Assessments, Incorporating Conditioning Into Your Training Plan, Working Line Pliability
Skills: Longterm Maintenance and Progressions
Gun Dog Foundations
- A range of toys for tug/ball play and treats
- Video camera/access to YouTube upload
- Deadfowl Trainers (or bumpers)
- Duck Call
- 4 Small Food Bowls (or Frisbees/Target Lids)
- Flagging (orange and white)
- Starter Pistol
- Human Assistant(s) OR Remote Bird Launcher(s) (Zinger Winger or Gunners Up)
- Blank loads that fit your starter pistol or bird launcher
- Tall Traffic Cones (or lining poles or equivalent)
- Shoestring slip (literally a shoestring or equivalent)
A Sampling of what prior students have said about this course...
DS520 is another awesome class from Cassia! She builds on the concepts introduced in the Gun Dog Foundations class, and takes them to a whole new level. The material is suitable for dogs working at any level, and we had every skill in class - from a months-old puppy to a Master level dog. It was especially helpful to see Todd & Big Red running the homework exercises at the Master level, as it gave us an idea of what it should look like as we progress, and how we can increase difficulty for our own dogs. Cassia is a terrific instructor, and her feedback is spot-on. I can't wait to take the class again, there is so much to practice in the meantime!
Positive gundog training is a relatively new concept and it's very hard to find a trainer. Cassia takes on the challenge in such a delightful training manner and her step by step approach is easy to follow for any type of dog and handler team. I highly recommend this course for anyone wishing to train their dog in any gundog sport.
I was really excited to hear about a R+ field training class and I have been really pleased with the lectures and overall flow of the program. I already have and will continue to recommend this class for anyone looking at getting into field training that is not comfortable with the traditional training methods. -Jessica H
Wow! This program is amazing! Cassia has broken down retriever work into a manageable program that is workable for anyone who is motivated to train a retriever for field work. The lessons work for any age dog and can be done in almost any training situation. There were dogs at all levels in my class and Cassia was helpful to everyone. She has thought of everything and explains the how and why of each exercise. Who knew fieldwork could be so fun for both the dog and the handler? I had a blast working in this class!
Cassia, you are the best! Your instruction has had a huge impact on my dog and my training, and I'm so grateful to have a positive methodology that allows us to participate in the field game again, and truly enjoy it. Thank you so much! - Christine & Ronan
I can't thank you enough for the class. I felt totally overwhelmed with how to get where I wanted to go without the use of FF and e-collar. My husband and I had finally concluded we need to "desensitize" the dog to get better manners/control but I'm not sure we would have ever gotten to the little pieces that you have broken it down into. Looking forward to the water class! Beth H.
Thanks, Cassia! What I wouldn't give to be part of your training group!!!! I think your material is good enough to change the face of Hunt test training for positive trainers! We now have solid lessons that will hold up to actual hunt test situations. I feel very confident that I can start a high drive puppy from scratch and take him as far as I want in hunt test training.