Taking Your Dog To A Trainer: Part One
By Dennis Guldan
As you read this month
both Scooby and Jenny
are with trainers. Scooby, Ron's Springer, is at Roettger's
Ridge with Tony Roettger about an hour north of the Twin Cities
in North Branch, MN. Jenny is with Jerry Jordan of Iowa in Idaho.
Why you may ask would the publisher of a hunting dog magazine
ever pay to have his dogs trained? That's easy, I have neither,
the time, facilities or specific breed knowledge to do what a
professional can do in a short time with my dogs. We live in
suburbia where the neighbors take exception to shooting guns
and raising quail.
Yes I could buy pens, buy some birds, drive an hour to the training
grounds every night and go to work. But who would work on the
magazine, websites and manage Ron's Little League baseball team.
In the summer I try to get the dogs out in the field once a week,
a trainer will get them out once a DAY!
Aren't professional trainers expensive? Depends. How much is
a well trained dog worth? And let me do some simple math that
amazed a long time hunter I chatted with the other day at the
Twin City Vizsla Hunt Test.
Every summer Ron spends a week in July with Grandma & Grandpa.
During that same week Ellen and I take a mini-vacation ourselves.
When we leave town without the dogs we kennels our dogs at Silver
Lake Kennel of Oakdale, MN a great facility and a Red Setter
owner to boot.
It costs $25 per day per dog, not much considering I know they
are safe and well cared for. For seven days that's $175. For
one MONTH Jerry Jordan of Kojac Kennels charges $300 for boarding
and training. So for the extra $125 in August I get back a dog
that has seen birds every day for the past 30 days and has been
worked by one of the best trainers in the country.
If I just boarded the dogs at Silver Lake for one month the cost
would be $700. Now I may have fallen off a few turnip trucks
in my days, but to me, the $300 is a hell of a deal. Jerry needs
to raise his prices to $500. $500 is what Tony at Roettgers Ridge
charges for 30 days. But again that's still only $325 over what
I plan on spending in ONE WEEK anyway. And for the extra money
I get a well trained dog about 45 days before grouse season starts.
So before you say a trainer is expensive do the math if you plan
on going on vacation anyway that would be a great time to take
the pup in for some work.
So why have I picked the trainers I have. I have been doing my
"Meet the Breeder" column for ten years, what makes
these guys special? First, most of the people I interview are
breeders not trainers. And most breeders have REAL jobs.
The trainers I have taken my dogs two are professional trainers
that do this for a living. So everyday they will be working my
dogs, not just the nights they have time. Both these trainers
trial and test their dogs. And they work with and breed dogs
in the same class as mine.
Roettgers Ridge breeds and campaigns Springers and Cockers, across
the nation. Roettgers Ridge is well known from Maine to Washington
as producing well performing dogs. So Scooby should be right
at home at a training facility designed for springers and cockers.
Jerry Jordan breeds and campaigns German Shorthairs and is very
successful and well known. And what you will find in the pointer
class is a trainer of short haired pointers: GSPs, Weimys, Vizslas
and throw in GWPs and Griffons can pretty much do all the pointing
breeds. At Kojac Kennels I saw just that Weimys, Vizslas and
GSPs, so I knew Jerry could handle Jenny.
Both these trainers are also judges. So they will train our dogs
for hunt tests and field trials with a judges eye. So trained
you may remember in the article about Jerry