What Should You Expect from Quality Gun Dog Training Programs?

Gun dog training programs are key components when it comes to training a puppy or older dog in the fine art of quail hunting or the perfect handling of other game birds that you harvest. Yet where can you find the right type of help? While plenty of kennels might hang out shingles that claim to assist with gun dog training programs, there are some features that are found only with high-quality facilities and expert trainers. Do you know what they are?

  • An introductory phase. Contrary to popular believe, your pointer puppy will not take to retrieving pheasants like butter to a biscuit. Instead, the noise of the hunt, the shots of the guns and the dogs that accompany other hunters are major distractions – even for a puppy that comes from a long bloodline of established gun dogs. A quality training program understands that it takes your puppy a little time to get used to the commotion as well as to the training collars and other hardware. We allow it to sniff things out and investigate to increase prey drive.
  • Owner perspective. Particularly if you are a newcomer to the sport yourself, you need a bit of a reality check. The romanticized images of the lone hunter with the dog carrying a perfectly presented duck during a dusk still shot are not really the reality. Instead, become familiar with the training levels other hunters have reached, see what dogs in your puppy’s age group are accomplishing and find out how other owners train their dogs to enhance their natural instincts. This is why group setting classes are a great way to start the training process.
  • Experienced trainers. This is where the kennel with the haphazard shingle is the most different from the well-established gun dog training program. Experts in the discipline are thin on the ground. It is not enough for the training director to be a hobbyist who has partially trained a gun dog and has “seen it done” plenty of times. No, what you want is the professional who has been part of the training scene for years – preferably decades – and is training gun dogs for your type of hunting and not just focusing on passing tests.

Since you are wondering how to train a gun dog, talk to the friendly folks at Valhalla Bijou Hunt Club & Kennels. Contact us today for in-depth information on kennel rates, policies, reservations or just to tour the kennels for a closer look at what makes us different from the rest.

Rookie Training

Introduce your pup to the FUN of bird hunting!


The Rookie Training course is for ages 20 weeks and up, your bird dog puppy will be in heaven while learning:

  • Confidence around birds and guns
  • Confidence in and around hunting grounds
  • Learn “Here!” and the whistle
  • Point and Chase
  • Find and pursue game – Flushing dogs
  • Begin retrieving
  • Learn to socialize with other dogs
  • Physical conditioning
Training at Valhalla Kennels and Gun Dogs

Seasoned Training

Training at Valhalla Kennels and Gun Dogs

Furthering your gun dogs’ potential in the field!


For ages 6 months and up, the Seasoned Training course picks up where Rookie Training left off:

  • Learn “Whoa” command – Pointing dogs
  • Learn to sit to the whistle – Flushing dogs
  • Learn quartering on voice and whistle command
  • Learn to point without chase
  • Work to improve retrieving
  • Learn to honor/back another dogs point
  • Introduction to water work
  • Physical conditioning

All Pro Training

For the experienced gun dog.

All Pro Training is for all dogs who have been through the first two stages of training.

This course picks up where Seasoned Training left off:

  • Learn “Steady to wing & shot” – Pointing dogs
  • Learn “Sit to the flush” – Flushing dogs
  • Brush up on whistle commands
  • Force retrieving
  • Intense water work
  • Physical conditioning
All Pro Training