Training at West Mountain Kennels

We have a variety of training programs for your dog, depending on the type of training your dog needs, your dog’s age, and the intensity you’re looking for.

We are a full-service training kennel, meaning that we can work with your dog from the time s/he is a pup all the way through to hunting age, we can offer older dogs refresher courses, or we can work with dogs that have never had training before.

Obedience Training
The rule of thumb with obedience training is that you can never begin with your dog early enough. However, no matter what your dog’s age, consistent training in the basics have a positive effect on

  • a dog’s patience.
  • the dog’s attention span.
  • the trust bond and relationship between the dog and handler.

Obedience training is the foundation for all other training, and even if your dog has been trained, talk to us about a tune-up to put “polish” on your dog.

Bumper Work, Whistle & Retrieving
In this training stage, bird dogs learn how to respond to vocal commands and a whistle, how to shift their search direction on command, and they become comfortable retrieving and carrying a bumper or dummy bird.

Performed in the field, this training also develops your dog's comfort working under real conditions. Once your dog has developed these skills, s/he is ready to move on to upland or waterfowl work, depending on the type of bird dog you want to develop.

Upland Work
In upland training, your dog puts his/her retrieval and whistle skills to use in finding and flushing upland birds, including chucker, quail, partridge and pheasant. To do this, your dog will learn quartering, or working a field in zigzag patterns.

Overall, upland work develops your dog's ability to cover a field systematically, with confidence.

Waterfowl Work
For dogs that are being trained to retrieve waterfowl like ducks and geese, the aim is to develop the dog's ability to stay steady and still throughout a hunting session, until the time comes for retrieving game. West Mountain Kennels has multiple ponds and marshy areas for training your dog in real waterfowl hunting conditions.

Home Visits
Under this new program for West Mountain Kennels, if you are having a problem at home with one of your dogs, or if you would like your dog to have at-home, private lessons, we will come to you. Contact us to set up an appointment.

Note: home visits are open to any dog—not just bird dogs.

Training Principles

At West Mountain Kennels, we believe that the foundation of any good training program is obedience training. Once the dog learns to respond to his handler's commands of "sit," "stay" and "come," he is ready to move on to the higher-level ones for bumper work and retrieval.

We believe strongly in positive reinforcement for your dog. Experience shows that dogs that are rewarded when performing a command correctly respond better and advance faster than dogs that are not. As it's said in childhood education, we believe in "catching them doing things right."

You can be assured that if your dog is a West Mountain dog, s/he will be trained by patient, caring instructors, in a learning environment where safety is always our #1 priority.