Bird Dog Training
We would love to work with your bird dog and are able to accept a wide variety of dogs here for training. Our bird dog training format (also known as the Silent Command System) has been developed through generations of our family training dogs and works for any dog, whether a pointing dog, flushing dog, gun dog, or field trial prospect. We have drawn on all of our experiences working with animals to develop a dog training format that works for each dog. Like any successful school curriculum, our training system begins with the fundamentals and builds skills based on that solid foundation.
Our training format helps to bring dogs' inherent prey drive to a pinnacle and then begins to mold that natural instinct in to the desired behavior of a confident, mannerly bird dog. Through the development of conditioned responses and learned behavior we are able to produce dogs that are proficient in heeling off lead, handling on cue, and confidently steady on birds. We work in partnership with the dogs as we train, giving them leadership and relying on their natural abilities.
Before they can be ready for formal training as a bird dog, young dogs need to be given the opportunity to develop their inherent prey drive through exposure to birds. Our Puppy Development Class ensures a young dog is excited about birds and is prepared to begin formal training. During this class we introduce dogs to birds and build their enthusiasm for finding birds. Once a young dog is excited about birds then we can properly introduce gun fire.
The Foundation Level is taught during the first month of the Basic Formal Trainng Class. During this month dogs get to work multiple birds every day, retrieve birds, and get used to being in the field. By using the mechanical cues of checkcords, whoa posts and command leads we are able to teach fundamental behaviors to the dogs. Through repetition we are able to develop conditioned responses. A dog has reached the level of conditioned responses when he will do a certain thing every time when cued, no matter what his distraction level is. This is the hub of our training format as everything builds upon the dog’s conditioned responses to these basic skills.
The Intermediate Level transitions a dog from mechanical cues to low level remote cues in the field and ultimately verbal commands are overlaid to the conditioned response. At this level dogs are becoming steady on game, learning to honor another dog's point and quartering on cue. The intermediate level of training occurs during the second month of the class.
During the third month of the Basic Training Class dogs enter the Advanced Level. At this time dogs are at the cusp of learned behavior. They learn to work scent in adverse conditions, how to look for and recognize backing situations, mark and hunt dead, retrieve, and take direction and go with you in the field.
We are a custom training facility with the goal of creating a bird dog that fits the owner's needs and preferences. If there are certain things that are important for your dog's training, please let us know. Some of the bird dogs that go through our kennels go on to win field trials, some are utilized by commercial hunting operations, and others spend their lives as successful personal hunting companions.
All pointing and flushing breeds are welcome to attend any of our classes. We do not specialize in any particular breed. At any given time in our kennels you will likely find any assortment of English pointers, English setters, German shorthairs, Brittanys, labs, drahthaars, pudelpointers, springers, and more. To us it is not the breed that is important, it is the individual dog and his genetic ability to be a bird dog.
Puppy Development Class - Pigeons in Oklahoma
- Build your dog's inherent prey drive and prepare him for formal training on pigeons at our facility in Oklahoma. Your dog is guaranteed bird contact every outting.
- $595 per month (usually a 1 month class)
- Next available classes: March & June 2018 in Oklahoma
Puppy Development Class - Wild Birds in Texas
- Build your dog's inherent prey drive and prepare him for formal training on wild quail in Texas. Your dog will have the opportunity to learn to work wild birds. The amount of birds encountered will depend on your dog's proficiency and general hunting conditions.
- $895 per month (usually a 1 month class)
- Next available classes: November - February 2017-18 (limited availability)
- Please Contact Us if you'd like to reserve a spot for your dog, we have limited availability for this experience
Basic Formal Training Class
- Steady your dog and develop the fundamental skills every bird dog should know. The Basic Class gets your dog started on the right path.
- $895 per month (3 month class)
- Next available classes: April - June 2018, July - September 2018
- Please Contact Us if you'd like to reserve a spot for your dog in the 2018 classes
Tune Ups & Advanced Classes for Alumni
- Bring your dog's performance to a peak and prepare him for a great hunting or trialing season
- $895 per month
- Dogs previously trained at Ronnie Smith Kennels are eligible to return for annual tune ups.
- Next available classes: June 2018 and September 2018
Wild Bird Training Excursions for Alumni
- Opportunities to be a part of these trips take place during fall and winter. These are great ways to get your dog in shape, both physically and mentally, for a season of hunting wild birds. This class is similar to a semester abroad for a young student. It broadens their horizons, matures them, and polishes their skills more than any other class.
- $995 per month
- Dogs previously trained at Ronnie Smith Kennels are eligible to be a part of our Wild Bird Excursions.
- Next available trips:
Northern Prairies Wild Bird Excursion, October 2017
Texas Wild Bird Training, November 2017 - February 2018 (dates are customizable)
- General obedience is offered througout the year. We can teach your dog to heel calmly, come to you, sit/stay, not to jump on people and general manners that will make him a pleasure to be around. We can also transition all of these cues to the remote cue of an e-collar.
- $895 per month (generally only one month is necessary)
- Available: March 2018
- On premise private instruction is offered at $100 an hour, $300 for a half day and $500 for a full day of instruction. Advance notice is required.
Contact Us to schedule a class.