Smith Dog Training Seminars
The Smiths believe "you have to be able to think like a dog to successfully train a dog." The seminars are designed to give attendees insight to how their dog thinks and also provide a proven curriculum to follow as the dog progresses through each level of training.
This natural approach to training works with the individual dog's mindset and natural instincts. This teaching curriculum has proven to effectively benefit all dogs, no matter the discipline or breed. The Smith's focus and passion happens to be upland bird dogs. Their family tradition and their life's work has been based on a love and respect for bird dogs. The Smith are dedicated to understanding natural canine instincts and psychology.
This training system developed by the Smiths enables people at all levels of proficiency and knowledge to have a better bird dog and to build a better relationship with their bird dog. Whether you are looking for a companion dog that you can take hunting on the weekends or a field trial champion, this training format will benefit you and your dog. Start with the Foundation Level and follow the Smith's training steps to a confident, composed, and compliant finished bird dog.
Experience our entire training format condensed into one day and demonstrated. Your instructor will spend the day giving you an overview of the training system. They will go over the basic philosophy and demonstrate all of the most important steps you will take when training your dog. This is a quick way to see the entire training system in a nutshell and get some great insight on animal behavior!
Main Purpose of the Presentation Seminar:
- provide attendees with a complete overview of the Smith Training Method
The handler's clinic will help you to bring out the best in your trained dog. Each seminar is highly individualized and structured specifically to address each handler's questions and issues. Rick or Ronnie will spend time one-on-one with each attendee developing a game plan to help the handler achieve his or her goals.
Main Purpose of the Handling Clinic:
- help attendees correct specific handling issues with their trained dogs.
A foundation gives you a solid base to build upon and is the first formal step in molding your pup into a good bird dog. With the Smith's guidance, you will actually begin your dog’s formal training during this event. In its simplest form, a dog needs to know three basic behaviors; to go with you, come to you, and stand still. This seminar will show you how to build cues for those behaviors and then begin to apply them in the field and at home. Rick and Ronnie have a way of keeping things simple, but giving you essential information that is applicable throughout your dog’s life.
The Foundation Seminar will not train your dog in a weekend, but it will give you a proven curriculum to follow and insight in to a dog's mind which will help you tailor your training to your individual dog. No dog is exactly the same and our training system allows for the trainer to teach to the individual animal and to help that particular individual become stronger and more capable. This seminar represents covers the essential work and training curriculum that we go through at our kennel over a span of a month of training.
Essential Training Elements in the Foundation Seminar include:
- first steps in shaping behavior on birds (hunting, pointing, honoring, and introducing the concept of steadiness),
- heeling calmly on a loose lead,
- developing points of contact for "here," "whoa," and turning in the field,
- gaining a better understanding of the dogs we live with and how to better interact with them,
- and of course, instilling basic bird dog manners!
Training is as much about listening to your animal as it is about shaping your animal. The Smith's philosophy is that you first must be able to understand your dog and then you can better apply the tools of this training curriculum to help your dog gain composure, confidence, and compliance in all areas of life. The Foundation Level of Training gets people started on a journey that builds better bird dogs for life.
We are always challenging ourselves and those around us to use the dogs' native language (body language) to positively impact the lives of the dogs around us. We work with our dogs to get them to willingly join up with us and work with us. Every interaction with an animal is an opportunity to leave them more confident, composed, and compliant.
At the Intermediate Seminar you are well on your way to having your dog trained using our training system! At this point, your dog has a solid foundation, you've completed the whoa post series, and you are ready move on!
The Intermediate Seminar will take you through the transition to the e-collar. This transition to light cues with an e-collar allows an off lead heel, handling in the field, honoring another dog’s point, and steadying your dog on game. We believe in only using an e-collar when a dog has a thorough understanding of the cue. We use the collar as a way of communicating with the dogs at a distance. This is an effective way of handling your dog safely in unpredictable environments and ensuring that you can maintain their performance on any hunt.
The Intermediate Seminar will show you a more natural way to steady your bird dog on game. It works with the dog's natural predatory inclination to stalk game and slowly shifts the dog's focus to the point, rather than the chase. This way of steadying a dog helps shapes dogs that are more honest on game, more proficient bird finders, and have less visual oriented tendencies (such as flagging, etc).
If you are not sure if you have completed the whoa post series and are ready for this next level of training, contact us and we can walk you through it! For dogs to be able to fully participate at this level they do need to be off the whoa post and have a solid understanding that a cue on the flank means to simply to stand still.
Elements of the Intermediate Level of Training include:
- transitioning from mechanical cues to remote cues for heel, handling and bird work,
- begin the process of steadying your dog on birds,
- and begin developing learned behavior on birds.
Finishing your bird dog’s training! Our Advanced Seminar takes the lessons learned in the Foundation and Intermediate Seminar and applies the finishing touches to your bird dog’s education. It’s at this level that we are able to transition all cues to the neck and finish steadying up our dogs on their birds. We will be transitioning from pigeons to quail. This seminar will show you how to finish training your dog to a nice polish.
Elements of the Advanced Seminar include:
- transitioning all remote cues to the neck,
- transitioning to game birds,
- finishing steadying your dog on birds,
- transitioning to shooting birds over your dog,
- work with the natural retrieve,
- and putting the finishing touches on a proficient bird dog!