Feedback Needed: Potential Retrieving Seminar for Upland Dogs

We need your feedback! Please read the description below and then take a minute for a survey at https://bit.ly/MSDARetrSurv. Your thoughts will determine whether or not we go ahead with this. 

MSDA’s upland flushing dog program is considering a one-day workshop in June focused on Retrieving for Upland Dogs – this outdoor seminar will be aimed more at spaniel breeds than retriever breeds, although retriever working teams would be welcome. We have observed that many non-retriever flushing dogs have problems with their retrieves on land and water, whether the retrieves are marked or blind. The workshop will be primarily for beginners, and also for handlers who need troubleshooting with their dogs. Depending on the handlers and dogs in attendance, the session would focus on the beginning retrieving elements and issues faced, including with water retrieves, hunt dead and water blinds – balking at the water’s edge or a change in cover, whistle sits and recalls, basic commands & hand signals, verbal vs non-verbal handles, holding the bird, retrieving to hand and giving up the bird, de-cheating and the like.

IF we hold the seminar this year, it would be on Friday, June 21 at Mount Ararat Farm in Port Deposit, MD. This would be a full-day workshop with limited enrollment to ensure that all participants get plenty of attention. The day will be led by Mitch White, a well-known professional retrieving trainer who also works with upland dogs.

Mitch has been training dogs for retrieving work field since 1988 and his program has been developed to use an approach that works with all sporting breeds. One of the main ingredients is fairness to the dog. Mitch believes in putting the work into teaching the dog to create a skill set to aid the dog in making decisions. Poor decisions are corrected and good decisions are praised. Since Mitch trains many different breeds, he often has to get “outside of the box” from popular retriever training methods. Mitch also gets a lot of dogs in for “rehab” work. These are dogs that have been in other programs and have developed issues that have prevented them from going further in training. Mitch has had tremendous success turning these dogs around so they become confident workers again.

MSDA would like to gauge the level of interest in this seminar before going too far down the road planning this event, so we are asking for your opinion. Please take a minute to complete a brief survey at https://bit.ly/MSDARetrSurv.

If we don’t hear sufficient interest in this potential seminar, we will not pursue it further, at least not this spring.