Our Training Services

At Shawnee Hills Retrievers, our entire training program is geared toward Waterfowl Hunting Retrievers.  We have infused our field trial basics program and real life hunting experience to create a highly successful development program.  We look forward to bringing out your dog’s hunting potential.

To meet each of our client’s needs, we customize our training programs. We offer complete programs, taking your dog from the beginning of obedience to the more complex blocks of a finished dog. For the at-home trainer we have month to month programs to get through the difficult blocks of Hold or Force Fetch. For the local hunter we offer in-depth classes providing comprehensive direction in the complicated world of dog training.


We believe that a training process is a three-way partnership. The partners include the trainer, the dog and the owner/handler. For the dog to be a successfully trained hunting partner or home companion all three partners need to participate. Below are the spelled-out expectations of the trainer. If during the first month the trainer finds the dog incapable of receiving training at the pace listed below we will notify the owner and discuss other options. Not every dog is fully capable of learning all that you might want him to learn. We want to be successful and we want your dog to be successful. If we feel that your dog will not be a good candidate for advanced training we will let you know in the first week to month of his training so you don’t spend money unnecessarily.

The owner/handler plays a very important role in training if it is going to be successful. The owner must be taught to use the correct cues to handle his/her newly trained canine partner. S/he should also keep some form of basic training in place to keep the dog sharp and limit regression. After the first six weeks, monthly meetings of all three partners should be considered a priority.


  • SEE RATES BELOW.  This includes full time training, quality food & board. We feed and recommend Extreme Dog Fuel. Competition clients will be charged the monthly fees plus the cost of entry fees and travel to competitions.
  • Any Veterinary services are the responsibility of the owner. These charges will be added into the next monthly bill.

All incoming dogs will be required to have proof of Rabies and a kennel cough vaccine. You will also be required to sign a hold harmless for the business and property access. To expedite the process the forms will be available for download.


For all dogs at Shawnee Hills Retrievers includes: boarding, feeding, exercising, socializing, training, and worming all dogs on the premises. On the first of the month they will get heart-worm medication year round, but should be checked by a vet to confirm no heart worms currently exist before this prevention can be effective.

At Shawnee Hills Retrievers we only train a limited number of dogs. This allows us to spend more time with each of our canine trainees, so if an owner would like to have a dog enrolled he/she can contact us to see if there is room (shawneehillsretr@gmail.com). If there is room, a dog owner can reserve a spot in the training program by paying the first month of training in advance. All training costs are due in advance.

For dog owners interested in Shawnee Hills Retrievers’ training programs, you can choose from the following seven options:

  1. Puppy training starts as early as 8 weeks of age through 4 months.
  2. Basic waterfowl training Labrador Retrievers
  3. Intermediate waterfowl Labrador Retrievers
  4. Gun Dog Pre-Season Tune-up


  • Socialization (Extremely Important)
  • Introduction to birds
  • Lots of marks
  • Introduction to water
  • Obedience

We provide a foundation for obedience training and good canine behavior while keeping it a fun puppy experience. We use a reward based training system to teach the behaviors want to see in these very young students.  We never expect 100% perfection from dogs we train, but we want to get dogs to about 70-80% obedience and compliance by the time they leave us. That means the owner/handler will need to keep up with their training.

Approximately Starting at 7 weeks.

Shawnee Hills Retrievers offer basic crate training for young puppies, as well as basic obedience training for puppies.  The cost is $400 per month.  For hunters, we also offer advanced training in water fowl hunting.


The first weeks are spent with the above obedience introduction.  A graduate from this program will learn all the BASIC TRAINING commands plus skills such as:

  • Trained Retrieve (Force Fetch)
  • Proper Delivery
  • Introduction to gunfire
  • Introduction to birds
  • Extended land retrieves (70-100 yards)
  • Basic water retrieves (30-60 yards)
  • Basic double marks on land and water
  • Proper line manners & ignore decoys
  • Steadiness in blind
  • Retrieves from a dog blind
  • Retrieves from boat
  • Introduction to remote sit
  • Introduction to handling
  • Introduction to basic blind retreives

The cost is $550 per month, plus minimal bird cost. A graduate should be a joy to have in the duck blind and handle basic retrieves easily.


The first months are spent with the above obedience & water fowling introductions. A graduate from this program will learn all the BASIC TRAINING FOR WATER FOWLING (listed above)

Dogs will then move toward advanced water fowling techniques such as:

  • A sound understanding of running long concept marks
  • A strong desire for water retrieves
  • Exposed to travel and hunting situations
  • Quietly honors other dogs work
  • Introduced to Basic handling (Stop, Back, Left and Right)
  • Doubles and starting transition triples
  • Taught concept blinds

The cost is $550/ month. Birds are an additional cost of approximately $100/ month.
A graduate should be an eager & well-mannered hunting partner in the field & duck blind with the foundation of advance handling needed for difficult retrieves and hunting competitions.


During a pre-season tune up we will review the following:

  • Obedience
  • Honoring
  • Marks
  • Formal Delivery to Hand on land and water
  • Gunfire
  • Boat exposure
  • Being quiet and well-mannered in the blind
  • Birds

    ​During a long summer off, your hunting partner has enjoyed playing with the kids, chasing tennis balls and lying in the sun.  While you are cleaning your gun and checking your decoys, send your retriever to have a refresher course as well 30-90 day Pre – Season Tune Up, cost $550.00 monthly Includes birds