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.


  • Our monthly rate is $300.00 / mo for puppies (8 weeks to 4 months), $500 / mo for started dogs (4 months and up), $650 / mo for seasoned dogs and $650 / mo for finished dog training.  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 Gun Dog Training
  2. Started Gun Dog
  3. Seasoned Gun Dog
  4. Finished Gun Dog


Your Started Gun Dog will have the following skill sets :

  • Exposed to birds and gunfire
  • Formal obedience
  • Formal hold
  • A sound understanding of running  long concept marks
  • Formal delivery to hand, on land and water
  • A strong desire for water retrieves
  • Comfortable in family settings
  • Exposed to travel and hunting situations
  • Comfortable around high stress environments
  •  Quietly honors other dogs work

The Started Gun Dog program: This will include obedience, trained retrieve, steady to shot, multiple marked retrieves, three handed casting (whistle and hand commands) and an introduction to your preferred style of hunting. During the process they will learn many drills that will break down each element of the blind retrieve. This proven method allows for a solid foundation that will last a life time. After these blocks have been completed we take it one step further by taking your started gun dog into the field .This training phase allows us to transition the dogs from training to hunting and gives your dog the extra experience they need before you take them home.​ Approximately 6 to 11 Months of age



Your Seasoned Gun Dog will have the following skills :

  • A sound understanding of running long concept marks
  • Delivery to hand, on land and water
  • 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 started on triples
  • Have actual hunting and guiding experience

Seasoned gun dog training can be started upon completion of the Started program, but is usually not required of a hunting retriever.  It is done with Field Trial and Hunt Test competition dogs.  This type of training helps the dog transition the skills learned in the basic program to the field for future development. They are introduced to not cheating, wagon wheel and lining concepts, water tune up drills, and more advanced marking concepts. Before starting this program your dog should understand typical corrections and be comfortable working through tough concepts. ​This is the partner that you can take directly to the field. Our Seasoned Gun Dogs have already been hunted over several times.


A finished gun dog is a solid citizen; a well-trained gun dog that can handle blind retrieves over water and land, and is a great family companion.”

If you are an avid water fowl hunting enthusiast, we can offer you and your dog a customized, advanced training.

For example:

  • Working in marshes and raised blinds
  • Working in and out of lay out blinds
  • Confidently handling doubles and triples
  • Handling on blinds
  • Experience with blinds and diversions
  • Actual hunting and guiding experience