Lick Creek Retrievers is located on a 220 acre farm in the mountains of Southwest Virginia. Our training grounds have both flat fields as well as rolling hills with varying types of cover. We have a 1 ½ acre technical pond. We currently have 2 more ponds to be constructed in the near future. We have access to other nearby farms that allows us access to over 700 acres of training grounds. We have a small kennel with 4’ x 7’ indoor runs, which are heated in the colder months. There are isolation panels between each run. The runs are cleaned on a daily basis. Each dog has his/her own sanitary stainless steel water and food bowl which is washed daily. All dogs are exercised several times per day in addition to training or when they are given a day off. We train with both live and dead birds (mallards and pigeons as well as DFT’s and bumpers. At all levels of Gundog training we use Bumper Boy products as well as Winger Zingers for real birds. We also implement the use of ATV’s in order to save time in reloading the bird stations when training, which results in more time spent with the dog. Once a dog has been collar conditioned we use E-collars throughout the rest of the dog’s training. We use Tri-Tronics Brand electronics for both E-Collars and remote releases
Basic obedience training is usually a month to 6 week program for non-hunting pets. During this time the dog is taught commands such as sit, here, stay and heel.
Basic Gun Dog training usually takes about 5 – 6 months. It starts with the basic obedience program with the addition of introducing the whistle along with the basic commands. During this phase the dogs desire to retrieve is evaluated by throwing birds and/or dummies. The retriever is also force fetched and collar conditioned. When all of this has been completed the dog is taken to the field and thrown hundreds of marks on land and water. At this time steadiness is encouraged. The dog is also introduced to all types of hunting equipment. (i.e. Blinds, tree stands, boats, decoys, gun shots and live birds).
Advanced Gun Dog Training is a program for anyone who wants a finished or master level retriever. The dog can run blind retrieves by taking direction from hand signals or casts and whistle blasts. It is also for any one who wants to run AKC, NAHRA and/or HRC competitive hunt tests. This training teaches the dog to remember multiple marks and to handle to a bird he or she did not see fall. Handling is taught by the repetition of many different drills. Once the dog has become proficient at the drills; dozens of pattern blinds both on land and water are introduced. This program is a long term commitment that usually takes 2 – 3 years, depending on how advanced you want your retriever to be.