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Training & Services

Gun Dogs

Habitat Flats Kennels' training program develops the ideal hunting retriever. The products of HFK’s highly structured training regime will be an obedient, well-mannered, steady, focused, and well-conditioned retriever. Their marking and handling abilities will be honed to the limit of their individual aptitudes. A unique feature of our program is that we seek out our clients’ visions, preferences, and hunting style(s) and train their dogs with them in mind. Training at all experience levels is offered, from basic obedience to advanced field-trial set ups. Client dogs will be worked six days each week. With a personal touch, our clients will be updated on a regular basis through e-mails and videos reporting on their dog’s progress and what is coming up next.

TRAINING LOCATIONS: With the diverse training scenarios Habitat Flats Kennels has to offer, our Gun Dog Program is second to none. From duck boats, stake and pit blinds to flooded corn, moist soil marshes and timber holes, we have all the hunting set-ups covered. Our training plan offers a complete range of objectives depending on the level at which your dog enters the program. Basic obedience, collar conditioning, force fetch, steadiness, marks, and blind retrieves. 



Basic, Intermediate & Advanced Gun Dog


  • Basic Training will include obedience, commands, force fetch, simple casting, and E-collar conditioning.

  • The Intermediate phase involves steadiness, land and water marks, pile work, single and double T, and swim by.

  • In the Transition phase your dog will experience pattern blinds, diversions, cold land blinds, cheating singles, memory marks, wagon wheel, 8-handed casting, and complex marks.

ADVANCED GUN DOG: (Also applicable for Field Trial | Hunt Test Training): For those wanting a Finished Gun Dog to retrieve birds by whistles and hand signals when the hunter has the bird marked, but the dog does not, our advanced program is a must. In the Advanced Program, your dog will learn drills and concepts like pile work, single T, double T, Swim-By, pattern blinds, cheating singles, wagon-wheel, tune-up drill, poison birds, multiple decoy scenarios, old falls, diversion shots and more. Making your gun dog a well-oiled machine in the field is our priority from start to finish.


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pre-season tune ups

Many of our busy clients do not have the time, place, or inclination to keep their retrievers in shape during the off season. For them, on a space-available basis, we offer pre-season tune up training. In one or two months in the early fall, we will have your dog physically and mentally fine-tuned for the hunting season ahead.



Puppy Program

Get the foundation set for your puppy's training ability. Make sure they get the socialization that it takes to be a Habitat Flats Gun Dog. Before we start formal training with our pups, we work on: introduction to the crate, playing with kids and adults, traveling in a vehicle and Polaris Ranger, learning limits, nature walks, simple obedience with treats, casting games with treats, walking on leash (both sides), introduction to retrieving, introduction to birds (alive and dead), introduction to water and retrieving in water, introduction to gunner-throw marks, introduction to gunfire at a distance, introduction to steadiness, walking singles, introduction to multiples in short grass and water. This program may act as Stage 1 of our full Gun Dog Package, or as a stand alone service.


Image by Ben Owen

Basic Obedience

This program is offered to all breeds (35 lbs and up) Family Pet, Hunting Companion, or Champion Gun Dog. It all starts with our obedience training. In this program, your dog will learn the commands to Sit, Here, Heel (both sides) kennel, e-collar conditioning and place. The principles of Basic Obedience are included within our Gun Dog Packages. But to accommodate all types of family dogs, this service is offered as a stand alone package for those who do not want hunt training. 


Image by Gulyás Bianka
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