Margold Golden Retrievers Mira Field Training 2015 Lindy Field Training 2015
Mira running the WC at the GRCA National 2010
Barley Field Training 2011
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Golden Retrievers originated as hunting dogs. We believe that the traits that make Goldens good hunting dogs are the same traits that make them great at other performance venues. To maintain this important foundation we try to do some basic field work with all of our dogs.

There are two types of AKC field competition for retrievers, Field Trials and Hunt Tests. Field trials are very competitive. This is what Mira's dad Bart did, and what many of her relatives do. You can find out lots of information about Field Trials on the Golden Retriever Club of America webpage.

Hunt tests are non-competitive, you are simply working to complete the retrieves. At the most basic level, Junior Hunter, the dogs are asked to complete 4 marked retrieves. Two on land and two on water. The dogs must deliver the bird to hand. After Junior comes Senior and then Master. Click here to read more about hunt tests.

The Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) also offer two field events called the WC/WCX (Working Certificate and Working Certificate Excellent).

Coming from agility, the traditional training methods used in the field are very different than you will encounter in agility. For training my own dogs I focus on motivational training techniques. It is good to familiarize yourself with traditional training as a start.

I took the the Formal Retrieve course with Jennifer Henion, part of her Field Puppy (+R) Reward Based Retriever Training Program. She offers a few online reward based programs. Jennifer has competed in both AKC hunt tests and field trails with her dogs.

The Fenzi Acadamy is no longer offering R+ Gun Dog classes, but the old instructor Cassia Turcotte is now offering her own online classes. I enjoyed her classes at FDSA, but have not taken her new classes. Her website is here:

For resources on force free field training you can try some of the webpages below.

     Shaping a Retrieve with a Clicker
     Totally Gundogs Clicker trained retrieve
     Come to me to play!
     Puppy Retrieving Exercises
     Working with Game

The below books are both traditional and force free, these are all books that I own.

     Motivational Training for the Field
     The 10-Minute Retriever
     The Working Retrievers
     Building a Retriever -- Drills and More

© Margold - Josh and Jessica Hecock