North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association
INTRODUCTION TO MIDWEST TRI STATE NAVHDA TRAINING DAYS
The club holds field training days generally starting in late March and ending in early September. In addition, we generally hold indoor obedience training weekly from January to mid-March.
Our club, like all NAVHDA chapters, is not a dog training service. We are volunteers that come together as a group to help each other. This means we all need to be prepared to lend a hand setting up a field, planting birds, laying a track, sharing knowledge, and learning from each other’s challenges and successes. In order to make our training days successful we need all of our members to be involved. Plan to stay for the entire session. Every member should be a cheerful volunteer and contribute to the level of their ability.
Our training days are informal and friendly. They are a wonderful blend of people who have never trained a dog before along with veteran handlers and professional trainers. The informal atmosphere allows newer members to learn from others without feeling intimidated or shy about asking questions. We encourage participants to shadow other dog-handler teams (with permission) as they train. Remember that the development of a good handler and dog team takes time. Participate in every training day you can and don’t be afraid to ask questions. The more assertive you are the more you will learn. While you wait your turn at the water or in the field take advantage of other opportunities to train. Ask other handlers who are also waiting to help run drills with you and your dog. Throw marked retrieves, practice heeling and the basic obedience commands, do table work, and run tracks. The controlled chaos of a training day helps expose your dog to other dogs and to the test environment; it offers untold distractions to test whether your dog really is trained.
Birds must be reserved no later than the day before training with the training day host. Prices for birds vary based on the availability and time of the year. Generally, the club has homing pigeons and barn pigeons available. Quail, chukar, pheasant and ducks are also available at various times throughout the year. In order to make training as affordable as possible, the club charges only slightly above its cost for birds - just enough extra to cover transport, feed, mortality and the occasional escapee. The club’s designated bird stewards determine the number of birds that are available for sale.
Outdoor training days are held at the training grounds located next to Family Park in Sioux Falls. Training usually begins at 8:00 a.m. and concludes when all dogs have finished training for the day (usually mid to late morning). Handlers meet in the parking lot to check in with the host. The host will set up a white board showing the running order for the day. The order in which handlers check in determines running order for field and water work. The host will coordinate the efforts of all persons in attendance to help with bird planting and other duties to help keep training running smoothly. Handlers should inform the host of their training goals for the day and pay for birds. Please pay by check or have the correct cash for the total amount due.
An experienced handler will accompany each handler/dog team into the field for work over birds. Dogs will be shot over depending upon age and training level. Only designated club members may serve as gunners. Gunners’ safety and shooting skills must be reviewed by the designated club official before they are allowed to shoot at training or tests. While in the training fields all persons must wear blaze orange.
All dogs must be under control when at a training or test day, so as not to interfere with other dogs or handlers. This means that dogs must be on a leash or under superior voice control by their handler at all times, except when out in the field or in the water. Please keep barking and whining to a minimum. All dogs on the training grounds must be current on all vaccinations.
Families/kids are welcome to attend. It’s a great way to see different breeds of dogs in action and learn the skills you will need to train your dog. It’s a wonderful opportunity for puppy socialization too. Come out and join us! You can expect to have fun with your dog and enjoy the camaraderie of a great group of people.
Items to bring:
The club has some equipment available like retrieving bumpers, whoa barrel, backing dog, heeling stakes, blinds, training table, bird launchers, Zinger Winggers,etc.