We enjoy sharing Links and information when it comes to influential people in the dog world that have helped us along the journey!
Website: Hunt Smith
Jennifer first took one of Rick’s seminars back in 2002. She kept in touch with Rick some over the years, then reached out again in 2013. We began to see quite a change over the years with the dogs coming into our program. The gun dogs lacked early owner training, socialization, structure and people wanted their dogs to right away enroll into our gun dog programs to learn the specific skills of field work even though these poor dogs had never learned any type of foundation. They could not even walk on leashes let alone jump a stone wall, cross thick cover, or chase a live bird. Rick came to Quinebaug Kennels in 2014 to offer his first clinic with us and we quickly developed a friendship, a bond and together we worked on improving an entire newly improved method of dog training to adapt to the dogs and the clients we are seeing today. Rick has become a close friend and mentor to the trainers at QK and we are so happy to have him as part of our Team! He now hosts yearly clinics at QK and coaches Jennifer and her Team on a regular basis.
Celebrating over 50 Years of helping people train their bird dogs
A Hall of Fame Inductee, Rick Smith has devoted his life to bird dogs. Before becoming a full time seminar instructor, Rick compiled a remarkable field trial record including 3 National Championships, 7 US Open Championships, 6 International Championships and more then 100 All-Age firsts. He shares his expertise in training, trialing, and hunting through his seminars.
The Smith Philosophy
With over 60 years of experience guiding, trialing, and training Rick and his cousin Ronnie Smith believe “you have to think like a dog to successfully train a dog.” This approach to training is effective with all dogs, no matter the discipline nor the breed. The Smith’s focus and passion happens to be upland bird dogs. Their life’s work has been based on a love and respect for bird dogs and they are dedicated to understanding canine natural instincts and psychology. The training system developed by the Smiths enables people at all levels of proficiency and knowledge to have a better relationship with their dog. Whether you are looking for a companion dog that you can take hunting on the weekend or a field trial champion this training format will benefit you. Start with the Foundation Level and follow the Smith’s training steps to a confident finished bird dog.
Website: The Retriever Coach
Jennifer met Kevin on the retriever circuit down in North Florida and Southeast Georgia back around 2008 when she got in to field trial retrievers. When Kevin started The Retriever Coach Jennifer attended some of his clinics and greatly enjoyed his unique style. Kevin has an amazing way of explaining training principles, theories and tactics and right away Jennifer had great new ‘tools’ to add to her toolbox of training knowledge. Jennifer hired Kevin in 2021 to coach the QK trainers for retriever basics work. Kevin left a lasting impression and the QK trainers all now call Kevin a friend and mentor. Jennifer has been assisting Kevin with his own retriever program “Fetch” and is honored to write the puppy portion for his training modules soon to be published in 2022.
Born in Toronto and raised in Northern Ontario, Canada, now living in Panama City Beach, Florida.
Kevin got his first retriever in 1996, HRCH RK’s Benjamin Mackenzie QAA; and he immediately fell in love with the sport. Fortunate enough to have great mentors from the start, he learned the basics of retriever training and competed successfully in hunt tests plus the minor stakes in field trials.
In 1999 he met accomplished and respected professional Canadian field trial trainer Jamie Balesdent. Shortly after, Kevin went to work as Jamie’s assistant at Nilak Kennels where he completed his apprenticeship. In 2002 Kevin went out on his own, starting Flint River Retrievers. His winter kennels/training was located in Boston, Georgia, with summer training/kennels in Iron Bridge, Ontario, Canada.
Kevin’s 23 years in the sport has led him to train some amazing retrievers. His resume includes having trained and/or handled 5 Canadian National Champions, multiple US/Canadian National Finalists, plus many field champions and dogs that cumulatively have 1,000’s of all-age points.
Kevin has always loved sharing his Knowledge, Experience & Passion for Retriever Training with both Handler & Dog. In 2015 he decided to refocus his career path, instructing people how to train & handle their own personal dogs. Teaching others the art and science of retriever training is his gift. His superb ability to communicate, his patience, his knack for quickly reading a Dog & Handler make him the right person to be The Retriever Coach.
Website: Retrievers Online
Jennifer met Dennis in Florida training retrievers 10 years ago. They hit it off right away with their mutual love of horses, hunting and dog training. Jennifer has had the opportunity to attend two of his clinics as well as train with Dennis on the winter grounds. They have since become very good friends. Jennifer highly recommends Dennis’ magazine “Retrievers Online”. Whether you are a competitor or hunter, Dennis’ articles are packed with training ideas, lessons, and tips that are easy to follow.
Dennis Voigt has trained multiple Field Champions and won 3 National Championships while training alone the majority of the time.
He hunts extensively with all of his dogs on both waterfowl and upland game. Retrievers ONLINE features…
- State-of -the art information on training and handling retrievers Retriever community news
- Articles and interviews from some of the top people in the sport, including: Rex Carr, Mike Lardy, Jerry Patopea, Dave Rorem, Jackie Mertens, Judy Rasmusson, Charlie and Yvonne Hays and others.
- Detailed articles on training drills and advanced field work Information on training and learning theories.
- Articles on judging and evaluating retrievers.
- Articles on health and breeding Reviews of the latest books and videos Classified ads
“The best dog trainers are students; continually learning how to improve themselves and the dogs they train. I have had many discussions and sessions with Jennifer in the past four years while training dogs, on horseback, and hanging out at the campfire. I can tell you that Jennifer is not only a true student of dog training, but she is passionate about doing the best she can in whatever she tackles.” ~ Dennis Voigt
Banchee Labradors – Home of 9 Field Champions and 3 National Champion Wins
Editor of Retrievers Online Training Retrievers Alone DVD and book
Website: Total Retriever Training
Jennifer has had the opportunity to attend numerous Mike Lardy workshops over past two years and has been selected as a handler in several of them. Mike has since become a friend and his methods have become a source of knowledge, inspiration and motivation for Jennifer’s training program. Jennifer now spends 3 months in the winter training on and around Mike’s facility. His two trainer’s Ray Voigt and Andy Curtis have become great mentors and personal friends too.
Mike Lardy began training professionally in 1981. He and his wife, Cindy, and their children live near Montello, Wisconsin. At Handjem Retrievers, Mike, Andy Curtis and Ray Voigt, train 24 dogs daily in situations designed to prepare them for challenges that will place them among the top nationally competitive retrievers. During the winter months they go to southern Georgia for training. Mike’s training grounds at both locations feature a variety of water and land settings.
Mike has trained retrievers that have won twenty National Championships; seven National Championships and one Canadian National Championship handled by him, and one National Championship, nine National Amateur Championships and two Canadian National Amateur Championships handled by his clients.
In 2003 Mike ran his 33rd National Finalist. Cotton Pershall had the prior all-time record number of 30 Finalists run by a professional retriever trainer. Cotton’s first Finalist was in 1942 and his last in 1973. This record had stood alone for almost 30 years until Mike tied it in 2002 and surpassed it in 2003. In addition to the 33 National finalists handled personally by Mike, numerous Handjem-trained dogs have been Finalists with their owner-handlers or Mike’s assistant, Dave Smith.
Dogs trained at Handjem have attained over seventy-two Field Champion titles and Mike’s clients have made close to that number of Amateur Field Champions. In addition, Mike has contributed in the training and development of many other titled dogs
Website: Elite Retriever
Jennifer met Pat Burns at Mike Lardy’s in Georgia several years ago. They formed a quick friendship and trained together when Jennifer was a day student with Mike and the Handjem Team. Pat brings his enthusiasm, passion, quick wit and intensity to the table each time you are around him! He always has a smile on his face. Pat is fun to be around, easy to talk to, and a wonderful communicator. Simply put, Pat is a GREAT coach!
With his wealth of knowledge, lifetime of retriever accomplishments and experience, and his awesome capability to share it all make him one of the very best. If you are serious about training dogs for competition and want to learn how to become a better handler, I suggest you attend one of the workshops that we host!
My love for dogs and hunting is stronger than ever. Building the winning relationship between handler and the canine athlete is my #1 passion. In 2004, I wrote, “I’m committed to the development of the well rounded canine athlete. I specialize in training both dog and handler to achieve their greatest potential.” Today I have the opportunity to bring you that dream.
I met Jennifer a little over 5 years ago. During that time I have been very impressed with her passion to learn and improve her skills. She has an open mind and is always receptive to new ideas. An old friend once told “when you’re green you’re growing, when you’re ripe you’re rotting.” I look forward in joining Jennifer in our continued journey! ~ Pat Burns
Website: Dale Spartas Photography
“I am proud to call World Class Photographer Dale Spartas my good friend! Many of his photos can be found throughout our website. I have had the honor of working with Dale over the years, and his dog photography will take your breath away” ~ Jennifer Broome, owner Quinebaug Kennels
Since 1976, Dale C. Spartas has been an outdoor photographer and writer. His work has allowed him the pleasure of hunting, fishing, and subsequently photographing a vast array of outdoor activities and his assignments have taken him all across the world.
Dale has had more than 6,700 photographs published, including 250 magazine covers. Dale is on the masthead of Gray’s Sporting Journal and has had more than 70 photo essays published in Gray’s since 1985. He is also on the masthead of Sports Afield, Trout Magazine, and Fly Fish America. Editorially Dale is frequently published in Sports Afield, Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, American Hunter, Retriever Journal, Pointing Dog Journal, Men’s Journal, Town & Country, Fly Fisherman, Gun Dog, Wing & Shot, Wildfowl and in Orvis Catalogs.
Dale’s commercial clients include Orvis, C.C. Filson, McAlister, Remington Arms, Sig-Arms, Browning Arms, Winchester, 7 Lakes Lodge, Hatchet Lake Lodge, and Turneffe Island Lodge.
His books include Just Labs, Just Goldens, The Little Book of Fly Fishing, and 101 Uses for Labs. Dale recently completed two new books: Rooster!, which is a tribute to pheasant hunting, and To The Point, a tribute to the beauty and sport of hunting with pointing dogs.
Dale lives in Bozeman, Montana with his wife, children, black Lab, English Pointer and Brittany Spaniel.
Website: Training a Retriever Puppy
Bill explains his way of starting a retriever puppy, to get him started in the right direction.
This beginning training will create habits and form a relationship that will be the foundation for any retrieving activities whether it’s hunting ducks, chasing a tennis ball in your backyard, or going into competitive events. The most important part of the beginning stages of training is to develop a relationship with the puppy that will create a bond or a partnership. This will be based on respect and kindness. This will create a partnership that will last forever. Good training is not one giant lesson, but small and gentle lessons that mold the puppy to be the model that we want. If you have the idea of going forward into advanced retriever training or competition this information will be an excellent introduction to the basic program of almost any professional gun dog or retriever trainer.
Training a Retriever Puppy – with Bill Hillmann shows consecutive days of training with a chocolate Labrador Retriever puppy which has never been worked before the camera started shooting the sessions. In other words the puppy is being trained in front of the camera. This film does not show a dog that is already trained and merely showing the end result. No other video has ever been produced that shows the actual training of one specific puppy over a period of time, much like a slow motion picture of a flower beginning to bloom. You will see the first time the puppy hears the “sit” command and the first time he walks on a line.