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Exceptionally Smart Breeds

Retrievers are exceptionally smart breeds. They demonstrate a keen intellect, an undeniable drive to please, and occasionally show a headstrong streak. As an owner, you already know that. However, just as the dog can learn drills and commands, confidence is the main skill a handler can be taught that will set the cadence for ongoing training for years to come. That, and a basic understanding of dog behavior are the keys to training success. Pat Burns’ coaching style evolved from his extensive working partnerships with training legends, Rex Carr and Mike Lardy. Taking the best practices from each of his mentors, Pat incorporated his own ideas and unique experiences into a successful fusion approach that promotes balance, strong leadership for your dog and, in all things, excellence. Pat’s training approach includes personalized coaching sessions, boot camps, workshops and training experiences. While there are a number of ways to train, each session begins with your input in the creation of a personalized strategic training achievement plan, which incorporates information such as five year goals, your dog’s accomplishments and your dog’s strengths and weaknesses. With this training partnership, each retriever team will benefit from a higher standard and a customized training plan designed to achieve their greatest potential. Don’t be surprised if you discover much of the training is focused on you, as much as your dog. A dog reflects the skills, the confidence, and, indeed, the whims of its handler. While it is eager to please you, it can be no more successful than the handler allows it to be. Even if your goal is not to raise the next National Champion, participation in Pat Burns’ Elite Retriever Training will result in an exceptionally well-behaved full time companion, who is more likely to heed your commands when participating in recreational activities.


Childhood best friends, husband and wife, parent and child; all relationships are forged from trust, love, respect and work. It’s not a reach to say the same holds true about the bond between handler and dog. It takes those same elements of trust, love and respect to successfully train your dog to be an elite retriever whose performance shines on both field and off…with a few other elements thrown in as well. Training your retriever begins with giving you, as a handler, the tools necessary to build your confidence in that role. Amazing canine athletes are not simply born. While arguably some, due to lineage, possess particular tendencies that make them more receptive to learning certain skills, in most cases, champions are the end result of many hours of dedicated training and practice, as much for the handler, as for the dog, itself.

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