* Asterisk on calendar event denotes an event sponsored by a club or an independent event organizer. You will not see these events listed in our registration shopping cart. If you live in one of these areas and have an interest in attending one of these events, contact Pat by clicking this link: CONTACT

Pat Burns Elite Retriever Training is about pursuing a higher level of understanding between you and your dog. There are a number of training options available, making each training experience customizable and unique. 

You will learn:
•    the methods used to train a top-level retriever
•    how to read your dog’s effort
•    how to improve your own handling. 

A the end of the day, it’s just as much about building relationships, both between dog and handler, as well as handler peer-to-peer networking. You will discover as much about yourself as you will about your dog during these training sessions.We use state of the art technology including video monitors for instant review, wireless sound systems for better workshop experience and will soon incorporate drone video for overhead analysis.

Training Groups

•    Generally spanning the course of three days or more, group sessions can be customized to advance 8-12 dogs per session. 
•    Based on a model of multiple sessions, interspersed with homework assignments and a series of drills of varying intensity that can be practiced at home.
•    Give both dogs and handlers plenty of land and water experience, and effective core drills that address specific training issues. 
•    An intensive pre-training jump-start is often available prior to the group sessions.

Bristol Sessions

•    Your entire training group can schedule a three to five day training session. 
•    Can be modeled as part of a recurring training group, or individual group session. 
•    Intensely focused sessions. 
•    For individuals or smaller groups, half-day sessions are an option.
•    Participants pitch in with set up, test design and evaluation.

The lessons take place at the foot of the beautiful Holston Mountains, along the banks of the South Holston River in Bristol, Tennessee. Click here to learn about the Bristol training grounds.

Private Lessons – Northeast Tennessee & South Georgia
Dependent upon scheduling availability, private lessons can be scheduled with Pat pre- or post-workshops. 

(Click here for an aerial view of the Bristol facility)


Supercharge your training season with a unique four-day intensive. Ten dog/handler teams will be chosen. Observer spots are limited.
•    Sessions allow for plenty of time for dog work, question and answer sessions and continuing education
•    Provides participants and observers with game day and training strategies that help dog and handler teams compete at their maximum potential
•    Learn how yard work and drills build key attitudes that translate to more confident fieldwork
•    Training and discussion based on observed dog and handler behaviors results in a dynamic event that presents a different experience based on the participants involved  

Typical workshop structure:

•    Day 1 – Initial field set-ups allows Pat to get a feel for the dogs’ trial behavior, handlers' skills and goals.
•    Day 2 – Field set-ups continue, interspersed with discussions about problem solving, Importance of Warm-up & Cool-down.
•    Day 3 -- Field set-ups continue, supplemented with drills that address observed tendencies and develop handler strategies. Conditioning discussion.
•    Day 4 -- Field set-up takes on training/coaching aspect, drills, expanded handler strategies and wrap-up.   With an emphasis on a training plan.  Complete details will be distributed to participants closer to the date of the event.

Retriever Training Boot Camp

•    Five-day intensive training
•    For groups of 4-8 dogs with similar capabilities, and two to four handlers
•    Basic fundamental training and review gives handlers the confidence necessary to address field issues that may be plaguing performance and limiting expectations.
•    Sessions include drills and exercises to enhance handler capabilities, including red zone handling, getting the first look and reading momentum changes on blinds. 
•    Numerous field setups, teaching scenarios and drills
•    Appropriate as pre-season prep or Pre-National Training

Springer Spaniel Clinic

The clinic’s goal is to parlay certain aspects of modern retriever basic training into training advances in the world of competitive springer spaniels. 
•    Developing the right “state of mind” to achieve our canine athlete’s most competitive edge.
•    Encompasses exercises such as developing a Springer Spaniel training flow chart, and charting a course to the goal. 



As an industry peer-to-peer reviewer, Pat is available for professional consultation for programmatic content, handler or dog skills assessment, training grounds design, as well as a variety of other areas.

Phone Consultation

Designed to serve as a bridge to more in-depth workshop training, phone consultations can cover a myriad of topics, including: 
•    training strategies for problem behaviors
•    training techniques
•    six-month training plan development
•    test diagram analysis and design
•    wellness plan
•    video review (one-hour requirement
•    individualized information based on performance needs
•    30-minute minimum per call. To make the most effective use of our call time, please send a list of your topics in advance when scheduling. (30 Minutes - $50, 1 Hour - $85)