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Purina Masterclass

Next-Level Retrieving: Innovations for Versatile Hunting Breeds

Pat Burns, Mike Lardy, Charles Coulter, and Mark Cross

In this exclusive session, we'll take a dive into developing a comprehensive training flow chart tailored specifically for enhancing retrieving skills in versatile hunting dogs. Mike Lardy, renowned for his pioneering work in retriever training, will share insights from his widely acclaimed Total Retriever Training videos, which have served as a cornerstone for countless novice trainers. Interestingly, Mike has seamlessly integrated these principles into training his own German Wirehaired Pointer, offering a unique perspective on adapting retriever training methodologies to versatile hunting breeds.

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Purina MasterClass April 2024 Lardy, Coulter & Mark Cross
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Mike Lardy

Mike Lardy was the owner and head trainer at Handjem Retrievers for over 40 years. In that time he trained well over 100 Field Champions and his dogs earned twenty- four National titles. Elected to the Retriever Hall of Fame in 2004, Mike holds the record for winning seven National Retriever Championships. Seventeen dogs trained primarily at Handjem Retrievers have been inducted into the Retriever Hall of Fame. He has helped thousands of retriever enthusiasts from around the world with his Total Retriever video series, article collections, and workshops.In his retirement, Mike trains and hunts with Gianna- a German Wirehaired Pointer. 

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Charles Coulter

Charles Coulter is an avid bird hunter and dog trainer. His passion started when he saw his first English pointer lock up solid in Missouri quail hunting with his grandfather. Hunting with labs most of his young adulthood when it came time to buy his own dog he knew he wanted to go back to pointing dogs. As most young hunters do his hunting had spread to ducks, doves, along with the upland birds so a versatile dog fit the bill.  

He quickly dove head first in to the versatile world. Starting with NAVHDA testing and branching out to AKC from there. He has tested and passed the highest level of NAVHDA hunt tests. Along the way he became a NAVHDA judge and most recently a senior judge, judging well over 700 dogs. 

He is currently the program manger for the El Tesoro program at Standing Stone Kennels. There he is responsible for development, training, and testing the dogs for the El Tesoro ranch in Texas. The dogs are hunted on quail and ducks during the Texas hunting season and hunt tested during the summer. These dogs are trained and handled to the highest level for both upland and waterfowl to give the guests of El Tesoro an unforgettable experience. 

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Mark Cross

At age 40, Mark W Cross Jr. has dedicated 8 years to mastering the art of hunting and training German Shorthaired Pointers (GSPs). His journey began with NAVHDA training, leading him to join the Empire Retriever Club to expand his skill set.

Mark has successfully guided three GSPs through the NAVHDA Utility Test and NAHRA Hunter, achieved Versatile Champion (VC) titles with two GSPs, and pursued the NAHRA Senior title alongside AKC Master Pointing and AKC Pointing Field Trials.

A firm believer in a hunting dog's versatility, Mark trains his GSPs to be adept in both upland and waterfowl hunting, affirming that a true hunting dog can transition from the field to the couch with ease. His philosophy and dedication make him a respected figure in the hunting and dog training community.

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