top of page
Pat loving work L.jpg

Line Mechanics for Success

It’s all won and lost in the 5-foot circle

A 6-week digital retriever training course with Pat Burns

It’s Saturday morning, you have just pulled on to the grounds. Your thoughts are all over the place."Did I train on the right things?” All you can think about are the things that you didn’t cover this week. Your stomach is a ball of nerves. Then you take a deep breath and you remember you just finished Line Mechanics for Success.  Pat’s words are in your head, “You’ve got this. You’ve got your plan of action down from the truck, to the holding blind to the line.  Slow Down, go through your mental checklist and visualize a great run!  YOU ARE READY for Success”.

Over the course of the next six weeks, I am going to take you on a journey that has lasted me nearly forty years. I believe “Line Mechanics for Success” is going to help you understand the significance of every minute detail that goes on in the 5-foot circle.  In this course, I am going take you inside the mindset of a handler/trainer that has stood next to literally hundreds of retrievers of all levels. We are going to break down all of the facets that create a solid foundation in your handling mechanics.

 By the end of this program, you will have the tools in place to:

  • Execute a plan ahead of getting on line

  • A clear vision of what to do after you get on line

  • The skills to help your dog succeed and make decisions at critical times

  • The ability to use proven drills and techniques to improve your dog’s as well as your line mechanics

  • The confidence that comes from knowing that you are prepared for that special moment.

What You Will Get


This Course Includes:

  • 24/7 access to course content

  • 6 modules, each consisting of several videos and written material

  • You'll own the content (AND all content additions) for life


Rip Shively 

"Just wanted to let you know that Katie and I won our first all-age stake this past weekend...Your knowledge coupled with your communication skills and approachable nature enforces my desire to continue to learn from you."

What You Will Learn

Module One - From The Truck, To the Holding Blind, To the Line

Module Two - “On The Line Right Up Until The Initial Send”

Module Three - Five Foot circle

Module Four - “Drills and Problem Solving”

Module Five - Line Mechanics for blinds

Module Six - “Tools & Technology to raise your game”

Lifetime Access

PB_061_Elite_022420_HR cropped.jpg
New Logo print and digital.png

The definition of a “mentor” is someone that has made more mistakes than you.  And trust me, I have made my share.  This is why it really pays to learn from someone who has gone before you.   I’ve realized through working with thousands of handlers what gets in their way in their quest to succeed.

We’ll start out setting you up for success by getting clear on what really is “Line Mechanics?”  Why is it so Critical? The fundamentals of line mechanics are simple, but not easy.  If they were easy, everyone would do them.

Module One 

From The Truck, To the Holding Blind, To the Line

This Module is going to walk you through the specific details that go into the pre-performance ritual that sets you up to succeed.  

“From The Truck To The Holding Blind To The Line”

  • What happens back at the truck.

  • Going through a mental checklist

  • Visualizing a great performance

  • How to manage your time in the holding blind

  • Planning your approach to the line

Proper Warm-up Procedure”

  • Dr. Jennell Appel is going to show you how to warm your dog up properly before going to line.

“Your last 3 Steps To The Line”

  • How to achieve the best state of mind prior to getting to the mat

  • Reviewing in your mind what is about to happen

Module Two 

On The Line Right Up Until The Initial Send

The title tells it all.  You have just hit the mat.  What now…

  • What it is like to be on line in the 10th series of a National Championship

  • How to analyze the line

  • What your ritual should be after you get to line.

  • How to execute proper footwork while the birds are being thrown.

  • How to proceed after getting your number.

Module Three 

Five Foot circle

This one is a “Biggie”!  The information you will get in this module will be some of the most essential skills you will want to master.

  • How to execute the “First Look”

  • How to read your dog.

  • An Interview with Ray Voigt about coaching handlers on a very challenging test.

  • How to properly influence your dog on marks

Module Four 

Drills and Problem Solving

This module is going to show you how to use drills to enhance both you and your dog’s line mechanics and how to properly execute them.  We are also going to use drills to solve problematic line mechanics.

  • 360 degree heeling drill

  • Wagon Wheel

  • Steadiness Drills

  • 10-Step

  • Tune-Up Drills

Module Five 

Line Mechanics for blinds.

This module shares similarities with module One and Two.  However, this time you are coming up to run a blind.  I will teach you things like:

  • The importance of A.S.H.E.

  • A=attitude, S=spine, H=head & E=eyes

  • To Sweat or not to Sweat?  That is the question.

  • Analyzing the line and your handling area.

  • Use of cues on blinds

  • Dealing with diversions

  • Poison birds and interrupted marks

Module Six 

Tools & Technology to raise your game

This module, I will walk you through how to integrate all of the modules and put it in perspective in order to have successful training plan.  We will recap the lessons learned and help you turn your newly formed skills into winning performances!  I will you create a mindset that never gives up and refuses to be denied. You will become the handler your dog wants you to be.

  • Proper Note Taking

  • Videoing yourself

  • Raising Your Game

  • Mental Toughness

  • Developing a winning attitude

  • Not turning one mistake into three.

Lifetime Access

You'll have 24/7 access to the course for as long as it exists! Log in anytime! 

Notes from past students:

"Just wanted to let you know that Katie and I won our first all-age stake this past weekend.  Thank you for all your guidance and knowledge provided through the variety of mediums you offer.  From the Line Mechanics for Success online courses, free online seminars, and Day School, I have adjusted my approach and philosophy to training.  While I have always tried to follow the Total Retriever Training program, the resources you provide give additional information, important nuances, and affirmation of those training methods. Your knowledge coupled with your communication skills and approachable nature enforces my desire to continue to learn from you."

-Rip Shively 

"I attended Pat’s Line Mechanics course in 2020 and I found it very helpful and highly recommend the class! This course teaches you to be more aware of what you should do getting to the line, on the mat, and having a plan.  One of the most valuable tools was implementing the “First Look”.  With my new tools, I was a better handler and Sky was able to get a 2nd in an AM, a first in the Open and qualify for the National Amateur."

Wendy Rowan

"I have been very pleased with the quality of information in the Line Mechanics for Success digital course content and the Questions/Answer sessions following each segment.  The combinations of explanatory videos, checklists of key planning tools and the involvement of guest speakers was excellent to help me translate the information into immediate improvement in my own training sessions.  By the second week of the six week course, I could already see improvements in the teamwork with my young Lab.  This high quality coaching was worth many times the price of admission....and the improvement keeps coming with continued application of what we have learned.  Can't wait for the next course!"

- Jim Martin

"Pat - Ran Kovee for the first time in almost two months yesterday. I have been reviewing the Line Mechanics for Success digital course videos over and over again, in preparation for this three-day visit. What a difference. Not only was Kovee more receptive, but I was so much calmer and in control. From the holding blind, to the mat, to delivery in trying to set up the first look, everything was just that much better. The credit goes to the videos and the classes you put together."

Mike Schulman

bottom of page