top of page

Elite Retrievers Presents:

Expert Insights Forum

Conversations on Building Exceptional Retrievers


I’ve partnered with some of the sport’s most elite competitors to bring you a 6-part webinar series focused on Building Exceptional Retrievers. Each conversation will dive into a different topic as we explore the training methods, techniques and strategies that have made each of these competitors successful. Our game continues to evolve, becoming more competitive each year. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to learn from some of the most talented, progressive trainers of all time. 

M Lardy.jpg

Mike Lardy

Teaching Advanced Marking Concepts

Mike Lardy joined me for an in-depth discussion on teaching advanced marking concepts. We identified the key marking scenarios that today's all-age dogs must master to be competitive, and showed you how to design training tests to accelerate your dog's understanding. Mike's method of theming concepts both over several days as well as within one setup will clarify some of the most challenging marking situations our all-age dogs encounter.


J Van Engen2.JPG

Jim Van Engen

Developing Young Dog Marking Through Basics

Jim Van Engen from Right Start Kennels discussed developing exceptional marking during basics.  Jim has started many dogs that have gone on to become national champions, including the most recent NFC Holland Cliffs Play It Again! He described his strategy for dogs under 12 months of age as well as derby & qualifying level dogs looking to become all-age competitors.  All too often, dogs don't receive enough quality marks during their basics and transition level training. Learn how Jim balances his training and prepares young dogs to seamlessly move on to advanced training programs.

pat nolan.jpg

Pat Nolan

Pre-Basics Preparation for Puppies 8 weeks to 6 months

Pat is the best animal trainer I have ever been around.  Following a successful 30-year career training field trial retrievers, Pat began to apply lessons learned in e-collar conditioning and remote directional training to working with military and police units. Today Pat operates a company called “Tactical Directional Canine Systems”.  He trains radio-guided, camera-equipped canines for surveillance and detection.  Pat works with and is highly regarded by multiple units in the Special Operations community. In this webinar, Pat shared his expertise in preparing puppies to learn.  We discussed the critical learning periods for puppies 8-weeks through 6 months.  Pat believes that the lessons taught in pre-basics are critical to developing successful all-age dogs. You won’t want to miss this!

D Farmer.jpg

Danny Farmer

Game Day Handling Strategies

I was thrilled to have Danny Farmer join me for an evening talk about “Game Day Handling Strategies”.  Danny is arguably one of the best handlers the field trial sport has ever seen.  His ability to adapt to a variety of different temperaments of dogs has proven to be one of the reasons Danny’s dominance on a national level has spanned over 4 decades.  We explored topics like the importance of mental toughness as it pertains to dealing with adversity and some of the skills required to be a great handler.

W Curtis.jpg

Wayne Curtis

Becoming a Student of the Game

Wayne Curtis of Fox Hollow Kennel’s was recently inducted into the Retriever Hall of Fame. Wayne has experienced great personal success but is best known for his exceptional support of his amateur trainers - coaching several to become National Amateur Champions! Wayne and I discussed lessons learned during his 40+ years as a professional and the advice he's given his son who's also become a very successful professional. This sport becomes more competitive each year, and Wayne believes you must be a diligent student of the game to truly understand its complexities and become a competitive handler.

J Aycock.jpg

Judy Aycock

Evaluating Dogs for All-Age Potential

Judy was the first female handler to win a National Open Retriever Championship, with '76 NFC San Joaquin Honcho who was just a little bit over 3 years old at the time.  Judy’s uncanny ability to read raw talent transformed “Honcho” from an unruly adolescent to a National Champion in a very short time.  Time after time Judy displayed her talent for reading and developing potential in young dogs. With a lifetime of experience campaigning some of the most successful dogs our sport has ever seen, we'll dug into exactly what Judy looks for when evaluating dogs for all-age work. She is a true intellect and one of the most eloquent speakers I have had the pleasure to work with.  It promises to be a special evening.

bottom of page