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MIKE LARDY

Mike Lardy joined me for an in depth discussion on teaching advanced marking concepts.  Mike described how he designs his marking setups to best accelerate the dog’s understanding of the key marking scenarios that today’s field trial dog’s need to understand in order to be competitive.  We talked about how the use of theming a concept over the course of multiple days as well as within a setup will clarify some of the most challenging marking situations our all-age dog’s encounter.

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DANNY FARMER

I was pleased 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.

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JIM VAN ENGEN

Jim Van Engen from Right Start Kennels was my guest to discuss teaching young dogs how to mark during basics.  Jim has tutored many dogs that have gone on to become national champions, including this past years NFC Holland Cliffs Play It Again.  He described his strategy for dog’s under 12 months of age as well as young derby/qualifying level dogs looking to become all-age competitors.  Jim’s basics program is second to none.  However, his trademark is how he prepares those basics dogs in their marking to seamlessly move on to an advanced training program.

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WAYNE CURTIS

Wayne Curtis and Fox Hollow Kennel’s legacy speaks for itself.  Wayne was just recently inducted into the Retriever Hall of Fame.  This evening Wayne reflected on the evolution of the sport over his 40 plus years as a professional.  We talked about the future of the sport and what advice he would give his son.  Wayne shared his thoughts about what it takes to be a student of the game and how he coached multiple handlers to become National Amateur Champions.

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PAT NOLAN

Pat is the best animal trainer I have ever been around.  Pat operated Ponderosa Kennels from 1978-2015.  15 of those years Pat competed in retriever field trials and titled multiple dogs.  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.  During our evening together Pat will share his expertise in preparing puppies to learn.  We discussed the critical learning periods from 8 week old puppies through 6 months.  This pre-basic preparation period is a critical step in launching a successful career.  You won’t want to miss this!

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JUDY AYCOCK

Judy was the first female handler to win a National Open Retriever Championship.  1976 NFC San Joaquin Honcho was just a little bit over 3 years old when won that national.  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.  I intend to ask Judy what is your secret for success.  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.