Crash Course to a Better Bird Dog

  • 1/10/2018 9:22:08 AM
40de021a-2d6d-479b-9bb4-be55fdaf46b6 Top dog trainers to share expertise and insights at Quail Classic Bird Dog Bonanza Seminar Stage.

By Tom Carpenter

There’s only one problem with this year’s Bird Dog Bonanza Stage seminar lineup for National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic: You might have trouble getting to all the other stages, and the show floor itself, when you review at the complete list of bird dog topics and presenters.

“It’s one of the best lineups the Bird Dog Bonanza stage has ever had,” says Karl Gunzer, dog trainer, Senior Manager of the Nestle Purina PetCare Team, and chief architect and coordinator of the stage’s seminar series.

Nestle Purina PetCare is a national sponsor of Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever, and an annual presenter of the Bird Dog Bonanza Stage, while Purina Pro Plan is official dog food brand of “The Habitat Organization.” SportDOG brand is teaming up with Purina to present the stage.
 

HAND-PICKED HIGHLIGHTS

“It’s hard to pick out highlights,” says Gunzer. “Our presenters, and the topics they are covering, are that good.”

“But one new concept this year is advice on preventing and treating sports injuries in hunting dogs,” he says. “That’s why we pulled in Dr. Joe Spoo. He’s from right there in Sioux Falls, and he is a board-certified sports medicine veterinarian at Best Care Pet Hospital. Anybody with a hard-working hunting dog is going to want to attend Field Trial and Hunting Dogs: Keeping Your Dog in the Field.”

“I also think it’s going to be fun to have Delmar Smith there as part of our panel for Ask the Exerts: Over 200 Years of Dog Training Experience,” says Gunzer. Smith is a legend in the dog training world. “Delmar is entertaining to listen to,” adds Gunzer. “He’s in his 90s, and tells it straight up like it is. Attendees will get a kick out of him.”

“Electronics are a hot topic for today’s bird dog owner, and Josh Miller of SportDOG is going to do a great introduction to E-collars, as well as a next-step seminar on remote training and tracking with GPS,” adds Gunzer.

“Puppy training is where it all starts,” says Gunzer, “so Rick and Ronnie Smith are going to do something fun. They aren’t bringing any of their own pups to their Puppy Training seminar, but rather will be working with pups from the audience. That’s going to be interesting, and real-life, to say the least!”

“And every year Tom Dokken has great new topics,” adds Gunzer. “This year, it’s Pheasant Dog, Fundamentals to Finish. The cool thing here is, no matter where you are in a dog’s life cycle – from new pup to a two-year old to a mature dog that's new to rooster hunting – you can get insights into making a pheasant dog.” Pheasants are different, and tough. Dokken helps you address that in your training.
 

COMPLETE SEMINAR SCHEDULE

FRIDAY

2:00 p.m.
Foundation Training for Pointing Dogs
Rick Smith, Purina Pro Plan

3:00 p.m.
Remote Training & Tracking Your Dog with GPS
Josh Miller, SportDOG Brand

4:00 p.m.
Injuries in Field Trial and Hunting Dogs: Keeping Your Dog in the Field
Dr. Joe Spoo, Best Care Pet Hospital

5:00 p.m.
Pheasant Dog, Fundamentals to Finish
Tom Dokken, SportDOG Brand

6:00 p.m.
Developing a Bird Dog
Ronnie Smith, Purina Pro Plan

7:00 p.m.
Ask the Experts: Over 200 Years of Dog Training Experience
The Smiths, Dr. Joe Spoo, Karl Gunzer, Tom Dokken, Bob West, Josh Miller, Purina Pro Plan and SportDOG Brand
 

SATURDAY

10:00 a.m.
Training Your Dog to Find Shed Antlers: Tools & Techniques
Tom Dokken, SportDOG Brand

11:00 a.m.
Puppy Training
Rick Smith, Purina Pro Plan

Noon
Developing a Bird Dog
Ronnie Smith, Purina Pro Plan

1:00 p.m.
Introduction to E-Collars
Josh Miller, SportDOG Brand

2:00 p.m.
Pheasant Dog, Fundamentals to Finish
Tom Dokken, SportDOG Brand

3:00 p.m.
Injuries in Field Trial and Hunting Dogs: Keeping Your Dog in the Field
Dr. Joe Spoo, Best Care Pet Hospital

4:00 p.m.
Ask the Experts: Over 200 Years of Dog Training Experience
The Smiths, Dr. Joe Spoo, Karl Gunzer, Tom Dokken, Bob West, Josh Miller, Purina Pro Plan and SportDOG Brand

SUNDAY

10:00 a.m.
Injuries in Field Trial and Hunting Dogs: Keeping Your Dog in the Field
Dr. Joe Spoo, Best Care Pet Hospital

11:00 a.m.
Developing a Bird Dog
Ronnie Smith, Purina Pro Plan

Noon
Remote Training & Tracking Your Dog with GPS
Josh Miller, SportDOG Brand

1:00 p.m.
Pheasant Dog, Fundamentals to Finish
Tom Dokken, SportDOG Brand

2:00 p.m.
Foundation Training for Pointing Dogs
Rick Smith, Purina Pro Plan

3:00 p.m.
Ask the Experts: Over 200 Years of Dog Training Experience
The Smiths, Dr. Joe Spoo, Karl Gunzer, Tom Dokken, Bob West, Josh Miller, Purina Pro Plan and SportDOG Brand
 

SPECIAL PROMOTION

It’s always tough getting folks “up-and-at-em” for the first Saturday seminar, so Tom Dokken is giving attendees to his 10:00 a.m. Training Your Dog to Find Shed Antlers: Tools & Techniques session a free kit including Rack Wax (a training scent that imitates the smell of fresh antlers) along with his Shed Dog Training DVD, on a first-come, first-served basis.
 

CONCLUSION

Plan a couple days, or all three, at the show. That way, you’ll get to some other stages beyond the Bird Dog Bonanza, and find some time to wander the exciting show floor too!  

National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic is slated for the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, February 16-18. Visit the Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic site for details, including tickets and show hours. There’s plenty for the whole family to do, including the kids or grandkids at this year’s Youth Village.  

Tom Carpenter is Digital Content Manager for Quail Forever.