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Our address is 573 CR 3380 Ladonia TX 75449.
We are only 45 minutes North East of McKinney, Texas and 25 minutes South East of Bonham, Texas near the town of Ladonia.
Our Gun Dog Program is a 4 month program consisting of the following.
1. Basic and Advanced Obedience
2. Collar Conditioning to an e-collar
3. Force Fetch
4. Steady to shot
5. Exposed to everything duck, dove, and pheasant hunting including blinds, decoys, duck calls, shot over with shot guns, cripples, and etc...
6. Manners in the duck blind as well as at home.
7. Marks with real birds in the field everyday and complexity in marking.
Your dog will have a strong foundation of basic obedience, which will ensure he or she is a good house companion. In the field, your dog will be able to mark the fall of a bird or bumper on land and water, retrieve it reliably and efficiently, and deliver to hand. They will be steady to shot and comfortable in many types of terrain and hunting scenarios. Your dog will also be accustomed to duck calls, boats, duck blinds, gunfire and decoys.
While a new bond will be established with the trainer, your bond to your dog will still exist and will remain strong. Your dog will be busy learning new and exciting things and will adjust to the training program. Zion Kennels is available for constant updates and we encourage you to visit regularly. We encourage you to wait two weeks before your first visit, and six weeks from your dog's first lesson to allow us ample time to build a solid relationship with them. At the six week mark, we will be glad to meet with you, review training, and allow you time to play with your dog. Once your dog comes home, he or she will settle back into their routines at home. We like to compare it to a summer sports camp for kids: they attend camp, learn a lot and have fun, then return home as an improved and skilled athlete.
Each trainer is limited to 10 to 20 dogs at one time, in order to maximize their time and attention for each individual dog. It is important to schedule your dog(s) for training in advance as we maintain a high capacity of dogs and have a waiting list in place.
This depends on which phase of training your dog is in the process of completing. Each phase of the training will be working with one or two trainers. Dogs can be worked up to 4 sessions per day. The length of time for each session may vary, depending on where your dog is in the training program. Typically, a session will last 10-30 minutes or until your dog is successful, to ensure he/she remains excited about their training. We train Monday through Saturday. Saturdays are optional depending on our hunt testing activities.
In addition to the training program, we also take the dogs for runs around the property using an ATV one or two times a day.
We primarily use pigeons and ducks in training, but occasionally we use pheasant.
Our facility is located on 101 acres. We have 9 ponds including a swim-bye pond for advanced training. We also have access to thousands of acres of land and water within thirty minutes of our facility and have the option to use these lands to introduce your dog to a variety of scenarios and terrains.
We strongly encourage you to visit your dog to review the training and allow us to teach you the new commands. Plus, we welcome you to participate in daily field training sessions. Come prepared for any weather conditions! You’ll be invited to observe, run your dog, and run other dogs for additional practice and experience. Please call in advance for scheduling.
You can take your dog home on some weekends or during holidays once the first phase of training has been completed and we have had an opportunity to review the training with you. We strongly suggest you maintain the standard of training at home and reinforce the basic obedience commands during the home visits. We have learned from experience, if they go home too much they struggle to stay at the desired speed of training.
The monthly investment in your dog is $600 per month for boarding, feeding, birds and training. We also have a veterinarian which may visit if needed for checkups. There are no hidden costs!
Zion Kennels requires each dog to be supplied with heartworm and flea/tick medications for the duration of his/her stay by the owner. While this has not been an issue at our facility, we strongly believe in prevention. Please label packages with your dog’s name and the date to be given. Zion Kennels will maintain all of our own equipment (leashes, collars, etc.) for training your dog.
If we observe an injury or illness, we take your dog to our vet, which is located a short distance from our facility. We will contact you first to discuss the injury or illness, unless it is an emergency situation. You also have the option of picking up your dog up and taking them to your personal vet.
A hunt test is an event, which simulates actual hunting conditions and tests your retriever on his/her ability to perform certain tasks. Your dog is judged on its ability to pass a standardized test; meaning it is non-competitive. Each pass your dog receives is a “leg” or qualification towards their hunt test title. Zion Kennels competes regularly in both AKC and UKC hunt tests.
The only requirement for your dog to compete in a hunt test is that they must be registered with either AKC or UKC. Upon completion of our basic training program, your dog should be sufficiently prepared to compete for their AKC Junior or UKC Started Title. Retrievers that complete the Advanced Training Program should be prepared to compete at the AKC Senior Level. With several months of additional training at the advanced level, your dog will be prepared to compete at the AKC Master level.
Your dog can be handled in a hunt test by you, or we can handle him/her for you. We’ll be glad to teach you how to run your dog in a hunt test and inform you of the rules. If we run your dog for you, there is a $75 Handler Fee per event. Entry fees vary per retriever club which can found at entryexpress.net
The search for the ‘right’ puppy can be difficult. First, look for a puppy that has a good pedigree. Look for achievements (AKC or UKC hunt test or field trial) in the bloodline that insures your puppy will have good genetic material. Evaluate the parents closely; they will be the nearest predictor for how the pup will act as an adult. You want a pup which, as an adult, with have a high desire to retrieve, maintain good training ability and intelligence. You also want a sound temperament and a friendly disposition. Make sure that the parent’s hips have been certified by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) with a rating of at least "Good" or "Excellent." Also, make sure the parent’s eyes have been certified by the Certified Eye Retinal Foundation (CERF) as "Clear." Always ask for a written hip and eye guarantee and make sure the pup has been vaccinated, wormed, and dew claws have been removed.
Contact us to see what the best puppy would be for you. We always know of well bred litters.