Heidi Haivala & Josh Goeman both age 23. Heidi is from Piedmont, SD and Josh is from Lennox, SD. We both met at SDSU and became best friends about 4 years ago and started Jacked Up Labs just over a year ago.
Josh and I started dating and just over 7 months into our relationship we decided that our passion for dogs should turn into a hobby! It helped that Heidi’s dog Ellie was due to have puppies in June of 2018, so it motivated us to be more serious about starting Jacked Up Labs. Josh started training Bear for Hunt Tests in 2017 and he got Heidi hooked the next summer.
The best age for a dog to start training is day one with the owner. Learning simple obedience commands from the owner is a big factor. Being exposed to feathers or live birds helps the puppy out in the long haul. For the old dogs, there is such a thing as new tricks. You can teach a dog anything if your wiling to put in the effort and time.
Our favorite part of training a dog is seeing the advancements the dogs makes not just as a puppy but as an adult from season level to finished. Seeing certain habits you teach in a dog to go from field to the hunt is the biggest reward you can ask for. For example, having your dog run a blind on a wounded duck across is an amazing feeling when you see your dog come back with that duck in their mouth.
The biggest trait we look for in training is the desire and drive to retrieve. One of our mottos is, “No bird left behind”. We don’t like to see birds stay in the field because our dogs couldn’t retrieve. The drive and desire to retrieve a bird is a big factor in training a dog. All we do is fine tune that desire into certain retrieves that a retriever might see in the hunting field.
There are many different breeds of hunting dogs. For the all-around breed that has shown their status in the waterfowl and upland game is the Labrador retriever. They are the most well-known breed in the country next to the golden retriever. We train all kinds of dogs, but our favorite is the lab. However, spaniels are good upland and waterfowl dogs along with sorts of pointers for upland hunting like the shorthair and the veisla breed.
For a new dog owner looking to make their dog better in the hunting field we recommend reaching out to your local hunting retriever club to learn new drills and tricks to help your dog reach their full potential as a hunting dog. Reaching out to certain pros and other people learning new tricks and help not only you as a handler but you as an owner in the hunting field.
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