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Eloika Ridge Retriever Training

Whether your goal is to have a started gun dog or finished Master Hunting Retriever, our training program provides a solid foundation on which advanced training can be built. We also tailor your dog’s training to your needs. We specialize in training hunting retrievers.

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Our training philosophy is to teach first, train second, and to treat each student with respect & fairness. We want hard charging retrievers with a great working attitude and we have found that the only way to achieve this is by providing a fun positive training environment.


We train our students 5 to 6 days per week as we believe in giving our students time off from the physical and mental demands of training. One to two days off each week is a key ingredient to keeping a hard charging eager student with a great attitude. Our kennels are single occupancy, meaning we do not and will not have dogs sharing a single kennel. It’s important that each of our students have their very own space during days off; this helps the dogs rest, relax, and recharge for continued learning.


We also believe in a balanced training program which starts early each morning with basic obedience or yard drills and progresses in the afternoons to field work with marking drills on water and land, quartering, trailing; all with lots of birds.

A few years ago I had life circumstances that prevented me from fully training my female pointing lab, Tanni, on my own. I had worked with her on obedience and she hunted and pointed well instinctually. However, her retrieving was sub par on all fronts.

I met with Pat Rodgers and got a really good vibe. In just a few months Pat turned Tanni into a retrieving machine, polished up her obedience, improved her scent trailing skills and bolstered her confidence in the field. I now have a wonderful, well rounded home companion and a great hunting dog.

I would highly recommend Pat Rodgers to train any retriever for: obedience, upland, waterfowl, scent trailing, shed antler hunting, pointing labs or any other purpose-driven training.

Lon Lauber

Basic Obedience

​A solid foundation in basic obedience is the foundation which all future training is built. Students enrolled in this training are around 5 months old and usually complete the program after 3 to 4 months of training. AKC Junior Retriever Hunt Tests & NAHRA Started Retriever Field Tests. The Retriever Basic Obedience Program provides:

  • Sit (whistle sit), here, & heel training (1 and/or 2 sided)

  • Hold (dowel, bumper, bird)

  • Lots of land & water marks with birds (single & double marks)

  • Introduction to decoys, gun shot, duck calls, & boat

  • Bank running & cover cheating drills

  • Force fetch

  • Walking fetch & stick fetch

  • E-Collar conditioning

  • Beginning steadiness

  • Force to pile

  • Front finish

  • Simple casting

Pointing Labs

Our pointing program is geared to identifying those dogs that have the pointing trait and to teach these dogs to hold the point. We use a lot of birds and repetition to produce steady dogs that love to point. Teaching the dogs to sit to the whistle, no matter how far away, as well as to quarter and to identify and track upland birds is included in this program.

Intermediate Training

​In this program we are taking the fundamentals learned during the Basic Obedience phase of training and expanding them to teach:

  • 8 handed casting

  • Single & double T

  • Swim-by

  • Push – pull drills

  • Pattern blinds

  • Call-back drills

  • Channel blinds

  • Quartering

  • Trailing

  • Sit to flush

  • Cheating singles

  • Blind diversions

  • Lots of single marks, expand on the double marks and introduce Triple marks

  • Honoring

  • Cold blinds (without marks)

  • Diversion birds

  • 16 bumper wagon wheel lining

Tune-ups/Problem Solving

With all the time and effort we hunters put into assuring we get into the birds, we owe it to ourselves to ensure our retrievers are ready and able to put the birds in the bag. A retriever tune-up will get your retriever in better physical condition and sharpen up those retrieving skills that most hunters haven’t had the time to work on for a while. Or maybe you’re just having trouble working through a habit or new concept with your retriever. Many times we’ll need to setup an appointment for you and your retriever so we can get a better idea of what your needs are and what needs to be worked out with your retriever.

Advanced Training

In this phase of our program we are putting many of the yard and field drills learned in the Intermediate phase together in the field. Students begin to run blinds with combinations of marks. Marking concepts become very technical. Students learn:​

  • Advanced marking concepts

  • Long hidden & retired guns

  • Advanced angle entries into water & cover

  • Advanced diversions & poison birds

  • Secondary selection

  • Water walk around blind drill

  • Long entry water blinds

  • Advanced multiple mark & blind combinations

Little More About Us

We have been training retrievers for over 37 years. Our dogs have competed in field trials, American Kennel Club (AKC) Hunt Tests, Hunting Retriever Club (HRC) Hunt Tests, North American Hunting Retriever Association (NAHRA) Hunt Tests, & American Pointing Lab Association (APLA) Hunt Tests. We have been blessed by having such a stellar reputation in the retriever training community. As such, we continue to receive client dogs from all over North America for training.

How can we help you and your retriever?

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