My name is Bob Rohr, from Griffin, Ohio and I have a yellow pointing lab named Harvey. I purchased him in Colorado at 8 weeks. He’ll be 5 in May, 2016. Harvey is pedigree, coming from his mother, a grand champion and his father, a fantastic hunter.
At 9 months I started looking around for a local professional trainer and saw Dave’s Retriever Barn ad in “Pheasants Forever”. I gave Dave a call and we had a nice conversation. After that, I went to visit his operation. He had a bunch of dogs, which all looked well fed, and the pens were clean. I was so impressed with Dave, that I decided to leave Harvey there.
In all honesty, I hadn’t done a whole lot of research on Dave, which I’m a business guy and I should have. The next day after leaving him there, I called Dave back and said, “You know Dave, I apologize, I should have asked for references. I do that with all by business operations”. So the next step was that day he gave me 4 different references and offered more. These were references of dogs he had worked on in the last 18 month or so. I called up and spoke with all 4 of them over that 2 day period and they couldn’t say enough good things about the results they had with their dogs. In fact, one or two of them continue to take their dogs back for a refresher. They just found their dogs reacted very well.
The first month there, Dave did obedience training with Harvey. I was anxious to see how Harvey did over the month. We took Harvey for a walk and he was much more obedient. He responded very well to Dave and to me on a very long walk. After that, I started going back every 2 to 3 weeks. And just seeing the progress with the training, Harvey was very obedient, and was retrieving birds.
We had one issue, he wasn’t gun shy but he was gun aware. Dave was working with him with a cap gun and a smaller gauge shotgun. We took him out and did some wet retrieves. He shot a device that shoots the retrieving mechanism out a couple hundred feet and when the cap would go off, Harvey just loved it. I never became and issue and I credit Dave with recognizing it early on to catch it.
Over the next 3 months, We had him doing single and double retrieves, stopping, going on command, doing everything that I wished he would do. Dave said if you’d like, we can keep him here a few more weeks to work on some more things. He shot some live birds over him at the local pheasant hunting club. Dave worked with me and Harvey in the field with him at the club 3 or 4 months later, at least a couple times, at no extra charge. He just wanted to see the dog work. I feel that I have a very well rounded dog.
Recently, I’ve had my dog out to South Dakota for the last 3 years, and he’s done excellent. Where I hunt out there, it’s a private club where we are hunting wild birds. The guides said Harvey was one of the best 2 dogs they’ve ever had out there hunting and asked me if I’d consider leaving him there for the rest of the season, the benefit being they would end up shooting over 1000 birds. Harvey is my friend also, so I didn’t end up doing that. Harvey does everything I’d like him to do and I attribute the excellent training to Dave.
If I have another dog to train, Dave is the guy I’d go to!