TRAINING - THE WILDROSE WAY

Wildrose specializes in producing classic English Labrador hunting and adventure companions...The Gentleman's Gundog...a dog of duality prepared to go anywhere, any time for any type of wingshooting or outside adventure. These are dogs that truly complement the families' sporting lifestyle.

The Wildrose training processes are designed to create a positive, productive relationship between the gundog and the handler by establishing clear expectations for the retriever's calm behavior and performance, as well as, a strong bond between the two. Our balanced methods (The Wildrose Way) utilize positive habit formation to entrench essential behaviors such as ease of handle, gamefinding ability and compatibility.

We customize our training curriculum to meet the specific developmental needs of each dog while keeping the owner's expectations in mind.

"Training the Wildrose Way" and "Training the Upland Gundog" DVDs allow you to see “The Wildrose Way" come alive in an interactive way through numerous lessons and digital diagrams. Order at www.wildrosetradingcompany.com.

Orvis Double Barrel Podcast - The Wildrose Way

The First Hunts
Traning Your Gun Dog Part 1: The Puppy
Training your gun Dog Part 2: The First Six Months
Training your Gun Dog Part 3

Training Programs

  • Waterfowl Retrievers
  • Upland Flushing and Retrieving
  • Driven Shooting Retrievers
  • Adventure Dogs
  • Shed Hunters
  • Large Game Recovery (tracking)
  • Pointer/Retriever Combinations
  • Strike Dogs/Wagon Dogs




  • Comments about Wildrose Training

    "The Wildrose Way is the right way when it comes to training gundogs." Wade Bourne, Host of The World of Ducks on Ducks Unlimited TV and outdoor writer.

    "It is unusual for one pro trainer to excel in both pointing and flushing/retrieving dog training. Mike has accomplished that as well." John C. Gosselin, Publisher, The Upland Almanac.

    "The Wildrose Way teaches dog owners how to systematically build on retrievers' natural instincts through gentle, positive reinforcement with no more fear for the dog or frustration for the owner." John W. Newman, President of Ducks Unlimited.

    "...a training regime perfectly suited to canine instincts and capabilities as they relate to the hunter's needs afield." Christopher Camuto, Grey's Sporting Journal.

    "Wildrose takes a holistic view of dog training that's valuable to any handler, whether you want a waterdog, upland dog, or adventure dog." Grayson Schaffer, Senior Editor, Outside Magazine.

    "He (Stewart) works to produce focused, obedient hunting dogs that will fulfill their owners' goals including retrieving waterfowl, finding upland birds, going fly-fishing or canoeing or camping or simply relaxing with the family at home." Charles Fergus, Shooting Sportsman.

    "What makes Wildrose different is the training...he relies solely on positive reinforcement, using stern verbal directions (like "good" and "no") and nonverbal, noncontact cues, like standing completely still until a misbehaving dog calms down." Monte Burke, Forbes Life

    "Mike Stewart has turned the world of gundog training upside down." Donovan Webster, Garden & Gun Magazine

    "Instead, Stewart (Wildrose) chooses to focus on positive reinforcement, gentle repetition, and imprinting what he calls "essential behaviors" to the point of habit formation. The result... a well-behaved gun dog; and, perhaps more important, one that stays well-behaved for a lifetime." Chad Love, Covey Rise Magazine

    Basic (5 to 6 month program)

    Wildrose starters are accepted into this program between 7 and 8 months old. The training emphasizes all essential gundog skills including obedience, steady/honor, delivery, lining on memories, handling (hand signals), hunting cover and marking. Dogs are exposed to various hunting terrain and environments (both land and water) and a variety of birds including pigeon, quail, chukar, duck and pheasant. For the pup of average ability and temperament you can expect a quiet, responsive, obedient, reliable retriever who is steady to shot, proficient in single and double retrieves as well as handling and hunting in varied environments. A gundog ready for their first hunts.

    Other Basic Course options include:
    Adventure Dog - The client may select from 14 different skills sets specific to their family's lifestyle. The training builds upon the core behaviors and fundamental skills of the game dog, and then expands into specific activities relevant to the outside adventurer including camping, mountain biking, hiking, fishing, trail assistance, etc.

    Shed Hunters - Trained in the same manner as the upland flushing- retriever, the dog is hunting for antlers rather than feathered game. All fundamental skills of the hunter are developed...obedience, steadiness, gunfire introduction, retrieving, quartering and hunting cover.

    Game Recovery - Commonly known as blood trailing for wounded game, the focus is on developing the dog's natural hunting instincts, applying appropriate controls such as desensitizing the dog to chasing game, gunfire and distractions, then enhancing the dog's independent nature to track while limiting the dog's prey drive, the tendency to chase.

    Advanced (3 months)

    This curriculum builds upon the foundation skills established in the basic program. This process may begin after one hunting season exposure. Additional elements include lining extensions, multiple memories, handling on water and in cover, steadiness refinement, permanent and cold unseens, tracking runners, and diversions (gunfire/birds). Dog are trained in the most realistic of conditions at our various facilities to match the clients' needs afield. Upland game (quail, pheasant) training is available which will include steady to flush, tracking, marking on walk-ups and/or quartering even the option for training with pointing gundogs.

    Advanced training is available for all Wildrose training programs listed above.

    Obedience Course (1 to 2 month)

    Designed specifically for the Wildrose companion dog, this course conditions the youngster in basic obedience commands: heel, here, sit, stay, remote recall, as well as other essential behaviors including down, load, kennel, tying out and place training. This is considered to be the basic "good citizen" course designed to make your dog a socialized, well-mannered part of your family.

    Pre-Season Tune Up (1 to 2 months)

    The tune-up curriculum is for Wildrose Started or Finished Retrievers in need of pre-season conditioning, refinement of particular skills or addressing minor problems. Refresher work includes obedience skills in field conditions, memories, steadiness, multiple marks, lining, precision handling, unseens, and bird work. Dogs will be exposed to extensive gunfire and birds and may have the option to train in different areas of the country at Wildrose training facilities including Arkansas and Colorado.

    See the Wildrose Kennels Training Photo Gallery

    Booking Your Wildrose Dog for Training

    Scheduling Wildrose limits the number of dogs in training to insure the absolute quality of our training processes. Wildrose only accepts puppies and dogs purchased through Wildrose Kennels into training. Advanced pre-scheduling of your training needs is required. Call 662-234-5788 for bookings. Note: All clients with dogs trained by our staff are required to participate in learning to properly handle their dog in field situations. One or more onsite visits with the dog's trainer are required.

    Health Requirements Arriving dogs should be current on all vaccinations and worming treatments. Please have your veterinarian records for your dog available at the time of arrival indicating the following immunizations:
  • 8-way vaccination (DA2PP+CVK/4L) within 6 months of arriving
  • Lyme disease vaccination, a series of two shots
  • Bordetella two consecutive treatments
  • Rabies vaccination
  • Physical by vet no more than one week before arrival
  • Tested negative for intestinal parasites, coccidia and giardia
    Tested negative for flea and tick infestation and ear mites
  • Dog must be microchipped.
  • Dog should be on a comprehensive heart and intestinal parasite preventive program prior to arrival.
  • Note: A copy of the dog's medical record from your veterinarian including the above inoculations and results of physical must accompany the pup upon arrival.