Sundance’s approach to training has been developed over decades of experience and study. We have a combined experience of over 30 years of training countless dogs.

We have worked with field dogs and show lines from North America, Ireland, and Great Britain; trained Labrador Retrievers for field trials and hunt tests, and as gun dogs and family companions; and successfully rehabilitated troubled retrievers.

Whether you’re buying a dog from us or bringing us a dog who needs to be trained, our number one rule is that no two dogs will train the same. Every training is designed to meet your and your dog’s specific needs, including working with their unique personality. There is no cookie cutter training at Sundance!

At the heart of Sundance’s approach to training is the belief that to build up a quality animal, we must focus on fairness and consistency.

(Go here to see Sundance Retrievers planned litters and when they’ll be available.)

Basic Principles

In Sundance’s approach to training, we have combined time-tested methods with current thinking and new technologies to implement a four step training process:

  1. Teach: Give actions a name and mark that behavior with praise. At this stage, the cue is a request.
  2. Enforce: Cues become commands by applying corrections and praise, i.e. “empowerment through choice.”
  3. Groove: Repeat the desired response until it is automatic.
  4. Apply: Take the learned behavior and transition it into the field.

These methods are used no matter what your goal with your dog is.

(You can read more about current thinking in dog training here.)

Types of training we offer

Head Start Puppy Program

We provide a foundation for obedience training and good canine citizenship while keeping it a fun puppy experience. We use a reward-based training system to teach the behaviors we want to see in these very young students.

Approximately 4 months of age.

Companion Programs

Once our young students have mastered their formal obedience blocks, we start taking them on field trips to local parks, daycares, and anywhere we can introduce them to new sights and sounds. Our students become well-mannered, rounded individuals that take new situations in stride.

Approximately 6 months of age

Advanced Companion Programs

If you are looking for more maturity and depth of training in your companion dog, perhaps Advanced Companion training is for you.

Approximately 8 months of age

Training for gun dogs

Read the details about Sundance Retriever’s gun dog trainings here. From beginner to advanced to seasonal “tune-ups,” we’ve got you covered.

Working Dogs

​If you are thinking about a professional career for your canine companion, we offer the foundations to get your pup on the right path. From Detection or SAR to Therapy and Service, we can help your dog develop the skills to prepare for a finished program of your choosing. Read more about Sundance Retriever’s working dog trainings here.

A few last things…

Again, to meet each of our client’s needs, we customize our training programs. We offer complete programs, taking your dog from the beginning of obedience to the more complex blocks of a finished dog.

For the at-home trainer, we have month to month programs. For the local family we offer in-depth private lessons providing comprehensive direction in the complicated world of dog training.

Whatever your specific needs, we will work with you to design the best program for you and your dog.