Bacon Wrapped Pheasant

Recipe by: Steven Lucius
Senior Trainer

Pheasant breastsIMG_2550
Thick cut bacon (2 slices per pheasant breast)

Once the meat is cleaned, filet the meat off the breast bone

Cute the breast into 1” portions (clean & rinse meat one last time)

Wrap each portion in one piece of uncooked thick cut bacon – insert toothpick if needed

Heat Green Egg to 350 degrees

Place pheasant wrapped bacon on grill

After 3 minutes flip the pheasant (flip a total of 5 times for 15 minutes)

When bacon is cooked, your meal is ready!

Serve with greens

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The New Arrival

By: Danielle Drewrey
Wildrose Trainer II

At Wildrose we strive to properly prepare our clients for the integration of their puppy to their current family lifestyle.  The list of what to do and perhaps what not to do is rather extensive. Similarly let’s consider how to properly introduce a newborn or toddler to our canine pack. After attending the Wildrose puppy seminar, some say they feel more prepared to bring their puppy home than they were when they brought their newborn home.  What about grandparents or friends expecting visitation from a newborn or a toddler, the same circumstances exist…an odd intrusion on your dog’s stable family pack.  Expecting my own human “puppy” very soon, I reached out to other Wildrose pack members and gathered a list of ‘What To Do’s’ when introducing a baby to meet and coexist with our canine companion(s).

Bringing home a baby will not only rock your world but Fido’s as well.  It is your responsibility to properly prepare Fido for the new addition.  Your pack is growing and all members need to know their place in the pack order. Dogs thrive in an environment with structure, routine, stability and consistency, all of which will be rattled once the baby arrives.

sadie and baby

WR Sadie (Murphy X Brooke)   Owners: The Youngs

The preparation of getting Fido ready for the baby to come home begins long before the baby arrives.  Teaching Fido basic obedience will be the best giftyou can give yourself and your dog in the future months and years to come.  A tip from Anna Swinney, Retail Manager of Wildrose Oxford is to carry around a baby doll a few weeks
before the baby comes home in order for Fido to get used to the new routine and presence of a smaller person.  Something you might notice is Fido’s awareness of the pregnancy, this will aid in the transition of the new addition as well.

Skills like place, crate training, tie out and a proper exercise routine are going to be your saving grace.  Place training is essential to avoid mishaps such as knocking the child over, retrieving the child’s toys or even steeling the pacifier.  Establish a special place to feed the dog where the child has no access, in the unlikely event the dog becomes possessive of their food.  Wildrose never recommends chew toys, but if the dog does have possessions or is given treats for dental care ensure the child has no opportunity to interfere. When traveling with the infant and the dog(s) as always, we recommend the

storm and baby adventure

WR Storm (Deke X Jet) Owners: The Armisteads

dog being secured to prevent the animal becoming a flying object in case of an impact. A harness attached to a seat belt or having the dog in a travel crate is always recommended, especially with a child on board.

For more information on obedience training, see our You Tube and Facebook training videos (search “Wildrose Kennels”) on the specifics of teaching your pup these skills.  Consistency and routine are a huge factor that will help ease the transition for Fido once the baby arrives.  For example, if you have been working Fido in the morning, continue working him in the morning once the baby arrives. Feeding and relief schedules should be maintained as always.

Now that you have equipped Fido with the necessary skills of obedience, you are ready for the baby to come.  Once the newborn arrives the most common piece of advice new parents are given is to bring a blanket or hat home that the baby has been wearing so Fido can become familiar with the new scent.

Jen Magnusson of Blixt & Co., owner of four Wildrose labs, recently brought Baby Em home to her pack, and provided valuable tips about the experience:

The best way to integrate the newest pack member was to:

1st Bring a blanket home with the baby’s scent on it for all the pups in the home to become familiar with.

2nd One at a time, introduce the baby in a quiet setting to each dog in the home.

3rd Take a pack walk with the baby and all pack members living in the home.

4th After the walk, let each dog come over and sit with you and the baby.

During this process of introducing the newborn to the pack Jen notes that the most important skill to practice is for you (the handler and pack leader) to be relaxed and remain under control during the introduction. If you are stressed and nervous during the introductions, your pack members will be as well.

Jen has experienced that as the baby grows, she will learn to steer clear of wagging tails along with learning how to be gentle with the dogs.  She explains, “The hardest part is that she is so comfortable with our dogs that I worry she will run into a dog that needs more space than she is accustomed to.”

The path to introducing a baby to the pack may be varied depending on your dog’s personality.  Just remember YOU are the pack leader and it is your responsibility to set the tone of introducing the newest addition in the best way possible.  Have a plan and remember Wildrose Law number 18, “Train, don’t test- If the fundamental skills are not present the dog will fail.”

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When Dogs Help Teach: Whitney Drewrey’s Therapy Dog Project at Lafayette Upper Elementary School, Oxford, MS 

By Drs. Ben W. McClelland and Susan S. McClelland

At 8:00 a.m. on a recent Monday, I visited Whitney Drewrey’s self-contained, special education 3rd-5th-grade classroom at Lafayette County Upper Elementary School, where seventeen students eagerly wait for reading circle to begin. As in most elementary classrooms, the students are moving about, chatting with classmates, and some sit quietly. Unlike the typical classroom, these students present various academic, social, and behavioral challenges that can coincide with severe and cognitive disabilities. Thus, two full-time and one part-time teaching assistants help out.

reading to foxy with danielleEntering the classroom, I had company, because twice monthly on Monday mornings Whitney’s daughter-in-law, Danielle Drewrey, brings a Wildrose Therapy Dog or two to the reading circle. On this day Foxy, two-year-old yellow Labrador, accompanied Danielle. And Dr. Scott Wilson joined in with his dog, Sterling, also Wildrose Therapy Dog.

Danielle, a Wildrose Kennels trainer, is also the training coordinator for Wildrose Service Companions. Scott is the Wildrose Service Companions Director. They have been spearheading the use of service dog companions in a number of settings, including nursing homes, courtrooms, and schools.

Teacher Whitney Drewrey began at Lafayette Schools this year and, having had prior experience with therapy dogs in a school setting, she initiated this therapy dog project at the beginning of the school year. So, when I visited the classroom, everyone—students, teachers, trainers, and dogs—knew the routine for the reading circle, where the students sat on overstuffed chairs facing the teacher and Danielle, as well as Foxy, who was lying down intently watching the students. Scott and Sterling stood directly behind Danielle and Foxy. Whitney began by reading a page of The Berenstain Bears to the class. Then, she turned to a student to continue the reading. The student read to Foxy, who listened attentively.

As the reading circle activity continued, Whitney would read another page from the book and then call on another student to read another page to Foxy, who continued to remain patient and still, no distraction whatsoever. Quite the contrary, Foxy was attentive and focused throughout the activity until everyone had a chance to read to her. Because the focus of the activity was so limited to the task of one person reading aloud at a time and because it shifted from person to person, all of the students listened with rapt attention, too. Everyone was engaged in reading and listening.

“Why,” I asked Whitney, “did each student read to Foxy?”

Whitney explained “Students, who lack confidence because they are behind a grade level or more in reading fluency and comprehension, feel at ease as they read to a dog that listens attentively without judgment. The dog is not going to make fun of them for reading a “baby” book as some of their peers might call it.”  This reading success, she said, builds the students’ confidence in reading out loud. If a child will find a love for reading, they will want to read more, and ultimately increase the fluency and comprehension component of their reading.

Educational research concurs with Whitney’s assessment of the value of her students’ reading to Foxy. A study revealed that the activity of students reading to a dog “targeted the students’ intrinsic motivation (i.e., the students wanted to read to the dog) and their self-efficacy (i.e., belief they could perform better each time they read). . . [which] can increase pride (Shernoff, Knauth, & Makris, 2000).

After Whitney and her students had finished reading the book, the students got their reward: taking turns, each one walked Foxy or Sterling down the school hallway. During this part of the activity, students lined up for their turn. Their excitement bubbled over in smiles and giggles.

Danielle held Foxy on a lead and when a student approached, Danielle reminded her or him to greet Foxy and pet her under her chin. Then, Danielle helped the student get into the correct position to walk the dog, handing the student walker another lead. Each student walker first gave Foxy the command, “sit,” followed by the command “heel” and off all three went walking down the school hallway. Scott and Sterling did the same, helping student walkers lead Sterling down another hallway. Both dogs, having been trained for this exercise, responded calmly with wagging tails to the commands and heeled alongside the student walker and the handler. The looks on the student walkers’ faces indicated joy, anxiety, giddiness, or serene task mastery, depending on the various students’ experiences. Regardless, at the end of the walk, each student told the dog to sit, thanked the dog, and appeared to me to have had a good experience—and for many a challenging one.

Meanwhile, back in the classroom, the awaiting students watched the dogs, handlers, and classmate walkers go down the hallway and disappear, soon to return again for a new walker’s turn.

walking in hall with foxy

After the visit Danielle said, “This activity gives the students life lessons, learning how to approach a dog, pet it under the neck, and give it commands, such as ‘sit’ and ‘heel.’ Doing this activity, the students learn patience and feel the empowerment and responsibility of directing the dog.” Educational research supports this observation. From their study Harris and Sholtis report, “close relationships with companion animals may increase children’s self-esteem, encourage self-control and autonomy, and reduce alienation” (Harris & Sholtis).

Danielle and Whitney plan to incorporate incentive plans into the program in the next stage and also incorporate other subject areas, like math. For example, to incorporate money, Whitney already has an activity where she draws a circle on a student’s desk with a dry erase marker and pours a pile of coins on their desk. She calls out coins to identify first then begins to call out amounts of money for the students to make using the available coins and drag into the circle on their desk to be checked before moving on. Danielle can use Foxy as an incentive in this lesson. If a student can first identify all of their coins they will get to walk Foxy. If they can get 3 of the 5 questions correct they can do a retrieve with Foxy. If they can write their own question, present it to a peer and help them answer it they can walk Foxy independently. Because, Whitney knows that money identification is a skill they can all perform, she knows they will all get to, at the very least, walk Foxy. As more objectives are mastered in class more lessons with Foxy are gained.

IMG_4199Whitney also pointed out that Danielle’s presence is another significant part of the classroom social environment. She is another teacher to whom the children can relate. Because Danielle has been expecting a baby this year, the students have been eager to keep up with her and her baby’s development. The students are comfortable with her and feel she is an important  part of their class. Last fall a boy called her from class on a phone and invited her to the class’s Pumpkin Patch activity, where


Whitney had set up activities on the school’s practice football field, including a four-wheeler pulling a hay wagon, with kids, Danielle, and dog aboard. Afterwards, Danielle, Fawn, and some parents watched as the students picked pumpkins and painted them. This day built up the social relations of the class with Danielle and the service dogs.

In Whitney’s classroom two students within the autism spectrum have experienced petting fawnsubstantial benefits this year from engaging with Wildrose Therapy Dogs, Fawn and Foxy. As an example, Whitney said, “At the beginning of the school year one student paid no attention to the dog’s presence.  Over time, he began to acknowledge the dog. Now he focuses on the dog and is eager to walk the dog, with a trainer helping. This activity is calming, enabling him to slow down and give commands, such as ‘heel,’ to the dog.” As Harris and Sholtis report, “For the most part, children with autism are accustomed to having others take care of them; the role switch that occurs as they care for their dog is educational and has the potential to develop empathy, a trait often in need of strengthening in children with autism because they have difficulty keeping other perspectives in mind” (Harris & Sholtis).

For Whitney Drewrey’s students with multiple disabilities and areas of need, the therapy dog project for the reading circle produced many and varied benefits. In the book-reading process the dog’s presence focuses the students’ attention and motivates them to engage in the academic activity. Walking the dog enables students’ physical, tactile stimulation and motivates them to move around, thus improving muscle development. Moreover, students practiced new social skill development and engaged differently in learning activities in an emotionally receptive environment. Finally, in interacting with the therapy dog, students felt ownership and responsibility, developing their self-confidence and social skills.


Harris, Kathleen I. & Stephanie D. Sholtis, “Companion Angels on a Leash: Welcoming Service Dogs Into Classroom Communities for Children With Autism.” Childhood Education, Volume 92, 2016 – Issue 4.


Shernoff, D. J., Knauth, S., & Makris, E. (2000). The quality of classroom experiences. In M. Csikszentmihalyi & B. Schneider, Becoming adult: How teenagers prepare for the world of work. New York: Basic Books, as cited in: Analysis of an Animal-Assisted Reading Intervention for Young Adolescents with Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities. By: Bassette, Laura A., Taber-Doughty, Teresa, Research in Middle Level Education Online, 19404476, 2016, Vol. 39, Issue 3.


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Wild Recipes: Pheasant with Mushroom Sauce

Recipe by:
Kelly Hargrove
6-8 breasts
1/2cup chicken broth
1 Tbs worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 4oz can sliced mushrooms
1 small can green chilies
Place breasts in crock pot.  Mix remaining ingredients together and pour over breasts.  Cook on low for 6-7 hours. Serve over brown rice.
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A Boy and His Dog

A Boy and His Dog: Nathan Swinney and Wildrose Kim

By: Dr. Ben McClelland

Photo by Katie Behnke

Popular literature is filled with poignant stories featuring an adventurous boy and his faithful four-legged companion. Wildrose has its own version of this tale involving two members of our family: Nathan and Kim. Our story begins a while ago.

Kim (Silversnipe Reformer) came to Wildrose as a British field trial winner, possessing a calm demeanor to go with her excellent gundog skill set. As a dam, she produced several outstanding litters of pups. During her productive time here, she also stayed sharp as a gundog, going afield with staff members, as do all of our sires and dams.

When Facilities Manager Clint Swinney hired on the staff, he began hunting with Kim, taking her to his home for each season, where his wife, Anna, and their three-year-old son, Nathan got well acquainted with her. Precocious Nathan took a special interest in Kim on these visits, hanging out with her as much as he could. Their bonding began here, even though he was just a tadpole and Kim was his dad’s hunting dog.

Anna Swinney, Wildrose Retail Manager, often brought Nathan with her to our onsite retail store, whereupon he would seek out Kim, walking her around the grounds and bringing her into the store to cuddle with. Everyone could see something special developing in their relationship together. Nathan became excited every time he could come to the kennel and Kim perked up each time he came for her. Joyful in their companionship, they were a joy to behold.

After Kim’s final litter in June, the Swinneys brought Kim home to stay. Always when Wildrose sires or dams retire, Mike and Cathy Stewart carefully select loving homes for their retirement. The Swinney home was the obvious choice for Kim. As Nathan embraced Kim, his parents told him that she would be his dog—his very own dog. Instinctively, Nathan, who was six years old, assumed the role of pack leader. Not only did he issue commands, which she obeyed to a tee, but he also took over the daily chores of feeding and caring for her, including giving her meds. What’s even better is that now Kim is his hunting dog. On his outdoor adventures Nathan has his BB gun in hand and Kim heeling at his side.

Photo by Katie Behnke

Nathan underscores the benefit of having a companion, saying, “Now that Kim is my dog, I have someone to go hunting with me.” If ever a father’s pride shows, it’s in the look on Clint’s face as he tells about this keen relationship that his son has developed with his dog.

Not only did Nathan take immediately to Kim, but she naturally found in him her favorite human. In the Swinney home and out, Kim looks to Nathan as the pack leader. No matter who gives her a command, she looks to Nathan for affirmation before obeying. If Nathan leaves her sight, she watches till he returns again.

Anna says, “Nathan finds joy and purpose in the mundane tasks of feeding and caring for Kim, and he spends his days seeking out more adventures for them to have, be it bird hunting in the yard with his BB gun, or performing retrieves with her to keep her in shape. Every day with Kim is an adventure to him.”

Anna was raised in a home where dog-human relationships are special—her mother is Rachel Thorton, DAD dog trainer extraordinaire—and she’s read a lot of stories of beloved boy-dog duos, such as Travis and Ol’ Yeller, Billy Coleman and his redbones, and Timmy and Lassie. Highlighting the special love story that she witnesses daily in her own home, Anna says, “Somewhere, right near the top of that list, you’d see Nathan and Kim.”

Anna sums up the meaning of their relationship for Kim this way, “Kim found joy and fulfillment in running field trials in the U.K., and loved her life at Wildrose, but the life of retirement where she plays the role of Nathan’s companion has proved to be her greatest adventure of all.”

When Nathan and Kim cozy up on the floor and he reads to her, their contentment is evident. What could be more fulfilling for a boy than to live in a loving family and have a dog of his own—a dog who has found her forever home and her heart’s content.

Gallery: Nathan and Kim (photos by Katie Behnke)

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Delivery to Hand

By: Mike Stewart

Photo by Chris Dickinson

The skill of bringing a bird back, preferably uneaten, delivering it to hand, is a core expectation for any well-trained retriever.  Mouthing a bird, plucking feathers, repeatedly dropping the bird on the return, blinking (refusing to pick up the bird momentarily) or running about, frolicking with the bird are all behaviors indicative of a dog inadequately trained for delivery to hand.

Developing natural delivery to hand is not difficult with patience and following the structure of the Wildrose Way of hold conditioning without the use of force-fetch techniques.  These steps are clearly described in our training book, Sporting Dogs and Retriever Training, the Wildrose Way ( and on our Basic Gundog Training DVD.  Our discussion in this issue centers on how to avoid problems associated with poor delivers.  “An ounce of prevention” so to speak!

Contributors to Poor Delivery

  1. Obviously allowing young dogs or pups to play with bumpers or birds is out of the question. Chew toys, fiber bones, chewing balls or any non-consumable item that may promote mouthing should be avoided.  Remember, your pup is always in training.  Think about what’s being reinforced.
  2. The antiquated practice of providing the dog with body parts of birds (heads, intestines, slivers of flesh, wings) as a reward and to build birdiness should not be adopted if you expect clean delivery of an undamaged bird.
  3. Hunting a pup too early and allowing him/her to encounter fresh game in an uncontrolled environment provides too many opportunities for things to go wrong with too little potential benefit. Live birds may intimidate the pup.  The pup gets overstimulated and excited resulting in mouthing, plucking, frolicking or even consuming a small bird like a dove or quail.  The young dog’s exposure to birds should occur after hold conditioning and in a controlled situation.  No hunting prior to 12 to 14 months of age and before completing an entire basic gundog training program.  Wildrose Law #4:  Don’t condition in a problem that must be trained out later.
  4. In training, randomly incorporate feather-laced bumpers to introduce feathers.  If the pup blinks or picks the feathers, discontinue the lesson and return to plain firehose or canvas bumpers.  Wait until the hold process is complete to revisit introducing feathers.  (Note:  Feathered bumpers and cold game are included in the hold conditioning process).
  5. Never chase a pup with an object in his mouth. The practice will promote possessiveness and awaken dysfunctional prey instincts.  If a pup initiates a game of keep away on a retrieve, quietly walk away (low stimulus) and call the pup to heel.  The human tendency is to loudly yell commands that will be ignored and move toward the youngster… wrong!  That will surely be perceived as “game on” and the adolescent will win.
  6. If a pup persists on mouthing smaller training bumpers, do not continue the lessons. Think about what you are conditioning.  Repeating any behavior with a dog can result in entrenching that very behavior to the point of habit, good or bad. If signs of mouthing present themselves:
    1. Use canvas or firehose bumpers. Avoid plastic.
    2. Enlarge the size of the bumpers.
    3. Remove feathers.
    4. Avoid small balls commonly used in training.
    5. Do not expose the dog to cold game until the problem is corrected.
    6. Large bumpers or deadfowl training dummies can be used in deep water. In some cases the dog swimming reduces their tendency to chew.
    7. Reduce stimuli in training.
  7. As mentioned, mouthing and dropping can be a result of too much stimuli in training promoting over excitement, competitiveness, or impatience.  To correct delivery problems, slow the training sessions.  Work alone with no other dogs about.  Pace the tempo of the sessions and don’t repeat failures.  Revisit a known behavior where success may be achieved.  Simplify and repeat success.

    Steven demonstrating Hold Conditioning.






    1. Do not begin hold conditioning too early. The youngster should have all adult teeth in, be enthusiastic about retrieving and be mentally developed to the point of understanding the process.  That puts the dog at 7 months plus. At Wildrose we are usually working on hold when the dog is about 8 months of age.  Make a mistake at this point and our prospect could lose interest and enthusiasm in picking anything up.  The restart then becomes a challenge.  We want to see a passion for the retrieve
      before the hold process begins.
    2. If there is a problem in delivery before this point in the pup’s progression, stop retrieving. Don’t reinforce a problem. When working on retrieves with a young pup, do not allow them to drop at delivery. Get the bumper in hand. Sitting and presenting the bumper to hand will be developed later during hold conditioning.
    3. Once hold begins, stop all retrieving until the process is complete.
    4. Do not skip steps in the process. Once the sequence begins, complete every step.  Don’t just “assume” that the skill is mastered
  8. After hold conditioning, use only medium-size, clean birds. Avoid dove and quail—too small.  Geese, rooster pheasants or large mallards—too large.  The best birds for beginners:
    1. Pigeon
    2. Teal
    3. Wood duck
    4. Diver ducks
    5. Spoonbill ducks
    6. Chukkar partridge
    7. Hen pheasant

There will be time for the big birds. Initially, we want to condition in a fast, clean pick of the bird and a prompt return without dropping.  Remember Wildrose Law #5 – Make haste slowly.

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The Six Pack

By Mike Stewart

Tis the season. Hunting season that is. Pheasant, dove, preserve quail and in some northern locations, waterfowl.  We gundog enthusiasts are back in happy times.

Photo by Chris Dickinson

My opening this year was in late August at Wildrose Teton Valley with Blixt & Co., Driven Shooting in America (Follow Wildrose Teton Valley on Instagram and Facebook).  The two weeks picking up were a great indicator of how well our dogs were prepared for game recovery.  In the retriever world this is high value:  no bird left behind.  The dogs were running hot and exposed to dry, dusty terrain, not the best for scenting conditions.  The retrievers effectively marked and lined well for unseens despite the distractions of massive gunfire and hundreds of birds in flight but these were not the real challenges.  It was recovery of birds in difficult cover. The pickers did a fantastic job of recovery based on percentages of birds downed but the work was tough stuff. Once the gundog gets to the area of the fall or is called upon to sweep or quarter to flush birds, the true measurement of the sporting dog’s worth becomes apparent:  nose work – their nose must know.

Runners in heavy cover, a swimmer that steals away into reeds, ducks that drop into cattails or timber breaks… here is where the well-trained dog really earns a reputation as a game dog.  Often, sporting dog enthusiasts of all breeds – Pointers, Flushers or Retrievers do not spend enough training and preparation time in the development or tune-up of their dogs for hunting cover.  Our suggestion? The Wildrose “six pack,” six steps to improve game recovery this season.

Number 1:  Get the dog in top physical condition.  Heat tolerance, body weight, and the amount of pre-season exercise for endurance all effect the dog’s abilities to scent.

  • Overheated dogs are breathing hard which reduces scenting ability.
  • Overweight dogs are not in physical shape, overheat and tire quickly.
  • Dogs lacking hydration rapidly lose stamina and, in turn, scenting abilities.


Obviously get your gundog in great physical shape slowly pre-season gradually increasing

H2O4K9 Canteen. Available @

duration and strength-building activities to enhance endurance.  Work often in hot weather to improve acclimation while being ever watchful for signs of heat exhaustion.  Float the dog’s food with water at feeding to improve water intake. Do not feed prior to training or hunting. Carry a dog water bottle to the field to provide a drink on hot days while working and between retrieves.  Have fresh water sources available for the dogs during hunting breaks.


Number 2:  Practice with scented bumpers retrieved from thick cover.

  • Feather-laced bumpers or scent them with Bird Down
  • Re-visit the exercises for off-the-ground finds.
  • Scented tennis balls or small puppy bumpers require
    more effort to locate in cover than larger bumpers.
  • Occasionally use cold game in training hidden in obscure, difficult locations.

Number 3:  Practice marking by sound instead of marking by sight.

Use a large Wildrose feather-laced bumper. With the dog at sit, cover the dog’s eyes and toss the bumper high to create a noisy fall into thick cover.  The sound will be “marked” by the dog, then release for the hunt.

Number 4: Handling off the mark.

Have two distinct areas of cover in close proximity.  In one, hide an unseen. Next, collect the dog and have a helper toss a mark into the second bit of cover which is further away.  Send the dog for the mark, stop on the way out and cast into the cover holding the unseen.  It’s best to make this ”find” a high value target such as a cold game bird rather than simply a bumper.  Big reward for the doing the correct thing.

Photo by Chris Dickinson

Number 5:  The Throw Down

In cover or shallow water, toss in a memory.  Turn and heel your dog away.  Have a helper move in and pick up the memory.  Send your dog back for the pick.  The objective is to hold the dog in the area as you make three successful stops to the whistle.  Then, your crafty helper tosses the “find” back into the same area being hunted without the dog noticing, likely distracted by the hunting effort.  Then, success! The dog’s persistency is rewarded for hunting holding the area. Do not replace the bumper or bird if the dog is reluctant on the whistle or shows poor use of nose.

Number 6:  The runner or swimmer. A wounded bird on the move.

Two things should be practiced for this likely event.

  • Using a cold game bird, lay out a scent line using a long check cord dragging a bird.  Detach the bird, circle wide not walking over the scent line to collect the dog.  Identify the line to be tracked for the dog by tossing in an object that will break apart on impact like a dirt clod.  This identifies the starting point, then let the dog learn to trust his nose.  Don’t over-handle.
  • Splash Down- handling of a fall. Hide a bird at water’s edge.  Collect the dog.  Have a helper toss a large rock into the water a distance from the unseen bird.  Send the dog for the mark.  After an unsuccessful hunt, handle the dog to the unseen.  Often, the dog hangs in the fall area convinced of the bird’s location, reluctant to cast off.  In an actual hunting situation you watch in frustration as the runner sneaks further away as the dog continues to ignore your cast. Game over!

The gundog mission is simple:

Locate game
Recover game

The Wildrose Way training methodology is specifically designed to develop sporting dogs that excel in both departments.  But, continuous practice is required as well as pre-season conditioning if success is to be had afield recovering birds from difficult cover.

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Vaccinating the Sporting Dog

By: Dr. Lee Payne and Dr. Laura Wilson
Animal Clinic of Oxford

Vaccines are a very important part of your dog’s preventative healthcare plan. Especially in puppies, they are essential in preventing potentially fatal disease.  Some dogs need more vaccines than others because they may be exposed to more diseases than others.

ALERT:  Canine influenza is an emerging disease that is seen in many parts of the country, especially metropolitan areas such as Atlanta and Chicago.  Two main strains of this disease are seen, H3N2 and H3N8.  Highly effective vaccines exist for both strains and are recommended, especially if your dog travels extensively.

Health Care for Sporting Dogs

Puppies should begin their vaccination series starting at 5-6 weeks of age.  This series should include canine parvovirus, distemper, adenovirus, coronavirus, and parainfluenza.  The vaccinations should be boosted every three weeks until the puppy is 17-18+ weeks old.  After this, the vaccines will be given a year later, then as directed by your veterinarian.  Leptospirosis is also an essential part of the vaccine protocol for puppies and adult dogs that are exposed to water and wildlife areas.  This disease can cause kidney failure if not treated.

Other vaccinations should be given based on risk in your area and your dog’s travel schedule.  Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorfefi) is a tick-borne illness that can cause a wide variety of problems.  Bordetella bronchiseptica (a common cause of kennel cough) is also recommended due to infectious nature of its airborne spread.

Heartworm prevention is a highly recommended part of your dog’s ongoing preventative care as well.  Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes.  In many parts of the county, heartworm disease is spread year round (especially in the lower Mississippi River delta area).  Many types of heartworm preventative are given monthly (Heartgard, Interceptor).  ProHeart6 is an injectable preventative that lasts for six months and can be given by your veterinarian.  Advantage Multi and Trifexis are heartworm preventatives that are combined with flea prevention.

Fleas and ticks are always a concern in many areas of the county and can cause many health issues for dogs.  Fleas can cause numerous skin problems along with low red blood cells counts (anemia) which can cause performance and training problems for dogs.  Ticks carry Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichia, all of which can cause joint pain, anemia issues, and a variety of other health problems.  Many flea and tick products are on the market, so finding one that fits your pet’s needs should be easy to do.

Working together with your veterinarian and the trainers at Wildrose, you can identify and implement the best vaccination and preventive care program possible for your dog.

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Dove Carnitas

Recipe by: Adam Van Sant

12 to 15 whole dove breast
-1 lb. salt pork
-1/3 c. lard or canola oil
-1 onion quartered
-3 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
-4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
-1 orange halved
-2 limes halved
-2 Mexican cinnamon sticks
-2 bay leaves
-1 TBS. Dried Mexican oregano
-1 14 oz. can diced pineapple
-2 (12 oz.) cans of coke
-Corn tortillas (thicker the better)
– Queso Fresco cheese crumbled
-Pico de Gallo


Heat lard or oil in a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat.  Cube salt pork into 1 in. cubes.  Add salt pork to pot and cook until pork is browned and crispy.  Add onion, chipotles, oregano, cinnamon, bay leaves, and pineapple.  Cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add Dove breast to pot along with 2 bottles of coke. Squeeze the orange and limes and place into the pot.  Stir to combine.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours until dove is tender.  Remove dove breast, salt pork, and pineapple with slotted spoon and reserve the cooking liquid.  Let dove cool slightly and shred the breasts with fingers.  Lightly chop pineapple along with salt pork and mix in with the dove meat.  Heat a large griddle or large skillet over medium heat.  Lightly char the tortillas on griddle then wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm.  Lightly coat the griddle with oil and add dove and pineapple to the griddle.  Ladle some of the cooking liquid to the meat to keep it moist.  Once meat has a nice char and pineapple has caramelized remove from griddle.  Serve with warm tortillas, sliced avocado, pico de gallo, and top with queso fresco.


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Wildrose Comes to Texas

Welcome sign at Wildrose Texas

The Wildrose Way is in Texas! Wildrose Kennels is excited to announce that starting October 1, 2017, the Wildrose pack will offer a comprehensive training facility in Dallas, Texas. The facility is located 14 miles from downtown Dallas, on the 4th oldest Shooting Club in the nation. The facility offers a unique sporting dog agility course, water resources for training, access to the Trinity River, duck marshes, dove fields and with many other environments, the opportunities are endless.

Pickers Syndicate
We will have opportunities to pick up on monthly pheasant shoots at the Dallas Hunting Fishing Club, as well as Greystone Castle starting in October. Our first scheduled pick up is October 29th at Greystone Castle. This is a great opportunity for dogs that have completed basic gundog or proven themselves ready to pick up birds on a shoot.  Please email or call to join the syndicate and receive updates on exact dates of shoots to follow.

Boarding & Training
Wildrose Texas offers training programs covering basic gundog, waterfowl, upland, obedience, shed hunting, and Adventure Dog programs.

We offer a sporting dog boarding program which includes a proprietary fitness and agility regiment to maintain and improve the condition of the dogs during their stay.  Each day the dogs are in boarding, they will receive focused mental and physical exercise to improve their overall health.

For rates and availability, contact Guy at (228)861-3474,

Trainer Guy Billups at Wildrose Texas.

Grand Opening
Join us for a reception graciously hosted by Collectors Covey, followed by an open house at Wildrose Texas the following day.

Reception 7:00 pm, Thursday, November 16 at Collectors Covey Art Gallery and Fine Gun Room,

Open House, Friday, November 17, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm at Wildrose Kennels Texas

                                                                            RSVP –

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