Staying Engaged with the Wildrose Pack Via Social Media

By Dr. Ben McClelland and Danielle Drewrey

“The robust Wildrose Kennels social media platform keeps us connected as a pack….  Gathering together on Wildrose social media sites is our community meeting place; it’s the kitchen table around which we, as a family, share our stories.”

From Day One at Wildrose Kennels Mike Stewart aimed to develop a dog-raising, dog-training company that engendered a lifestyle around the “Gentleman’s Gundog,” a keen, reliable game-finder in the field and a relaxed, steady companion in the home or lodge. Achieving that goal required gathering a community of like-minded gentlemen and gentlewomen together. Today “The Pack” is our Wildrose tribe, our Labrador-loving clan, our family of hunters, of outdoor adventurers, of service-dog families, and of just plain folks with kindred dog-loving interests.


The robust Wildrose Kennels social media platform keeps us connected as a pack. It lets us stay connected, show our passion, and acknowledge each other. Using social media, we can share our opinions and express our beliefs and ideas. Our private group site, Training the Wildrose Way, allows us to admit our mistakes and offer each other solutions for our problems. Instagram enables us to showcase our dogs and their achievements through pictures and videos. On Facebook we can see each group of folks picking up puppies, see what’s happening at the kennel this week, and view the latest available products. Our Journal and the blog archive carry personal stories, training tips, notes from the field, and even wild game recipes. Gathering together on Wildrose social media sites is our community meeting place; it’s the kitchen table around which we, as a family, share our stories.

The purpose of this article is to explain various media components in our platform and to encourage further use of our social media to achieve our goals with our dogs and to bond with our fellow pack members.

Here’s an example of how Wildrose folks become informed and bond with the aid of social media: Last week I ran into Gary Donnelly at the Wildrose store as he came to pick up two-year-old WR Blue (Deke x Sprint) from training. It was our first handshake, even though we recognized each other from various postings on Facebook. I told Gary that I was working on an article about the kennel’s social media and I asked him about his experience. Gary said that several years ago he had purchased, watched, and used Mike’s training video on a lab that he owned. Then, in December of 2016—when he was trying

gary and blue

Gary and WR Blue

to decide if a Wildrose dog would be right for him—he had come to Wildrose where he met with Mike and Tom and he felt fortunate to be on a waiting list. After taking Blue home, Gary said that he needed more training assistance and viewed some of the training videos, including those in the Wildrose Journal. Gary especially enjoys Mike’s Purina videos and Tom Smith’s “Mondays with Mattis” videos that give brief specific training tips. “They’re good refresher courses,” he said. Gary also came back for a handler’s workshop and attended some upland bird pickups. In these activities not only did he gain good field experience, but he also met other Wildrose dog handlers, with whom he maintains friendships today, communicating through Facebook chat. “You know, I realized that we’re not just dog owners, but we’re more of a family.”

My chance encounter with Gary showed me a good example of the intersection of social media, training activities, and community bonding at work for us Wildrose pack members.

How can you get more engaged? The full array of Wildrose resources is listed at the end of this article. Let me suggest a few (of many) ways to navigate the media to find information, activities, and people of interest to you.

You can find innumerable training videos—of varying length and detail—that offer training instruction. Go to the kennel’s main website ( and click on the drop tab “Training Videos” to select from dozens.

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Training Videos on

You may also find lots of training videos on YouTube ( Popular to many is the Training your Puppy the Wildrose Way sponsored by Purina Pro Plan ( An easy way to locate training videos by topic is by accessing our Facebook page—where we have 13,300 followers. Simply, click on “Videos” and search through the playlists: Wildrose Journal – Live, Mondays with Mattis, Waterfowl Wednesdays, Puppy Training the Wildrose Way (Purina), and Tips From Texas.

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Playlists on Facebook

Also, you can quickly access conversations about training issues—as well as miscellaneous topics—by joining the “Training the Wildrose Way Group (Facebook).” This is a lively collection of pack members, which now numbers 1.4 k members. On this site pack members share in conversations about their dogs and their activities. One of my favorite stories is Glenn Pabody’s ongoing series of (charmingly boastful) posts about his wife, Maryetta (aka Deadeye), joining with him and WR Abe afield. (And, by the way, Maryetta puts meat on the story’s bones in her informative narrative on another one of our communication media, our blog: ( Click the URL to learn about her life with her husband and dogs, read about her adventures afield, and see her fine new shotgun.).

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On “Training the Wildrose Way Group (Facebook)” members also post questions about training and several fellow pack members and Wildrose trainers respond, suggesting solutions. A search bar and topic tabs give easy access to topics, some of the most popular of which are training your gundog, puppy training, hunting the Wildrose Way, and adventure dogs. Scroll through the daily posts and join in the conversation, just as dozens of folks do, such as Sammye Pisani, Hunter Leonidas, Chris Hines, Erin Davis, Chris Willke, Maria Perez, John Urbik, Lisa Mayer, Kent Matthews, Jimmy Mitchell, and so many more.

Instagram, a photo- and video-sharing service sponsored by Facebook, boasts 16.9 k followers and is a popular site for exhibiting our dogs and viewing others’. You can easily navigate Instagram’s content by using the Highlight Tabs, such as puppies, training, events, shop, hunting, and Adventure. When you post pictures, help others locate them by labeling them with our community’s hashtags: #wildroseway, #gentlemansgundog, or #wildrosekennels.
Follow along with us:
@wildrosekennels @wildrosetexas @wildrosecarolinas
@wildrosedeepsouth @wildrosekennels_mountainstate @wildrosenewengland @wildrosegreatlakes @wildrosetetonvalley @wildroseroaming @wildrose_mattis

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@WildroseKennels Instagram

And for the serious student of training Mike Stewart developed two excellent training videos: The Wildrose Way: Retriever Training for the Gentleman’s Gundogand Training the Upland Gundog: The Wildrose Way. Comprehensive and detailed, both are superior productions. What’s more, both are available for digital download at

The Wildrose Journal—which you are currently reading—is our bi-monthly online publication. Anyone can access the journal by signing up on or the Wildrose app (available from Apple or Google Play by searching “Wildrose Kennel”).  The resources in the journal articles are manifold, offering training tips, stories of pack members and their dogs, a calendar of events, and even recipes. Receiving The Wildrose Journal via e-mail is the best way for you to be up-to-date on all things Wildrose.

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You could read, for example, the story of beginning handler Hattie Billups and her pup, Gus, on their three-year journey to their championship performance winning Wildrose’s Double Gun Classic. ( As with many of the Journal’s feature stories, you’ll experience the ups and downs of daily training with an exceptional dog and a passionate handler.

Furthermore, the interested reader can access the blog archive, which carries bi-monthly articles from 2011 to today. Want to read some interesting history? Take a look at the pictures and story from our first Wildrose Adventure Dog Workshop, Buena Vista, CO, in August, 2011. (

Any look at Wildrose’s social media must include cruising the Wildrose Kennels Main Website ( along with Wildrose Texas ( and Wildrose Carolinas ( which give a comprehensive introduction to all things Wildrose.

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Moreover, Wildrose Trading Company ( offers the best products to use for you dog. Antonio Battista, Wildrose’s retail manager and communications director, recently re-designed and enhanced both the Wildrose Kennels website and the Wildrose Trading Company website. A 2018 graduate University of Mississippi, Antonio employed his expertise in integrated marketing communications and business administration, to develop websites that are better organized and easier for us to navigate. Antonio is also raising and training his own Wildrose pup, bringing him to work daily.

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Just to give an idea of the brisk traffic on the trading company website, 3,100 people visited it in August. Antonio, who put his personal phone number on the website, fields several calls from customers, seeking advice on what products to use and how to use them correctly. For example, a client called recently, saying that his dog would not heel with the regular collar and leash that he was using: “What can you suggest that I do?” Antonio recommended using our specially designed combination lead with a snug tab and slip collar. He further explained how to use the collar effectively. In another phone inquiry a client said that her dog wouldn’t stay on place in the dog bed. In this case Antonio recommended using the elevated kuranda bed, because it defines the place area more effectively for the dog. Because of Antonio’s personal experience with raising and training a dog, he’s able to converse knowledgeably with clients about the products that are best suited for their needs. 

Finally, let me conclude by saying that there’s more good media content headed your way. Krista Oliver, a senior at the University of Mississippi is working as a media specialist intern at the kennel this semester. Krista, who majors in broadcast journalism and minors in political science, is carrying out a number of photo and video projects, involving especially training and special events, such as the Double Gun. We look forward to seeing the fruits of her labor, as she teams up with Antonio Battista to further enhance clients’ social media resources. Stay online folks!

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The Pack – staying connected


Please visit the following websites, purchase the recommended books and DVD’s, and select some of the suggested training supplies to ensure your puppy gets everything needed to grow, thrive, and become a successful, happy and healthy hunting dog, adventure dog or companion to you.

Internet Websites

Wildrose Kennels Main Website                      
Wildrose Trading Company               
Wildrose Texas                                                
Wildrose Carolinas                                    

Wildrose App 

Available on Apple and Google Play – Search “Wildrose Kennel”

Wildrose Online Magazine

The Wildrose Journal—sign up on or the Wildrose Kennels App

Reference Books

Sporting Dog and Retriever Training, The Wildrose Way
Mike Stewart


The Wildrose Way: Retriever Training for the Gentleman’s Gundog,
Mike Stewart

Training the Upland Gundog The Wildrose Way,Mike Stewart
*Both DVD’s are available for digital download on

Training Articles

Wildrose Blog        
Wildrose App                      under the “Articles” icon

Training Videos

“Wildrose Kennels” on You Tube
There are several ways to get access to our You Tube videos:
-Head to:
-Click on the You Tube icon on the home page of
-Click on the You Tube icon on the Wildrose Kennels App

Wildrose Kennels Facebook Page under the “videos” tab

Starting Your Puppy-The Wildrose Way, Purina ProPlan video series under the “Training Videos”on

Social Media

@wildrosekennels @wildrosetexas @wildrosecarolinas
@wildrosedeepsouth @wildrosekennels_mountainstate @wildrosenewengland @wildrosegreatlakes @wildrosetetonvalley @wildroseroaming @wildrose_mattis

@wildrosekennels @wildrosetexas @wildrosecarolinas
@wrnorthcentral @wildrosekennelsgreatlakes @wrnewengland @wildrosemountainstate  @wildrosekennelsdeepsouth @wildrosekennelsrockymountains @wildroseoftheozarks  @wildrosetetonvalley

“Training the Wildrose Way” Group on Facebook

Wildrose Kennels

Wildrose Trading Company

260 CR 425
Oxford, MS 38655




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