Wildrose North Dakota Hunt


upland, bird, hunting, stock, photo, photography, image,

North Dakota Group Shot by Chip Laughton

ROOSTER!!!! The word that makes every pheasant hunter’s heart race. For the upland enthusiast there is nothing better than chasing wild pheasants across the rolling prairies.  The annual Wildrose North Dakota TSR is right around the corner! Each year we take 2 groups of 21 Wildrose clients and their dogs to Zeke’s Rooster Ranch in Scranton, ND for 4 days of hunting, great food and camaraderie. The beautiful countryside and amazing numbers of birds make for an unforgettable experience. The hunt dates are- hunt 1:Oct 20 arrival, 21-24 hunt and depart Oct 25; hunt 2: Oct 25 arrival, 26-29 hunt and depart on Oct 30. We currently have limited availability for both hunts, so if you are interested please contact me at tom@uklabs.com for more information.

The following photos were shot by Chip Laughton of Days a Field Photography:

upland, bird, hunting, stock, photo, photography, image,upland, bird, hunting, stock, photo, photography, image,

Pheasant hunting stock photo image

upland, bird, hunting, stock, photo, photography, image,

upland, bird, hunting, stock, photo, photography, image,

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The Wildrose – Tom Beckbe Upland Gundog Series


By Mike Stewart, President Wildrose International

By definition, The Gentleman’s Gundog is a sporting dog capable of retrieving ducks by morning, hunt upland birds that afternoon, then join the family at fireside in the evening. A destination, versatile sporting dog, a dog of duality.

Wildrose joins the classic outdoor apparel company, Tom Beckbe, in producing a series of online features exploring the steps in training an upland gundog the Wildrose Way. The complementary series is available at uklabs.com and tombeckbe.com.  Special thanks to William and Saint Hereford for the exceptional videography and production.  The images capture the true emotion one can experience in the field.

Other training resources include our training book, Sporting Dogs and Retriever Training, the Wildrose Way; our DVD collection, Basic Retriever Training and Training the Upland Gundog which are both available in a downloadable format (wildrosetradingcompany.com).  Our puppy early start series produced with Purina Pro Plan can be seen on our youtube channel, The Wildrose Way.

Enjoy your journey.

Training video release schedule:
Hunting Cover: June 5th
Steady to Wing and Shot: June 12th
Keeping the Dog in Range: June 19th
Lining and Sweeping: June 26th
Video Collection:
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Shooting Tips from Wildrose Carolinas

By Shawn Yates, Trainer Wildrose Carolinas


Shawn Yates

Shooting season is around the corner. Whether you are after clay targets, waterfowl, or upland game, one thing they all have in common is a firearm. Shawn Yates, head trainer at Wildrose Carolinas, grew up hunting with his family in Southern Virginia and later went on to become a member of the Virginia Tech Clay Target team. Following college, he was a hunt guide on 6500 acres of private quail plantation in Central Florida. He is a class B shooter with the NSCA and enjoys teaching others how to become better shots.

You hear it all the time when you miss that bird or clay target.  “Keep your head down next time.”  Though it may not make much sense, this is very sound advice.  All too often,

shooting chris

Photo by Katie Behnke

shooters who are new to the sport pick their head up off of the gun which can be attributed to one of two different reactions.  The first is the anticipation to see if they broke the target.  The second and much more difficult to correct is the anticipation of the recoil.  Keeping your cheek firmly pressed to the stock of the gun ensures that you are pointing the shotgun where you are actually looking, which is very important if you want to hit anything at all.

Practice not shooting. Practice mounting your shotgun and pointing it at the same spot time and time again.  Building muscle memory and getting comfortable holding and mounting your shotgun will lead to more bagged birds and broken clays.  Another extension of this is to practice watching birds fly around.  This may seem strange, but this gets you accustomed to following an object along its flight path making it easier for you to match speed when you are shooting.

steven and tom

Photo by Katie Behnke

Another tip to help you when you are in doubt about how to hit a target is to “miss” in front of the “bird.”  Let’s break this down.  When a target is flying through the air, it is moving quickly.  If your aim point is directly at the target, you are most likely going to “miss behind”.  By the time your brain decides to pull the trigger and your finger moves and the shot from the shotgun shell gets to the target, it will have moved several feet.  The correction for this is to lead the target. This means that you have to aim where the target is heading not where it is or has been.  When in doubt, always add more lead and get out in front to help you get more birds in your bag or hits on your score card. The correct amount of lead comes with practice. Even if you aren’t shooting clays competitively, working through the setup at a local clay course can allow even an experienced hunter to become more proficient.


Shawn Yates

Lastly, the most important tip to becoming a better shooter has nothing to do with your gun or with your body, other than protecting yourself.  Safety should always be your first priority when you are around firearms, even if you are not the shooter. Shooters should always be aware of their surroundings. This includes having the barrel pointed in a safe direction, having the gun in the open/breach position, making sure the gun is unloaded, or (if the gun is loaded) that the gun has the safety on and is not pointed toward anyone. Everyone should have the basic safety equipment in their vest; eye protection and hearing protection.  There is a wide variety of both options available today from five-dollar safety glasses and foam ear buds to specialized sporting glasses and electronic hearing protection such as Grizzly Ears, a Wildrose partner! The most important thing is to have both and utilize them consistently.




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Tips from Texas

By Guy Billups, Wildrose Texas

Tips from Texas is a video series we are putting together to go beyond describing different drills to run with your dog, but also addressing the why behind the drills.

Going back to my football days, I was lucky enough to have a coach that understood and explained that if I recognized WHY a play was going to be successful, I wouldn’t have to commit all the plays to memory. I could simply assess the defense and run the play that would work. I see this theory implemented in the workplace as well. A valued employee is not one that you have to hand hold and give constant instruction. When employees are taught why decisions are made and the driving reasons behind them, they are given the tools empowering them to perform well with any given situation.

These principles transfer to dog training as well. There are no perfect hunting experiences and thus no perfect drill to train your dog for every scenario. Tips from Texas aims to address why a specific element of a drill is done and how it relates to other aspects of training.  Uniquely, Tips from Texas goes one step further to also explain how constant repetition of some drills can erode another part of your dog’s ability or training.

Hopefully by the end of our series you will be either completely paralyzed by the influx of information or empowered to react with a new drill or make up your own drills because you understand the “why” for the drill and how it will work for your dog.

The collection is available on at uklabs.com or Wildrose Texas Instagram.



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Trainer Profile Series: Danielle Drewrey

By Dr. Ben W. McClelland

danielle kayaking katie

Danielle Drewrey, Photo by Katie Behnke

Beginning at Wildrose in 2012 as a health-care specialist, Danielle Drewrey advanced to trainer apprentice. In 2014 she assumed the position of obedience trainer. Since then her numerous skills and over-the-top work ethic have propelled her into handling a myriad of positions: AKC evaluator for Canine Good Citizen, training coordinator for Wildrose Service Companions, social media manager, and director of the popular Wildrose Adventure Dog Training and Certification Program. As I observe her move through her work activities week-in and week-out, I see an enthusiastic dog handler, who has the best qualities of the girl next door and is as plain spoken as your best hunting-camp buddy.

Danielle’s Training Philosophy and Background

Danielle believes that every dog has potential. Finding the unique thing that makes each dog tick is the key to living and working effectively with it. Often, if a dog has poor behavior, a handler may have difficulty looking beyond the negative to see the dog’s potential.  Danielle’s goal is to find the key to unlocking each dog’s potential. Her understanding of handler-dog issues began when she began her college education and worked as an animal caregiver at The Washington County Humane Society, where she observed canine and human behavior miscues first-hand.

danielle beckbe

Photo by William Hereford-Tom Beckbe

In 2011 she joined the Army Military Police with the goal of being a dog handler. However, after a year in, she was injured during training and was medically discharged. Returning to civilian life, Danielle studied online at American Military University to complete an Environmental Sciences degree, with an emphasis in Fish and Wildlife.

While being processed out the Army at Fort Leonard Wood, Danielle met her husband, Kelly Drewrey, and moved to his hometown, Oxford, MS. About a month later she was introduced to Wildrose Kennels when she accompanied Kelly and his parents to picked up his parents’ Fox Red female, Rowan.

She recalls, “From the moment we pulled into the driveway I knew this was a place I could wake up to every day. Getting to play with some puppies that day was the cherry on top. Shortly after my first visit I returned for an interview with Mr. Mike and was overjoyed at being offered a position in the vet building.”

At Danielle and Kelly’s wedding in St. Francisville, Louisiana, their Springer Spaniel, Stella, joined in the couple’s the first dance. Since then the Drewrey’s family life has been

stella at weddng

Danielle, Kelly and Stella

growing with the addition of Wildrose Willow (Hamish X Fawn) in 2017, their son, Thaddeus, in 2018 and now their daughter, Genevieve, due to arrive in June 2019 our lives have been full of joy.

When asked to talk about herself and her family, Danielle said, “We are a Harry Potter watching, Disney World & Universal Studios going family. My hobbies have always included the outdoors: boating, hiking, roller blading and biking have always been my go-tos for entertainment. Much of what I enjoy doing outdoors includes a dog not far behind. A big part of my life is that I love learning. Asking questions is something that I’ve been really good at since a young child and still today… Just ask Kelly!”

Moving from Wisconsin to Mississippi was a big change for Danielle, not only getting used to the climate but also the culture. She said, “Mississippi summer humidity and heat still gets to me during the summer months, but is much easier to deal with than Wisconsin winters. Oxford’s history, quaint downtown area, and inviting people captured me from the moment I arrived.” However, the Southern accent was something of an adjustment for Danielle.  “In the early months much of my conversations would end with me smiling and nodding my head because I could not make out what the person was trying to tell me. I quickly learned that “you guys” wasn’t a common phrase and that I needed to adapt the typical “y’all” to not get funny looks. Up north it is not common practice to use “sir” or “ma’am.”

Danielle and Fawn, a Special Handler-Dog Bond

Danielle released the potential in Fawn, the first dog that she trained at Wildrose. As Danielle tells the story, “Our journey began back in 2012 when I took her through the

fawn horse

Danielle and Fawn

Gundog program, as well as many of the Adventure Dog skills. Fawn’s favorite AD skills are picking up trash on the side of the road, riding in the kayak, and meeting new friends—like horses. Fawn has accompanied me on tower shoots, picking up pheasant, and she is always my go to girl if we are having a simulated hunt at the kennel. Last year Fawn and I worked together to earn our Therapy Dog registration. Fawn loves to visit the local school and let the kids pet on her, walk with her, and do retrieves.  One of Fawn’s special skills is she will pick up almost any item so we have her hold the books and deliver them to the student readers. We also visit other locations around Oxford like the VA, and a nursing home. The Gundog skills Fawn learned crossover into the other parts of her training and make her a well-rounded dog. A big part of Fawn’s life with me is that she makes a great “stable dog” for my younger trainees. For example, I will use Fawn with a dog that does not want to return on the retrieve. I will send Fawn out on the retrieve in hopes that it will make the other dog jealous and want to come back to where the fun is. It usually works.”

Danielle, the Communication Guru 

Along with being the Obedience, Therapy, and Adventure Dog trainer at Wildrose, Danielle is a savvy communicator (read social media guru). She gathers articles from contributors and formats them for release in The Wildrose Journal. She plans and posts numerous items to Wildrose Facebook and Instagram, a mainstay of communication between her and her clientele.  And who do you think is taking video on her iPhone? Danielle said, “I love to create video content for our social media outlets, such as “Mondays with Mattis” and quick tips that are run by Ducks Unlimited. During various Wildrose workshops or at Wildrose Oxford Puppy Picking I take and post photos of the activities.”

Training the Trainer

danielle with trainers

Trainers Steven, Danielle, Ryan and Blake. Photo by Mallard Media

Danielle didn’t become a seasoned trainer just by instinct alone. During her health-care stint, she studied to understand The Wildrose Way. Then she worked day after day, shadowing Mike, as all apprentices do. Trainers Steven Lucius and Blake Henderson were also a part of her shadowing team. She said, “As I was finishing college, I worked part time between the vet building and learning to train. In 2014 I was ready to begin working full time as the obedience trainer. Dogs would come into training for various skills and I would start the basics such as heel, sit, eye contact, load and place.”

 Building Trust

When a dog first comes into training with Danielle, her first step is to build a relationship with the dog. She explained, “To build this trust I will take the dog on a walk and make our first meeting fun and light. As we progress forward, I will get the dog into practice of giving eye contact, loading onto elevated platforms, and learning to load on the ramps. The key to all of this is making the beginning skills fun for the dog. Commands during this period of time are very clear and usually followed with a lot of praise.”

About Danielle’s obedience work Associate Trainer Erin Davis said, “Danielle is a huge component of assuring pups who enter training are provided a solid foundation for their overall success in training. Her commitment to shaping a well-rounded companion is top notch.  I can count on her to send me a pup for training that is well balanced. Danielle provides excellent obedience skills for each pup she trains with the right balance of self control and confidence with social skills and exposure to true to life scenarios.”

On the Move Daily

danielle mallard media2

Photo by Mallard Media

Danielle carries out a busy weekly schedule with aplomb. She said, “On Mondays you will find me on the Oxford Square with dogs in training that need public access work. It is important for them to practice learned skills in several locations before considering it a habit. On Tuesdays I lead a puppy class at Wildrose Oxford for the backgrounders and other employees that have a pup between the ages of 11 weeks and 7 months.  During these sessions we work on many of the basics, such as sit, stay, denials, retrieves, loading, heel, and eye contact. We also problem-solve issues handlers and their pups may be having.
Adventure Dog Program Leader

Danielle said, “For the past five years I have been the lead organizer of the Adventure Dog Program, including organizing the Adventure Dog Rendezvous Workshop. During the first four years that I headed the workshop we adventured in Jasper, Arkansas, hiking mountains and caves, biking, fishing the Little Buffalo, kayaking and exploring Cathy Stewart’s “happy place.” This year, 2019, brought us to Wildrose Oxford where we took over northern Mississippi by land, air, and water. Skills we planned for our adventurers included kayaking at Wildrose Oxford and Puskus Lake, doing a fly-over of Oxford, working with local horses, fishing and ATVing at WR Oxford. Next year we hope to take our adventures to Wildrose Texas.

One thing I did not expect when transitioning into the trainer position is the relationships I would build with clients. Finding that many of our clientele have similar goals as I do when it comes to having their dog being part of their daily family life. Many of the attendees to our Adventure Dog Rendezvous will come back every year and it becomes a much-anticipated reunion.”

adventure dog jasper

Adventure Dog – Jasper, Arkansas

About Danielle’s work with the AD Program Erin Davis said,  “Danielle’s work with the Adventure Dog program has truly opened up the Wildrose Way to all active families looking to bond with their pup without exclusion. It encourages a healthy outdoor lifestyle for pups and handlers alike. The program is also seamlessly complementary for gundogs looking to cross train and advance their skill set. The format she’s fostered—self-guided modules with individualized experiences, group training experiences and workshops, a reward based system offering certifications at various levels, and advanced excursions which continue to challenge accomplished teams—has been fun to participate in personally with my own pups and in mentoring dog/handler teams in their own journey.”


roller blading2

Photo by Katie Behnke

I would love to grow the adventure dog program and get people out being active with their dogs. I also want to go on a duck hunt to capture some live hunting photos this year.






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Adventure Dog Rendezvous 2019

By Danielle Drewrey, Trainer Wildrose Oxford

Adventures await at The Wildrose Adventure Dog Rendezvous. April 2019 found participants exploring the Wildrose Oxford facilities and the surrounding areas.  This custom workshop is designed to challenge dog and handler teams to step outside their comfort zone and take their pups through a handful of various Adventure Dog skills.

The weekend began at Wildrose Oxford with fishing, kayaking, biking, hiking, riding ATVs and horses. At other locations we biked with dogs on the University Mountain Bike Trail, hiked at John Kyle State Park at Sardis Lake, hiked and kayaked at Puskus Lake and flew in an aircraft over the city of Oxford. Out of the 17 participants, 9 achieved the Trail Rated title (5 merits), 3 achieved the Adventure Dog Certified title (9 merits) and 3 achieved the Master Trekker title (12-14 merits).

advetnure dog patches

Participants were asked about their experience:

IMG_5330“I learned from the experience that I CAN do things with Cedar on my own. Before, I tended to have my husband Paul handle her when we are all together, now I feel I can handle her on my own and we can do things together.

On the bike trail ride I was so nervous that I would get pulled off the bike but Cedar trotted right next to me. She kept looking up at me with a smile and looked so happy. I think that was my turning point with her.”

-Suya and Cedar, ADC from FL


“There is a process of training which not only builds confidence for the dog but also for the handler.  When Chief flipped me off the kayak the first day I had to keep patient and remember that he didn’t do it on purpose (or so I think), he just didn’t know any better.  aircraft from in the planeHe had never been on a kayak.  By day three and several more kayak interactions Chief and I both developed a sense of trust in each other.  We were able to complete the kayak badge and kayaked all around a lake for a couple hours. Getting to meet and interact with the other pack members was so much fun.  The camaraderie that comes with trading training philosophies and telling stories about your experiences with your dogs really brings everyone together for a common purpose.”

Bryan & Chief, TR from CA


bess with horse and ire“The most memorable moment was the plane ride. The experience was more stressful for me than Wildrose Irie. She was actually my “therapy dog”…chilled, cool, and confident.

The Adventure Dog Rendezvous develops confidence and a special bond between canine and human. It also helps with teamwork which is essential to achieving the different skill sets. I’m so proud of Wildrose Irie! Two years of diligence, building trust, and teamwork, along with awesome adventures, led to her receiving the coveted Master Trekker Award.”

-Bess and Irie, MT from TX


“I would have never dreamed that one day I would take a flight and have my dog sitting next to me. It is amazing to see what our dogs will do once you have built that level of trust with them. My main take away was that obedience and basic heel work are the foundation for everything you aspire for your dog to achieve. I have worked on a lot of heel work with Tessa which I believe helped her to quickly adapt to the different scenarios whether I was on a bike, ATV, horse or in a kayak.”

-Butch and Tessa, MT from AL


IMG_5471“I learned so much from the Wildrose trainers, the event was a fun learning experience.  During the weekend it was enforced that obedience is the most important part of all activities.  Rusty did great, I was so proud of him! The bike riding at Wildrose was a great learning experience for me.  It had been years since I rode a bike and never have I with the pups walking along side.  Rusty learned quick that I have two gears…on or off.  He had to run not walk beside me.”

-Crystal & Rusty, ADC from MS


Every Adventure Dog is equipped with a set of skills that gives them the ability to take on many situations. A few of the learned skills to complete Adventure Dog Rendezvous-Oxford included:

Stay– Commanding your dog to stay means you want them to remain in a certain spot for a prolonged period of time and when you are ready for them to move you will come back to them for the release.  During the watercraft portion of the event, dogs were instructed to stay on the kayak while handler left them on shore and then returned after a period of time.  In this situation the dog is not to move until the handler returns.  It is crucial for the handler to trust that their dog will stay until instructed otherwise.  In some situations, it could become a safety hazard if your dog does not remain at stay.  To teach this skill you want to start at close distances while your dog is loaded onto some sort of “place.”  This will make it very clear for the dog where they are to be.  You will start to see your dog understanding and this is when you can extend the time the dog is at stay.  If your dogs begin to break stay, take them back to the spot they are supposed to be and with a stern voice tell them “no” and “stay.”  You must remain consistent with the corrections and NEVER call your dog off of a stay/place, always go to pup for the release.

Load– The load command is giving your dog the direction to get up onto something.  During the workshop the dogs needed to be instructed to load into the kayak, the plane, the AVT and many other specific situations.  Teaching “load” can begin at a young age getting onto the kuranda bed in the home.  As the dogs mature and reach the appropriate age you can begin teaching them to “load” up on things like benches, water stands, field stands etc.

Heel– Heel work was critical in many situations during the weekend. When riding a bike or riding a horse you want your dog to be next to you but at a safe distance.  To teach this skill your dog first must understand heel on a walk.  After you have moved to off lead heel, you can begin to walk with your bike and the dog next to you.  Progress slowly until you are riding your bike with your dog trotting comfortably alongside you.  Introducing a horse into the equation is a bit more of a risk but still the same concept. You first want to make certain your dog understands heel at a walk with you on the ground next to the horse. After your dog is comfortable you can mount the horse and have a helper on the ground guiding the dog to stay at a safe distance. Before you know, your dog will be off lead heeling while you are riding.

We hope you’ll join the adventures at the next Wildrose Adventure Dog Rendezvous, check them out on uklabs.com.



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Creamy Chanterelle Sauce over Parmesan Crusted Pheasant Breast


Mindy Ladner

Recipe by Mindy Ladner, Wildrose Oxford Office Manager

My favorite hunting season has begun… chanterelle mushroom hunting season!  Depending on weather conditions, the season for our area usually starts mid May.  The peak hunting is typically in June and July.  It takes consistent rains and warm temps to produce chanterelles.  They are widely found throughout the US in mixed hardwood forests.  The best places to look are predominantly oak woods where you would find moss and wild grapevine growing.  The sandy, damp soil is ideal for chanterelles.  Some years are more productive than others.  I started looking for a good recipe for the abundance of mushrooms and found this recipe.  I don’t always follow it exactly and frequently don’t add the stock and the results have always been delicious.

On the hunt for Chanterelles:

Typical habitat for chanterelles

Thoroughly wash and allow mushrooms to dry before either using or storing in the refrigerator.  Before cooking, split the stems on each mushroom to check for solid white stems without insect tracks.  Discard any that show insect activity or seem squishy texture.

mushroom sauce pic

1/4 cup butter
1 pound fresh Chanterelle mushrooms, sliced
(if they’re small enough, you can leave them whole)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup cognac or white wine
1 cup chicken stock (optional)
Chopped fresh parsley
Melt the unsalted butter in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat.
Add the mushrooms and the onion to the skillet. Sauté over medium-high heat until the mushrooms begin to brown and almost all of the liquid has reduced. This should take roughly 12 minutes.
Add the cream and brandy to the mushrooms. Pour in the chicken stock.
Boil this mixture until thickened almost to a sauce consistency, about 8 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parsley.


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Porter Ventures Abroad

By Nathan Dudney and Danielle Drewrey

Experience stories of Adventure Dogs along with tips on training for your next adventure. 

IMG_7377An adventure dog is prepared to go anywhere.  Wildrose Whistling Teal “Porter” embodies what an adventure dog is and more.  In the summer of 2018 Porter was to embark on a trip most people will never get the opportunity to experience; he would tour Europe! Here is a glimpse into his European Vacation.

Before this European Vacation could begin there was a lot of preparation. Porter’s parents, Nathan and Hannah Dudney began the process months in advance.

Preparation for the trip was extensive, but that was only a result of going above and IMG_8617beyond on research. There are many sites offering information about traveling internationally with an animal, and even sites that provide services where they collect all required paperwork for you, but ultimately it is a very simple process that anyone can do with limited prep. The main key is to have your paperwork in order for customs. The location for that information can be found though the USDA   https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel/. Although it may seem like a large undertaking and a lot of information to sort through, the key comes down to 3 things that are all explained on the intuitive USDA website.

  1. Where are you coming from and traveling to? This is important in case the country of origin has things like screwworm or Foot and Mouth Disease.These countries have stricter requirements for paperwork and quarantine.
  2. Have an appropriate ID microchip. It is a requirement in most EU countries that your pet be implanted with an ISO compliant microchip, which consists of 15 digits. Porter’s microchip was not compliant so we had to implant him with an additional microchip. It is very important to have the microchip implanted with the required lead time before trip.
  3. Have a USDA accredited veterinarian complete, sign and issue you an EU Health certificate that then needs to be endorsed (counter-signed and embossed/stamped) by APHIS/USDA within 10 days prior to entering the EU.

In addition to the paperwork required to enter a foreign country with your dog, the travel itself provides a challenge.  Flying with your dog, especially underneath a plane in a travel crate can be worrisome. Luckily, Porter is trained as a light mobility dog and registered with the airlines through ADA regulations.  We were able to pursue this due to some major injuries I sustained and as a result have reduced mobility.  Porter began Screen Shot 2019-04-01 at 7.22.43 PMflying in small single engine planes as a puppy and he holds a Wildrose Adventure Dog certification for Aircraft as a result. We began flying on commercial planes, under Porter’s Service Dog status about two years ago, but this was his first international flight and of course this was his longest journey.  Checking in is a breeze as we are already registered with the airlines.  While going through security, I do carry an extra slip lead that has no metal in it so that Porter doesn’t set off the metal detector.  While going through the metal detector alone I use the “through” command and follow behind him.  While waiting to board, Porter always sits under my feet or next to them and we use the “Get Under” command which is essential for a service dog.  We do take the option to board early so we can go ahead and get Porter settled before everyone else boards.  Traditionally I choose a bulk head when available but lately we have flown with another row in front of us and I believe this gives Porter more room to get under the seat in front of us.  I do always choose the window on the left-hand side of the aircraft as Porter is trained to heel on the left. When we sit, I do lay a small blanket on the floor which is simply to define his “place” and it’s more of a token, so that he knows he is supposed to stay there. I then again use the “Get Under” command so that he knows to get small and use the under seat storage as his area.

The most nerve-racking thing was the idea of Porter going more than 10 hours from bathroom break to bathroom break.  He is on a very steady schedule for going big potty, so this didn’t prove a challenge.  He does have a different command for each with the Wildrose used “get it done” and “Hurry up.”  We did take a few potty pads just in case there was an accident.  On our layover in Philadelphia we took Porter outside to not only use the bathroom but burn off some energy with retrieves.  I did monitor his water intake before the flight and made sure it was at a level that he needed without making me too nervous he would need to use the restroom.  On the flight Porter slept, got bored, stretched his legs with a few flights to ‪the galley and ultimately stole the hearts of the flight attendants.  I did offer him water inflight, but he didn’t want any.  A note to those who haven’t flown with their dogs: Porter usually pants quite a bit. I do not know the reason but this used to alarm me.  Now I just know it to be normal for him. When I flew home with Porter alone and without my wife, the flight would force Porter to go over 12 hours bathroom to bathroom.  We prepped the same way and he did an amazing job.  A few leg stretches up and down the isles while inflight and a water drink when he was thirsty. The only difference on the return trip while being alone was Porter and his great “place” while on the plane.  When I needed to personally use the bathroom, I simply left Porter in his spot, told him to “Place” and he stayed.  I personally think this is asking a lot for a dog to do in an environment like an airplane with lots of people, food and distractions going on, but he was amazing.

Porter accompanied us to Spain, France, and Italy. We were most excited for Porter to experience playing in the surf and doing beach retrieves. Which of course turned into Porter’s favorite moment of the trip, retrieving out of Lake Como in Italy. He could swim all day! Porter’s first retrieves in Lake Como were in front of the Villa Olmo.  This area had people around, no swimming signs, but a perfect run down into the water in an area that boats used to dock at while visiting Villa Olmo.  We did spend a day on a boat in Como where Porter swam and even found some ducks.  Lastly, we went to the northern part of the lake via car to Bellagio where there were many people swimming, other dogs, and lots of boats.

Porter flew into Madrid, Spain, and we drove in a rental car to San Sebastian, Spain, where we had an apartment for a month.  During that month we took mini trips via rental car to Haro, Spain, in the La Rioja wine Region, Bilbao, Spain, where the Guggenheim is, Urbasas y Andía National Park near Pamplona, Spain, Saint Jean De Luz, France, and then flew to Milan, Italy, (San Sebastian to Madrid to Milan) where we rented a car and drove to Lake Como Italy.

Dogs seem to be much more accepted in Europe when it comes to sanitation/public access.  Dogs are frequently allowed in bars, restaurants, and stores, especially in the Northern Spanish Basque region where we spent much time.  The Basque region, especially San Sebastian, is know for amazing food and wine. Porter was allowed at vineyards and even on winery tours. Most places offered water and we even had a waitress at a bar/restaurant ask if she could give Porter an entire baguette. Dogs are so welcome in Northern Spain that the assumption is dogs are allowed unless there is a no dog sign.  This is the opposite of the US, I feel.  Some bars/restaurants had no dog signs but many of them allowed Porter anyways. At a minimum, most places have some outdoor seating and it is common culture in Spain to order a drink at the bar and stand outside on the sidewalk enjoying with friends.

During the vacation we were sure to keep Porter’s Instagram @porter.pup followers up to date on the daily events.


Every Adventure Dog is equipped with a set of skills that gives them the ability to take on many situations. A few of Porter’s learned skills include but were not limited to:

Get Under is a command you give the dog to go under a table, bench, chair, etc.  The best way to teach this skill is to first make the dog comfortable going under a table.  When the dog is doing the motion of going under the table, that is when you give the “get under” command.  This skill is best paired with the down command after the dog has gone under the place you want them to go.
We use this command all the time in service/public access environments.  No matter how small the area, and even if it is impossible to actually get under or get in, Porter will try when given the command.

Being calm is a skill that is beneficial to any dog.  The best way to form calm behaviors is to reward the dog when they are in a calm state of mind.  Do not praise your dog unless they are doing the action you are looking for.  Through repetition and desensitization to environments your dog will be calm in any setting.

Get it done vs hurry up understanding the difference between “get it done” and “hurry up” for potty breaks is huge.  When your dog is using the bathroom give a command to differentiate between the two.   Not every environment is right for big potty and some situations you need it to happen, especially before boarding a plane! Practicing using the bathroom on leash will come in handy when your in a situation where your dog needs to be kept under control.

Nathan Dudeny

Danielle Drewrey

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By Mike Stewart, Wildrose International

Ticks have never been popular creatures with people or their dogs.  In fact, I can only think of a couple of species that enjoy ticks… free-range guineas and chickens.  Yum!

We all struggle in warmer months keeping ticks off our dogs.  They are annoying for sure but actually quite dangerous.  In humans, they are responsible for transmitting up to 17 diseases including Lyme and Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever. Their bite, at a minimum, is annoying producing itchy sores in dogs as well as humans which can easily become infected.  If allowed to remain in large numbers on dogs, they can actually lead to paralysis.

There is a wide variety of ticks that prey upon us, even the dreaded tick bomb which is a massive cluster of yearling “deer” ticks (very small) that explode upon contact with an animal or human.  Tick bites contribute to quite a few nasty health problems.  It would be interesting to compare annual deaths in humans to venomous snake bites to tick-related illnesses and deaths.  Our fears may be misplaced.

There are many medical products on the market to terminate ticks should they attach to your dog, but what about those on your dog that are unattached?  These are subject to not only attach themselves but they can also infest your vehicle and home spreading about by your dog.  Here we need a topical that keeps ticks off, a repellent. Many of the repellent shampoo and spray products for fleas and ticks contain dangerous chemicals that should not be ingested by the dog (licking) or exposed to humans (touching).  After research, we suggest using natural repellent products disliked by ticks but not harmful to animals.  Combine a product that repels like Vet’s Best Flea & Tick Spray, available at wildrosetradingcompany.com, with a scheduled flea and tick prevention program, either topical or oral. The repellent is simply prevention, keeping the tick off.  The scheduled treatment takes care of those that attach.

Protection from ticks is important during warm weather field training and adventures in the woods or on trails.  Enjoy a well-protected journey.







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Group Work Wednesdays

Every Wednesday, at any given Wildrose location, you can find trainers and owners working together. Group-work Wednesday is a staple in the Wildrose way of training. It encourages dogs, and trainers, of all ages and skill levels to develop steadiness, patience, and socialization skills that are necessary when working with others.group work

There are many bad habits that dogs can develop that are annoying to hunters in field or blind and that are undesirable to a family in the home. Repetition and consistency are the key to creating a predictable habit. Several desirable habits can be created through group work, just as bad habits can be addressed and corrected.  The purpose of group work is to create good habits that are predictable.  We believe this is much more effective than trying to break bad habits.  As the saying goes, old habits die hard and it can be very frustrating for dogs and handlers.

Training scenarios are varied every week and are adjusted to suit the needs of the subjects in training and their skill level.  It is important to remember that we train dogs and not test them. In addition to utilizing group work to train with other dogs and handlers, it provides access to a different environment, which is important to develop a well-rounded dog.


Wildrose Carolinas has a tremendous variety of training environments and habitat in one place. The site consists of 250 acres of timber and open fields and 12 unique water sources. The Wildrose Way is to teach new skills by completing it successfully 5 times in 5 different locations while you “train the way you play” (pg 37). Mike refers to this principle quite often in his book.

Wildrose Carolinas has been open since June of 2018. We encourage you to join us for Group-work Wednesdays. For more information, please contact Kim at info@wildrosecarolinas.comor 919-500-8797. We’re looking forward to seeing you at Group-work!

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