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Our physical address is:
194 Stockade Ranch Road
Paige, Texas 78659
We are located only 45 minutes East of Austin, Texas in the small town of Paige. The closest intersection to us is the intersection of Highway 21 and Highway 290.
Our Gun Dog Program is a 4-5 month program that consists of four phases. This time is an approximation as each dog is different in how they will accept their training.
1. Basic Obedience
2. Formal Fetch
3. Confidence in Retrievals
4. Increasing Challenge of Retrieves
Your dog will have a strong foundation of basic obedience, which will ensure he or she is a good house companion. In the field, your dog will be able to mark the fall of a bird or bumper on land and water, retrieve it reliably and efficiently, and deliver to hand. They will be steady to shot and comfortable in many types of terrain and hunting scenarios. Your dog will also be accustomed to duck calls, boats, duck blinds, gunfire and decoys.
While a new bond will be established with the trainer, your bond to your dog will still exist and will remain strong! Your dog will be busy learning new and exciting things and will adjust to the training program. Best Retrievers is available for updates and we encourage you to visit regularly. We encourage you to wait at least two weeks before your first visit. This is optional..it's a "miss me" just for you to see that they are happy and are enjoying their stay! Then SIX weeks for your obedience session to allow us ample time to build a solid relationship with them. At the six week mark, we will be glad to meet with you, review training, and allow you time to play with your dog. Once your dog comes home, he or she will settle back into their routines at home. We like to compare it to a summer sports camp for kids: they attend camp, learn a lot and have fun, then return home as an improved and skilled athlete.
We have two large kennel facilities, with a total of 71, 5' X 10' kennel runs.
Our kennels are temperature regulated with the ability to be fully enclosed or retain a pavilion style. Ceiling fans and heaters are used to keep all of our animals comfortable.
It varies with each trainer depending on the type of training and the phase of training they are in. On average each trainer has 15-20 dogs at one time. To some this may sound like a lot compared to other dog training facilities. But, where we are different is we have 6 trainers along with 5 additional full time staff members and 3 part time staff members that work hard to keep the kennels clean, make sure dogs are fed and medicated, run any errands, and maintain the property. Because we have the staff we do our trainers only have to train.
It is important to schedule your dog(s) for training in advance as we maintain a high capacity of dogs and have a waiting list in place.
This depends on which phase of training your dog is in the process of completing. Each phase of the training will be working with one or two trainers. Dogs can be worked up to 4 sessions per day. The length of time for each session may vary, depending on where your dog is in the training program. Typically, a session will last 15-30 minutes. Best Retrievers trains Monday through Friday, and Saturdays are for drop offs, scheduled "Miss me" visits or a Go-Home Session that is scheduled with your dog's trainer.
Nope. In addition to the training program, we also have 40' X 50' outdoor exercise yards where they get play time with other dogs!
Our facility is located on 120 acres. We have seven technical ponds, a swim-bye pond for advanced gundog training, and a five acre lake. We also have access to thousands of acres of land within twenty minutes of our facility and have the option to use these lands to introduce your dog to a variety of scenarios.
If your dog is here for the Foundation Training (this is the Basic Obedience only) then scheduled visits are welcomed after the 2 week mark. Plan to spend about 2 hours with us at the go home session when you take them home. You will contact your dog's trainer to schedule the visits and sessions.
For our Gundog Program we strongly encourage you to come for a session at the 6 week mark with the foundation trainer and then every four to six weeks once they are in the field to review the training and allow us to teach you the new commands. Plus, we welcome you to participate in daily field training sessions. Come prepared for any weather condition! You’ll be invited to observe, run your dog, and run other dogs for additional practice and experience. Please contact your trainer in advance for scheduling your appointment.
Maybe.. You can take your dog home on some weekends or during holidays once the first phase of training has been completed and we have had an opportunity to review the training with you. We strongly suggest you maintain the standard of training at home and reinforce the basic obedience commands during the home visits. Here is where the maybe comes in... We have learned from experience, if they go home too much they struggle to stay at your desired speed of training.
Best Retrievers requires each dog to be supplied with heart worm and flea/tick medications for the duration of his/her stay by the owner. While this has not been an issue at our facility, we strongly believe in prevention. Please label packages with your dog’s name and the date to be given. Best Retrievers will maintain all of our own equipment (leashes, collars, etc.) for training your dog. There will be a detailed list of items that will be attached to your reservation email. Please read it carefully!
If additional medication is required, we will administer it to your dog at no additional charge, provided you supply the medications. We will feed special food with a veterinarian's recommendation letter.
If we observe an injury or illness, we will take your dog to our vet, which is located a short 20 minutes from our facility. We will be in contact with you to discuss the injury or illness, unless it is an emergency situation. In the case of an emergency your dog is first priority and we will do what needs to be done for their health. In a non-emergency case you also have the option of picking up your dog up and taking them to your personal vet.
The earliest visit is at the 2 week mark. This is optional, its what we call a "Miss Me" visit. This gives us time to build a relationship with them so that when you come visit they are happy to see you, but happy to stay here. We know that you miss your dog and want to know how they are doing and if they are happy. This is just a visit, not a session. We will bring your dog out to you and you will just get to hang out and spend time with them. We discourage you giving any commands at this point. They are new and still learning the commands with the trainer and until they know it completely and you have had a 6 week session.
Please make sure that all the visits and sessions are scheduled through your dog's trainer.
Our trainers make time to give each client a weekly text update. This usually entails a cute picture or a video of progress and a detailed text with how the week went! Please understand that our main priority is to spend quality time with each dog. If you would like to reach out more often we will do our best to get back as long as it doesn't interfere with the time we have with the dogs in training.
Tips are greatly appreciated! The trainers work hard and love what they do! Gifts, cash or Venmo are accepted! Ask the office staff for the trainers' Venmo accounts!
Best Retrievers is open to clients Monday thru Friday 8-5, excluding lunch 12-1. Saturday 8-5 by appointment only. Sunday we are CLOSED.
Best Retrievers Pro Shop is open to clients Monday through Friday 8-5 excluding lunch 12-1. CLOSED on Saturdays and Sundays. Our online store is available all day everyday!
The search for the ‘right’ puppy can be difficult. First, look for a puppy that has a good pedigree. Look for achievements (AKC or UKC hunt test or field trial) in the bloodline that insures your puppy will have good genetic material. Evaluate the parents closely; they will be the nearest predictor for how the pup will act as an adult. You want a pup which, as an adult, with have a high desire to retrieve, maintain good training ability and intelligence. You also want a sound temperament and a friendly disposition. Make sure that the parent’s hips have been certified by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) with a rating of at least "Good" or "Excellent." Also, make sure the parent’s eyes have been certified by the Certified Eye Retinal Foundation (CERF) as "Clear." Always ask for a written hip and eye guarantee and make sure the pup has been vaccinated, wormed, and dew claws have been removed.
We have litters of puppies born throughout the year. Contact us to see what the best puppy would be for you.
A hunt test is an event, which simulates actual hunting conditions and tests your retriever on his/her ability to perform certain tasks. Your dog is judged on its ability to pass a standardized test; meaning it is non-competitive. Each pass your dog receives is a “leg” or qualification towards their hunt test title. Best Retrievers competes regularly in AKC hunt tests and the Super Retriever Series.
The only requirement for your dog to compete in a hunt test is that they must be registered with either AKC. Upon completion of our basic Gundog Training Program, your dog should be sufficiently prepared to compete for their AKC Junior Title. Retrievers that complete the Advanced Training Program should be prepared to compete at the AKC Senior Level. With several months of additional training at the advanced level, your dog will be prepared to compete at the AKC Master level.