Starting October 2015 members and non-members will be able to check field availability, reserve fields, and upgrade packages in real time. Reservations can easily be made on Valhalla’s home page and the Valhalla experience secured with a couple easy clicks of the mouse. Options include 4 hunting fields, 5 hunting packages, and 4 different time slots, making it simple to customize a day in the field. Member discounts and priority still apply to every reservation.
Not embracing the technology? Fields can still be booked the old fashion way be calling the office and having one of the Valhalla crew guide you through the reservation process. Valhalla is excited to offer this convenience and looks forward to being able to serve clients better with technology.
So you have a bird dog puppy, he is young, bold and intelligent and destined to be the next brag dog of your hunting group. You are already dreaming of next year’s trip to Kansas where your young prospect will be pointing quail and handling running pheasants like a champ. Most any book, video or dog trainer dealing with the development of young dogs will allude to the notion that birds make bird dogs, and this is most certainly the case. Remember, no scented dummy is going to teach your pup how to handle a running pheasant or pin down a covey of quail. So how does the amateur trainer with limited time and an even more limited budget expose his prospect to live birds?
Well you have a couple of options. One is to join a local hunt club or training club, where birds are available for your purchase. Joining a club is a great option because joining a hunt club ensures that you have access to a variety of birds and terrain to work your dog. Plus most hunt clubs are operated by or employ the use of a professional trainer, the advice and expertise from these people are invaluable as they spend every day training and working with a variety of bird dog breeds…
Even if your time and budget is limited, with a little creativity one can still introduce their prospect to birds and develop a world class bird dog close to home. The first key is finding a good place to run your pup. In his initial development it is important to develop a good front running dog and this can simply be accomplished by finding a large field, maybe a park or open space area where you can let your dog run. Encourage your prospect to stay to the front, if he swings to the rear or too far to one side stop and wait for him to return to the front before proceeding. These walks are extremely valuable to a young dog as they allow him to find his running pattern, explore the world outside, while at the same time making a connection with you as his handler.
The next key is finding a field where you can expose your dog to live birds. Pigeons are a great way to keep your costs down, pigeon traps can be purchased commercially and many farmers and business owners consider the birds pests and would be glad to have you trap a few. Pigeons make great initial training birds, their scent is very game bird like and they can be easily dizzied and planted to produce points and flushes where you want them.
Planting birds at pre-conceived locations in a training field teaches your dog to become familiar with the smell of game birds and develop his natural point. Later on in the game planted birds are the best way to fine tune your dog’s manners on game such as steadying your dog to wing and shot.
Another option is to build or purchase a portable quail recall pen. Developing your own “covey” makes for great training. The birds can be worked and used multiple times and with a good recall system you can feasibly produce several good points in just a 15 to 20 minute training session. Plus you and your dog will learn the basic rudimentary fundamentals of a quail covey; how they feed, how they call to each other, how they move and what types of cover they prefer and how they depend on each other for survival.
Whatever you do be sure to get that bird dog puppy on birds! More interactions with live game birds will only make him better. Perhaps the best option for your puppy is a combination of all of the above where he can learn many valuable lessons from ample time afield. Whether you are looking for help starting your first bird dog puppy or seasoned at developing bird dogs our goal at Valhalla Kennels and Gun Dogs is to provide you and your pup with the best training facilities and advice in the country. Give us a call today to come tour our kennels and get your pup off to the right start this season!
Summer is a crucial time for your gun dog. It’s hard to believe but September is less than four months away and what you do now might very well determine the fate of your dog’s upcoming season…
Conditioning is key right now. A lot of dog injuries happen from hunting a dog that is in no condition to hunt. Sitting on the couch all summer and feeding your dog the occasional bag of Cheetos is not going to help Fido out come fall…
It is very important to maintain a decent exercise schedule during the summer months. At the very least, strive to get your dog out on a few thirty minute, off leash runs twice a week to keep their head and heart both happy and healthy.
Summer is also a great time to brush up on a little training! Maybe you’re tired of watching your dog bust birds or failing to honor another dog’s point, now is the time to get out and do some real training.
The warmer months are also a great time for taking your dog out of the field and working on a trained retrieve or force fetch program. This process takes time but after it’s done your dog is simply going to be a polished performer. There is no better time than summer to get your dog force fetched so he is ready to retrieve birds to your hand next fall!
If this summer finds you and your family traveling, be sure to check out our training program. If you are planning on boarding your dog, why not give them the pleasure of getting out and worked on live birds by professional trainers? Next fall your buddies will be impressed and you will watch your bag limits go up!
So this summer be sure to stop by Valhalla on Saturdays for our Gun Dog School of Excellence and inquire about private and monthly training sessions. Next fall our goal is for your favorite gun dog to be the talk of the lodge!
Valhalla Kennels & Gun Dogs
You spent a lot of time researching dog breeds and checking out litters to find just the right pup to be your new bird dog. You know your new hunting companion will take a significant amount of training to become an amazing bird dog. There are some things you can do now, when your pup is little to help with their bird dog training. Here a few simple tips to help train a great bird dog.
Your new pup is a little one so many things might seem scary to them. It is important that you socialize the new pup early. Once your puppy has become comfortable playing with the other people and dogs in your home, it is time to venture out. A puppy class at Valhalla is a great way to introduce new smells, sounds, people, and dogs in a safe environment. Classes start every Saturday at 8:00. Puppies as young as 14 weeks are welcome to participate.
Provide Basic Training
Before learning to do anything in the field, your puppy will need some basic training at home. Begin crate training your puppy as soon as soon as possible. A puppy should be crated at night and then anytime that you are not home to supervise. When you are home let you puppy spend quality time with the family without giving them run of the house. We recommend limiting the rooms in the house that the puppy is allowed. Tethering a puppy in the house using a lead and dog bed and teaching them their space in the house is also a priceless training tool down the road. Having a puppy come to their name is the number one command you should focus on at a young age. For pointing breeds we do not encourage you to use the “sit” command as that can create problems during the Whoa breaking process. For flushing dogs please avoid the “heel” command too young because it can diminish their confidence to range. When your dog is ready for more intense training, contact us. We have private and group slots available, and provide training not only for the dog, but the handler as well.
The Great Outdoors
Long before you begin training, you should be letting your puppy explore the great outdoors. You will want them to be using their noses, chasing bugs and shadows, and running the length of the field. If you are in a safe area, we encourage you to let the puppy run off leash to really explore and burn off some energy. Puppies still need unstructured play time just like children and thrive on being able to take in and be part of their surroundings.
Playing With Birds
We encourage the prey drive in puppies with live birds. Smelling, seeing, chasing, and pointing live birds will spark the desire to hunt. Remember a puppy with a strong desire to hunt is an easier puppy to train for the field. As Jeff says “you can always rein them in later”. Don’t’ be afraid of turning your new puppy into a bird monster. It will pay off later.
Your puppy needs the right foundation before beginning training as a bird dog. Following these tips will get the puppy on the right path. At Valhalla Bijou Hunt Club & Kennels, we are dedicated to providing you with excellent training for your hunting dog. When you are ready to get started on training or have any questions, feel free to contact us.
The Best Things in Life always come in Two’s: Valhalla Kennels & The Bluffs, a
Dynamic Duo of World Class Bird Dog Training & Hunting Facilities
By: Tyler Bowman
It’s just a cold hard fact; the best things in this world always come in two’s. After all, who doesn’t like a good Twix candy bar? But back to bird dogs, birds certainly make bird dogs and there is perhaps no better place to accomplish this than at Valhalla Kennels and The Bluffs. Both facilities are conveniently located in the nearby towns of Bennett and Byers, Colorado offering hunters some of the state’s best pheasant and quail hunting while at the same time providing expert dog training services and world class German Shorthair Pointers.
Valhalla Kennels has become the leading bird dog training facility in Colorado with a highly integrated professional training program from the hands of master trainers, Russell MacLennan and Jeff Orwat. From puppy classes to advanced gun dog training and field trial competition; the training program at Valhalla is designed to turn your bird dog into a polished performer. While at Valhalla, clients can also be rest assured that their favorite hunting companions are in the best hands while they are boarded at the training club. Russell’s wife, Stephanie MacLennan runs Valhalla with the utmost care and passion for keeping the club’s hunters and their dogs happy and healthy.
What is most remarkable about the training programs at Valhalla and the world class hunting at The Bluffs is how both facilities completely compliment each other, offering members a wide array of services and expertise pertaining not only to gun dog training but also trophy mule deer and antelope hunting. Some of the best bucks in eastern Colorado can be found on the plains and prairies surrounding the club. Both facilities help benefit members by allowing them access to Colorado’s best gun dog trainers, upland hunting, big game hunting and training programs. Hunters not only get to enjoy having their dogs trained and conditioned into hunting shape at Valhalla but are also able to enjoy countless days afield at the neighboring Bluffs in pursuit of a truly wild and always adventurous hunting experience, all within a convenient drive from Denver and Denver International Airport.
It all starts at Valhalla Kennels, where hunters and their dogs are able to take advantage of Colorado’s best training facility with ample room to run along the lush riparian zone known as Kiowa Creek. The club is comprised of prime pheasant and bobwhite habitat as well as the ability to hunt rows of standing crops to work flushing dogs on running pheasants…
Lots of birds can be found on the property and the club always has on hand quail, pheasant and chukars for working all ages of gun dogs. Not to mention a top-notch staff to help you with all of your training needs. The training program at Valhalla is truly dynamic and designed to take your next hunting companion from a puppy to a truly finished gun dog.
Members at Valhalla enjoy puppy classes on Saturdays, which are a great way for participants to enjoy hands on training sessions and advice from legendary gun dog trainer Jeff Orwat. From there members can choose to enroll in Jeff’s training program or work their dogs by themselves on live birds.
Jeff also helps speed up the training process by actually teaching owners how to handle their dogs in the field. Jeff can be seen routinely guiding hunts at The Bluffs to show his clients how best to handle their dogs in actual hunting conditions. By taking owners and their dogs on guided hunts, Jeff is able to teach his clients how to properly handle their dogs on birds using the training fundamentals he has put in place. Visits to the bird room after a morning’s hunt always reveals Jeff’s success and knowledge of bird dogs, as the room is always filled with lots of birds and even more smiles.
Both The Bluffs and Valhalla really do give members the best of both worlds in a hunting and training facility. The Bluffs allows members thousands of acres to run hard running pointing dogs or work their favorite flushing dog through the nooks and crannies of woodlands, creek bottoms and CRP fields than encompass the vast Bijou Creek that supports the bulk of the hunting at the club. In addition, members also enjoy hunting sagebrush flats and grasslands for the added challenge of pinning a running rooster through thick cover. During a typical day at The Bluffs, hunters can expect to run into multiple coveys of bobwhite quail and chukar and there are always plenty of wily pheasants running about…
In the end, the ultimate proving ground is the dogs. And the German Shorthair Pointers at Valhalla are bar none the best in the business. So is should also come as no surprise that from both The Bluffs and Valhalla has originated one of today’s best lines of German Shorthair Pointers. The breeding program at Valhalla is founded from a collection of some of the most prominent shorthairs in the history of the breed including such infamous individuals as Dixieland’s Rusty, Rawhide’s Clown, 2X NSTRA Champion General Norman, 14X NSTRA Champion Premier’s Fancy Trail Blazer, and Double K Mistress.
Valhalla Shorthairs are the perfect companion for the upland hunter looking for an awesome pointing dog in the field and at home. Many of the members at Valhalla and The Bluffs hunt Valhalla German Shorthairs exclusively, a true testament to their exceptional noses, bird finding ability, style and grit. Many of the puppies are developed and trained at Valhalla and then move on to get more bird exposure and experience hunting the vast Bijou creek bottom on the rolling prairies of The Bluffs, transforming the young pups into bird finding machines.
But beyond the shorthairs, the training staff at Valhalla is well versed in training and developing all breeds of gun dogs. It is common to walk the kennels at Valhalla and see representatives from most if not all of the major breeds of pointing and flushing dogs. Vizlas, wirehairs, springer spaniels, cockers, brittany spaniels, English setters and even pigs and pet skunks can be found hanging out at the club…
Valhalla and The Bluffs are a prime example to all hunters and sportsmen of the benefits of having a bird dog training facility and hunting club to help develop world-class bird dogs. Whether you like pheasant hunting behind your favorite yellow lab or watching your pointer cruise the hillsides in search of single quail, Valhalla and The Bluffs can take care of all of your upland hunting and gun dog training needs. The next time you are looking to take your puppy from a greenhorn to a polished and professional bird dog, be sure to call Valhalla and The Bluffs, they’ll be happy to help provide for you the best bird dog training and upland hunting close to home.