Marks-a-Lot is who I ended up going with and I will explain why. Back about 10 -12 years ago I got eat up with chasing those ducks and finally got a dog out of good stock. She was great and bumper crazy, but wouldn’t pick up real birds. I had read water dog and gun dog along with some others, but realized I needed someone who knew what they were doing to get the result I was looking for. So the search was on. My wife and I visited 4 trainers here in the area to see what they were all about. The first one was horrible. No way I wanted my dog in that situation. The next two were fair but not the best. One had just lost an owners dog during training and was trying to track it down. Then I called marks-a-lot and Dan said come on out and let’s talk. It was a Sunday evening. Great first impression. We sat out back of his place and I showed him my dog and explained she was having issues with real birds and just wouldn’t pick them up. He instantly went and got a duck and within 10 min of working with her she was bringing it back pretty good. The conversation we had and the feeling my wife and I both got made it crystal clear who was gonna train my dog.
Now, Molly was was an “inside dog” and wasn’t used to being in a kennel. She had been jumping up on the fencing and cut her pads, so they decided to keep her in the house to heal up. They ended up falling in love with her and keeping her in the house the whole time she was there. She slept in his assistants bed at night. So that made me feel real good too.
Another thing I like about Dan... he almost begs his owners to come out and be a part of the action. Every week I would go out on owner day to see how she was doing and watch her progress. It was a blast and I learned a lot in the process. I, along with other owners would help throw birds and marks while he handled the dogs. I asked a lot of questions and he never once got tired of me doing so. He told me how to make corrections, and when and why they were needed. He wasn’t just teaching my dog, he was teaching me how to handle my dog, and I loved every minute of it!
He was always kind to me and my family and I honestly can’t say enough good things about him. He has been doing this for over 25 years and really knows how to get results when it comes to dog training.
I’m sure there are other great trainers in the area as well, but you owe it to yourself to go out and meet with them so you can make that decision for yourself. Watch their dogs run... participate and see what they are all about.
I’ve read your posts for a while now Buzz and I know you like quality and results with just about everything you purchase. You really owe it to yourself to go meet with him. You can check out his website at http://www.marksalot.com/
and see the success he has earned. Good luck!