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Thread: Private Training Grounds

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Default Private Training Grounds

    For some of you out west, you many not understand this concept but here in the east (1/6 of the US population within a two hour drive) public access to train dogs is quite limited. As part of a hunting club, I am considering opening some of our grounds to small groups for training between 3/31 and 10/1. I am building a 8 acre techincal pond and adding swim-by in other area. In another section of the home farm, I have an 3-acre impoundment that has been so-so for ducks. It has two islands and I will leave this full all year. I am adding two more adjacent impoundments of the same size for training purposes. I also operate an upland hunting preserve and the season corresponds nicely to this timing so that I can use these grounds also. I am thinking of one open field (20 acres) and other with limited cover. I would like to be able to run two-lands and two-water series independently with out impacting each other.

    I have talked to a local club and there is some interest in holding hunt tests here. I have no interest in field trials since the members of the club (100+) are regular waterfowl guys. I think many of them will get back into the dog training with this type of grounds. Also, there is already a world-class facility nearby that is perfect for field trials.

    I would have to charge something since I rent the ground on a long-term Ag lease and the pond construction is quite spendy.

    I would really appreciate some imput on the the following questions:

    What, if any rate is paid by the day and what discount is reasonable for a season long commitment? Per dog is the going rate?

    Are there shifts, two/three per day? What times do you like to train?

    What a the penalties for breaking the facilities rules?

    What is the ideal training group size?

    Should I impose any limits on the groups or should I give them full access to all ponds/grounds and let them decide what to use?

    Since I will not be creating any club organization. I want to choose who may use the grounds. I would rather not have any work days and will have to include maintenance into the projected fee. One of the issues is the quality of the water and weekly tests and hazzards around the grounds. I have waivers for the club that I operate. Does anyone sign these for training grounds access?

    What type of facilities (bathrooms or picnic pavilions) are provided? Is there any extra cost to use a house, barn or storage facility on site?

    What equipment are available wingers, bumper boys, etc? Is this built into the per day fee or do most training groups bring their own?

    Does any facility permit groups to use their own utility vehicles? I have several, would someone rent one for the day if it was already at the facility? What would this be worth to use it?

    I raise ducks and have all the flyers anyone ould ever use on an adjacent farm. I am considering building a small pen and keeping mallards during the preserve season. What is the going bird rate ($5.00-$6.00) and am I making a mistake using the honor system to tract bird costs?

    In general, What is the best and worst you see in private/paid training grounds? Thanks in advance for any input you can give me.

  2. #2
    Senior Member lablover's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm looking forward to reading the replys on this one.

    Thanks for your efforts to improve the sport!
    <--- Dooey, MH
    MHR Duckmates Fly Guy MH 05/17/94 - 07/17/08 "Flyboy"
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    Richard

  3. #3
    Senior Member MikeBoley's Avatar
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    I run our clubs lease grounds. Here is my opinion of how I would run your idea.

    What, if any rate is paid by the day and what discount is reasonable for a season long commitment? Per dog is the going rate?

    I would only allow season access. If you do it by the day it will be a nightmare keeping track of who is there.

    Should I impose any limits on the groups or should I give them full access to all ponds/grounds and let them decide what to use?

    Full access

    What equipment are available wingers, bumper boys, etc? Is this built into the per day fee or do most training groups bring their own?

    Does any facility permit groups to use their own utility vehicles? I have several, would someone rent one for the day if it was already at the facility? What would this be worth to use it?
    Use their own stuff.

    Have them pay in advance for flyers and you have them on site when they arrive for that days training. By the way I'll take all you got at $5.00 a bird.
    'I make my practices real hard because if a player is a quitter, I want him to quit in practice, not in a game.' - Bear Bryant / Alabama

  4. #4
    Senior Member Good Dogs's Avatar
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    I think we'll move to DE.

    Great idea and the folks near you are lucky. My only reccomendation is to put all the rules in writing - whatever you decide - and make sure all users sign it. Then post it by the gate for those with "short memory." There are always the few who will push the limits and abuse your efforts. Don't let those types screw it up for everybody else. And remember the dictum, "No good deed goes unpunished." Stick to your rules and make no exceptions. In the end everybody, including you, will be happier.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Noah's Avatar
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    You obviously have a system set-up for booking your hunts. I would use that as a template for booking dog training days.
    I would charge a per dog/per day rate. ($5-$10)
    If you want to reward good customers and increase cash flow give a discount for prepurchased training time. For example, I have 3 dogs. I want to train for 10 days, that would be 3 x 10 x $10 = $300. If I book for and pay for 10 days up front you charge me $8.50 per dog per day or $255
    I would allow the person(s) who have booked for the day, train where they choose.
    I would let people supply their own training equipment. They probably already have it, and you don't have a cash outlay to provide it or have to maintain it.
    I would check with conservation officers about providing flyers. A dog trainer in our area manages a game preserve. He cannot train with flyers on those grounds, outside the preserve season, as the CO's hassle him thinking he is having hunts when the preserve season is closed.

    OR you can find an individual or small training group to lease the all grounds for the entire length of time and save yourself a lot of headaches
    "A dog doesn't care how much you know, until it knows how much you care."

    Rick W Jackson D.V.M.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Terry Thomas's Avatar
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    I'd travel down for a few days training if you allowed access by the dog/day. Seasonal only access would limit it to local people only.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member K92line's Avatar
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    You may want to contact someone at CRTA (California Retriever Training Assoc.) you can google for email address and there is a description on their website. They have addressed many of these issues.

    Personally I would stay away from providing birds and I would definitely not let folks use my vehicles. I think there is a huge liability and just a hassle.

    My two cents.

    Nancy

  8. #8
    Senior Member GulfCoast's Avatar
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    At $5 a bird, I might move up there!

  9. #9
    Senior Member crackerd's Avatar
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    Here you go, Drew, here's how one of your next-door neighbors handles it--if a couple of your club members haven't already insighted you:

    LABRADOR RETRIEVER CLUB, INC.
    TRAINING DAYS - 2008


    * Saturday February 2,2008
    * Saturday February 9,2008
    * Saturday March 1, 2008
    * Saturday March 8, 2008

    Location: Rebel Ridge Farms, 295 Woods Road, Elkton, MD 21921

    7:45A.M.: Pre- assigned Groups posted in Rebel Ridge Pavilion
    (if you're traveling with someone, please note that on your pre-registration
    form so that you are assigned to the same training group)

    8:00 A.M. - Noon(ish): Field Work in assigned Groups


    Cost: $15 per dog per session- dead birds (pheasants and/or ducks)
    $12 per flyer (if available)

    Objective: Fun, constructive HT/FT training without a lot ofdown time. We
    hope to complete at least two full set-ups by noon. These set-ups
    would include multiple marks and blinds. Distances would normally
    be HT distances; but could be stretched longer for FT dogs.
    Rules: All handlers will be limited to 2 dogs.

    All handlers will take their tum(s) in the field throwing birds.

    All handlers are to bring their own equipment (if they have any).
    No one runs their dog(s) and leaves. Ifyou can't be here from
    8AM until Noon please don't sign up.

    You must pre-register for these training sessions at least 1 week
    in advance. For planning purposes, cancellations will be accepted
    48 hours prior. After that, you will be expected to pay for the
    session.

    General: Please sign up now for any and all sessions you would like to attend.
    There will be a message on our answering machine if the training day
    has been cancelled due to inclement weather. Please call
    410-885-5090 after 6:30pm on the preceding Friday.

    Pre-registration Information:
    Name:------------- Tel #:------

    Date(s): _

    Number of dog(s): FT/HT Level: _

    Email registration info to: info@rebelridgefarms.com or call 410-885-5090
    MG

  10. #10

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