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Gun Dog - Bird Dog Training with Todd Lutman

Our training program helps to bring out the Gun Dog’s inherent prey drive to top level.  We begin to mould that natural instinct and desired behavior of a confident, well mannered bird dog. 


Through the development of conditioned responses and learnt behavior we are able to produce dogs that are proficient in heeling off lead, handling on command, plus confidently steady on birds.


We work in partnership with the dogs as they train, giving them leadership and relying on their natural abilities.

Wingshooting Safaris

Bird hunting seasons vary from area to area, but generally March through to September are the prime months. The beginning of the season provides some of the finest hot barrel pigeon shooting in the world and the variety of bird species available ensure a varied wing shooting experience. In our northern areas, huge flocks of helmeted Guinea Fowl are found along with seven species of Francolin, including the extremely challenging Greywing. All of these are hunted over well trained pointers. Waterfowl, of which there are 12 different species, including the huge Spurwing Goose, are mostly shot from blinds and over decoys. For some of the best hot barrel shooting, nothing can beat the immense flocks of pigeons and doves shot over sunflower or cornfields.

Before we start training as a bird dog, our young dogs need to be given the opportunity to develop their inherent prey drive through exposure to birds.


Our Puppy Development Program ensures a young dog is excited about birds and is prepared to begin formal training. During this Program the dogs get introduced to birds and thus builds their enthusiasm for finding birds.


Once a young dog is excited about birds, we properly introduce them to the remaining 2 month program.

Training Programmes

The Foundation Level is taught during the first month of the Basic Formal Training Class. During this month, dogs get to work with birds almost ever day.


They retrieve birds, and get used to being in the field. By using the physical commands of check cords, whoa posts and command leads Todd is able to teach fundamental behaviors to the dogs. Through repetition he is able to develop conditioned responses.


A dog has reached the level of conditioned responses when he will do a certain thing every time when commanded, no matter what his distraction level is. This is the core of Todd’s Training Program where everything builds upon the dog’s conditioned responses to these basic skills.


The Intermediate Program, second month, transforms a dog from mechanical commands to low level remote commands in the field. Ultimately, verbal commands are overlaid to the conditioned response.


At this level dogs are becoming steady on game, learning to honor another dog’s point and quartering on command. 


During the third month of the Basic Puppy Training Program they enter the Advanced Level. At this time your puppy has been through 2 very important stages before moving onto the Advanced Program where they learn to work scent in adverse conditions, how to look for and recognize backing situations, mark and hunt dead birds, retrieve, and take direction and go with you in the field.

Puppy Development Program 1

Build your dog’s inherent prey drive. Prepare him for formal training on pigeons at our facility in Vaalwater and Settlers Limpopo. Your dog is guaranteed bird contact with every outing.P.O.R.

Puppy Development Program 2

Exposure to Wild Birds. Build your dog’s inherent prey drive. Prepare him for formal training on Francolin. Your dog will have the opportunity to learn to work wild birds. The amount of birds encountered will depend on your dog’s proficiency and general hunting conditions. P.O.R.

Intermediate Training Program

Steady your dog and develop the fundamental skills every bird dog should know. The Basic Class gets your dog started on the right path. P.O.R.

Wild Bird Training Excursions

Opportunities to be a part of these trips take place from April. These are great ways to get your dog in shape, both physically and mentally, for a season of hunting wild birds. This class is similar to a semester abroad for a young student. It broadens their horizons, matures them, and polishes their skills more than any other class. P.O.R.

General Obedience

General obedience is offered throughout the year. We can teach your dog to heel calmly, come to you, sit/stay, not to jump on people and general manners that will make him a pleasure to be around. We can also transition all of these cues to the remote cue of an e-collar. P.O.R.

Private Instruction

On-Site Private Instruction can be arranged with advance notice. P.O.R.

Gun Dog / Bird Dog Videos