4 Gundog Skills to Practice in Your Home When Your Dog Is a Family Companion First

Jun 04, 2024

CGA member and ambassador, Cody Weis, trains his dogs, Sage and Honey, with excellence and commitment. He embodies what CGA stands as he builds on what his dogs know and continues to help them reach their full potential. We believe every hunter deserves a dog they can be proud of, and Cody demonstrates how you can train your dog so that you can be proud of him in the field and at home. 

Today, he is sharing four ways he uses every day scenarios to build and maintain their training.

1. Steadiness 

Meal time is the perfect time to practice steadiness. You can require your dog to stay in the kennel, at sit, or at place while you put your dog's food bowl down. When you release your dog, she can have her meal. If she lunges before you call her name, simply lift the bowl and have her return to her obedience before you release her. 

2. Eye Contact

Practicing eye contact before a meal or being released for free play is an easy way to increase eye contact during training...

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Ideas for Maintaining and Advancing the Training of Your Seasoned Dog

May 07, 2024

How do you take a new puppy and train him to become a Hunter Retriever Champion? How do you take that adorable pup your brought home and teach to be a joy at home and a dog you can be proud of in the field?

It takes dedication, commitment, and consistency to develop a dog that reaches his full potential. It also takes a solid plan.

Marty Haynes, a CGA Founding Member and Ambassador, has accomplished just that. He has trained his two epic retrievers to be obedient members of his family and epic retrievers in the field. Breathtaking to watch in the field, Koda (7 years old) and Bear (5 years old) consistently display their steadiness, drive, and excellence. Bear is even a Hunter Retriever Champion.

Marty used CGA to train both of his dogs to a finished level and to maintain their training. An incredible member of our community, we're honored to have Marty building with us a movement that believes every hunter can have a dog they are proud to have in the...

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What Your Training Sessions Can Look Like with an Advanced Dog and Young Pup

Apr 02, 2024

As you prepare for a duck dog, you will quickly find that there is a lot of conflicting information out there about how you should train your dog. Then when you see all of the opinions online, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed.

Josh Peck, CGA member and ambassador, was searching for the path to success when he got his beautiful lab, Kora. When he found CGA, he knew he had a simple path to success with the information to know where to start, what to do next, and what to do when problems arise. 

Kora is now a fantastic retriever. Like so many of our members, Josh got puppy number two, and he is now taking Nala through 52 Plus. 

Josh said, "One of my favorite things about Cornerstone is that it showed me how to take my dog from being a puppy to being a duck dog. The 52 Plus program does a great job of showing me how to train my dog because Josh is going through the same struggles and triumphs with his dog that I'm going through with mine."

Josh is confidently training two...

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The Secret to Overcoming Any Roadblock in Retriever Training

Mar 05, 2024

When you are training your retriever, you will inevitably face challenges.

Maybe you are there right now, and you're looking for how to get your dog over a hurdle. You were going along fantastically, and then, training has come to a halt.

Perhaps you are at the beginning of your training journey, and you are looking for training information you'll need in the future.

Either way, Louie, CGA member and ambassador, has some valuable insights for you. He and Red have amazing results with their training.

Red is the first dog Louie has ever trained, and they began when Red was only a puppy.

Now, Red can retrieve anything Louie sends him on. They have built a lasting bond. 

Louie took some time to share with you how they went from a new puppy and an owner who has never trained a retriever to an epic hunting duo.

"Build From Here"

"'Build From Here' is, simply put, learning/polishing what you already know and never giving up whenever you hit a wall. There's never a wall you can't...

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What factors do you need to successfully train your retriever?

Feb 06, 2024

CGA Member and Ambassador Scott Marquis excellently trained his incredible retriever, Lottie Mae. Together, they have gone through the sun, rain, and snow. She went from being a new pup to making an epic retrieve at Merrymeeting Bay with steadiness, drive, and a beautiful delivery. She's a dream retriever.

Are you wanting to train your dog to be an epic retriever like Scott has trained Lottie Mae? You may be wondering what you need to make that happen. 

After Scott's beloved dog passed away, he was searching for another dog. This time, he wanted to train the dog to be his hunting companion as well as his family's companion.

Scott, said, "I had always been kind of researching and following along with Barton Ramsay and Southern Oak Kennels. I knew I wanted a dog out of one of their litters and kind of simultaneously started scouring the web and trying to think, 'How am I going to do this? You know I don’t know anything about it. I'm not a dog trainer, I'm not a...

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How You Can Build Momentum In Your Dog Training

Jan 02, 2024

Training your Gundog has moments of glory and moments of challenge. Your dog has a mind of his own. Sometimes, it feels like you're on the same page. Other times, she's doing the exact opposite of what you hoped!

How can you build off of those highlights so that you can have more days like that?


This is what Cornerstone Gundog Academy is all about.

You can take a success that you have in training and build on it in small increments until your dog is making an epic retrieve on the hunt. 

Practically, this could look like getting your puppy to sit on place for the first time today and having your pup repeat the behavior immediately tomorrow. 

It can look like pushing that blind retrieve from 50 yards to 60 yards today. Eventually, you've pushed it out to 300 yards and your dog is ready to retrieve anything you send her on.

In the video, CGA member and ambassador, Tom Forman, talks you through how he gets to days that he lives for. "Oh boy, this is...

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How to Have an Awesome Gundog Like Vickie

Dec 05, 2023

Vickie has done an amazing job training her gundog, Claire. They have consistently worked together building trust and confidence in each other. If you want to see a stunning sight, watch Claire retrieve.

Vickie clearly articulates how you can also train an epic gundog. 

"CGA is known to have a saying that says 'BuildFromHere', 'Progress Over Perfection'. #BuildFromHere, I learned going through the process, is that you just follow the progress of the program. Don't rush. Don't be in a hurry. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the process. Build from where you are and continue to build on from there."

"Celebrate your wins that you have in training. Then learn from your dog if they're trying to tell you something that they don't understand. Back up, take your time, and just build from the very last step that they were successful on. You will be able to continue to advance your training after that."

One huge key to successful dog training is find your dog a win. Vickie understands that...

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When You Can Trust Your Dog as Much as He Trust You

Nov 07, 2023

“I can trust him as much as he trusts me.” Nicholas and his amazing retriever, Winston, are inseparable. Their bond began on day 1. Nicholas feels like Winston really chose him. With this instant bond, Nicholas wanted the very best for his best friend.  

He feels like following our motto, "#BuildFromHere", has allowed him to develop the bond they share.

“BuildFromHere has meant everything to us in the process because Winston’s the first dog that I’ve ever trained. The Cornerstone program allows you to create that bond, that drive within him where he wants to do it.”

“BuildFromHere is fantastic… what’s so important about it is that when you focus on a specific attribute of training, you know that it will pay off later on.”

#BuildFromHere means that you build on the successes, make the most of failures, and focus on where you are heading together in the future.

“We embrace the fundamentals and the core...

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Have a Happy, Confident Dog Like Jake

Oct 03, 2023

Jake began training like many of our members, with no experience, and has now trained two epic retrievers, Sadie and Slate. With CGA, he learned both the methods for training and the why behind the methods. Using this knowledge, he feels empowered to make decisions in training to train beasts in the field that have an off switch. You can have this dog training confidence too. 

Today, he is showing you what your hunt preparation training sessions can look like with his two incredible gundogs.

"One of the great things about having multiple dogs and using Cornerstone to have those is you end up with happy, confident dogs.You can feel Slate's joy during training by watching his tail wag a million miles a minute. 

"One of the things I love about Cornerstone is the bond you build with your dog... You're creating a dog that wants to do the work, not a dog that is compelled to do the work." This is tangible as you see Slate and Sadie prepare for their hunts...

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How Old Should My Dog Be To Go Hunting?

May 17, 2023

Is there a minimum age?

As you can imagine, anyone would answer this question, its different for every dog! Some hunting dogs mature much sooner than others, while some retrievers take a long time to mature. When it comes to a minimum age for hunting, there is no exact answer. The answer for each dog will come with a better understanding of their growth and maturity, retriever training experience, and the expectations of the first hunt. 

What Should My Dog Know Before We Go Hunting?

It is easier to know the exact skills that your dog needs to go duck hunting than it is to know the age at which he should go. We break these skills into two categories, obedience skills and gundog skills. Gundogs do not have to be "fully trained" in order to go hunting, but they do need to have some basic hunting skills.

For obedience skills, a retriever needs to sit and be steady, know how to place and heel, and have a solid recall. These skills need to be fluent for the dog. In other words, you...

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