For many years the Peninsula Retrievers Club has been helping hunters and their favorite companions train together for the mutual pleasure of both man and canine.
Daryl Byerly Ph.D is a member of the Club's board of directors and last Monday, accompanied by Hercules, a black Labrador Retriever, put on a demonstration at the Kenai Rotary Club.
While many Alaskans own dogs of retriever breeds, only a small percentage of them are ever trained to do what they were bred for. "There's a lot of folks out there that are very active with their dogs, but you don't see a lot of dogs trained up to the level that is their full potential. Our idea at the Peninsula Retriever Club is to help those people be able to do those things to get their dog to the high level that they are wanting, so that their dog can utilize their full potential out there. It makes for an enjoyable hunter as well as an enjoyable dog," said Byerly.
"The training admired in a hunting dog are the same qualities desired in a normal house dog," says Byerly. "That's an animal that is under control and a dog that will do the things that you ask of it and many of the things that a hunting dog is trained to do are the same things that you are wanting them to do at home; to sit, to stay, to stay down off things, basically to be able to direct the animal and know that he will do what you ask. It makes a better relationship for all involved whether you intend to ever hunt or not."
Byerly says that the ideal time to start training is when a puppy is about 8 weeks old, so that it will grow up to be a happy mature animal, however, he adds that dogs at any age can be worked with and broken of their bad habits and developed into happy dogs. Byerly has been working with dogs on the Peninsula for about 7 years.
The Peninsula Retrievers Club is open to anyone who has a dog. "There are a lot of people on the Peninsula with extensive experience in training dogs for hunting, and we welcome any one who wants to come out and learn to do things with their dogs," said Byerly. Meeting times of the Club will be available in the future and notices printed in the Peninsula Clarion.
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