Hunting Dog FAQs

What Makes Our Programs Different

Price: Is it expensive?

Yes, of course it is!

Probably more than most people would be comfortable paying. That is because our programs and services are NOT for most people. Over the last 27 years we have invested more then 10,000 hours and $100,000’s in formal education, continuing education, research and travel expenses to fly all over the world and train with THE TOP Trainers in their fields. If you want exceptional results with unarguably the finest customer focus and personal attention for you and your dog then this it, and a minimum of $4,000 is what it will cost.

Responsibility: What can you expect from TK Hot Retrievers?

As a client of TK Hot Retrievers you can expect us to go above and beyond for you and your dog. You can expect the following:

Consistency: Do the Owners Have to Practice?


After your dog has reached the level of proficiency in training with us, the second and most important phase of training begins, “Training the owner.” Unlike other programs where the trainer spends an hour or two at the end of training showing what your dog learned, then just sets you loose to figure it out on your own. At TK Hot Retrievers we take this phase very seriously. Research has shown that if the handler does not understand and follow the same protocols and training sequences that the trainer instilled in the dog they will loose upwards of 80% of the dog’s ability. We STRONGLY ENCOURAGE and SUGGEST that the owner successfully finish 3 Post-Completion Private Leadership Transfer lessons. These one-on-one lessons are tailored towards the dog and owners ability and proficiency level. Over the last 20 years these leadership transfer lessons have proven to be the single most important way to develop better understanding of the entire training process for the owners. After the leadership lessons have been completed we offer small group gun dog classes to help maintain the dogs training through out the “Off Season”. The group classes can be attended at the owners convenience and are not required to be attended.

Refund Policy: Seriously, No Refunds. Why?

After more then 25 years in business we have seen and heard almost every excuse from people who don’t want to finish paying for their training that they have received. “My spouse says that …….. My car broke down and ………… I had an emergency come up with ……….”

Because we dedicate our lives (literally 24 hrs a day 7 days per week.) to taking care of your dog, providing you with the finest quality training and an attention to customer focus that is unmatched in the Gun Dog industry, we have, unfortunately had to instill this policy.

So before committing to training PLEASE; Speak with your spouse, check to be sure your savings account has enough for the unexpected emergency and get your car a tune up. Preparation is the key to success.

Training Methods and Program Information:

Each Gun Dog Program offered at TK Hot Retrievers is based on the appropriate level of AKC Retriever Model. (JH-SH-MH) After more the 25 years of Professional Education in Dog Training one thing that we have learned is not to take a cookie cutter approach to dog training. Therefore each program will be specifically designed around the dogs unique temperament and drives. What works for a Chesapeake Bay Retriever will not work for a Boykin Spaniel. We spend the extra time necessary to get to know your dog. This extra time and attention allows us to determine each dogs specific motivational desires, rank his/her motivational values and then how to use this information to build a specific program that will lead to your dogs training success.

The training methods used at TK Hot Retrievers are unlike 99% of the Gun Dog Training community. Our entire philosophy and methods are based on the scientific models of Classical and Operant Conditioning. Unlike most Gun Dog Trainers who immediately go to a Correction or Forced based format we begin each dog with Classical Conditioning to a “Marker” System. What is Marker Training? Simply put it is a language or communication system linking a Word to the outcome of a High Value Reward. We follow a very simple, easy to understand progression designed to provide Clarity in Communication with each dog.

Proven methods and progression include:

Once the dog understands “Tap” = Reward (Exp. High Value Food Reward) we then build an association “Tap”- “Pay Attention and Respond Correctly” to Command = Reward. By this step in training the reward has changed from food to a Bumper or a Bird.

*By using Classical Conditioning we are able to keep the dogs highly motivated and not have to rely on strong punishers to get the dog to perform. Thus finding a much higher rate of success then other “Traditional Forced Based” Gun Dog Trainers.

All levels of Gun Dog Programs at TK Hot Retrievers are RESULTS BASED and NOT TIME BASED. Meaning we are not charging you by the month but rather by the end result that you desire. We have all heard stories of clients sending a dog away for training and after spending Thousands of dollars and several months of time end up with a dog that barely knows his basic obedience. With our unique approach to programs and training your are paying ONLY for what you want, regardless how long it takes.

Each Gun Dog Program is all inclusive. Included in the price of your program are:

Special Note:

We also offer professional handling in AKC Retriever and Spaniel Hunt Tests. Gun Dog Training Students can be titled to the appropriate program level if client so desires. Cost of Programs DOES NOT INCLUDE Entry to event, Handling Fee or Travel Expenses.
To increase your dogs potential value we encourage all clients to title their dogs to the appropriate level in AKC Competition Hunt Tests.

Check with us for our AKC Competition Hunt Test Schedule of events.

*Dog must be completely current on all vaccines. Including Bordatella. Rabies, DHPPC, and Bordatella must be given a minimum of 10 Days before drop off training program.*

Others “Traditional” Gun Dog Program DO NOT OFFER what is included in our programs at no additional charge.

What Makes Our Training and Programs Different Than Other Gun Dog Trainers?

Every gun dog trainer gets results. Some specialize in Field Trials and have far more wins then I could ever imagine. Others have finished the AKC Master National or UKC Grand with more dogs then I have even owned. So what makes us so special? In a nutshell its the Methods. While they want you to focus on the ribbons, very few are willing to talk about their methods. Fewer yet are willing to show you their methods in action. And most don’t want you showing up while they train. Why? Well, we have all heard terrible stories of gun dogs being trained with methods that are extremely forceful, sometimes barbaric even bordering on abuse. Ever wonder what they mean by the terms “Force Breaking” a dog ? Or teaching the “Force Fetch”? What about when a dog “Washes Out” of their program? Simply put they are using Force and Punishment to teach the dog. Their entire training program is based on forcing the dog. And when the dog can’t stand up to the regiment of punishment they “wash the dog out”. When in reality the breeds of hunting dogs have been selectively chosen for hundreds of generations for their hard wired genetics to retrieve, hunt and willingness to please us. The dogs WANT to do this, why do you have to “Force” them? Good question.

Over the last 20+ years advancements in the scientific understanding of Dogs have help dog trainers make HUGE strides in positive methods. Landmark Studies in Behavioral Science with canines have proven dogs respond far better to a foundational beginning of motivational based education with a balanced approach of consequences once behaviors are learned. At TK Hot Retrievers our trainers have spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours in continuing education learning from Veterinarians, Veterinary Behaviorists and some of the Top Motivational Based Trainers in the world. Because when your knowledge becomes better your training becomes better. We follow the scientific principles of Classical Conditioning (i.e… Pavlovian learning) and Operant Conditioning (The 4 Quadrants) Instead of making the dog “FIT” the system. We build the system around the individual dog. By specifically designing each training program to fit the dog’s unique temperament, personality and reward ranking. Our philosophy is to do it slow and right instead of fast and wrong. At any given time we might use treats, balls, bumpers or birds in addition to the copious amounts of praise, love and affection. Not only do we LOVE talking about our methods. We WANT TO show you and more importantly we NEED you to be involved with the training so that you can learn to how the dog was trained. Thus strengthening the relationship, building a better bond and becoming the best handler that your dog needs you to be. At TK Hot Retrievers we are setting a new standard in the training of gun dogs.

Service Area

We service the following areas:


  •  Boise
  •  Meridian
  •  Twin Falls
  •  Pocatello
  •  Idaho Falls
  •  Sun Valley
  •  Southern Idaho


  •  Bozeman & Surrounding


  •  Salt Lake County

Don't see your area? No problem. We train dogs from all over the US. Contact us for additional info.

Contact Us.

TK Hot Retrievers
Pocatello, ID

Office: (208) 703-7149

Mon-Sat 9:00AM - 6:00PM