McKenna Kennels - Retriever Training

Gun Dog
Field Trial
Winter Training in Southern California - space is limited
Spring / Summer Training in Washington

McKenna Kennels training grounds
Some of the training grounds at McKenna Kennels

McKenna Kennels has an outstanding training facility that consists of 110 acres, and 5 separate training ponds.

All training is conducted using live and freshly shot mallard ducks, ring neck pheasants and pigeons. Live birds are planted for gun dogs learning to quarter. Birds are used exclusively on all marking set ups.

Unlike some training programs that rely extensively on mechanical bumper throwers, McKenna Kennels utilizes human throwers for marking setups. 


All training dogs are housed in roomy 4’ x 15’ covered runs, which have an attached doghouse. The concrete runs are cleaned and disinfected daily and are covered with clean shavings to keep the dog comfortable.

Dogs return to their runs at the end of each training day where they can relax and eat in comfort.

All of the dogs are fed  Eukanuba dog food that meets their individual need. We offer Senior, Puppy, Weight Management, Sensitive Skin all made by Eukanuba.

Pictured above are 2006 National Amateur Champion "Carbon" and 2005 National Champion "Chopper" a father and sonPictured above are 2006 National Amateur Champion "Carbon" and 2005 National Champion "Chopper" a father and son.

McKenna Kennels training grounds

Another view of our training grounds.

Bird & Gun Introduction

  •  Ideally, dogs should be 6-8 months of age
  •  2 month minimum
  •  Introduction to live birds
  • First 2 weeks will be an evaluation of retrieving desire, if there is sufficient desire then

we can proceed onto the following:

  • On leash and off-leash obedience (Sit, Here, Heel, Kennel)
  • Simple retrieves on land and water
  • Start of Hold (teaching the dog how to handle birds properly)

Intermediate Training

  • 2 additional months beyond the Bird and Gun Introduction
  • Conditioned Retrieve (deliver by hand)
  • Complete Collar Conditioning
  • Steady to shot
  • Hunting retrieves on land and water
  • Introduction to Boats, Decoys, Cattails, Hunting Blinds, Quartering and Cover Changes
  • Start of Handling Drills

2011 National Field Champion
Watermark's Running Back

From puppies to National Champions - it all begins at McKenna KennelsFrom Puppies to National Champions


Advanced Training

  • For the discriminating hunter who wants a top of the line hunting dog
  • Blind retrieves on land and water
  • Complete steadiness on land and water out of Boats and Hunting Blinds
  • For the hunter who wants this top level dog we need to discuss the options of achieving this top level.


Jim and his team can provide you with first class Hunt or Field Training. Contact him today and get on the road to success!

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