Our Training Programs

Swift River has several ways to assist you in training your retriever.


Training and Boarding

Many people do not have the time or facilities to be able to train their own dog. Swift River Retrievers can provide a learning environment for your retriever at our facility. We limit the number of retrievers in our care so that your dog will receive the individual attention it needs. Our program is geared to enhance and build on the strengths of your retriever, and to fit the dog into the program, not to fit the program into the dog. Each retriever is an individual and will be treated with the care and respect that we treat our own dogs with.

When you decide to send your dog to us, we discuss what goals you have for your retriever. Not everybody wants or needs a retriever that can compete in hunting tests or field trials. Whether you want a competitive dog or a solid hunting partner, the basic obedience program is required, both for your retriever’s safety and for your enjoyment of the time you spend with your hunting companion.

We accept dogs for training after their 6 month birthday. We require proof of vaccinations including Bordatella (kennel cough) and rabies. Our monthly rate includes heartworm and a tick/flea preventative. Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call for more details.

Train the Trainer Classes

Swift River Retrievers also offers you the chance to train your own retriever for competing in hunt tests, field trials and hunting using a proven step-by-step method. Over the years, Buck has developed his "Train the Trainer" program that has proven to be very successful.

The training classes are held on Tuesday nights. Each client receives individual instruction and is given a specific set of goals to work on each week. The end result is an obedient and dependable retriever that can perform blind retrieves. Students also benefit from watching other participant’s lessons as well as networking with each other on training grounds and training groups. Many of our “Train the Trainer” clients and their dogs have gone on to achieve Master Hunter and Qualified All Age titles.

Now you can order a complete training guidebook. Click here for information on how to place your order.

Buck works with a student on casting. The work between the trainer, student, and retriever is critical in developing a good working retriever. Here it works to perfection!

Hunt Test Workshops

These workshops are designed to help handlers and their dogs make the transition from the Junior Level to Senior and Master level work. Workshops are held every Monday night for 3 weeks. Training begins at 5 pm at the Swift River Retriever’s training grounds in Templeton, Ma. The workshops are run just like a Hunt Test with multiple marking set- ups, holding blinds, birds, shotguns, honor dogs, etc.

Hunt Test

While Buck provides individualized instruction for the handler on line, workshop participants have the opportunity to watch and are encouraged to ask questions. Discussions are held concerning issues such as the difference between handling in a test vs. a training situation. For additional information on these workshops click here.

Buck works in the background as a student prepares to  run his dog and the other students look on.

The Basic Avoidance Retriever Training System

Whether you choose us to do your retrievers training or you attend our classes, the backbone of the training system used by Swift River Retrievers is contained in our exclusive Basic Avoidance retriever training. Developed through years of successful training, we find that by starting with the basics, we can build on a solid foundation and work towards a finished dog, ready for a hunt test, field trial or to serve you as an excellent hunting companion.

Once your retriever has mastered the basic retrieving skills, you and your dog can take advantage of our Hunt Test Workshop, which will prepare you and your retriever for Senior and Master level work.