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Our Trainer  /  Bob's Philosophy  / Training Program / Training Levels  

Dogs in Training:  Yard Work & Introduced Dogs  /   Started Dogs  /  Finished Dogs

  Page Updated 06/02/12   



Our Trainer:

Hickory Hollow Llewellin Setters would like to proudly introduce
our official gun dog trainer, Bob Bartz.



Bob Bartz

Gun Dog Trainer

Bob Bartz, owner and operator of Will's Prairie Kennels of Pilot Grove Iowa, is originally from North Dakota. He started training Labrador Retrievers with his grandfather in 1974 and has been training hunting dogs on and off ever since.

In 1983, Bob started breeding and raising English Cockers for partridge hunting. Then in the 1990's he switched breeds to German Wirehaired Pointers and it was in 2001 that he changed focus once again to the Llewellin Setter which has become his favorite and he is still training to this day.

Bob takes a very gentle approach to training and has a great understanding of how dogs think and learn. On occasion he will have trained Llewellins for sale which will be advertised on this page.

Please contact Bob directly using the information below to learn more about the training programs he offers or how he could specialize a program specifically for your dog:
       E-mail: llewsetter@yahoo.com


Bob's Philosophy


A well-bred dog knows how to hunt, he just has to be taught to listen and to hunt for you. A gentle hand and a calm demeanor are the training tools of choice.

We train upland dogs to respond to hand, whistle and voice commands. We start a dog with primary obedience commands, such as “come”, “heel” and “whoa”. With these commands, along with a couple of basic whistle and hand signals, you can effectively hunt your dog and enjoy the experience, rather than having yelling contests with your fellow hunters.

After these basic commands are established, the dog is introduced to birds in a controlled area. The dog is gradually self-taught to hunt, while we continue to reinforce obedience commands. The end result is a hunting dog that obeys in the field and in the home.

We are not full-time trainers and don’t charge an arm and a leg. We train in the evenings and on weekends because we love dogs, Llewellins in particular. There is nothing as rewarding as a stylish bird dog on point, engulfed in the scent of the bird just beyond its nose.

Training your new dog can be both a rewarding and bonding experience. We encourage our customers who have the inclination, facilities and time to train their own dogs. We are always happy to share with you the methods and techniques that have been successful in our programs.




Bob Bartz

training in the field

(click to enlarge)


Training Program



Many trainers state that a dog is either "started" or "finished", although this is true it may give a false impression as to what degree the dog is actually trained. There is also a difference in a dog that is a finished hunting dog and a dog that is a finished trials dog. Here at Will’s Prairie Kennels, we train hunting dogs, not trial dogs, and we divide our training into the following disciplines:  yard work, introduced, started, and finished.

How long it takes a dog to progress through these lessons is really up to the dog. Dogs are like people, some learn faster than others and some mature faster than others. There is nothing a dog owner or trainer can do about that, a dog will learn at its own pace.  

Therefore, the focus of any training program will be placed on each individual dog and the specific goals set forth by our clients. The duration of the training will depend on the dog's response and the particular goals we are trying to reach. Clients will be provided with frequent progress reports and are encouraged to visit and participate in the training when they can.

Cost is $450 / month. This fee includes training and boarding.


** Any training program offered can be custom tailored to meet the needs of the client.


**All dogs must be current on vaccinations for Bordetella (Kennel Cough), Distermper/Parvo and Rabies.  Clients should provide vaccination records, flea and tick preventative and heartworm medication at the time they leave the dog for training.



Training Levels


  Yard Work

Yard training is just that, training that takes place in the yard. This training focuses on basic obedience which is needed in a hunting companion. We teach the following lessons in this order; "come", "heel", and "whoa".

Of course there are other lessons a dog learns as a byproduct of the three basic lessons such as the command "no" and how to act on a lead. The most important command for any dog to learn is "come", and to come every time when called.


Once a dog knows the basic commands learned in our Yard Work Program, it is introduced to birds and the field. While in the field the basic commands are reinforced while the dog’s natural abilities to hunt are judged and then expanded upon. Once the dog becomes birdy and is pointing, gun fire is slowly introduced. At the end of this training the dog should be pointing and unalarmed by gun fire.


With the yard work and introduction to birds and gunfire under the belt, now it is time to start the dog. During this training the dog’s ability to hunt with other dogs, back, whoa, and retrieve are enhanced. The Yard Work and Introduction lessons are also reinforced. 

If the student shows any sign of losing those important prior lessons, the training progress is paused until those lessons are reaffirmed. The dog is then started again. This process is repeated until the dog is coming when called, pointing, backing, "whoa" broke, starting to recognize hunting dead, and may be showing interest in retrieving.


A finished dog takes years of field time. Most trainers that truly finish dogs are paid handlers and compete with these dogs in field competition. A hunting dog is best finished by the dog’s owner by simply hunting the dog and reinforcing the lessons put in place by a professional trainer. A visit to the trainer for a "refresher" course may be needed if the owner does not have the time to spend getting his dog into condition both physically and mentally for the up coming season.





Yard Work & Introduced Dogs



Started Dogs




Finished Dogs





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