Frequently Asked Questions
194 Stockade Ranch Road Paige, TX 78659
Rody & Kristin Best
Where is Best Retrievers located?
Our physical address is:
194 Stockade Ranch Road
Paige, Texas 78659
We are located only 45 minutes East of Austin, Texas in the small town of Paige.
The closest intersection to us is the intersection of Highway 21 and Highway 290.
How long is the Gun Dog Program?
Our Gun Dog Program is a 4-5 month program that consists of four phases. This time is an approximation as each dog is different in how they will accept their training.
1. Basic Obedience
2. Formal Fetch
3. Confidence in Retrievals
4. Increasing Challenge of Retrieves
What can I expect after my dog has completed the Gun Dog Program?
Your dog will have a strong foundation of basic obedience, which will ensure he or she is a good house companion. In the field, your dog will be able to mark the fall of a bird or bumper on land and water, retrieve it reliably and efficiently, and deliver to hand. They will be steady to shot and comfortable in many types of terrain and hunting scenarios. Your dog will also be accustomed to duck calls, boats, duck blinds, gunfire and decoys.
Will my dog remember me after training?
YES! While a new bond will be established with the trainer, your bond to your dog will still exist and will remain strong! Your dog will be busy learning new and exciting things and will adjust to the training program. Best Retrievers is available for updates and we encourage you to visit regularly. We encourage you to wait at least two weeks before your first visit, This is optional..its a "miss me" just for you to see that they are happy and are enjoying their stay! Then SIX weeks for your obedience session to allow us ample time to build a solid relationship with them. At the six week mark, we will be glad to meet with you, review training, and allow you time to play with your dog. Once your dog comes home, he or she will settle back into their routines at home. We like to compare it to a summer sports camp for kids: they attend camp, learn a lot and have fun, then return home as an improved and skilled athlete.
Where will my dog be staying?
We have two large kennel facilities, with a total of 71,
5' X 10' kennel runs.
Our kennels are temperature regulated with the ability to be fully enclosed or retain a pavilion style. Ceiling fans and heaters are used to keep all of our animals comfortable.
How many dogs do you train?
It varies with each trainer depending on the type of training and the phase of training they are in. On average each trainer has 12-18 dogs at one time. To some this may sound like a lot compared to other dog training facilities. But, where we are different is we have 6 trainers along with 4 additional full time staff members and 2 part time staff members that work to maintain very clean kennels, make sure dogs are fed and medicated property, run any errands, and maintain the property. Because we have the staff we do our trainers only have to train.
It is important to schedule your dog(s) for training in advance as we maintain a high capacity of dogs and have a waiting list in place.
How much time is spent with each dog?
This depends on which phase of training your dog is in the process of completing. Each phase of the training will be working with one or two trainers. Dogs can be worked up to 4 sessions per day. The length of time for each session may vary, depending on where your dog is in the training program. Typically, a session will last 15-30 minutes. Best Retrievers trains Monday through Friday, and Saturdays are for drop offs, scheduled "Miss me" visits or a Go-Home Session that is scheduled with your dogs trainer.
Does my dog sit in the kennel all day?
OH NO! In addition to the training program, we also have 40' X 50' outdoor exercise yards. Each dog is allowed to romp and play between sessions!
What kind of birds will my dog be trained with?
We primarily use pigeons and ducks in training, but occasionally able to get geese, pheasants, quail, and chukars.
What type of training grounds do you offer?
Our facility is located on 120 acres. We have seven technical ponds, a swim-bye pond for advanced gundog training, and a five acre lake. We also have access to thousands of acres of land within twenty minutes of our facility and have the option to use these lands to introduce your dog to a variety of scenarios.
Can I observe or participate in my dog's training?
We strongly encourage you to visit your dog every four to six weeks to review the training and allow us to teach you the new commands. Plus, we welcome you to participate in daily field training sessions. Come prepared for any weather condition! You’ll be invited to observe, run your dog, and run other dogs for additional practice and experience. Please email or call in advance for scheduling.
Can I bring my dog home while in training?
Maybe.. You can take your dog home on some weekends or during holidays once the first phase of training has been completed and we have had an opportunity to review the training with you. We strongly suggest you maintain the standard of training at home and reinforce the basic obedience commands during the home visits. Here where the maybe comes in... We have learned from experience, if they go home too much they struggle to stay at your desired speed of training.
What does the Gun Dog training cost?
The monthly investment in your dog is $850 per month for boarding, feeding, birds and training. We also have a veterinarian visit our facility each month and perform a physical exam on each dog. There are no hidden costs!
What do I need to bring when I drop off my dog?
Best Retrievers requires each dog to be supplied with heart worm and flea/tick medications for the duration of his/her stay by the owner. While this has not been an issue at our facility, we strongly believe in prevention. Please label packages with your dog’s name and the date to be given. Best Retrievers will maintain all of our own equipment (leashes, collars, etc.) for training your dog. There will be a detailed list of items that will be attached to your reservation email. Please read it carefully!
My dog has medical issues. May I bring food or medications?
If additional medication is required, we will administer it to your dog at no additional charge, provided you supply the medications. We will feed special food with a veterinarian's recommendation letter.
What happens if my dog is injured or becomes ill?
If we observe an injury or illness, we will take your dog to our vet, which is located a short 20 minutes from our facility. We will be in contact you to discuss the injury or illness, unless it is an emergency situation. In the case of an emergency your dog is first priority and we will do what needs to be done for their health. In a non-emergency case you also have the option of picking up your dog up and taking them to your personal vet.
What is a hunt test?
A hunt test is an event, which simulates actual hunting conditions and tests your retriever on his/her ability to perform certain tasks. Your dog is judged on its ability to pass a standardized test; meaning it is non-competitive. Each pass your dog receives is a “leg” or qualification towards their hunt test title. Best Retrievers competes regularly in AKC hunt tests and the Super Retriever Series.
Can my dog compete in a hunt test?
The only requirement for your dog to compete in a hunt test is that they must be registered with either AKC. Upon completion of our basic Gundog training program, your dog should be sufficiently prepared to compete for their AKC Junior Title. Retrievers that complete the Advanced Training Program should be prepared to compete at the AKC Senior Level. With several months of additional training at the advanced level, your dog will be prepared to compete at the AKC Master level.
How much does it cost to run my dog in a hunt test?
Your dog can be handled in a hunt test by you, or we can handle him/her for you. We’ll be glad to teach you how to run your dog in a hunt test and inform you of the rules. If we run your dog for you, there is a $25 per series handler fee. However, we have a “No Pass, No Pay” policy. This means you would only pay for the series which your dog has passed.
What should I look for when buying a puppy?
The search for the ‘right’ puppy can be difficult. First, look for a puppy that has a good pedigree. Look for achievements (AKC or UKC hunt test or field trial) in the bloodline that insures your puppy will have good genetic material. Evaluate the parents closely; they will be the nearest predictor for how the pup will act as an adult. You want a pup which, as an adult, with have a high desire to retrieve, maintain good training ability and intelligence. You also want a sound temperament and a friendly disposition. Make sure that the parent’s hips have been certified by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) with a rating of at least "Good" or "Excellent." Also, make sure the parent’s eyes have been certified by the Certified Eye Retinal Foundation (CERF) as "Clear." Always ask for a written hip and eye guarantee and make sure the pup has been vaccinated, wormed, and dew claws have been removed.
We have litters of puppies born throughout the year. Contact us to see what the best puppy would be for you.