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                                                             //////////////////////////////////////////////////                          DOGS OF                                                                                      //////////////////////////////////////////////////

                                                                              The program is so
                                                                                popular, there’s
                                                                               a waiting list for
                                                                                people to join.

                                                                           and they start to get antsy. They want
                                                                           to get back to work, and they’re excited
                                                                           to return to the lodge. They’re equally
                                                                           excited at the end of the season to return
                                                                           to their foster homes.
                                                                             The program is so popular, there’s a
                                                                           waiting list for people to join.
                                                                             All of the ScatterGun’s dogs are
                                                                           trained by Tom Dokken, of Oak Ridge
                                                                           Kennels in Northfield, Minnesota. Train-
                                                                           ing is done in stages, with young pups
                                                                           starting with a two-week, bird- and
                                                                           gun-introduction class designed to bring
                                                                           out and enhance the dogs’ natural abil-
                                                                           ities, and develop a strong drive to
                                                                           retrieve. The pups then go to their foster
                                                                           homes and become well socialized before
                                                                           returning for an intermediate course.
                                                                           This training establishes good citizenship
                                                                           in terms of basic obedience, whistle
                                                                           recall, and quartering skills. There’s also
                                                                           a focus on force-fetching for dogs to
                                                                           deliver to heel and hold. At the same
                                                                           time, they’re introduced to the e-collar
                                                                           and trained to hunt close, as good South
                                                                           Dakota lodge dogs should.
                                                                             “Of course, basic obedience is hunting
                                                                           close,” says Chuck. “They need to com-                                                                                 Four roosters and a spent
                                                                                                                                                                                                  shell casing in the air give
                                                                           plement what we’re doing. They’re going                                                                                an indication of how fast
                                                                           to work. They’ve got a job to do, and                                                                                  and furious the action can
                                                                                                                                                                                                  be at ScatterGun Lodge.

                                                        Within reasonable range,
                                                        28-gauge shotguns are
                                                        often all that’s needed at
                                                        lodges like ScatterGun,
                                                        where the dogs are
                                                        trained to hunt close.

         58  GUN DOG MAGAZINE  |  November 2019                                                                                            November 2019  |  GUN DOG MAGAZINE  59
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