We haven’t had a caption contest on the Gun Dogs blog for awhile now, primarily because there’s usually more important stuff to talk about. But, all work and no play … just sucks.

So here’s the deal: write the best caption for this photo and you’ll win a two-disk DVD set from Dan Hosford’s “The Working Man’s Retriever” series. The winner has the choice of either the Gun Dog Obedience set or the Conditioned Retrieve DVD set.

About all I know of the photo is that it’s making the viral email rounds and was sent to me by my mom. The subject line read: “Have you ever woken up in the wrong bed?”


What I do know is that Dan Hosford’s “The Working Man’s Retriever” series has some very thorough instruction for those needing help training their retriever in obedience or force fetch (aka: the conditioned retrieve).

While the series is aimed at retriever enthusiasts, the conditioned retrieve DVD set can be used by those wanting to force fetch any dog; retriever, pointer, hound or the family Yorkie.

Both sets are two disks, with each disk retailing for $35 … that’s a $70 value for you gun dog trainers! Here’s little more about each set …

Gun Dog Obedience
For retriever trainers, obedience is the backbone and foundation for all programs. If you don’t have your obedience down thoroughly, and proofed, sooner or later you’ll run into problems and often the answer relates to retraining one of these basic skills to a higher standard. This 6-hour DVD set covers everything you need to know for laying a solid foundation. Here’s what each disk in this series covers:

Part 1:Essential Skills for a Solid Foundation” teaches the basic obedience skills needed to develop a high-quality, versatile retriever. Without this foundation, your dog lacks focus, respect and control. In this very detailed, nearly 3-hour training video, professional gun dog trainer Dan Hosford breaks the process into easy-to-follow, 20-minute segments. His instruction is as much about teaching YOU as it is about training your dog. Because he uses inexperienced dogs that are learning the commands for the first time, you gain insight into troubleshooting and pick up other tips for what to do when your dog doesn’t respond correctly. In this video, Dan demonstrates how to praise and reward your retriever, properly use a lead, and use different kinds of collars. He also teaches you how to get your dog to sit, heel, stay and load into a dog crate. Training should take anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks to complete. Retail price: $34.95

Part 2: In “Advanced Skills for the Field,” professional retriever trainer Dan Hosford builds on the elemental skills he taught in Part 1 of Gun Dog Obedience. The skills taught here make the transition from a well-behaved dog at home to one who is obedient in the field. Again using inexperienced dogs that are learning the advanced skills for the first time, Dan teaches you how to get your retriever to heel on both the left and right sides, how to recall to heel, how to walk-through sit, how to finish to heel, how to lie down, how to load into a boat, how to work off lead and more. Dan not only instructs in a detailed, easy-to-follow manner, but he also troubleshoots common problems in this nearly 3-hour training video. The obedience skills taught in these two obedience videos should be successfully mastered before advancing to the next training phases in the Working Man’s Retriever Series. It is common for training to take from 2-3 weeks to complete. Retail price: $34.95

The Conditioned Retrieve
As I’ve said before, the conditioned retrieve (aka: force fetch) is the backbone of professional trainer and the bane of amateur trainer. It can be such a critical step in both retriever and pointing dog trainer, but also one that can be mishandled by an inexperienced trainer. Hosford’s 7-plus-hour DVD set takes you through the process in the most thorough explanation available and breaks it down in a manner digestible to the layman. Here’s more detail of what’s covered.

Part 1:Focusing the Retrieving Instinct” helps the do-it-yourself gun dog owner convert a dog’s playful puppy retrieves into adult action that you control. This transition, the cornerstone of any solid training program, fortifies the dog’s understanding of its duties in the field. It’s also the most difficult phase of training your dog will ever encounter. Professional gun dog trainer Dan Hosford simplifies the process, breaking it into convenient, easy-to-follow increments. In this nearly 3-hour training video using dogs that are going through the program for the first time, he teaches you how to load your dog onto a standing table, how to properly use an electronic training collar, and how to earn your dog’s respect and obedience to the verbal commands: fetch, hold, drop and back. Most of these approximately 20-minute exercises take place indoors, thus laying the foundation for Part 2 of The Conditioned Retrieve: Sharpening Your Dog’s Focus. The video also contains special features to make some aspects of the process clearer. For example, whenever Dan engages electrical stimulation, an icon illuminates on the screen. The video also uses slow-motion, instant replay for complex sequences. Expect the training to take a minimum of 2 to 3 weeks to master. Retail: $34.95

Part 2: “[Sharpening Your Dog’s Focus](hyperlink:// http//” is critical to getting the best field performance from your retriever. In this sequel to Part 1 of The Conditioned Retrieve, professional gun dog trainer Dan Hosford takes the force fetch training outside. Using inexperienced dogs that are going through Dan’s program for the first time, he demonstrates the “Conditioned Floor Retrieve,” the “No-Touch Transition,” and how to layout and effectively use a “Bumper Row.” He teaches you how to retain your dog’s focus, build his self-confidence, and ensures that, despite wider boundaries and more places to run, your dog remains under your control. In addition to showing you the exact steps of this critical process, the more than 3-hour video offers troubleshooting tips, uses an illuminated on-screen icon to show when electrical stimulation is being used, and is divided into approximately 20-minute segments so you can watch a lesson, then apply what you’ve learned without feeling overwhelmed. Expect the training to take 2 to 3 weeks to successfully complete. Retail: $34.95

There you have it. And all you have to do is write a catchy, witty or funny caption and the choice of which two-disk DVD set to have is yours! I will pick the winner at noon ET on June 3rd.

Have fun and good luck!