Clayton Simonson, Portage WI.
Last year a friend referred us to Steve and Amy Pappas for training of our one year old Chocolate Lab, Ranger. From the first inquiry through today, Steve and Amy have impressed us with their expertise, knowledge and affection for hunting dogs. Ranger reported to Bird Crazy Gun Dogs in late June 2015 with tons of energy, a moderate grasp of obedience training and a great sniffer. We had struggled to get him to heal properly, to stop pulling on the leash while walking, and to come when called. During the training, Steve and Amy encouraged us to visit him to observe the training and to learn how he was being trained. We visited Ranger every weekend during his 4 week training course and learned invaluable lessons that we carried forward through the hunting season and continue to use every day.
Upon the first visit to see Ranger in training, we were already in AWE. Ranger immediately flushed a pheasant . He came back with the bird, dropped it and sat. Ranger wasn't perfect, but for just a few practice runs, we were extreamley pleased. Ranger continued to progress over the four weeks as did our knowledge as Steve and Amy stepped us through dog psychology, training tips, and recommendations of what works from products to gestures and tone of voice.
Upon returning home, Ranger immediately showed new signs of maturity and obedience. Beyond newfound obedience, the results of Ranger's training was countless hours of pheasant hunting in the fall with dozens of birds flushed and retrieved. I have never seen my husband happier than when he came home from hunting and when he told his hunting/Ranger stories. The dog is amazing and we credit Steve and Amy for the trasformation.
We cannot recommend Bird Crazy Gun Dogs highly enough. Ranger left for training a boy and came back a MAN!!!
Ranger's Lead the Way!
All photos are taken by Steve Pappas, at Bird Crazy Gun Dogs
I have been a Pheasant hunter all my life and have had mainly German Shorthairs. I never had to train them except for the bringing the bird back to me as they just took to the pointing on their own. I decided since my Shorthair was 9 years old I would get another dog so it could hunt with her and learn. I decide to get a Labrador and at the time did not even know about Bird Crazy Gun Dogs. This year in September my Shorthair developed cancer and had to be put down. The Lab I got had only hunted with her three times. I knew that if I wanted to hunt Pheasants I would need help getting her trained. That is when I started looking very serious at a trainer and did my homework and phone calls to several people that had used Bird Crazy Gun Dogs. I had met Steve and Amy a few months before as I started getting my dog food from them.
I talked to Steve and Amy about their training and if they had room to get my dog in. Steve already had a pretty full plate with the dogs he had, but did agree to take my pup in and train her. After the first week I went out and was able to watch her work and she did a great job on the birds. The second week I was amazed at the change in my dog and how she had drive to hunt. The third week I could not believe how well she worked the field to put up birds and bring them back. I went out the last week before picking her up and was totally blown away as to the skills she had acquired in just 4 weeks. She was like a seasoned veteran. My dog learned obedience, E-collar training along with whistle training in just those four weeks.
I could not be happier in the choice I made to have her trained by Steve and Amy. They have the passion and take the time to work with each dog to get the best potential they can out of them. Steve also is a great trainer on the owner. I learned a lot just by going with him when my dog went into the field. Steve is a very patient man and has a way of working with dogs to gain their trust in him.
I know this may sound a little corny but Steve took a dog from just setting and fetching to a hunting machine in four weeks all with praise and time.
I can guarantee that the next dog I get will be from Bird Crazy Gun Dogs and will be trained by them.
Dean & Kristy De Noma, WI.
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Don Mezei, Wausau, WI.
Having a dog trained is a big investment and I believe in the saying, "You get what you pay for". It really paid off for me in this case. I contacted Steve and Amy Pappas at Bird Crazy Gun Dogs after much study. My 8 year old female Springer Spaniel had passed 6 months prior and I realized that my "want" for a new dog was really a "need". I wasn't ready to give up hunting birds and I craved the companionship a good dog offers. They invited me into their home and it was clear from the get go that they love what they are doing and run a first class operation. They offer selective breeding resulting in handsome dogs, well socialized and instinctively attuned to hunt. Their facilities are clean and well organized. Steve and Amy know their business and share their expertise freely. I bought a female Springer and have been so pleased with her progress. I decided to have Piper go to their "Hunt-em-up" program this summer in order to get her ready for her first bird season this fall. Boy was I impressed with her progress! I'm 66 years old and I know I could never have had her bird ready as of now and believe me-she is! She is ahead of the learning curve and we'll be sharing some great adventures in the years to come. Piper is the "complete" dog for me and a great return on my investment. Not only that, I've made friends with Steve and Amy and I know that I can always bank on their advise should I have the need.
Don Mezei, Retired Conservation Warden. Wausau, Wisconsin.
Mark Geisler, Mazomanie, WI.
I delivered my 7 month old Springer puppy to Steve with the basic obedience and retrieve in place. My puppy was ready for the next level. Let me tell you, by giving that puppy lots of birds in combination with the professional experience of Steve Pappas, my puppy at 8 months of age is an exceptional hunter. My experience with Bird Crazy Gun Dogs started as a business transaction, but Steve and Amy's values and morals as a breeder and trainer really set them apart from the rest. Steve and Amy both give 100% to their kennel and training operation making Bird Crazy Gun Dogs a true first class operation.
(Labradors & Springers)
Tim Connor, WI.
I just got back from a perfect late season morning hunt with my 12 month old Golden, "Finn", who as with many days this fall, provided an excellent and enjoyable day in the field. Finn really loves the hunt and is a pleasure to work due to the excellent training he received with Steve and Amy Pappas at Bird Crazy Gun Dogs in Wisconsin. Finn is the second Golden Retriever I have sent to Steve and Amy. I've found their consistent methods and care and daily encouragement in training produces well mannered and enthusiastic hunters. Without question having a young dog hunt over live birds each day helps fuel their excitement for the hunt and helps them more quickly become effective in the field. I highly recommend Bird Crazy Gun Dogs for anyone interested in training a dog to be a great hunting companion. I am so pleased with their work with my dogs and looking forward to having them train our newest 11 week old Golden Retriever next summer.
Thanks Steve and Amy, Tim Connor, Fitchburg, WI.
Jerry Meronk, WI.
A little about myself, I've hunted birds most of my life, had several hunting dogs, mostly labs and saw thousands of dogs hunting while I was working for close to 30 years as a Conservation Warden. I'm not kidding when I say your odds of having a good hunting dog will greatly improve if you try Bird Crazy Gun Dogs training program. In my opinion Bird Crazy Gun Dogs hunting dog program deserves 5 stars out of a possible 5 stars. In one word "unbelievable". My year old yellow lab puppy flushed and retrieved over 100 birds in her first year. Thanks to Bird Crazy's training methods. In just 4 weeks she was taught obedience, gun conditioning, E collar training and was exposed to lots of birds at a cost probably less than what a single hunting trip would run.
Steve Pappas has a way with dogs. The dogs love and respect him. I have never observed him being mean to a dog. He gains their respect through his ability to be firm, consistent and enthusiastic with praise when the dog shows improvement. The kennels are spotless, the dog food is top of the line and the atmosphere is geared toward success.
Very few of us have access to what is necessary to successfully train a dog. Simply put various types of cover, access to birds, (chukkars, pheasants) patience, time, experience and knowledge. The biggest mistake I have ever made in reference to dog training is not taking my young dogs to a place like Bird Crazy Gun Dogs for training.
If you continue to spend time with your dog and use the methods your dog has learned you will have an excellent hunting dog at a very young age. I know I am prejudiced but I believe you would have a very difficult time finding an older dog that hunts any better than my puppy.
At least check it out! You can do that for free.
The key ingredient in creating a great gun dog is:
We train 5 1/2 days per week, early June to mid October. Accepting 10 dogs per month. Our focus is on training young upland gun dogs. All of our training is done on site with no traveling involved, so you can rest assured that every day your dog is here, so are we.
Our training program is tailored to the family companion, gun dog. We strive to produce dogs that are happy and perform with confidence and enthusiasm. Our dogs learn through association, repetition, success, and a clear understanding of what is expected of them. We have created a positive environment for your young dog to learn in. We show them what we want, then get out of their way, and reward them with flight ready game birds, and lots of them.