Northfield Dog Training • 3676 W. Ellsworth Rd. • Ann Arbor, MI 48103 • 734-995-7200 • Email us only search NDT site

Recommended Equipment For Intro to Retriever Training

Welcome to the wonderful world of field training! I have amassed a crazy amount of equipment since I got really serious about training my retrievers for field work circa 2004.

The basics include:

    Mega Whistle

    Mega whistle

  • A whistle on a lanyard for teaching your dog to come to a whistle instead of your voice
  • 2" bumpers

    A variety of 2" plastic bumpers

  • Retrieve items, including paint rollers for a puppy, bumpers, obedience dumbbell
  • A leash and collar that keep your dog under adequate control. I prefer a prong collar to a choke if a flat collar isn't enough control, but I'm flexible.
  • A tab (6-8" leash)
  • A long line if your dog considers an outdoor recall optional
  • Treats for obedience work
  • A hat with a visor for working outside

For the first class, bring along what you already have. I can loan you a bumper or two until you are able to buy your own. For now, I recommend you get 2-3 small (2") white plastic bumpers. Orange bumpers are for blind retrieves. While the 3" bumpers more closely mimic the wider mouth opening that is required for birds, it is best to start with the smaller ones.

As you progress:
  • A duck call
  • A bumper bag
  • An e-collar if your dog continues to consider an outdoor recall optional
  • Frozen ducks and pigeons in your freezer
  • A holding blind for practicing line manners
  • A primer pistol and primers

There is lots more for serious trainers, but that is enough for now. :-)

Suggested Suppliers

Gun Dog Supply


Lion Country Supply

EZ Rotational Bumpers They have a great price on bumpers. They are somewhat heavier and harder than other brands. This is where I've gotten my bumpers most recently. You do need to add your own throw rope when you get them directly from the manufacturers, but since it is a good idea to have a unique rope color on your bumpers, that isn't a bad thing.