adventure dog training

How To Train An Adventure Dog (All Online!)

Posted by Jim Mize on April 30, 2020

If you're one of the thousands of Americans who have opened your home to a dog during the COVID-19 pandemic, this self-guided dog training program could be the perfect adventure for both of you.

Dogs often evolve from pets to family members, tagging along on vacations or errands. This places them in a wide range of settings, temptations and distractions. 

These trips can be a lot more fun for owners and dogs when the pup seems to be in its element, calm and under control. That behavior and demeanor is the goal of the Wildrose Kennel Adventure Dog™ Program.

Wildrose Kennels is the largest breeder, trainer, and importer of UK Labs in the Americas.

The President of Wildrose Kennels, Mike Stewart, has been training sporting dogs for over thirty years and his dogs have appeared on more than 75 national television programs on hunting and training gundogs.

“The Wildrose Adventure Dog™ program,” explains Mike, “is to train a dog to be equally civil in the home as they are controllable in the outdoors. This requires socializing and training them for a multitude of sporting activities such as shooting sports, hiking, boating, fishing, camping, kayaking, mountain biking, ATV trekking and jogging.”

Online Self-Guided Dog Training Programs

online dog training

Danielle Drewrey is the Trainer for the Wildrose Kennel Adventure™ Dog program and describes how it works.

“It’s a program for all outdoor enthusiasts and breeds,” says Danielle.  “The programs are self-guided and involve fourteen different skills.”

These skills are grouped for certification and three different levels of achievement are possible through the program. 

For example, a dog receiving a Hiking Merit will need to be steady when another hiker approaches and walk at heel on the trail. For a Snow Trekking Merit, the dog will be steady to wildlife encountered on the trail.

The approach is similar to a scouting program for dogs. Each skill requires training and proof of competency.  This proof is recorded on video and sent to Wildrose Kennels for confirmation.

Besides the dogs in the program that are mastering the skills for field trips, Danielle finds that hunters often train their dogs on similar skills as a way to provide year-round activity. 

For instance, the Hunting Merit includes not only being steady around gun shots, but also the ability to find and retrieve shed deer antlers.

The ideal time to start an Adventure Dog™ training program, according to Danielle, is at fourteen months or older. 

adventure dog training

She does add, however, that basic training should begin at seven months. Older dogs can master the program as well as long as their health permits.

Mike and Danielle each conducted demonstrations with Wildrose Kennel dogs.

While one dog was demonstrating a skill, the remaining dogs stayed in place and calmly watched while cameras flashed and a host of other distractions continued around them. 

The dogs ranged from two to eleven years old and performed as if this was what they were born to do.  Perhaps it was.

online dog training

Wildrose Kennels also sponsors Adventure Dog trips where owners can travel with their dogs to new locations and learn new skills. Their most recent trip with owners and dogs was to the Bahamas.

To learn more about the Wildrose Kennel Adventure Dog™ program, go to and scroll down to the Adventure Dog program. You can then click to purchase the Adventure Dog Packet with training instructions. As skills are mastered, your dog will earn certificates and patches upon completion. The cost of the program is $35 and can be purchased online.

Wildrose Kennels also offers onsite workshops where you and your dog can receive instruction together.  Eligibility for training at the workshops begins once the pup reaches seven months. Dates for the workshops are shown in the Event tab on the Wildrose website.

A dog trained and accustomed to outdoor adventure not only makes a better companion in the field, but also has a safer experience while there. 

And who knows, perhaps (some day) you can celebrate graduation with a trip to the Bahamas.

Jim Mize

Jim Mize has written humor and nostalgia for magazines including Gray's Sporting Journal, Fly Fisherman Magazine, Field & Stream, and a number of conservation magazines, picking up over fifty Excellence In Craft awards along the way. His most recent book, a collection of humor for fly fisherman entitled A Creek Trickles Through It, was awarded best outdoor book in 2014 by the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association. More on Jim and his writing activities can be found at

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