Looking back over my last 40 years as a professional dog trainer it seems like it was just yesterday. Although dog training has changed allot over the years, the starting point remains the same. As a young high school kid, I remember the day that made me realize that I would own a retriever of my own. My friend, my friend’s black lab, and I were huddled down in grass that was as tall as us along a creek in Minnesota when three teal buzzed us, and to our amazement all three fell to our guns. Great excitement turned into the thought that the birds that fell in the head high grass would never be found, but our canine companion, Charlie, found all three in short order much to my amazement!
I was hooked and in a short time I would have a Labrador of my own. My first dog turned out, in spite of me, and went on to a successful field trial career. I started training field trial dogs and gun dogs, but finally settled on a career as a gun dog trainer. This allowed me to hunt all fall which the field trial route would not permit. Entertaining crowds at the biggest sports shows around the USA and hosting seminars filled the lean times in the early years, but that experience was invaluable. To this day meeting dog enthusiast and sharing training tips still remains the most gratifying part of my job. There are many people to thank for helping me along the journey and I am grateful for all their support. If we cross paths at a show I hope you will stop by and chat awhile.
When you truly love something it shows and working with people that are passionate about their dogs and there mission to create the most innovative e-collars, I looked no further than SportDOG and to this day I feel that if new innovation is where the future is in e-collars I need not look any further . It’s great to be a part of a team so dedicated to their dogs and our sport.
Tom Dokken is a SportDOG Senior ProStaffer and the owner of Dokken’s Oak Ridge Kennels, the largest gun dog training kennel in the upper half of the United States. He also owns Dokken Dog Supply and is the inventor of the Deadfowl Trainer. Tom has recently been instrumental in bringing shed hunting to popularity in the sporting dog world by founding the North American Shed Hunting Dog Association and hosting the World Championship at his kennel. Tom makes seminar appearances all across the United States as well as South America.