RAVE Retrievers dog training & obedience in Jourdanton, TX
I have been a client of Rave’s since 2016. Initially I was interested in finding an active boarding kennel for my Golden Retriever when I was having back surgery. I wanted him to get additional obedience training and enjoy swimming and running around. I also wanted him to be cared for by someone who truly loves dogs, which was evident in Debra from the moment I read her site and talked to her on the phone. But I couldn’t have expected what would come next.
What I found was a world that opened up to me and my dog to pursue the journey of becoming a retriever and handler. I had no real experience or truthfully interest in hunting but when I read Debra’s website about the beauty of seeing a dog pursue the purpose of what it was bred to do, something stirred inside me. I had recognized this in my own dog, whose prancing through my backyard being a “city” dog had something more to it. It harkened to a time when his ancestors likely trotted through fields in England proudly carrying a partridge or pheasant. I was excited for the opportunity for him to learn and in doing so, for me to learn as well.
I learned quickly this is not your average boarding kennel. Debra invites her clients to immerse themselves in training their dogs, becoming silent observers as our dogs are so often of us. Through that we learn how to trust our dogs’ instincts, to follow their gaze into the skies to see a pair of pintails circling or to back slowly away from a snake lurking at the water’s edge. She trains dogs, yes, but she also trains their owners, through her weekly classes in which you see more than you hear and follow more than you are told; her exclusive Facebook group posts in which you will find camaraderie and insight; her classes at her kennel or various training facilities which offer a variety of scenarios useful for a retriever owner — ponds, fields, wetlands, boats, agility courses, haybale climbing, duck call practice, and more. Debra makes it fun and there is always something new that she’s bringing to her classes, either a new perspective, tool or tactic as Debra herself is a lifelong learner.
My outcomes? Well, my dog became a retriever — a beautiful sporting dog who sits quietly when hunting and brings a bird to hand. But the real result was my own capabilities. I leaned to be a better dog owner, sports woman and handler. Of course it’s not always perfect — nothing ever is — but I got so much more than I was even looking for.
You should brace yourself for direct communication and clear rules. There is nothing aggressive or rude about Debra’s communication style — it’s simply a necessity that when dealing with humans, dogs and sometimes guns you need a clear leader who lets nothing slip. No flip flops, no chewing gum, no alcohol. It’s common sense but as we all know some people lack that these days. If you aren’t prepared to be comfortable with common sense and clear boundaries, this may not be the trainer and club for you.
Hire Rave Retrievers if you want to learn. Hire Debra if you want to see your dog through new eyes and unlock all they are capable of. Don’t let excuses stand in your way (my Golden was a spoiled 3 year old before I started classes). If you are committed and ready to put in the work required to be a true partner to your dog in the field, you won’t regret it.
I am so grateful to have found Rave Retrievers. Debra trains and teaches the dog and the owner. She is excellent in explaining and showing each command from the dog’s perspective. From basic obedience to advanced gun dog training she is training the dog and and owner as a team with success as the ultimate goal. Every aspect of her work comes from the love of the dog. Highly recommended.
I have known Debra since 2007. She worked miracles for my Labrador Jack and my family! She has trained three of my dogs over that time and I would never go any where else! She is knowledgeable, hard working, honest and dedicated not only to the dog being trained but to the family as well! Best training you will find any where! Definitely would recommend!!
Debra is an incredible trainer and so dedicated to training humans to understand their dogs. We have sent two dogs through her program and have been so grateful for all she taught us.
Amazing and knowledgeable has trained both my lab and GSP.
Debra displays honesty, integrity, and a wealth of knowledge about training dogs.