Over two decades, I have hunted pheasants in Nova Scotia and the Midwest and bobwhites in the piney woods of Georgia with George and his dogs. During this time I have watched him apply his professional knowledge to developing dogs that exhibit style, class, and exemplary manners. George has the unique talent of reading a dog and applying a program to the individual dog that makes the dog a better hunter and a better companion. Everyone at any level of bird dog experience would benefit greatly from working with George, learning factual principles of canine behaviors, and applying George’s proven program and techniques to their personal dogs. George is indeed a master trainer and teacher. ~ Steve Smith Pointing Dog & Retriever Journal
I grew up owning dogs and was no stranger to handling them but training a hunting dog was an entirely different story. After several years and several different breeds, I purchased my first Deutsch-Drahthaar in 1996. Needless to say, I was hooked on the breed. The versatility is incomparable to anything I have found. I began training with some knowledgeable people I met that also had Drahthaar but I wanted to learn more. I found an AD in a magazine and requested some information on a George Hickox Training Clinic. The clinic I attended was in early 1997 at Grassy Lake Lodge near Paducah, KY.
The dog I had at the clinic was a large, very dominant male Deutsch-Drahthaar that needed a strong hand to control. George's no nonsense approach is outstanding and his ability to help the handler handle their dog is unparalleled. George's clinics will teach you how to control and handle your best friend and still be best friends. The road isn't always easy, but if you follow George's advice, I guarantee you will have a dog that most will envy. Topics are in-depth and whenever there is a problem it is addressed and explained until everyone fully understands. Watching George and the other handlers work the dogs is an education in itself and very beneficial. You will learn just as much while you are not personally working your dog by watching the others. I see very few problems with dogs but huge faults with the owners and their inconsistencies. George teaches the handler how to work with the dog and stresses the importance of being consistent with commands.
Today, I am one of the top trainers and breeders of the Deutsch-Drahthaar in North America. I sit on the executive board of the Verein Deutsch-Drahthaar - Group North America, am a recognized JGHV (German Hunting Dog Organization) Performance Judge, Specialty Blood Tracking Judge and personally give clinics on the training of the versatile hunting dog. These achievements would not be possible without the foundations I learned by attending the George Hickox Training Clinic in 1997. I highly recommend George's clinics to anyone and everyone who wants to learn more about having a well mannered hunting companion that they can be proud of. Thank you George!
vom Fuchsfluesschen Deutsch-Drahthaar
a female, I was concerned about attending a bird dog training
school with a one year old dog that had good genetics but
no real hunting or training experience. George worked
with me and each dog and owner in the class, personally. Dogs
got plenty of bird work! Time was hands on, yard/field work discussing
and enforcing the principals of dog behavior. It was
fantastic! I learned so much! This training was exactly what I
needed! Reinforcing how dogs learn and canine behavior, George's
school got the dogs into birds every day. With consistency and
reinforcement, I learned to work with my one year old dog to help
him not only in the field but at home as well. I am ready to go
back next year after his first year in the field!
more than 10 years George Hickox has been helping me train my
hunting dogs. Three German Shorthairs have gone through Georgeís
program. With Georgeís extensive knowledge and help, all three
have been a pleasure to hunt with in the field and have excellent
bird manners. Georges training program consistently provides
positive and lasting results. All of my dogs have been
started by attending one of Georges' 4 day schools. He is an
excellent teacher and every person and dog there will
get his personnel attention. His objective is for each person
to gain knowledge on how to successfully continue their dogs
training after they leave the school. Also, I have found
Georges' one- on- one consultation to be fun, and a great way
to continue your dogs training as it becomes more advanced.
it comes to bird dog training, George is the real deal. He is
committed to teaching owners how to bring out the best in their
~Bob Curtis TN
have attended 4 of Georgeís training schools starting in 2002
and most recently in 2013. Additionally, I have hunted my dogs
with him in Kansas. Each time I have come away with new knowledge
that has helped me understand how dogs learn and how I can become
a more effective trainer. I have witnessed the evolution of his
training techniques that now include notifying and rewarding
positive behavior in addition to identifying and correcting a dog
that violates a known command. This has resulted in a two phase
mechanism to develop a dog that is happy to learn and has more
style and enthusiasm in his work but is reliable as well. At each
venue, the facilities are top notch and the small class allows for
a lot of interaction with George and other like-minded hunting dog
Hunting with George is an unparalleled experience as well. My goal
was to understand how a professional guide would approach a wild
pheasant hunt while using my own dogs and I was not disappointed.
The facilities once again were great and the bird numbers were
Finally, Iím a little embarrassed to mention that I believe some
of the information that Iíve learned has helped me as a parent
and an employer. Principles such as making certain a task is
understood prior to demanding excellence, identifying and
rewarding correct actions, and consistent repetition and not
repeating commands over and over apply to all areas of
interpersonal and business interactions as well (no E-Collar
In my experience, time spent learning from George is indeed time
well spent. You will become a better trainer through a better
understanding of how dogs learn and how to get the most out of
your dog. I would enthusiastically recommend attending to anyone
who is serious about becoming a more knowledgeable trainer and
developing a "bragging rights bird dog".
~Dr. Tom Jackson
have been working with George Hickox for the past 8 years and I
have purchased both finished pointers and labs from George which
are world class gun dogs. I have hunted these dogs on wild
birds from the New England grouse woods to the plains on grouse,
woodcock, quail, pheasant Sharp-tailís and Huns. I
have also attended multiple training sessions and I have learned
from Hickox how to start off a puppy right all the way to dealing
with a dog that is shut down from learning. I have
also used George as a consultant to help me find multiple field
trial dogs with one that has gone on to win 4 Open Shooting Dog
Championships (Touches Hardtimes) over the past 3 years. If
you are looking to become a better trainer, acquire a world class
gun dog that you can hunt off of foot or horseback George is the
first person I would all.
am new to the bird dog scene as my friend introduced me to the
wonderful world of the pointing dog. I loved watching her
dogs work so much that I just had to have one. So I bought
one, not realizing how much work it would be to get her trained to
look that wonderful. So you might say I was a bit overwhelmed.
I decided I needed some help and enrolled Saidy my 8 month
old English setter and myself into George's class. George's class
was just what I needed. He did a wonderful job at breaking
down dog training into the simplest of terms. He tailored the
class to everyone's needs. He spent time making sure we all
understood the key points of how a dog learns, the importance of
consistent repetition, and making sure the dog knows what you are
asking of him. My dog was exposed to many many birds. She
was introduced to the gun the proper way and was also introduced
to e-collar. He made this whole process less intimidating,
especially for a female new to this field. I thoroughly
enjoyed the class, learned a lot, and left with a plan of how to
proceed to make Saidy the beautiful pointing dog that I was
looking for. He gave each attendee a plan of how to proceed based
on their current level of age and training. Each plan was
individualized to each dog and owner. Now all we have
to do is execute the plan correctly. I went in to the class
not knowing what to expect, thinking if I learn a little something
of this bird dog stuff I would be happy. But George really
did inspire me to set my expectations for Saidy and me even higher
than I thought I should. Thanks George! I can't wait
to get Saidy to the next level.
and half years ago, I was finally able to convince my family to
get a Brittany and we named her Roxy.
While coming from a hunting background, this was my first
dog. Shortly after basic obedience training, I had a friend
recommended that I attend one of George Hickoxís four day group seminars on pointer training.
While I had read a couple of books, and thought I
understood the basics of dog training, I knew I needed to learn
more. Roxy was
six months old and it was a perfect time for both of us.
The seminar was
nothing short of fantastic as I learned how a good bird dog is
expected to behave in the field and what was expected of me as a
described in great detail, but with simplicity, how a dog learns
and how to communicate with it.
We learned how to use electronic collars wisely as well as
how to incorporate clicker training, hand signals and whistles
into yard and field work. I
walked away from that initial seminar with an overwhelming sense
of excitement and commitment towards training Roxy as well as a
deep understanding of the importance of my role in creating a
solid hunting companion.
Since that time,
Roxy and I have been focused on the grouse and woodcock that can
be found in our woods and I have never in my life enjoyed hunting
more. To see her
quartering the woods and then lock up on a grouse is nothing less
than one of natureís great wonders.
But after 4 years I thought it would be a good idea to get
a refresher as there were tasks that were still to-be improved and
refined. So this past
spring, George and I once again spent time together with Roxy
through a private, all-day, one-on-one training session.
We focused on our weaknesses of steady to wing and steady
to shot and retrieving as well as reviewing dog first-aid. George again reinforced with me how to be
consistent and reward Roxy for tasks well done.
Since this last
session, Roxy and I have been making great progress with our tasks
and as she approaches her fifth birthday, her confidence and
enthusiasm in the field is tremendous and as I mentioned, each
year I am finding that I have never enjoyed hunting more.
I am certain that this fall will prove to be our best in
terms of working as a team and finding birds with style.
I owe my successful introduction to the sport to George and
canít imagine hunting birds today without a companion like Roxy.
a life member in NSTRS, winner of many championships with
different dogs, and a pro trainer for 25 years, there's still room
for new ideas, and that's what George Hickox puts in his
seminars. After attending one of his four day seminars, I
came away with new ways of getting the results I wanted. I
have added these to my program, and it fits in great. I
never thought I would use certain training aids. Never
Say Never. Thanks George.
Smith, Purina Field Staff
didn't realize how much information I had absorbed from the Reno
seminar until at least two weeks had gone by. After watching
your new video, and thinking about what I had learned I was able
to get both of my dogs quite a bit further along in their
development. I hunted in Montana for a few days,
and although my shorthair is far from being finished, he is
showing definate signs of improvement. I am still in the
yard training phase with my pointer, and getting good results with
the clicker. Thanks again, you did a great job helping me become a
took the course over 10 years ago and thought that I
would take it again with my new 11 month old pup simply as
refresher course. Not only did I realized that I had
forgotten some of the basics, but much of what I had learned was
replaced by newer more effective techniques that made the training
much more simplistic and effective. Specifically, by
learning the clicker training as a positive reinforcer for
teaching new behaviors, the transition to the e-collar was much
more pleasant and easier for both the owner and dog due to the
positive reinforcements provided by clickers newly learned
behavior. It made me realize the importance of relying on a
full-time pro like George to evaluate and test new techniques for
his future students and teach the same techniques that he uses on
his very own dogs. It reinforces that his many decades of
knowledge is well worth the investment. All of the reading
and videos on training a gun dog cannot replace the
"hands-on" demonstrations and knowledge that George
provides to both the student and dog.