If upland bird dogs are your passion, then the 2018 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic
has just the program for you. For starters, plan to visit the Purina Pro Plan booth, where you’ll have the opportunity to meet top bird dog trainers and get expert advice on bird dog training, conditioning and nutrition.
Bird Dog Bonanza Stage, Presented by Purina Pro Plan & SportDOG
Kicking off with a Bird Dog Parade featuring 40-plus sporting breeds, this year's Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic runs Friday, Feb. 16 through Sunday, Feb. 18 at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Throughout the weekend, some of the country’s best bird dog trainers will present hourlong seminars on the Bird Dog Bonanza Stage
, brought to you by Purina Pro Plan brand dog food and SportDOG Brand. Stick around after each seminar to have all your bird dog-related questions answered by the pros themselves.
With more than 40 years’ experience to his name, Tom Dokken is the owner of Dokken’s Oak Ridge Kennels, the largest gun dog training kennel in the upper half of the United States, and Dokken Dog Supply, based in Northfield, Minnesota. He is the inventor of the DeadFowl Trainer, author of Retriever Training: The Complete Guide to Developing Your Hunting Dog, leading innovator in shed antler hunting with dogs, and president of the North American Shed Hunting Dog Association (NASHDA).
A former professional retriever trainer, Karl Gunzer has trained five National Finalists and a two-time Canadian National Champions. Competing in eight National Championships with 24 different dogs, he has won more than 40 Open stakes and 60 Derby stakes. Today, as Senior Manager of the Purina Sporting Dog Program, his team attends more than 400 field trials and championships a year, some of nearly 1,500 sporting events sponsored annually by Purina.
The only five-time NASHDA World Champion, Josh Miller operates River Stone Kennels
in New Richmond, Wisconsin, with his wife, Whitney, where they breed and train gun dogs for hunting, field trials and hunt tests. Besides giving training seminars across the country, as well as being interviewed and featured on the Outdoor Channel, he is also product training specialist for the SportDOG pro team
A member of the Field Trial Hall of Fame, Delmar Smith, who rarely needs an introduction, honed his skills at teaching the public how to get the most from their dogs throughout his 55-year training career operating Delmar Smith Kennels in Edmond, Oklahoma. His dogs have performed in all 50 states and some foreign countries.
Continuing the Smith family tradition, Rick Smith presents seminars across the country
. A Brittany Field Trial Hall of Fame member, he has handled dogs to win three National Open Brittany Championships, seven U.S. Open Brittany Championships, six International Brittany Championships, and more than 100 Open Brittany All-Age stakes.
Passionate about bird dogs, Ronnie Smith and his wife, Susanna Love, run Ronnie Smith Kennels
in northeastern Oklahoma where they breed and train bird dogs for the public and run a trainer certification program. He also travels the country giving training seminars and has guided hunts on wild birds in Texas for more than 37 years.
Joe Spoo, DVM, DACVSMR
As a Diplomate of the American College of Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, Dr. Joe Spoo is the only such specialist who has committed his career to hunting dog health and expanding the veterinary field’s knowledge of canine athletes. Besides his practice responsibilities at Best Care Pet Hospital
in Sioux Falls, Dr. Spoo also manages the Gun Dog Doc
website, a comprehensive resource for all things related to gun dogs.
Having led the development of the Purina Sporting Dog Program for nearly 30 years, Bob West also has been a longtime contributor to Pheasants Forever Journal, Pheasants Forever TV, Cabela’s TV, and Gun Dog magazine. He continues to serve on the board of the Bird Dog Foundation. A competitor himself, he has put 80 titles on sporting dogs, and since retirement, has begun competing in the open field trial retriever segment.
Free Photos & Dog Food Samples at Purina Pro Plan Booth
Also back by popular demand is the Purina Pro Plan photo booth, where you can stop to pose for a picture with your bird dog and/or Purina’s pro trainers and take home a free souvenir print. While you’re there, learn more about the new Purina Pro Plan SPORT Grain Free Performance 30/20 Chicken & Egg Formula
, which is made without grains or soy. Snag a free 6-ounce sample bag while supplies last.
See you there!