Bird Dog Training

Puppy Program – Introduction to birds and gun fire, here, quartering, – 30-45 days.

Red Setter

Started Dog Program – Here, heel, whoa, quartering, dead bird finding, e-collar conditioning, steady to flush – 30-60 days.

Labrador Retriever

Finished Dog Program – Honoring, retrieving, steady to wing – 60-120 days.

German Shorthaired Pointer

Conditioning Program – Physical conditioning for hunting or trialing, bird work – 30-60 days.


English Pointer

English Pointer

  • Upland bird dog training for all pointing, flushing, versatile, and retriever breeds
  • Humane training philosophy
  • Located in northcentral Kansas in the Smoky Hills/Saline River Valley area
  • Birds, birds, birds
  • Training programs for pups and dogs 4 months or older
  • Training program tailored to your pup or dog
  • Training programs may include- introduction to guns/birds, here, heel, whoa, handling, quartering, dead bird finding, e-collar conditioning, retrieving, holding point, steady to flush/wing/shot, honoring, conditioning
  • Trainer qualifications- patience, persistence, strong work ethic, honest, earned 6 bird dog championships / Runner-up Region Championship / Runner-up Region Hi Point, coined the term “Fusion Training,” ability to adapt training methods to different types of dogs, strong understanding of psychological principles related to learning, 35 years of hunting experience
  • Licensed by the Kansas Department of Agriculture for training, boarding and breeding. Licensed by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism for commercial dog training
  • Professional canine athletes that Jim Gourley has worked with or sold in the past- 1X NSTRA Champion Tekoa Mountain Dakota(owners Charles & Pat Thomas/English Setter); 4X NSTRA Champion, 2010 Owens Midwest National Championship(128 competitors) Runnerup, 2011 Oklahoma Region Champion, Oklahoma Region Hall of Famer, Miller’s Butch(owner Robert Miller/English Setter); Rocky Mountain Regional Runnerup Champion Legacy’s First Attempt(owner Norm Kermmoade/German Shorthair); 1X NSTRA Champion & Missouri/Kansas Regional Champion Power’s Moonshine(owner Bob Power/English Setter); 2X NUCS Amateur Champion/2011 Amateur National Field Champion/2011 Amateur Pointing High Point Dog Midwesterns Blazing Moacha(owner Kyle Martin/German Shorthair); 4X NSTRA Champion & Missouri/Kansas Regional Runnerup Champion Tomoka’s Mendy Shades(English Setter); 1X NSTRA Champion Tekoa’s Rising Angel(English Setter). And the hundreds of personal gun dogs and guide dogs for customers that are all champs to me.
  • For an additional charge pickup/delivery by air in Wichita and Kansas City, by ground in Salina($30), Wichita($120), Kansas City($200), Topeka($140), and Hays($90)
  • Professional, full-time trainer
  • Training/Boarding – $700 per month(includes birds), pro-rated by the day, all veterinary bills are the responsibility of the owner regardless of when, where, and how the health issue developed, minor cuts will be handled by the kennel. Worming and heartworming is available for $2.50 per month.
  • Boarding only – $15 per day
  • Customer references-
  • I live in Richardson, Texas. My wife and I work and we have a modest income. My passion is hunting upland birds with my Setters. Last summer I decided to make a financial sacrifice and send the newest member of my hunting team/family to Jim Gourley for his Puppy Program. It was one of the best decisions I have made where my dogs are concerned. Jim’s experience as a hunter, a guide and a field trialer are evident in his operation. His facilities are a reflection of his dedication to the health and well being of the dog. His training philosophy and training methods are based on what is best for a particular dog and hunter. I especially liked the fact that he balanced the handling (here, whoa, heal aka commands) with exposure to birds. I had worked my puppy on pen raised birds a few times and I had begun working with her on a check cord and leash and had let her out with the big dogs a couple of times at the end of the day at my lease. I could tell she was going to be a difficult dog to reach. At the worst she appeared to be very hard headed and at the best she definitely had a “mind of her own.” I took her to Jim in May. I picked her up in July. Thanks to Jim, I hunted “with” Jennie last fall. She pointed quail and pheasants, rock solid. She hunted like a three year old rather than a puppy. I will be purchasing another puppy this year and I will be sending that puppy to Jim Gourley. I had my eyes opened to the importance of professional training with Jim. I respect his judgement and talent as a trainer but even more I appreciate his love for bird dogs. Sincerely, Robert E. “Robby” Syler – Richardson, TX.
  • Jim, please feel free to post this to your website as a testimonial. If not, please take it to heart, we couldn’t be happier with what you have done! Last year I had taken my Vizsla on a pheasant hunt to South Dakota, there were 4 men and 6 dogs.  She hunted well the first day, on the second we got into some cat tails, and out came several hundred birds and the shooting was fast and furious. Afterwards she was gone, but we found her at the truck. Later that day, we got her back in the field and at the first shot took off running. She had gone gun shy. I started researching trainers, it was between Jim and another guy, the other guy was much closer so, I took him to her, after he evaluated her, he told me “What you got thar is a nice pet, but she ain’t no bird dog.” The following day I took her to Jim and she was again less than impressive, actually pitiful, she showed no interest in birds and actually seemed to be afraid of them. I thought for sure Jim was going to tell me he couldn’t work with her, but he said, let me keep her for a few weeks and let’s see what she will do. At two weeks I was really reluctant to call Jim as I was certain he would say, come get your “pet.”  But to my surprise he said she was actually making progress and he wanted to keep working with her. Jim and I spoke weekly after that, what he was doing with her, progress she was making, next steps, etc. Six weeks later, I went to pick her up.  Jim took her out in the field, demonstrated his techniques and worked her in the field.  I was amazed it was the same dog.  Jim told me, that we weren’t done yet, he wanted me to call him with updates, let him know how she was doing and call him immediately if we run into any problems, now or years down the road.  While she is not what many would consider a finished dog (yet), (6 weeks is not long enough considering where she started from) but it was tough on the family, and everyone missed our pet. This last weekend, my son and I took her out to a preserve and worked her on some liberated birds.  Again I was amazed it was the same dog, she worked the field hard, found birds, held solid points, was fairly steady to flush, whoa’d, even hunted dead for us several times.  I called Jim afterwards and he gave me some suggestions on how to develop her further. All I can tell you is Jim Gourley is the real deal. I brought him a “pet” that didn’t like birds, was gun shy, and even got car sick and brought home a bird dog 6 weeks later.  (Even the car sickness went away, once we changed her to the food he uses).  Jim always took time to talk about her progress and is always willing to help out. I will be taking her back for finishing at a later date. You may find someone closer, you may even find someone cheaper, but I don’t think you will find any better.  You won’t be disappointed with Jim. As an fyi, I also had the pleasure of watching one of his dogs(Pippin) work, he has some outstanding dogs, and my next dog will be a “Setter Dog.” Jim Riehl- Kansas City.
  • I sent a two-year-old female English setter to Jim Gourley of in April 2007, when I sent her she was bird shy and didn’t display much prey drive.  With her soft disposition, I knew these issues would be hard to overcome.  I was considering placing her in a pet only home and not putting any more time into her training.  However, my family has become very emotionally attached to the dog and her physical attributes (range and style) made me think she was worth trying to see if I could have a professional trainer work with her to bring her around.  I have trained and hunted with Jim for 5 years and knew if anyone had a shot to turn her around it was him, he seems to have the touch with problem dogs and can get into their brain and bring out the best if it is in there at all.  At first, Jim gave me frequent updates on her progress (we had agreed that if she did not start to come around on her birds I would take her home and place her in a pet home).  He did not seem very confident at first as she was continuing to blink birds and show minimal to no interest in game birds.  After the two weeks he called with good news, she was flash pointing, bumping, and chasing; major progress for this particular dog.  We agreed to proceed with more training.  Within the next week, Jim had her holding her points to the flush and then would allow her to chase the bird, until she actually started chasing and retrieving them to hand, this was encouraged to allow her to gain confidence for one more week.  At this time, we agreed to proceed to more advanced training (e.g. whoa work, and steadying on birds) as I want to develop her for walking shooting dog field trials and needed to know if she would progress.  I picked up the dog from Jim after 1.5 months of training, after delivering him a bird shy, immature two-year-old puppy.  I got a dog back that will now point, back and retrieve to hand and is beginning to become steady through the flush and shot, knowing this dog before and after I would consider this transformation a miracle and anyone else that knows the dog considers it the same.  Jim gave me detailed directions on how to progress in her training from that point when I picked her up and I look forward to her continued progress and development. I would highly recommend Jim Gourley for any of your training needs. Thanks, Greg Morgan – Hoyt, KS.
  • Hey Jim, Just wanted to let you know how pleased and excited I am about Dot. Last night we went out in some pretty dreary and wet conditions and she found and held on one hen pheasant, two coveys of quail and several singles out of each covey. I never once had to use the collar and she came back very quickly after the chase. After that first bird she was all business. Thanks for doing such a great job. I BELIEVE!!  Steve Swaffar – Topeka, KS.