Kurt Bard, a financial adviser at State Savings Bank in Frankfort, is also a long-time member of the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association. Kurt showed us a short video about NAVHDA and talked about training and working with hunting dogs--clearly a passion with him.
NAVHDA is a nonprofit whose purpose is to foster, promote and improve the versatile hunting dog breeds in North America.  This means developing dogs who can do everything required of a hunting dog, including tracking, pointing and retrieving.  NAVHDA's local chapters (including the one in Northern Michigan) sponsor training and testing programs designed to accomplish this goal.
Kurt talked about his experience training and working with hunting dogs over the past twenty years.  One of the things he learned quickly is that successful training is really about training the handler, not the dog. Alll NAVHDA dogs are house pets rather than kennel dogs, and it's necessary for the owner to form a bond with the dog. Kurt answered a number of questions about dog training (noting that the hardest part is teaching a dog to fetch), how to keep a dog from getting bored and what to feed a hunting dog.
When the Michigan bird-hunting season begins on Thursday, Kurt and his dog will be there!