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Retriever training

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Customer Testimonials




My family and I can't express enough how much we appreciate the training that Dave and Carlene of Full Throttle Retrievers has provided to our black lab, Bella. She was only 4 months old when we sent her for training, so she had a lot of learning to do. When we got her back we were nothing short of amazed at how much she could do. She was trained on all of the obedience commands quickly and has been able to retrieve birds like a champ. Bella has great focus and dedication to finding and retrieving birds. She gets so excited when she gets to use her newly learned skills and she loves structure. I know Dave spent countless hour’s fine tuning her skills and we couldn't be happier with the results.

Bella is still a young pup and already has such great potential thanks to the training she received. We know she wouldn't be at this level of hunting without their help. We also know the value of training a dog and the amount of time it takes and we know that Dave and Carlene provide the best training around. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking to make their retriever the best that they can be.

Thanks again for all you have done for Bella and our family,

Chris Mickelsen
Pocatello, Idaho

Dave’s passion and skill for his trade showed through and through while he worked with our 7 month old female, Avery. He commanded and captured her respect which drove her to work hard and learn fast. In a short period of time he was able to instill a drive and love for retrieving. Dave and Carlene were attentive to her needs both on and off the field, showing great caution in where and how she was trained. Dave was able to adjust his curriculum to her tender spirit and when we picked her up just after a month of training, she was confident, hungry to retrieve, and showing great strides in her skills. We were able to watch a training session and spend time with Avery during her stay at Full Throttle Retrievers; any concern that she missed us quickly dissolved because she approached both Dave and Carlene with wagging tail and kisses, she was obviously very happy spending time with them. We would gladly have Avery return to Full Throttle Retrieving for additional training with Dave. He has a wonderful blend of love, strength, and skill that make him a great dog trainer. ….

Matt and Angalee O’Connor – Central Point, OR




My 8 year old yellow male lab Mason came from Dave, and he was made to be my best friend and the best hunting partner I have. Dave taught him everything he knows. Then on 2/11/14 some Mason puppies were born and I got pick of the liter. I ended up with a yellow female, Remi, who was identical to Mason as a puppy. I sent her to Dave when she was seven weeks old, and at just 7 months old she can run faster, swim harder, and jump farther than her dad can. She is turning into an amazing retriever and I am so thankful to Dave for getting her started and teaching her so much in such a little amount of time. She is so excited to go back next year! I always received pictures and updates of her progress when she was in training, and that was awesome. I would recommend Full Throttle Retrievers to anyone and everyone that wants an amazing, hardworking, and lovable dog!

Abby Carman
Chico, CA




I met Dave and Carlene, almost 4 years ago. I had a young yellow dog, Belle that I needed to have trained. I have been hunting waterfowl for a while now, and have had a few good dogs over the years. After talking with Dave for some time we agreed to have him train this ‘lil yellow dog. After spending six month in training it was time for pick up, then the duck season.
On our first hunt I was more than upset this dog would not retrieve the first two or three birds. What the hell I thought, then the fourth bird was like a light went on and Belle was like a machine. Picking up doubles, dropping a dead bird on the pond to pick up a swimmer. Unbelievable! I could not believe how well she did on her first hunt. Needless to say she had a fantastic first season, and her second season was even better. Unfortunately, Belle passed away at 2 1/2 from cancer but, since then I have sent another young ‘lil black female to Dave. If Sadie is half the dog Belle was I will be one happy man. Being disabled, I need this dog to retrieve birds as long as I am able to shoot them.


John D. Faires Jr.
Livermore, Ca.



When I first got Oly at 12 weeks I knew I wanted to eventually get him some professional training. I did what any novice in the subject would do and began to Google everything imaginable. I soon came across Full Throttle Retrievers. Dave was SO accommodating & responsive, that I actually met him in the field that very same day for some basic training and a meet and greet. It was apparent from the beginning that Dave had a knack for training dogs; from young puppies to field trial champions. His intuitive technique and ability to communicate with the dogs is absolutely amazing.

I work for the USDA Forest Service and my schedule is rigorous during the summer months as a wildland firefighter. I was able to send Oly to 3 summer seasons of training with Dave and Carlene and now I have the best hunting buddy I could ever ask for. Oly is well behaved, steady in the blind, very polite around other dogs and gentle with children.  There are times when I need to leave town for work and Dave and Carlene are always there to watch and care for my little man while I’m away. YOU KNOW YOUR DOG IS WELL TAKEN CARE OF WHEN HE JUMPS OUT OF YOUR TRUCK TO SEE DAVE AND CARLENE AND WON’T GET BACK IN!

You might be considering other trainers, but if you want the absolute best go to Dave Bales at Full Throttle Retrievers. He will undoubtedly exceed your expectations!!!  

Jake Nosler
Squad Leader- Winema Hotshots
Klamath Falls, Oregon 

AKC Registered Name:     Gunner’s Twelve Gauge

Call Name:     Gunner


GUNNER!  The best part of our dog’s life is being given his command to go retrieve what we just sent him to do.  This dog loves to work!  He is at his absolute happiest when he is doing his job.

 Gunner has the focus and drive that makes you feel proud you did the right thing.  Having a working dog surrounded by so many obstacles; other hunters, bad dogs or just our new thirteen year-old hunter creates many challenges.  Safety is most important and having a dog that can work flawlessly is a necessity. 

Gunner getting the opportunity to be trained by Dave and Carlene Bales was the right thing.  We have now had Gunner home for 18 months and we honestly feel so proud of Gunner and know that if Dave and Carlene saw him work, they would be proud! 

Such a gentleman.  After being with Dave and Carlene for a period of time Gunner is a wonderful family dog.  He plays with the boys, sleeps with the cat, and shares his bed with our other dog.  He knows his “place” in the house and gives us a huge “sigh” on days he doesn’t get to work.  Gunner is a great dog in the car.  Every morning he hits the carpooling of the neighbor boys.  Sits down, quiet, stays in one place.  I wish everyone in the car was that good!

We needed both a high performing hunting dog to work alongside a junior hunter and a family pet.  Your training style along with raising the dogs in your home and not an outdoor kennel was exactly what we wanted.  We really enjoyed picking out our puppy and then making trips up to Oregon to see the amazing progress Gunner was making.  We could not believe that a young dog could perform to that level with such a strong drive and desire to work.  Gunner is now two years old and continues to show off his training every time we hit the field.  He makes those “impossible retrieves” look easy. There is not a hunt day that goes by that we don’t get complements from other hunters on how well behaved and good he is.  He is the perfect fit for our family and a joy to be in the field with.


Thanks for the great addition to our family,


Bryon, Michele and Zach Mefford

Granite Bay, Ca




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