About Jim Pickunka
Welcome to Pond View Retrievers. It is my love for the great outdoors that has always been a driving force behind everything I do. As a dedicated sportsman and a person that has a deep connection with dogs it all comes together naturally. Spending time in the field or on the water with a trained retriever has always been a true passion of mine. A dog’s natural abilities combined with the human necessity to find and recover birds brings together some of the most rewarding experiences. Being able to pass along experiences like this to others adds an even deeper satisfaction for me.
Growing up in a home with family and friends that hunted allowed me to experience the excitement of a retriever flushing pheasants and retrieving ducks. That excitement still burns decades later. A career as a K-9 officer provided the knowledge to use structure to teach with the intention of long term goals. With my hardcore passion for hunting, the mindset of dedication and a desire for a great retriever directed me to seek guidance from other professional retriever trainers. Bringing all that together and upon my retirement as a K-9 officer in 2006. A second career began and Pond View Retrievers was started.
Watching a dog sit steady during a long talk with a flock of waterfowl as they circle overhead. When the waves are taller than a dog sending your retriever to swim out to sea for a bird that is clearly invisible to them takes courage built on a strong bond and dedicated training. The hunting season is only a few months long. It is my belief that the rest of the year is the time to train for these true to life complex situations. I also understand the importance of attending Retriever Hunting Tests which allows us to add a heightened level of excitement in the off season. Training for tests gives us the structure to teach complexity that a dog will face during the hunting season. The usefulness of hunt test training and testing has brought me to attend hundreds of tests in both the United States and Canada. From running dogs in a single day Junior Hunter level to attending and qualifying dogs at a five day Master National. The importance of hunt testing also allows us to prove a dogs’ true level of skills and working abilities. Earning a title from testing proves the purity of the breed that remains within the blood of the dog. Thus proving the worthiness for a breeding program. Pond View Retrievers has provided training for true hunting dogs and test dogs alike.
Since the beginning of Pond View Retrievers we continue to provide instruction for retriever owners in the form of private lessons, limited group settings and boarding/training. Clients attending the Pond View Retrievers program continue to pass along their stories of success and send pictures demonstrating their accomplishments. Pictures from the first retrieve while hunting to earning ribbon after ribbon at multiple National Hunt Tests and Hall of Fame titles. This continues to be the driving force today. The most important lesson learned in all my experiences is to never stop learning.