Merry Christmas to All

Here’s wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

Been very busy here at the Higgins Sporting Estate. The new clubhouse and kennel building has been approved by the County and construction will begin shortly.

We will be expecting puppies this spring with the breeding of our UK imports Amber Uno of Glencuan and Oksby Basso. Many thanks go out to the late Des O’neile of Northern Ireland for entrusting me with these beautiful, talented dogs. They are a wonderful addition to my breeding program.

There has been some recent activity in the forum. Please take a look and feel free to join the conversations.

Thanks again for your interest and continued support.

All the best,

Brad Higgins


Magic Brushpile Launcher Rental Program

Since I put up the most recent “Magic Brushpile” video, ( ) there has been a lot of interest in what I call the “bang machine” (Zinger launcher). I know, they’re expensive. With electronics, about $600.  That’s why I’ve started a bang machine rental program.

If this is something you might be interested in, or you’d like more information, please let me know.





Shooting Partridge Over Will

Here is our newest pup Will. Special thanks to Des O’Neile, Glencuan Pointers in Northern Ireland.

Will is gaining hunting experience and has been introduced to the gun. Soon, we will begin his steadiness training with the “Magic Brushpile”.



Member’s Section Update

The Member’s section is moving forward but obviously not as quickly as I had hoped. Putting it all together has proved to be a bit more complex than I had considered. My web guys have been great. This is a unique project requiring a substantial amount of work and testing. In addition, we had the whole Facebook issue (they shut me down) requiring moving and redirecting my current web content. Enough whining.

When finished, this Members section will be unique to the dog training world. All the videos will be of actual dogs during training. They will be categorized and tagged, and will follow my method step by step. Current and new training videos will be included as well as custom videos for specific members. In addition, I have videos available showing me rehabilitating client dogs. As many of you know, much of my business involves rehabilitating and repairing dogs trained with other methods. Some of these issues include flagging, blinking, gun shyness, handling issues, retrieve problems, etc. These videos will be valuable in showing you how to get back in your dog’s head and building that trust based relationship required for a well balanced, happy dog.

In the meantime, I’m offering a discount on private phone consultations. Also, if any current, registered users have questions or would like to see specific training videos, please let me know. I can post links to various training videos from the upcoming members section. Keep in mind, the Forum section, here on the website, is always available for specific questions and comments too. I even included a subscriber “Timeline” there just like Facebook where you can keep in touch with friends and talk about any subject you like.

Hang in there, we’ll get er’ done.



Please Introduce Yourself, Leave a Comment

Hello all. The website hit a new high last month with total sessions surpassing 1,000! (as per Google Analytics: A session is defined as a group of interactions or “hits” one user takes within a given time frame on a website). Thanks to all.

I have a favor to ask.  Click on the title of this blog (Please Introduce Yourself, Leave a Comment). Below, at the bottom, there is a comment tab. If you’d like, leave me a comment about yourself and what your interests are. It’s all free and it would help me in providing additional useful information in my videos, blog and forum. When you subscribe, you will also have full access to the Forum section where you can ask questions, leave comments, and keep in touch with other like minded people. In addition, you will be able to choose if you would like to be notified (by email) whenever a new blog entry is posted.

Thanks for your interest in Higgins Gundogs and the Higgins Method.

Brad Higgins
Higgins Gundogs
Higgins Gundogs hunting etiquette

Dogs: Stay in touch and handle well. Always honor another dog’s point, be steady when necessary and manage the birds for the gun.
Handlers: Be silent in the hunt. Allow the dog the freedom to do his work. Nurture the natural retrieve.

Join the Forum discussion on this post

Certifies Higgins Gundogs & Higgins Gundog Handlers

Here is a link to a list of our certified Higgins Gundogs (HGD) and handlers (HGDH).

I understand there are some impostors out there. I just found out that a guide at a well known hunt club has been telling his clients that he and his dog were certified with Higgins Gundogs. In his case, it is untrue.

All Higgins Gundogs (HGD) and Higgins Gundog Handlers (HGDH) have been personally trained and certified by me using one-on-one sessions or through video and phone consultations.  Those that know me understand that I have the highest of expectations for our dogs and handlers. If you have reason to question someone’s comment claiming to have a Higgins Gundog title, please let me know.


Brad Higgins
Higgins Gundogs
Higgins Gundogs hunting etiquette

Dogs: Stay in touch and handle well. Always honor another dog’s point, be steady when necessary and manage the birds for the gun.

Handlers: Be silent in the hunt. Allow the dog the freedom to do his work. Nurture the natural retrieve.

Martha Zimet & Sophia, The Newest Higgins Gundog Team

Zimet, Martha Photo

Congratulations to Martha Zimet and Sophia. They both recently earned their Higgins Gundog titles. Martha for demonstrating great handling skills as well as her ability to see things from her dogs point of view. And Sophia for her cooperation and willingness to work together with her human pack member toward a common goal (getting a bird in her mouth).

Here is a link to more information about Higgins Gundog Team Titles

Keep up the good work Martha and Sophia, nice job.


Brad Higgins

Higgins Gundogs

New Member Section Coming Soon

We’re in the process of adding a Member Section to the website. It will include training videos and a members only forum where I will be available to answer questions and discuss training. All of the new videos will be of actual training including starting and training young pups, as well as videos showing how I fix clients and their dogs with problems. Read more…

NOW AVAILABLE: Private Phone/Video Consultations With Brad Higgins

I get a lot of phone calls and emails from gundog owners all over the country. For many, our clinics and seminars are too far away for them to attend. For these clients, I have now begun offering private phone consultations. It’s been working well and owners can really  get a good understanding of my unique method. We put together a very clear program for owners and their dogs that includes clear “learning milestones”. It’s fun to watch your dog learn right before your eyes using no pressure, obedience or repetition.

With private consultations, we now have the ability to address specific learning issues that owners might be having with their dogs. With all the video recorders available now including smartphones, it’s easy to post videos of learning sessions. I’ve had owners send me videos of specific problems they might be having with their dogs. In return, if they like, I  can send clients videos of our dog work where we addressed their specific issue.

If you would like more information, please give us a call at (916) 717-5597 or email.


Great Training Day

Wow, what a training day! Pete’s puppies keep surprising us.

Ithaca (Pete x Holly) and her littermates have been impressive from the moment their eyes opened, but this girl is mind blowing. She isn’t ten months old yet and yesterday she was steady to wing, shot and kill without any hesitation or question. She has never worn an e-collar and has never experienced pressure or obedience training, she is the most cooperative and intuitive dog. Brad and I had her in the field with good flying chukar. She was handling beautifully to front, quartering naturally, ranging out but never disconnecting. When she found and pointed her first bird her point was intense and solid. We gave her a moment to see if she was going to work her way up the scent cone as she was about 20 feet from likely cover and the day was super hot and dry, but she was a rock. So I went to front to kick around the cover. As I passed her, she gave me that flash of the eye saying, “you’re on, go get it!”. When the bird ran out of the cover I looked back to see if she was loading up or had changed her intent from holding to helping me flush, but she was still solid! I flushed the bird, checked once more to see that she was still steady and then shot the bird. She was a statue except for her tail 🙂 All of Holly’s and Pete’s puppies are super easy to read, their tails give them away. Brad and I were quiet for a while while continuing the hunt. We had to digest what we had just observed. This nine month old Griffon had just hunted with style and intensity and then been completely steady. He commented that in the many, many dogs that he has trained he can’t remember one so green that so clearly understood its role in the hunt. He said that she had just acted like an eight year old guide dog. It wash’t the fact that she was steady, many of our dogs are steady at this age, it was how clearly she understood her role and how she had no desire to challenge my role or require any extra help in staying steady.

We also worked with Monkey, Honey and Valentine. They are Pete’s and Periwinkle’s puppies and are five months old now. They are also exceptional puppies. Monkey (who now belongs to Scott and Mei) was in the field loose with quail for the first time. He handled super well so we let him work into a bird. When he found and pointed his first bird, Dustin shot it, Monkey hopped once at fall to mark where it landed and I gave him a little growl to remind him to stay still. He was solid on his second bird. Nice shooting Dustin!!

Honey was solid on the Brush Pile and will be practicing what she has learned in the field this week. She was steady to flush, shot and kill and didn’t move a bit while birds were flushing directly over her head. Valentine has another trip to the Brush Pile and will be in the field with her siblings. She ended this session with birds flying overhead and remaining steady to flush, shot and fall.

It is quite amazing to see young Griffons show such keen understanding of their roles in the hunt. It would be impossible without this method of training and this quality of pedigree. The Higgins Method works on the foundation of gregarious predator behavior. It can be used with young, sensitive dogs because it does not use pressure to make a dog comply, rather it gives dogs the incentive to cooperate because they will be successful if they do. We are also using this method to help shape our breeding program. By showing young dogs success with the Brush Pile, we can record their natural tendency to defer to the shooter. A pup who naturally recognizes that their success increases when they defer is one who will try fewer unsuccessful options while learning. A naturally deferring dog tends to be well balanced socially. Selecting natural deferrers in our program is producing puppies like Ithaca, Sophie, Monkey, etc. etc.