Usually, when the average person thinks of dog training, two things pop up in their minds. Either, a fast-charging German Shepherd Dog chomping down on a man in a pillow suit or a some sort of canine on a leash following a human around a classroom learning how to ‘sit’ and ‘roll over’. Now, tell that same person about training a dog to hunt any kind of animal and that’s sure to raise some curiosity – not to mention a few questions.
Bird dog training has always been (and probably will always be) a world of its own. Like any training, of any sort, the means and methods will differ from trainer to trainer. However, it all boils down to one thing, training a dog to do something it was naturally meant to do – hunt.
JC Bosch, a young and motivated individual, is one trainer that has done just that – training a dog to not only hunt, but hunt with a vigor, drive, and finesse in the field.
We had a chance to not only meet, but actually witness first-hand what JC can do with the dogs under his wing.
In this interview, we dive into what it takes to handle and train high-performing dogs, as well as guiding in the bird hot-spots in the state of Kansas.
Warning: Long interview!
We hope you enjoy!
Tell us a little about yourself, JC. Who are you and what do you do? Where are you based out of?
My name is J.C. Bosch. I own and operate No Limits Kennels, LLC; a full-time and full-service dog training and boarding kennel in the heart of central Kansas – just outside of Great Bend.
NLK specializes in the training and breeding of the versatile German Shorthaired Pointer. We train and develop the ultimate canine companions, from obedience to finished level hunting retrievers and pointing dogs.
What is it like to be a professional dog trainer and wingshooting guide?
Each hunting season, we have the opportunity to guide and hunt all things fowl with outfitters, friends, and clients. It is very rewarding to watch and hunt over my personal dogs and the dogs I have trained throughout the year. The real icing on the cake for me is meeting and hunting with all of the different people each season. We work very hard every off-season so that each November – January we can hunt and guide to the best of our abilities.
You have to love the social aspect of the wing-shooting sports and being a guide, the opportunity to meet so many great people from all different walks of life and different places is a real blessing.
The thing I like the most about being a professional dog trainer and wingshooting guide has to be the opportunities to work with amazing people and their dogs. I am sure that sounds pretty generic, but it really is that simple for me. We have some of the most amazing clients in the world with great dogs to match. Many people will never understand the bond between a hunter and a good gun dog. That relationship between a working dog and his owner is what it’s all about for me. I would love to help everyone I can, find a dog like that, and develop a relationship that runs deep with the highest level of trust and respect.
How did you get into hunting, training, and what was your first hunting dog?
I grew up hunting, and I grew up training dogs, but the two worlds never really collided until a few years ago. Growing up in Great Bend, Kansas there are only a few things to do outside of hunting and fishing.
We are located right next to the nations largest inland marsh, the Arkansas river, and Quivira National Wildlife refuge – so hunting and fishing is a way of life for most people around here. Growing up out her, even with all of the opportunities, there never were many bird hunts I went on with dogs. The few that I can remember going on – all I can remember is someone yelling at their dogs all day and the dogs running off. I bought my first GSP from Brad Weets of TKO Kennels and he opened my eyes to what I was missing.
I WAS HOOKED, up until this point I had just been helping friends and family do basic things with their dogs and helping people as I could with behavior modification with aggressive dogs. Ever since I brought home that first GSP (Cash) I haven’t looked back, slowed down, or even thought about doing anything other than training dogs, hunting, and helping others.
A quote that comes to mind here is “Every master was once a disaster.” I don’t consider myself a master, I have a ton that I am still learning every single day and I have made plenty of mistakes along the way.
I am glad to say that I learned a lot from those mistakes. I take a lot of pride in what I do with each dog and client I get to work with. I will continue to give each of you the very best service possible!
You have 7 German Shorthaired Pointers – tell us about them!
So we have 7 German Shorthaired Pointers now all of which are pretty young (under 4 years old). Each of our dogs I have very carefully selected for our gun dog squad and each have the potential to have a place in our breeding program.
They all go through a FULL hunting season of multiple species of upland and waterfowl birds. We do full health clearances and they are all family companions as well as working gun dogs and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Our dogs are tested in titled in many different venues, some titles our dogs have earned are Champion x’s 2, National Champion, International Champion, Junior Hunter, Natural Ability prizes, and we will have a couple of new Master Hunters this fall and we will be going to our first NAVHDA Utility Test in October that we are very excited about as well.
When training dogs – how do you set yourself and the dogs up to succeed? How do you define your own success and that of your kennel?
I believe with an open mind and a closed mouth we can all learn a lot from each other and many different trainers. I could really delve into the training subject for hours and hours. Every dog is different, but with the proper timing of rewards or corrections, a good attitude, and plenty patience – I believe every dog and handler can achieve a level of greatness and reward!
What’s your training process like?
Our development and training philosophy is derived from many different mentors and trainers that I really respect or have studied. Robert Cabral is a world-renowned dog trainer from California that I really respect. His philosophy, methods of training, and especially his philosophy of dog psychology. For hunting dog training, I take inspiration from many different trainers and mentors – from George Hickox to the guys at the local NAVHDA chapters and everyone in between.
What do you think defines your approach compared to everyone else?
We live in a world that is drowning in information, but starving for wisdom.
You can google anything and find a million different answers or ways of doing any particular thing. The question we need to ask ourselves first is:
“Why is my dog doing this particular thing?” instead of jumping straight to the “how do I get my dog to quit doing this particular thing?”
Foundation is critical for development!
You can start casting, handling, and steadiness work with any dog at any time, but without the basics and the foundation – you may just confuse your dog. This will ultimately end up in more force and a lot more time in the long run than you would if you had a solid foundation to positively teach and build on.
I could really delve into this for hours and days on end with my opinions and philosophy, but what it boils down to is just keep it fun. Be patient and always strive for a relationship of trust and respect with your dog.
During the hunting season – what is guiding like for you? How many hunts and trips do you guide a year?
Hunting season is what we live, breath, and train for all year-long! We guide or hunt with 100 or more hunters each year and love every second of it. It isn’t all glory and it is pretty embarrassing for me when my dogs make mistakes or don’t perform well on a given day, but at the end of the day it’s always worth it.
I’m always a little nervous having strangers shoot over my dogs and each other for that matter, but normally everyone is safe and respectful. We go out and have a great time!
Guiding wild game hunts of any kind gets frustrating at times when it doesn’t work out the way you want it to, but hey it’s called “hunting” for a reason.
I love sharing fields and getting to know other people. The chance to watch different breeds and types of dogs do what they were bred to do is always fun. The rush of flushing wild bobwhites and decoying mallards or specklebellies in the same day is just un-beatable!
What are some of the things you look forward to every year?
We are anxiously awaiting the season opener and teal season, which is my personal favorite hunting experience!
The dogs and I can feel the crisp air moving in. The sights and smells of fall will soon be upon us. I am really excited to meet all of the new people who are coming out this year, finish up some hunt tests, and get into the fields or the blind! With the quail numbers up over 250% from last year, the good rains, and food this season will be one for the record books here in central Kansas!
If you find yourself out this direction, give me a shout! I would love to talk and toast to the good days, bad days, and the love of good dogs and the great outdoors. Shoot straight and God bless! #thisisNLK
Thanks for taking the time for this interview, JC!
Be sure to follow him on Instagram and check out No Limits Kennels.