Ben Garcia of Hideaway Kennels has quietly earned himself the reputation of being one of today's foremost bird dog trainers. People have gotten to know and respect Ben though his professionalism on guided hunts and his field trial participation. He has also conducted numerous demonstrations at shows around the country through his affiliations with top-notch organizations such as Colorado Gun Dog
, Sport DOG, Nutri Source Dog Food
, Zoom Dog Supplements
, and Dogs Unlimited
In fact, wherever you go these days, chances are you'll run into someone with a dog trained by Ben. They'll tell you that Ben's enthusiasm for dog training is contagious. His dogs handle well, hunt hard, look stylish on game, and display the utmost confidence in the field. It's a beautiful thing to watch, they'll say.
A commitment to training in only the best conditions and environments — an important factor in Ben's widely successful program — annually takes him and his dogs to North Dakota in the summer and to Texas in the winter. The spring and fall are spent at home training at Rocky Mountain Roosters, Colorado's finest hunting preserve. Learn more about the training facilities here.
Ben's training days began in college while he earned his degree in Communication, specializing in non-verbal communication techniques such as interaction learning. He caught the training bug while guiding goose hunts, and, for many years, he learned under the late Fred Schulze of Southview Kennels. Fred was a true friend and mentor who helped develop the training methods and breeding strategies still utilized by Ben today.
No biography on Ben would be complete, however, without mention of his chocolate Lab, Sage and perhaps his most famous dog his English Setter FC/AFC RILEY'S RUNNIN' HIDEAWAY MH, JH. Together they hunted nearly every kind of bird in the West and Southwest, winning more than their fair share of field trials along the way.
Submitted by: Guy Shelander on Mar 26, 2012
I first met Ben in Flagstaff, Arizona when his wife was completing her undergraduate work at NAU. You think Ben looks young now; you should have seen him then. I thought he was going to ask me to buy beer for him. My wife and I were attending our first field trial (observing) with our four month old Britt, Jake and did not know anything about the sport. Ben drove into camp with two kennels in the back of his truck, pulled into the spot next to us, got out his lawn chair and sat there like he was waiting on his parents.
That afternoon Ben and his English Setter, Riley hooked me forever on Pointing Dogs and Field Trials. I watched Ben and Riley hit the field with style and intensity that no other team came close to. I watched Riley point, back, pattern and retrieve to hand and this young man and his dog quietly and quickly took home 1st place in the Senior Gun Dog Stake. Ben and his Wife returned to Colorado and I lost track of him for several years until I was competing in a Trial in Bernardo, New Mexico. This time Ben was hauling a large horse trailer with two horses and about twenty pointing dogs. Ben was now a pro.
Over the next several years I would run into Ben at field trials and have the opportunity to watch his success. Ben has a knack for communicating with his dogs and I can say with certainty that like “Bow knows Football”, Ben knows Bird Dogs. The summer of 2006 I had a nice Derby prospect and decided to send her to Ben for summer camp in North Dakota. Between Ben’s family and friends, he has access to thousands of acres of prime prairie loaded with Pheasants, Sharp-tail and Huns. I decided to join up with Ben to get some first hand knowledge on how he went about training dogs.
City Slickers for Bird Dog Owners – When I arrived at Ben’s camp it was 7:30 PM and feeding time. I found out real fast that my role was not going to be just an observer. Ben invited me to join him in feeding 35 dogs and it was a process similar to a Mess Hall at an Army Boot Camp. We washed and rinsed dog bowls and spread them out on a 6’ X 8’ table and dished up the feed then methodically served up dinner to each kennel (2 dogs per kennel). At 8:00 PM we had a beer, talked dogs and had dinner. In bed at 9:30 PM. The next morning I awoke at 4:30 AM to the smell of coffee and the sound of somebody crashing around the kitchen. It was Ben looking for his “pop tarts”. Before I had a chance to say good morning, Ben was headed out the kitchen door and said he had to tack up the horses and load dogs. Each morning was just like that. We would load about 14 to 16 dogs, work them until around noon, come back to camp have a quick lunch and be running more dogs in the afternoon until around 5:00 PM. Just when I thought it was “Miller Time”, Ben informed me it was Derby Dog time. We pastured the horses, unhooked the trailer and loaded the truck with crates of derby dogs and set out driving up and down dirt roads in search of gravel eating Sharp-tails, Huns and Pheasants. Ben would stop the truck put a pup on a check cord and work steadying the pup up. We were never disappointed. When the dogs were not on the “dance card” for running on birds they were in the harness and roaded by Ben’s assistant. On hot afternoons you would find Ben under a shade tree working with a dog on a barrel and other types of yard work. Like anything, it takes hard work to be successful and Ben works hard and he is successful. Some of us are fortunate to have mentors in our life’s and I am in the unique position as a baby boomer to have a friend that is old as one of my sons to be my mentor when it come to handling dogs. Just remember that if you go to Ben’s summer camp you will not be an observer and he may ask you to buy the beer.” – Guy Shelander, AZ
Submitted by: Steve Stackelhouse on Mar 26, 2012
Bella has been doing great! She turned 2 last February and has really begun to learn how to fit into our family. It is evident that the way in which you introduced her to birds has instilled a lifelong desire to hunt. She is constantly on the “prowl” for “pray.” I took her Pheasant hunting last Fall in Eastern South Dakota. We had a Brittany Spaniel and another English Setter with us. Although it took her 2 days to really find her bearings and understand what to do, by day 3 she was working like an old pro! She in no way was competitive with the other dogs and seemed to work well with them. On the first day she was running the tree lines on the “upwind” side and having very little luck…she soon figured out that the downwind side of the tree line would be better. On day two she began to figure out that the birds were hiding in the “thicker,” “higher” brush and she began spending most of her time in those areas as opposed to just working a constant pattern. Toward the end of day 3 she ran into barbed wire
and required 15 stitches in her ear, but was eager to hunt the next day. She was steady to wing and shot, but had to be called back if a Hen got up or a shot was missed. All in all I am happy with my investment in her. I will take her out again this November to SD.
I hope you are doing well and thanks for all you’ve done for me and my
Submitted by: Landon Beard on Mar 26, 2012
I first met Ben when I was making the transition between flushing dogs to pointing dogs a few years back. I had been living in Colorado for six years when the opportunity to move back to Utah came. The upland hunting in Utah had changed a lot from when I was growing up and it seems now you would have better luck finding big foot than a pheasant. Chukars are in abundance in most years in Utah with ample public ground and they became the game bird of choice. Anybody who has been on a western wild chukar hunt can attest to the amount of hard work it is to navigate the country in which these “devil” birds live in. Although my flushing dogs had no problems finding the birds and getting them in the air, I quickly realized this is pointing dog’s game for the most part unless you are a tri-athlete. I had hunted with a few friends in Colorado that had setters and to me; there beauty is unmatched while on point. As I started to ask around about setters, one name kept coming up more than others, Ben Garcia. I gave Ben a call and as luck would have it, he happened to have a litter ready to go. I have bought dogs before from out of state and Ben and his wife Amanda made it really easy and answered my questions in a timely manner.
With me being new to pointing dogs Ben had given me his number and said to call him with any questions, looking back I bet he was sorry he did, boy did I have questions. Ben always made me feel comfortable when talking to him over the phone and was very encouraging. I was amazed that someone who gets paid to train dogs was so willing to give information. My first setter from Ben was easy to train, has a good temperament, and looks like a million bucks on point. In fact, this is the dog that I started horseback field trials with. She did really well in her juvenile year and won numerous derby stakes. Her first half of a season in adult stakes has placed a 2nd and 3rd in open gun dog and could have been a few more if it wasn’t for handler error. I’ve been to a lot of trials in different surrounding states and when people ask where my setter is out of, the conversation turns to Ben. I have yet to hear anything but good things about Ben and the dogs on his string whether it is his personal dogs (the infamous Riley) or customer’s dogs. We even stopped by a trial in Arizona near the Mexico border this fall while hunting mearns quail and the guys spoke highly of him when we asked what pro’s were down.
Over the course of time I have come to know Ben well and I am grateful to call him a friend. I have sent a dog back to him to be broke, and it was nice to have honest conversations about her progress both good and bad while being too far away to visit to see the progress first hand. I have my third Hideaway Kennel dog now and if I can convince my wife, there will be more. These dogs are a true testament to Ben’s breeding program and the quality of dogs that come from Hideaway Kennels and the training they receive while in Ben’s care. So far the dogs I’ve got from Ben have been on sage grouse, sharp tail grouse, blue grouse, mearns quail, valley quail, pheasants, chukar, and huns and they adjusted well to each situation whether it was the desert near Mexico for quail or the high mountains for grouse. I would recommend Hideaway Kennels to anyone looking for their next hunting or field trialing companion. Hideaway Kennel is fist class all the way.
Landon Beard, Utah
Submitted by: Bob Sandoval on Mar 26, 2012
We have been extremely happy with Orions performance both in the field and his ability to stay on task at home as well. He is the ultimate hunting dog and companion. We have had him hunt along with other pointers at Rocky Mountain Roosters and although they have much more experience than he they are no more successful. He loves to hunt!
You can find pictures of Orion with his birds and mention of your name as trainer on Elk Run Kennels web site.
Dr. Lisa Sullivan
Submitted by: Jeff Crafton on Mar 26, 2012
“I recently moved my hunting dogs to Hideaway Kennels and could not be more pleased. I previously had my dogs at kennels located at one of Colorado’s top hunting preserves but was very disappointed with the progress my dogs were making and the lack of communication from the dog trainer. Ben Garcia is a very articulate, well mannered, courteous dog trainer. Ben went out of his way to contact me concerning the approach of the big December storm and assured me the dogs would be fine. He even offered to drop-off and pick-up my dogs if I preferred to have them at home during the storm. I highly recommend Hideaway Kennels.” – Jeff Crafton, CO
Submitted by: Corey and Melissa on Mar 26, 2012
” I was introduced to Ben three years ago by my father,who had a setter that Ben was training for him. After watching Ben work with both the dog and my dad I said to myself this guy is has something special. About 2 weeks later I went out to the kennels and told Ben I was interested in getting a dog of my own, but I did not have the slightest idea of what to look for, Ben responded by saying ” let me do some research,and I will get back with you”. Ben called the next day and gave me the name of a breeder that was going to have some brittany puppies soon.I trusted Ben and his instincts were correct.Over the past years I have spent a lot of time out at the kennels, and realized that Ben is probably one of the most dedicated people I have ever met. Bens work ethic goes far beyond what I could have ever imagined, he is working with the dogs 7 days a week sun up to sun down.This past spring I got a setter out of Riley’s runnin hideaway and cross creek silky. This puppy is extremely intelligent and loveable.He was the perfect fit for our family (Thanks Ben and Amanda)! If you are looking for an honest trainer or breeder I would recommend giving Ben and Hideaway kennels a call.” – Corey and Melissa
Submitted by: Jennifer Musumeci on Mar 26, 2012
What can I say about Ben Garcia, that anyone who knows him doesn’t already know. I met Ben about a year ago by accident. Since that day Ben has been my dog trainer and my friend. I have had dogs with some of the biggest name trainers in the country. All of which have been a big disappointment. Ben has been honest with me about every step of my dogs progress GOOD or Bad! A lot of trainers will tell you your dog is one the best he has, just to keep you paying the bills. That’s not Bens style, Ben believes his dogs are a direct reflection of him and that is what makes a great trainer. I will never send a dog with anyone other than Ben. He works hard and it shows in his dogs.” – Jennifer Musumeci
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Submitted by: Jon Lee on Mar 23, 2010
Ben is one of those rare dog trainers with a natural ability to read a dog and then respond with the correct stimulus. His dog training DVD "First Steps" is worn out in my dvd player and is the best dog training video I have watched. I met him at a brittany field trial in Sonoita, AZ where he was judging. His skills as a judge, handler, and most of all bird dog trainer are highly sought after and rightly so. You can't go wrong with Ben Garcia and Hideaway Kennels. Do yourself a favor and order the DVD and you'll see what I am talking about. Ben Garcia is the real deal. Jon Lee - Annabella, UT