“We decided a number of years ago to assist individuals, like Dave Bale, who desire to get into the dog training business by offering a full-service apprenticeship program. Not many make it through the three-month apprenticeship as the days are long and the daily work can be very physical. The very hot and humid weather of the south poses its own set of challenges.

We learned two things about Dave very quickly: the first was his interest in learning, and the second was his strong work ethic. As a former college coach and human performance professor, we observed that his ability to develop a critical eye of a dog’s behavior was natural for him. His questions demonstrated an advanced understanding of our training. As a result, we were able to move Dave into the drills and with small tweaks here and there he was quickly becoming a trainer. He did not back down from any task, assigned or not.

We had three seminars on our home site while he was here and he treated each client and their dogs with the utmost respect. You could tell he was a “teacher” in how he helped the owners learn the training techniques and what to look for in their dog’s behavior or actions.

Dave and I talked on numerous occasions about the similarities between training dogs and coaching college athletes. Because of his background, I assigned him a dog we were going to send home early and asked Dave to help it become more obedient and retrieve in two weeks. The owners, Susanna, and I were very impressed with how the dog performed in both areas. He took on the task in only his 5th week and figured it out with little direction from us.

Dave assisted me with a seminar in Stayton, Oregon, and the attendees were very receptive to his assistance and attentive when he interjected comments during the teaching. In fact, two of the attendees asked him to train their puppies that fall.

Susanna and I strongly support Dave Bale as an upland dog trainer and have certified him as a Huntsmith trainer. The following is part of our description of our apprenticeship program. You can click this link to our website to learn more about the program. Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions.”

Ronnie Smith

We would highly recommend Dave with Side by Side Upland Dog Training. We loved the fact that the was local which meant we could train with our dog Blaze and have him home at night. We never had any conflicts with training times/dates as Dave worked around our schedule and during the winter months when daylight was shorter we could drop off for the day.
The daily bird contact we felt was beneficial for Blaze and when our GSP had a minor setback Dave consulted Ronnie Smith, his mentor from OK, on how best to handle the issue. Dave set up a plan, worked with our dog for several weeks on basics before reintroducing him to the birds. You could tell Dave has a background as an educator and coach as he viewed each dog as it’s own and understood that sometimes even the best athletes have, “not so great days.”

Jim & Kristen Culpepper

Fall 2018 / Winter 2019

Dave trained our new GSP pup Whizzbang over the Fall and Winter of 2018-2019 and I must recommend Dave very highly if you are looking for a hunting companion.

His knowledge of both the needs and behavior of the Hunter and The Dog (both need attention) are exceptional.

It has been over a month now since Whizz graduated and he still asks to go to Dave’s each morning.

Dave not only trained Whizz but he also trained me and advanced my knowledge of hunting and expanded my patience with Whizz.
I am very impressed with the variety of training ground Dave has access to and the flexibility to deliver Whizz after training was a bonus that made this effort just that much easier.

Pam and I very much appreciate Dave and Shelia working with Whizz, and me, and letting us be a part of their extended family. Jay & Pam Hansen

Fall 2018 / Winter 2019

“Dave Bale is a master at applying The Silent Command System. He has built a wealth of knowledge on training dogs having trained and owned accomplished hunting dogs and through the investment, he has made in becoming a certified trainer with Ronnie Smith. Dave’s career as a successful basketball coach marries exceptionally well with his dog training skills to make him a top trainer. I highly recommend Dave to anyone interested in helping make their dog a better hunter and companion, from a pup just learning the ropes to experienced hunting dogs. He can bring out the best in your dog.”

Doug Vaday

“Dave is an outstanding bird dog trainer and a pleasure to work with.  I highly recommend Dave, especially for those wishing to be closely involved with their dog’s training (and who enjoy being trained along with their dog!).”

Steve Knudsen

“I met Dave Bale in the spring of 2016 just after Ruby, my Black Lab puppy, arrived. As a local business owner, I knew finding consistent time to personally train Ruby would be difficult. I also was not interested in sending her away for one to three months of training. The benefits I have found in working with Dave include the following:

  • He works with my schedule.
  • Ruby is home every evening.
  • Dave helps with transportation, if needed.
  • I can train with Dave and Ruby as often as I’m able.
  • Daily bird contact is part of the training.

Dave’s teaching skills are evident in how he handles the dogs and instructs me as an owner in the training system. He finished training Ruby in 2016, but I have continued her weekly training sessions to keep her fit and on top of her game.

I am glad I checked Dave out two years ago and highly recommend his services to those who want to have a highly skilled hunting companion.

Cory Redding

It has been long in coming but I wanted to say how pleased I have been to have found Dave to help me train my lab, Gillie. I have been very impressed with the training regimen and the goals we have worked on for my dog. Dave’s patience and attention to my specific needs and intended style of hunting have been very welcome. As someone who needs to work to pay the mortgage, it has been very beneficial to have a flexible training schedule to meet my training needs. I think with most hunters their dog is a family dog as well so the fact that the dog gets to stay at home is a big plus and aids in the socialization of the dog. Dave’s training methods are simple and straight forward so even I can replicate them in my personal training sessions. I think it is important to highlight how valuable it is to have my dog trained on birds during every session. My dog loves to go to training with Dave and I couldn’t be happier with the results. I have to admit that sometimes I am a little jealous of the relationship he has with my dog. She is always happy to see him and looks forward to training sessions. Dave has done a wonderful job building his business and yet has maintained the personal level of attention that most hunter/dog relationships require to meet their desired goals. If his other clients have half the experience that my dog and I have had working with Dave, then I think they would be very happy.

Thank you, Dave, for your abilities and vision to help in shaping my hunter/dog relationship for many successful hunting trips to come!

Michael Morrison

I have hunted upland game birds for years with a flusher and I always seemed to follow friends who hunted with pointers. I knew my next dog was going to be a pointer. I began a search for the right dog and in February of 2017 I ended up with a Wirehair Pointing Griffon. I thought I would train her myself but after researching different methods, I came to realize that I did not have the know-how, the training apparatus, nor the time to properly train her. Quite frankly I had no idea where to start with her!

Dave Bale with Side X Side Training was referred to me by a mutual friend. Dave explained each stage of his training process in detail. At this point, I really began to understand my need for a professional to train my dog or else I would end up with a mediocre hunter, at best. We began the training shortly after meeting when she was 6 months old.

Hunting season started when my dog was only 8 months old and I took her. After each trip I followed up with training sessions, sharing with Dave any shortcomings she exhibited in real field experience. Dave would work on these while continuing forward with her training. By the end of her first season, Dave had trained an exceptional hunter, with discipline and control. He loves working with the dogs and it shows. My dog currently has graduated through three training levels and is working on the fourth.

One of the standout things about having Dave train my dog was his willingness to allow me to be present and participate during the session and he educated me on what he was doing each step of the way. I was allowed and encouraged to work with my dog as well. It was a real partnership.

Without Dave’s expertise, I really believe I would have a great pet and a mediocre hunter. I cannot recommend Dave highly enough to anyone who wants an exceptional training experience and an expert hunting dog.

Todd Gescher

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