The Northern Piedmont Retriever Association (NPRC) was founded in 1993 by a small group of hunters and retriever enthusiasts. The original group focused mostly on the needs of the hunter but in time, added many other retriever owners who are as diverse in their goals as are their breeds. While NPRC as a club has a strong affiliation with the North American Hunting Retriever Association (NAHRA), our members support and participate in most of the retriever games out there today.
Despite all the opportunities available to retriever owners today, our main goal remains to be the training of retrievers to serve the needs of the average hunter and to be mans most effective conservation tool. No bird should be left in the field!
While all our pursuits are influential in achieving our goals, it is our monthly training sessions that provide the platform in which these goals may become reality. NPRC offers rotating sites throughout the year where members and the newbie, regardless of their goals for them and their dogs, can come together each month to receive quality training for all. Our training sessions are directly responsible for the formation of many friendships, individual training groups and hunting partnerships.
NPRC members are also very diverse in their knowledge and experience in training retrievers to hunt or test in all types of conditions. We have many very accomplished handlers and trainers who offer their assistance by mentoring the newbie in establishing and pursuing goals for their dogs and themselves. NPRC can brag having a large percentage of the most accomplished dogs in the NAHRA Program over the past 20 years.
As indicated, our monthly training sessions are our primary focus and are generally held the second Sunday of each month although we deviate occasionally to accommodate other events, holidays, etc. Refer to our calendar for a list of training dates and general locations. While the specific locations are not provided, non members can contact us for directions to the training sites. These training sessions are constructed to provide handlers and dogs of all ability levels an opportunity to advance as a team. Various scenarios, including both simple and complex marks, blinds and live flyers are run to give participants an opportunity to experience the type of retrieves they will encounter in both hunting and field tests. Depending upon attendance, handlers are broken into several smaller groups, many times including a group for new or inexperienced dogs and handlers. Our more experienced handlers will generally work with handlers at the line to provide one on one assistance for each training scenario. So even if you are new to retrievers or training, you'll be able to join other new folks and progress at your own rate.
The club traditionally hosts several licensed NAHRA Field Tests each year. The number and types of stakes offered are dependent upon the needs of our members. In the past, NPRC has hosted the Northeast Regional and twice, the NAHRA Invitational which showcases the program's finest retrievers.
Upon request, NPRC has participated in numerous retriever demonstrations, primarily at outdoor shows and Pennsylvania Game Commission Youth Days. The purpose of the demonstrations is to educate the public on the value of a trained retriever as a conservation tool. To present the progression of dogs through training, NPRC attempts to present retrievers of all levels from the raw talents of a started dog through the finished senior level.
Each year we hold a summer picnic and winter awards banquet where activities can range from fun events for handlers and their dogs to individual achievement awards. Other events include an annual upland hunt and work days on both private and public lands.
We could not accomplish our club goals without the support of our corporate and member sponsors. If interested in becoming a club sponsor, please contact us for details.
Frank & Valerie Plewa