About Blackbelt Retrievers | Southeast Hunting Dog Trainers
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About Us

Our philosophy is our pride

Our Philosophy


Quite simply, all domesticated dog breeds maintain the desire to please their master, owner, or handler.  We utilize a training philosophy that taps directly into the instincts of hunting dogs so that dogs trained here learn and react in a way that is positive both for the dog and also for the master or handler. Hunting dogs, especially Labrador retrievers, find true joy and fulfillment in fetching and retrieving and helping their master.  They also find joy in attention, affection, exercise, and interaction with other humans and other dogs.  All of these attributes are viable parts of the overall training philosophy here at Blackbelt Retrievers.


Brandon Smith and Mark Bedsole use time-tested techniques that focus on a dog’s desire to work and retrieve to please their master.  These techniques allow a young puppy to grow from a bundle of nerves and excitement into a hunting-partner that is also a calm member of the family.  With proper training, encouragement, nutrition, and time a dog can go from simply reacting on instinct, to reacting on command.  And when you have a dog that reacts on command, you have an extension of yourself in the field, which is the result of the Blackbelt Retrievers philosophy.

The Blackbelt Retreiver philosophy is broken down into three phases. Each phase is designed to train a dog the most important and helpful commands for their understanding and then graduate on to more advanced training.


The Basic program lays the foundations to obedience and basic hunting principles and commands. It is level one and a good starting point for any dog.


The Transition program builds on these basics and incorporates some advanced training, furthering a dog’s ability to hunt and react on command instead of instinct.


The Finished program is designed for dogs that meet unique training abilities and can go on to extreme training, conditioning, and command obedience.


  • Every dog is continuously cared for in our safe, clean, comfortable kennel where each dog’s pen is cleaned twice daily.
  • Every dog receives optimal Red Paw – Poweredge nutrition and unlimited water.
  • Every dog has their own indoor kennel and barrelhouse with outside access – no double bunking – that is entirely protected from the elements.
  • Every dog is trained every day using an individual, custom training plan with the Blackbelt Training philosophy.  Each plan is unique to each dog with progress documented daily for each dog.
  • Every dog is socialized daily with other dogs and with trainer supervision.

We breed the finest quality dogs. Bred for retrieving perfection, our purebred line of labs follow only the strongest family lines and are trained from an early age to be the best waterfowl dogs out there.