Sporting Dog Trainer and Breeder
President of Wildrose Kennels, Mike Stewart is a seasoned dog trainer who developed the unique, balanced training methodology, “The Wildrose Way” to bring out the natural abilities of every dog in a positive, highly effective manner. He has over forty years of experience with a variety of dogs, including pointers, flushers, retrievers, hounds, obedience companion dogs and adventure dogs. Most recently, he focuses exclusively on the English Labrador, specifically for the wingshooter and outdoor enthusiasts.
Q: What makes your sporting dog training method unique?
A: The Wildrose Way is based on repetition and consistency to develop a dog that's trained in a positive, natural way. We say we bring out the dog’s natural abilities, creating a natural love of the water, natural delivery to hand, natural bird instincts and natural game-finding ability. It’s a methodology that the average person can use, without being a professional trainer.
Q: What’s your number one goal in your work?
A: Maintaining the Wildrose brand, generation after generation after generation. There've been some great trainers and dog breeders in the past that came and went. I don't want this company, this brand, this style of dog to go away. It's becoming a legacy. It's a heritage.
Q: Why do you recommend Purina Pro Plan dog food to your clients?
A: It works, and I don't recommend anything that we don't think works. Even with our products such as clothing or gundog gear we take to the field and try to tear it up. If it doesn't work, we don't recommend it. Pro Plan works.
Two of our momma dogs that we recently retired went west to our shooting estate, and they're working hard every day, five days a week on some of the most difficult terrain any retriever's ever going to experience. That says a lot for the dogs themselves, the breed themselves, but also the nutrition that's going into those dogs. They were able to have a breeding life raising puppies and then go back there to work as hard as they are. That's pretty impressive.
Q: What do you think is the true purpose of a dog?
A: That's personal, it depends on what the person wants. I want my dog prepared to go anywhere. You want to go fishing, kayaking, hiking, they’re your number one companion. Service dogs – when you walk into a nursing home with a therapy dog, you wouldn't believe how faces light up. That may be enough, just to bring an experience into someone that is lonely. Dogs are so versatile, and always have been. Their purpose is to be there for us, in any way they can.
AWARDS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS
- Trained two consecutive Ducks Unlimited Mascots, Drake and Deke who have appeared in DU World of Ducks since 2001, at demonstrations and in advertisements
- Forbes Magazine cover feature, 2009
- Selected by Garden & Gun “Best of the South” in 2010 and 2012
- Published a comprehensive training book, Sporting Dogs and Retriever Training, the Wildrose Way in 2012
- Featured in ForbesLife in 2012
- Emmy Award for Wildrose Kennels Video Campaign (Best Director – Post Production), 2018
- Inducted into Mississippi Outdoor Hall of Fame, 2018
Purina® Pro Plan® is proud to be the exclusive nutrition of choice for Wildrose Kennels.
*NPPC has a Sponsorship Agreement with this individual.