Danny was raised in Monroe, Louisiana, into a family that loved to hunt and fish. When Danny was 10 years old, he got his first dog, “Lady.” She belonged to the neighbors; but Danny played with her everyday and taught her many tricks. He also taught her to squirrel hunt.
In 1961 Danny’s family moved away and both Danny and Lady were heart-broken. At first the neighbors did not want to part with their dog; but Lady howled non-stop and Danny missed her so much that his father offered to trade his brand new outboard motor for Lady. A deal was made and this started Danny’s life long love and passion for dog training.
Danny bought his first black lab when he was a freshman in college, a seven-week old pup named Daffney. He had been given the book “Training Your Retriever” by James Lamb Free and would read a page and then teach it to Daffney.
Danny saw his first Field Trial in the mid 1970’s and started looking for a good pup for sale. He bought “Farmer’s Black Babe” from Glen Saprano. From then on, all he wanted to do was train retrievers.
Danny met Judy Aycock in 1978. She had just won the National Open in 1976 and was considered one of the greatest amateurs in the country. Danny decided that Judy’s knowledge and talent with retrievers was something he needed if he wanted to be a successful trainer.
Judy was a great teacher and had a tremendous influence in Danny’s life. He began to spend as much time as possible gathering information and knowledge from Judy. Danny quit his job at the sheriff’s department and began training dogs full-time in the late 1970’s.
In 1981, Danny competed in his first National Open. Since then he has competed in every National Open. On average, he has qualified 5 dogs per year and tied the record for number of qualifiers in a single year with 9.
Danny won his first National Open in 1989 and followed it up with victories in 1995 and again in 2001. In addition, two of his clients have also won National Opens – John Parrott, 1984 National Open and Jerry Wickliffe, 1988 National Amateur.
He holds the record for winning more Opens than any other professional handler including an amazing 18 Opens in a row. He had trained and is responsible for creating over 90 Field Champions. He has had the High Point Open Dog twice and finished National Open with 4 dogs twice. He still holds the record for the High-Point male Derby dog.
Danny was voted into the Retriever Hall of Fame in 2011.