Mark's passion for retrievers started when he was 7 years old. Duck hunting and competitive duck calling had always been a passion in his family. Mark believed that the ultimate fulfillment of the hunt would be to have a great dog to retrieve the ducks that they just couldn't get to. One of Mark's notable accomplishments was early in his career (early 1980s) when he was named the Louisiana State Duck Calling Champion for three straight years. He also competed in the World Championships of Duck Calling that final year, and placed 6th. Soon after that, Mark took up dog training in his spare time.