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Dog Training Material & Information


311Hemi

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I thought it may be helpful to make a list of some of the training materials out there that can be very beneficial in assisting in the training of your gun dogs, both young and advanced. Many of these programs will include information to help guide you from when you first bring home the little bugger to advanced training a couple years down the line. They each have their own process for developing the dog and it would be recommended to follow one program until you are comfortable with what you are doing and understand why your are doing it. For first time trainers mixing and matching different methods can easily confuse both dog and trainer and leave them wondering where they went wrong. This can cause more work in that you will need to both determine what happened with your training method and then determine how to correct. Both are not always fast or easy. Having one system to follow can be of benefit in that if you get stuck at some point there are others out there that know the system and can help get you back on track.

With that being said the first few of these are proven programs that are recommended by many people I have had contact with. This is by no means a complete list but only what I am personally aware of or have experience with. Please feel free to add to this list as I was just hoping to offer a start.

NOTE: I am going to keep updating this list as people add books below to make them easier to find. Thanks to everyone that helps out with this!!

RETRIEVERS

-The Smartwork series by Even Graham:

A proven training program that offers multiple training guides for both begging and advanced dogs, and at a good price. You can purchase items as you need them with specific guides and DVD for Force Fetch (FF), handling, water force, swim-by, etc. These can be found by doing a Google search for “Rushcreekpress”.

-Training the Pointing Labrador by Julie Knutson:

This is Julie’s new book that was just released this year and adds much more info than her original book (The Pointing Labrador). This book covers from puppy hood to advanced training. Julie helps the trainer get “into” the dogs head to help understand what the dog is thinking, which no other training material I have come across does. One big thing to note is that this book is not just for “Pointing Labs”. This is a good book for any dogs….with it’s primary focus on retrievers. It runs around $50 and is only available from Julie’s site. This book can be found by a Google search for “gunclub-labs”.

-The Total Retriever series by Mike Lardy:

While I have not had a chance to read through this material I have heard from multiple people that it is a very good and proven system. The majority of people I have talked to strongly recommend Mike’s Total E-Collar Conditioning. It is a little higher priced that the books like but comes with both a training manual and DVD. This material can be found by a Google search for “totalretriever”.

-The 10-Minute Retriever by John Dahl:

I read this book a while ago and don’t remember exactly what it covered and how (Contact Us Please) it got. I do hear it mentioned once in a while and know that it is sometimes recommended. I don’t know how much they cover in this book. It's certainly worth a read.

-Retriever Training Info! - Articles, Sources and Links:

This is a site that offers a lot of links to various retriever articles and information. There is A LOT of information here and it can be overwhelming to a new dog trainer. In my opinion if you are a new trainer there are some good reads here but you are much better off purchasing and following one proven system. With the info here you can mix and match training processes and can easily confuse your dog and yourself. To get to this site do a Google search for "carmody builders retriever training".

POINTERS

-Wing & Shot by Robert Whele:

This is the bible to many Pointer owners and for a reason. Whele is the breeder responsible for the Elhew line. Love em or hate em he was a genius with pointers, and his training program was well laid out in this book.

-Best Way to Train Your Pointer, The Delmar Smith Method by Bill Tarrant:

All I can say is Bill is an excellent outdoor writer, and teamed up with a winning trainer to write a great book. Delmar and his sons have proven their method over and over on the national field trial circuit.

-Speed Train Your Own Bird Dog by Larry Mueller:

This book doesn't get real high marks by me only because of the way he tells to discipline the dog in one part. Overall it is a good book, I have used Larry's Launcher design with some success before getting a remote launcher.

-Training Pointing Dogs DVD by George Hickox:

This is the only DVD that I'll add and that's only because this is the only one I have ever used anything off of. I have heard that Perfection Kennels also has a good one but I've never seen it so I can't say how it is. Hickox video moves along well and it is full of useful info.

-Overview of the West/Gibbons/Lindley "Silent" pointing dog training method by Jere Murry:

You can read about this method of training pointers by doing a Google search for "Overview of the West/Gibbons/Lindley "Silent" pointing dog training method." There is a video out that I have heard is not that best but shows this method in a training seminar.

SPRINGER SPANIELS

-Gun-Dog Training Spaniels and Retrievers by Kenneth C. Roebuck:

This is an older book and uses some of the older methods of training. It will give you a blend of training that can be used for both spaniels and retrievers.

-HUP Training Flushing Spaniels the American Way by James B. Spencer:

The second edition is more up to date on some of the training methods.

-The New Complete English Springer Spaniel by Julie Gasow and Edward K Roggenkamp III:

This book is split between the bench bred and the field bred springer spaniels. The field side gives you some useful training tips as well as some of the most well known springers from the past so you can look for them in pedigrees when researching for a new puppy.

E-COLLAR CONDITIONING

-Tri-Tronics Retriever Training Book by Jim and Phylis Dobbs

This book goes into great detail how to introduce the collar correctly and how to use it in different aspects of training. It is filled with easy to follow diagrams so you understand how to use it and when. It is around $30 and is available generally where Tri-Tronics collars are sold or right off their web-site. (Thanks Ken!!)

-Tritronics - Basic Dog Training:

This is a basic collar conditioning guide that is offered by Tritronics. It will cover a standard into to e-collar conditioning but is not as thorough as the complete training programs listed above that are focused on training gun dogs. This can be found by a Google search for “Tritronics Free Booklet”.

LIVE BIRDS FOR TRAININING

-North American Gamebirds Association (NAGA):

This site has what looks to be a good tool for locating where to purchase live game birds. Do a search for North American Gamebirds Association and then go to the "members" section and select the state you want to search. Thanks to cw642 for posting this in another thread!

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Very good post 311! You have given out enough material that a guy could pick up and competently finish his dog. This list is obviously geared towards retrievers and another list should be started by someone for pointers and possibly even spaniels.

One other book of note for collar conditioning is: The Tri-Tronics Retriever Training book. It was written by Jim and Phylis Dobbs and goes into great detail how to introduce the collar correctly and how to use it in different aspects of training. It is filled with easy to follow diagrams so you understand how to use it and when. It is around $30 and is available generally where tritonics collars are sold.

Good Luck!

Ken

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For the spaniel in your life there are many book just like there are for retrievers and pointers. Here are a few that I think are a mainstay that are geared spacifically for spaniels. Keep in mind that any of the retriever books can offer many tips for spaniels as well.

Gun-Dog Training Spaniels and Retrievers by Kenneth C. Roebuck - This is an older book and uses some of the older methods of training. It will give you a blend of training that can be used for both spaniels and retrievers.

HUP Training Flushing Spaniels the American Way by James B. Spencer - The second edition is more up to date on some of the training methods

The New Complete English Springer Spaniel by Julie Gasow and Edward K Roggenkamp III - This book is split between the bench bred and the field bred springer spaniels. The field side gives you some useful training tips as well as some of the most well known springers from the past so you can look for them in pedigrees when researching for a new puppy.

All 3 of these books discuss the training process from puppy training to the most advanced training.

These are the 3 books that I recommend when a new puppy of mine goes to a new home. I also tell them that these are only starting points. Depending on how far they want to go with the training, I recommend joining a training club where they can get advise from people that have been around the block a few more times then I.

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Thanks for sharing. Wish I would have know about this site while I was looking for a dog, I sure would have had some questions for you guys. I wanted a good Grouse dog and a fishing buddy, anyway, I ended up with a British Yellow female. A friend recommened the Wolter's books, and I pretty much followed those to the letter. Don't know if this is an antiquated book by today's standards, but she has turned into everything I could have hoped for (inspite of my training). Have heard alot about the (Pointing Labrador) books, would that be worth reading even though i'm not interested in trying to bring that out of her.

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Good post. I have several of those books. The one I relay on the most these days is the evan grahm smart works. It seems like one of the best books for advanced work.

I have Julie's first book, but haven't got the second pointing lab book yet.

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Wormdowner, there is nothing wrong with the Wolter's books and you can certainly train a gun dog by using them. I believe Wolter's was very good at what he did and these books were probably some of the best book out for a long time. I do personally feel they are a little outdated compare to whats out there today thus why I did not include them, but they are a good read (I read Gun Dog and Water Dog a few years ago) and will certainly get the job done.

Quote:

Good post. I have several of those books. The one I relay on the most these days is the evan grahm smart works. It seems like one of the best books for advanced work.

I have Julie's first book, but haven't got the second pointing lab book yet.


I agree, and I can tell you her new book is MUCH better than the old one! Right now I am trying to decide if I want to follow Smartwork or Julie's new book this spring when I bring home a new pup.

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Some excellent information here! Maybe this is a candidate to be tacked to the top of this forum. It can be used as a reference for training materials for all breeds as well as research to determine which breed fits best for each individual.

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catnipmn....."Do it right Do it yourself "..by Len Jenkins was my favorite book on pointers...Others I told of it also loved it.....uplander

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I just went to Amazon and found about 20 books listed for pointing dogs. The search was "pointing dog training"

I don't have any of them so can't comment on quality. One author - Paul Long - was listed several times.

One of my problems has been trying to find some pigeons to train with. The only guy I've found wants $10 a piece for them. I don't know, but if they're homing pigeons I'm probably going to end up paying for the same birds over and over. Anyone have any other ideas?

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The horse and hunt club has been selling them for $5 for the last couple of years.

Hemi,

Where are you getting your new dog? Another alma bottoms dog?

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Nope (for various reasons which I would talk about off line).

I have a deposit on the Jake x Scarlet litter out of Sauk River PL's. grin.gif

Are you a member over that the MN PL site? I didn't see your screen name on there.

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I just checked and was able to find the Len Jenkins book in the Ramsey County Library system. They only had the one book, and one video, under "Pointing Dogs - Training" Other library systems may have more available, or may have some of the books suggested earlier in this post. Sorry, but I have a hold on them in the Ramsey County system.

Thanks to those who have contributed to this thread. After looking around for a while on this website it's clear that I'm not the only one who is trying to figure things out.

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Hemi,

This is Joe from the other board. I have Sage if it helps you remember. I don't know much about Scarlett but it sounds like a good litter anything out from Sauk River from Jake is going to be good.

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Here is a brief list of a few books for the pointer training. I'll try in my descriptions to stay neutral, but I use a program that is a cross between Delmar's and Hickox's. Lots of birds then lots more birds.

Wing & Shot, by Robert Whele This is the bible to many Pointer owners and for a reason. Whele is the breeder responsible for the Elhew line. Love em or hate em he was a genius with pointers, and his training program was well laid out in this book.

Best Way to Train Your Pointer, The Delmar Smith Meathod, by Bill Tarrant All I can say is Bill is an excellent outdoor writer, and teamed up with a winning trainer to write a great book. Delmar and his sons have proven their method over and over on the national field trial circuit.

Speed Train Your Own Bird Dog, By Larry Mueller This book doesn't get real high marks by me only because of the way he tells to discipline the dog in one part. Overall it is a good book, I have used Larry's Launcher design with some success before getting a remote launcher.

Training Pointing Dogs. DVD by George Hickox This is the only DVD that I'll add and that's only because this is the only one I have ever used anything off of. I have heard that Perfection Kennels also has a good one but I've never seen it so I can't say how it is. Hickox video moves along well and it is full of useful info.

I'm sure there are a few others out there that I missed, and I know there is a few worse ones that I own that just don't pay to put down. Any of these will give you a good starting block to train your dog.

CW

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cw642...thanks for the info!

Have you read much about the Bill West (Gibbons/Lindy) method?

I have an good overview of the method which is a good read.....but I don't think I can link the page here. I will try to come up wit some Google searches that are more dedicated to these training methods.

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For anyone interested, this is the recommended sequence for the Smartwork series by Evan Graham:

1. Smartwork volume one, which has a Puppy Program.

2. The Smartwork Obedience DVD

3. Read SmartFetch (the book), and solidify those concepts and techniques with...

4. The SmartFetch DVD.

5. Smartwork Basic Handling DVD.

6. Smartwork Water Force & Swim-by DVD.

7. Transition: Phase 1 (soon to be followed by Phase's 2 & 3

8. Smartwork II, Secrets of the Pros, which will take you through Late Transition to Advanced, + more.

9. At any point in the progression The "Men of Steel" DVD is a good study because Stickman drills can magnify your efforts and resources.

From Evan on another site:

Quote:

By design, the Smartwork system, as listed previously, follows a sequence of progression resulting in a precise handling dog. This begins with strong emphasis on Obedience, and progresses through all stages of force fetching, following a natural and logical path into and through the running of pattern blinds and all handling drills.

That's a large part of what makes a sequential system advantageous. Its components are contiguous ("touching or connected throughout in an unbroken sequence"); One phase leading to another. The further you follow the sequence, the better and more thoroughly your dog is trained.

If it is your desire to learn retriever training logically and systematically, I believe you'll love Smartwork!

EvanG


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pointer training

The ultimate guide to bird dog training

by:Jerome B. Robinson

this book works absolutely great and is very easy to follow.

It really worked for my German Shorthairs

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would also highly recommend Ben O Williams "Bird Dog." He has a lot of insight when it comes to gun dogs, and specializes in pointing dogs. The book is based on the "instictive" training method. I have found it very useful and enjoyable.

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Ken, I cannot update the first post anymore to add the information that others are suggesting.

Is there any way you can resolve that?

Here is the msg: "This post can no longer be edited because the maximum edit time has expired"

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What material would you recommend for training a dog to flush grouse? I would like to be able to train her to work both sides of me back and forth. I don’t hunt pheasants or ducks. Most of the time I am hunting popple cuts. I am planning on covering the basic obedience stuff in a class at a local Kennel.

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sorry Hemi,

I was deer hunting when you posted your question. Try again now, it should work for you.

Capt. Blaine, what kind of dog are you starting. Most of the books and materials above will help you, you just need to buy the ones focusing on flusher or pointer.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Quote:

Have you read much about the Bill West (Gibbons/Lindy) method?


That method works just fine. There seems to be a religious following with the West method and you either love it or hate it for various reasons. Sorta like the Marcum vs. Vexilar argument that always heats up this time of year. Clearly the method works though. A lot of people use it to train flushers to point which I think is the point (pun intended) for some people. You are training the dog to point rather that letting it's instincts to tell it to point. Again, the method obviously works.

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  • 2 months later...

I need a little help. My wife and I are planning on purchasing a female black lab this spring and want to start our homework, research, and reading now.

She stumbled into a book while doing a little preparation and training search without me and thinks its the book we need since it covers every little detail from what to look for in the breed to how to make sure the dog gets along with vets. It seems to have a non-hunting approach. Granted this dog will also be a family dog, but the main purpose is hunting dog. The book is "Training Your Labrador Retriever" by September Morn. I'm a little skeptical, since its not a hunting based training book and the author's hippie parents named the author after a month of the year (okay, that wasn't very nice, but it shows I'm a little biased against the book).

I see the books and authors listed in this thread and they all seem so advanced or specialized. What can I get for someone 100% brand new to gun dogs, sporting breeds, training, etc. I mean, greenhand, wet-behind-the-ears simple. A couple options would be nice, and if they have already been listed, excuse my speed-reading and/or ignorance. Basically I want to have a nice gun dog, mostly for waterfowl hunting, with the occasional upland hunt of pheasants or grouse. Can you help me out?

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