There is nothing like an experienced training buddy to help you through the problems you may encounter. Unfortunately not everyone is lucky to have such a buddy in the flesh, but some of the better books are almost as useful.
General Gundog Training
Gundog training books tend to be breed or class specific; authors write about their favoured breed or their class of use; pointers, retrievers and so on. However, much of the training can apply across breeds, sometimes it is just a question of degree and a couple of extra chapters to cover all breeds.
If I had one bit of advice to give to someone thinking about getting a springer it would be ‘Don’t’. When that is ignored (as it should be) then it would be ‘get a good book, get a good training DVD, get her socialised at some puppy classes (but don’t take them too seriously)’ and join a gundog training class even before she is ready for training, it will get you thinking along the right tracks. We review some of these resources here.
Training Hunt Point Retrieve Gundogs
I was extremely nervous when I picked up our first HPR. A close friend of ours had a beatiful HPR when we were but novice spaniel trainers. Despite being one of the most competent handlers we had met, it was nothing to turn up to a dog training session, see the dog go for a retrieve, then see nothing of the dog and handler until we got to the pub. I exaggerate of course, but it did happen once, and left me thinking it would happen to me whenever I let the dog off the lead.
That said, the breed had left an indelible mark on my wife, and I have never regretted having my arm twisted until I agreed that we get ourselve first a dog, then a bitch, both distantly related to our friend’s first bitch. If I had limitless time to train, I would like another spaniel. But, given the fact that there is only so much time in a day, I am sure that I will stick with HPRs for the next few years at least.