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Dog Breaking by General Hutchinson

First published in August 1848 when shooting over dogs was the normal way of hunting, ‘Dog Breaking’ by General Hutchinson was one of the first books written on the subject of gun-dog training. In the preface to the 1909 version, the general’s son discusses the improvement in dog welfare during the intervening years. This he […]

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Professional Gundog Training: The Trade Secrets by Joe Irving

The third and latest of Joe’s books I have bought, the trade secrets give an insight to problems that you may encounter. Joe has in the past given me permission to quote from his ‘training spaniels‘ and I will be cheeky and extend that permission to quoting from this book, which as I write is […]

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Training Spaniels by Joe Irving

Training Spaniels was the first gundog training book I ever bought, in sheer desperation when I had an uncontrollable Springer Spaniel. As I have said elsewhere on the site, Joe’s approach is conversational and works for me by recognising that not all dogs are the same, and problems have to be approached on an individual […]

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Old Dog, New Tricks?

Bruce the Vizsla is proving troublesome with his retrieving – is it too late to overcome the problem of a gundog refusing to bring dead game to hand? Some suggestions for improving the behaviour.

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Long Distance Retrieves for the Labrador

This is a second discussion on sending your Labrador Retriever away from you for a retrieve. Here we discuss how to extend the range to which you can send your dog, and how to avoid pottering.

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Teach Your Labrador to Retrieve

Retrieving is an important part of any gundog’s training. With an understanding of the basic signals and how to teach them, you can be much more confident about your Labrador’s ability to retrieve shot game. Here we discuss how to teach a Labrador to retrieve a dummy which is behind the dog, away from the trainer.

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Training a Gundog Puppy to Sit

I will let you into a gundog training secret – don’t let the pup know she is being trained! What do I mean by this? All training should be fun, and it starts when the puppy is first brought home, with the SIT! command. The first lessons Whenever you feed the puppy, you should take […]

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The Recall

The recall is one of the basic commands for a dog, but it pays to spend the time getting this absolutely right. From the very beginning you must ensure that the dog comes in directly in front and sits square in front with her head raised, in preparation for the later lessons of retrieving. The […]

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Heelwork for the Working Gundog or Pet Dog

There are few things more satisfying than owning a dog or gundog that you have trained yourself. The good heelwork is one of the first things that you will notice about a well-trained dog; they will be under control, alert and aware of their trainer, even if there are distractions. If they are off the […]

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Bad Manners

When I go through a door, the last thing I need is for two dogs weighing nearly half of what I weigh knocking my legs out from under me. I may be well padded, but landing on a hard floor unexpectedly hurts enough to reduce me to tears. Now what is interesting is that even […]

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