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Discussion Starter #1
Apparently I've given away most of the training books in my library :( I still have the classic "Wing & Shot" by Robert Wehle and an out of print gem by Roy Strickland.

The two books about the Vizsla by Boggs and by Coffman look like they may be useful. Are there any current bird dog training books that you have found useful?
 

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Quest is currently 11 years old and everything I want in a bird dog. We went through all the trials that puppies provide. He had so much energy that he didn't know what to do with himself. Did wild laps around the back yard up until he was 4. Insatiable appetite for exercise. Was a dream to train soaking it up ... and to my surprise, very few reminders needed as we've gone through the years. He never leaves my side and even today he wants to be where ever I am. He finds and points birds with grace and style, and retrieves to hand. Great family dog, gets along well with other dogs and children. You would never know he was in the car he lays so quietly. He is convinced there is nothing finer in life than trying to make me happy. You might want to know that he is a Gordon Setter.

I hope to repeat the process with the new puppy. To steal from Roy Strickland, I believe training should be done with a soft voice and gentle hands. Firmness needs to be applied using common sense. i don't believe in a time table. Each dog proceeds at their own pace. I also like having more than one training method available so that when things don't go well there is something else that can be used and applied. I've read about the theories behind clicker training and using treats as rewards. Neither of these methods suit me. Different strokes for different folks.

So where am I going with this? I need reference material and a general blue print to follow. Since I'm not a professional dog trainer and this is my 5th dog in 35 years or so, a common sense approach to training is needed and useful. I have also learned that yard work which is obedience training has universal application whether you're simply looking for a well behaved companion or hunting with your canine friend. To that end I have a new (to me) book to recommend.

I just picked up a copy of Joan Bailey's "How to Help Gun Dogs Train Themselves". Easy to read. Easy to understand. Easy to apply. Easy to incorporate into daily life. Common sense dog training for the first year. Highly recommend it!

Thank you for the recommendation of Wolter's book. It is certainly a classic. I'd be happy to hear about any other books y'all might recommend. I'd be especially interested in comments about "Training the Versatile Hunting Dog" by Chuck Johnson.
 

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Training with Mo: How Maurice Lindley Trains Pointing Dogs by Martha Greenlee . I also found Joan Bailey's books helpful. In particular, I found How to Help Gun Dogs Train Themselves very helpful when Pumpkin was a younger pup. Wolters & Weaver have some good ones too. Some of the older books may have some techniques that are a little harsh or dated for the V, but they still offer valuable info. Leave or forget what you don't like.
 

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For some general obedience training, I love Pat Miller's Power of Positive Training, 2nd ed. It's really great in that it lays out how to teach your dog what you want. I also love Patricia McConnell's "The Other End of the Leash." It's not as practical as a guide for training, but it's an exceptional book on dog behavior.
 

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I've seen Training with Mo: How Maurice Lindley Trains Pointing Dogs by Martha Greenlee favorably compared to The Bird Dog Training Manual: How to Make Your Dog a Great Hunter or a Field Trial Champion by Dave Walker. That's puts it in elite company.

I'm especially intrigued by Patricia McConnell's work. Timely recommendation as I just watched a PBS report on the relationship of dogs to man and how important it is for the dog to have a job/function. Thanks for the rec laurita.

Excellent recommendations!
 

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I ended up purchasing three books on gun dog training. Two are readily available and one is currently not - I had to look long and hard to find it.

"How to Help Gun Dogs Train Themselves" by Joan Bailey
Well written and easy to understand. I would consider this an excellent primer on introducing training and preparing your dog to learn. Best for your pups first year. If you're new to dog training this would be an excellent resource. If you're a training veteran it is less useful but like all training resources, has information you can use.

"Training the Sporting Dog" by Donald Smith and Ervin E Jones which is available from the American Hunting Dog Club (immediate shipping!)

This is an excellent guide training any hunting (aka sporting) dog literally from A to Z. If I were a first time trainer and only had money for one book, this is the one I would pick up.

Instructions are specific and follow a logical progression. Some of the techniques may seem out of date but nothing harmful to the dog is used. The book is easy to read, instructions easy to follow and if used, you'll end up with a nicely finished hunting dog.

"The Bird Dog Training Manual" by Dave Walker (out of print)

Any veteran of training pointing dogs will immediately recognize the pure genius behind Walker's methods of training. Some may balk at the use of an electronic training collar. This book describes the proper use of the collar IMHO. In fact, this is the first time I've read an explanation of the use of the e-collar that I actually agree with.

The book is written well enough but it may be difficult for a novice to understand and/or produce the desire results. For this reason i would not recommend it for those new to field training. This will be the foundation book for training my new V.

I have no idea if any additional copies are available. I found mine at Pointing Dog Journal. I also saw American Field claimed to have copies available back when I purchased mine.

All three books are good choices and all three offer information that I'm sure will provide useful techniques in helping to bring out the best in my new V.
 

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I hope he doesn't mind me suggesting this, I thought he may have pointed to it already. But Redbirddog has a brilliant blog with loads of great information and some fantastic links to peruse as well. While not a book, it's well worth reading some of his Hunting training and Hunting tips and links to articles and book excerpts. Best bit is he doesn't charge for it....... yet! :)
 
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