Recommended Reading
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  1. #1
    BlackLabbie's Avatar
    BlackLabbie is offline Senior Member
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    LightbulbRecommended Reading

    What books, magazines, or websites would you recommend for a beginner, like myself, who wants to get into hunting/field trials?

    Thanks!
    -Stephanie
    "Apollo", CGC- black Labrador Retriever
    "Molson"- buff American Cocker Spaniel
    "Patty"- black American Cocker Spaniel
    "Pepper" Najaco's Northeast Storm- black Labrador Retriever 5/11/92-9/18/05

    http://blacklabbie.blogspot.com/

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    Belles mom is offline Senior Member
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    Evan Graham's Smartworks and Smartfetch are excellent resources for the beginner. Mike Lardy's series on training retrievers is another excellent resource. There are two online discussion forums that are great, the 'Fuge (Refuge) Refuge Forums - Powered by vBulletin Scroll down to the gun dog forum. Evan Graham is a regular on there, (and a lot of other knowledgeable people), so if you have questions about his books or DVDs, you can get a hold of him pretty easily. Another is Retriever Training Forum (RTF). RetrieverTraining.Net - the RTF - Powered by vBulletin Other books I like are those by James Spencer, Amy Dahl, and there are others....(I am, too burpy full to go look in the room that the light bulbs burned out of today and search in the dark.....)


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    georgie is offline Senior Member
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    Evan Graham's Smartworks is very good. I would recommend finding a lab club that has training days and you can get alot of help from the folks who run hunt tests.

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    Thank you guys so much! I'm making a list of books I want for Christmas (my DH never knows what to get me, so now he will!). There is a really good Lab club in my area (already checked them out).

    Is a dog too old to begin hunt/field training/trials, as long as they're healthy and able to? Apollo isn't gun shy and he will happily pick up a bird (I think he was used as a hunting dog by his first owner, he is a rescue so I'll never really know).
    -Stephanie
    "Apollo", CGC- black Labrador Retriever
    "Molson"- buff American Cocker Spaniel
    "Patty"- black American Cocker Spaniel
    "Pepper" Najaco's Northeast Storm- black Labrador Retriever 5/11/92-9/18/05

    http://blacklabbie.blogspot.com/

  7. #5
    Belles mom is offline Senior Member
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    They are never too old!


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  8. #6
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    You said hunting AND Field trials, so you need some pretty specific and advanced skill sets for FT's. The basics for all dogs should be the same, but no one wants to really do "all" the basics for hunting dogs.

    For what you want, the Bible is Mike Lardy's 3 sets of articles, his Total collar conditioning DVD, and the Total Retriever Marking and Total Retriever Training DVD sets. These assume some basic vocabulary/knowledge. Evan Graham's Smartwork series is also good, and a little more broken down into "baby steps." I would get Smartwork Vol. 1 and Smartfetch book and DVD set, and go from there. Evan has a deal where you can get all 3 of his books and the dozen or so supplemental DVD's for $350 bucks at his website.

    For puppies, Jackie Merten's Sound Beginnings DVD, and Cherylon Loveland's puppy book are really good.

    My friend, club member and co-judge Carol Cassity's book "Building a Retriever: Drills and More" should be right up at the top of your list. It is not a "program" like Lardy or Graham, but an awesome collection of drills and concise advice for when the wheels come off.

    Dr. Jack Gwaltney's Book "Training and Campaigning Retrievers" is a must have if you want to get into FT's, but it can be hard to find in print.

    James Spencer has several books on drills and training for HT's, that are good.

    Dave Rorem's DVD set on pure handling is also very good.

    "Training Retrievers to Handle" by D.L. Walters is an old classic, as is Tom Quinn's "The Working Retriever."

    I would suggest you subscribe to Retrievers Online magazine. It is the best periodical out there for nuts and bolts field training. Nothing else is even close. It comes out 4 times a year. My wife gave me 5 years of back issues for Christmas, and I loved it! Retriever Field Trial news is ok, as is Retriever Journal. They are both kleenex compared to Retrievers Online.
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    windycanyon is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by GulfCoast View Post
    You said hunting AND Field trials, so you need some pretty specific and advanced skill sets for FT's. The basics for all dogs should be the same, but no one wants to really do "all" the basics for hunting dogs.

    For what you want, the Bible is Mike Lardy's 3 sets of articles, his Total collar conditioning DVD, and the Total Retriever Marking and Total Retriever Training DVD sets. These assume some basic vocabulary/knowledge. Evan Graham's Smartwork series is also good, and a little more broken down into "baby steps." I would get Smartwork Vol. 1 and Smartfetch book and DVD set, and go from there. Evan has a deal where you can get all 3 of his books and the dozen or so supplemental DVD's for $350 bucks at his website.

    For puppies, Jackie Merten's Sound Beginnings DVD, and Cherylon Loveland's puppy book are really good.

    My friend, club member and co-judge Carol Cassity's book "Building a Retriever: Drills and More" should be right up at the top of your list. It is not a "program" like Lardy or Graham, but an awesome collection of drills and concise advice for when the wheels come off.

    Dr. Jack Gwaltney's Book "Training and Campaigning Retrievers" is a must have if you want to get into FT's, but it can be hard to find in print.

    James Spencer has several books on drills and training for HT's, that are good.

    Dave Rorem's DVD set on pure handling is also very good.

    "Training Retrievers to Handle" by D.L. Walters is an old classic, as is Tom Quinn's "The Working Retriever."

    I would suggest you subscribe to Retrievers Online magazine. It is the best periodical out there for nuts and bolts field training. Nothing else is even close. It comes out 4 times a year. My wife gave me 5 years of back issues for Christmas, and I loved it! Retriever Field Trial news is ok, as is Retriever Journal. They are both kleenex compared to Retrievers Online.

    I'm tired just reading this and I have several of the books on my shelf!

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    Then I suppose I should REALLY keep my list of recomended duck hunting books to myself!
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    GulfCoast- THANK YOU! I wrote down all your recommendations, took notes of everything.

    I also got in touch with a hunting/field trial dog trainer in my area (who was recommended by our obedience trainer) and we'll be meeting up in a few weeks to just take a look at Apollo's natural ability right now, then see where to go.

    Apollo's sort of my experiment dog, lol (he is my heart dog, too). I'm trying everything with him- agility, dockdogs, competitive obedience, and now hunt tests/field trials, and maybe tracking someday. I've been have a BLAST with this dog! He's up for anything and is so fun and a true joy to train! I really enjoy everything about him....I still cannot believe I got him at a dog pound in rural GA and nobody wanted him (he was hours away from being gassed before I adopted him)- he's a gem!
    -Stephanie
    "Apollo", CGC- black Labrador Retriever
    "Molson"- buff American Cocker Spaniel
    "Patty"- black American Cocker Spaniel
    "Pepper" Najaco's Northeast Storm- black Labrador Retriever 5/11/92-9/18/05

    http://blacklabbie.blogspot.com/

  12. #10
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    That's great! Have fun with Apollo and enjoy the journey!

    Evan Graham has a flashing red light special going on this week if you are interested. This could keep you occupied for a couple of years. :

    TOTAL PACKAGE SPECIAL!

    ALL 3 BOOKS
    ALL 4 DVDís of BasicsALL 3 Transition DVDísPlus all other current Smartwork DVDís:
    ∑ Men of Steel
    ∑ No Cheating
    ∑ Walking Baseball
    ∑ Definitive Casting
    ∑ And Gundog Essentials as a free bonus!
    All for the sale price of $287.95 for one-week-only only!

    Rush Creek Press online/The Smartwork System

    EvanG
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