We used to send this by email to our clients many months in advance, now it lives here getting updated from time to time and the link finds its way to your inbox. Yes, we know, it could be a year or more before a new Two Gun pup will cross the threshold into your home. Which means, right now is a wonderful time to start looking into different training options and methods, as there is little pressure. You can read, ask questions, seek out advice, find a local trainer: observe training sessions, etc. and really see what is going to work for you. Making these kinds of decisions once you have the puppy is a whole lot like attempting to fix an airplane while it is in flight...generally not advisable. So here it is, I have dusted off the Recommended Reading list yet once again.
What do these books have in common? They are in tune with modern canine behavioral science vs. the old school ways. We believe in working smarter and not harder whenever possible and these resources will certainly help you to do so.
Don't Shoot the Dog! The New Art of Teaching and Training, by Karen Pryor
The Puppy Primer, by Patricia B. McConnell
- for that matter, any Patricia B. McConnell book on training/dog behavior
How to raise a puppy you can live with, by Clarice Rutherford
When Pigs Fly! Training Success with Impossible Dogs, by Jane Killion, founder/creator of Puppy Culture. This book picks up where we left off with the Puppy Culture protocols, we used with our puppies and isn't just for "impossible" dogs! However, those who are intending to develop your Drent for field work please disregard pages 80-84 her ball & tug games run contrary to your aim.
Dog Sense, by John Bradshaw
The Genius of Dogs, by Brian Hare
Absolutely Positively Gundog Training, by Robert Milner. To learn the mechanics of "Positive/ Force Free Training" and developing a retrieve based on stimulus control.
The Drentsche Patrijshond for the North American Fancier, by B. P. O'Connor
Since we have you here in the mindset to learn and read. In short, the "early" pediatric spay/neuter is being strongly implicated/tied to joint irregularities, tendon injury, and even increased the risk of many cancers, amongst many other developmental issues, please take some time to review these scientific articles:
There are also some great training resources on the internet:
Leerburg / The Michael Ellis School for Dog trainers: Michael Ellis is considered by many to be one of the World's Greatest dog trainers. He uses LIMA principles to achieve incredible performance from a wide range of dogs for all types of dog sport. Michael's system covers a wide range of topics and is both highly effective, humane, and applicable to all aspects of canine sports.
McCann Dog Training: I am a big fan of McCann as they offer a wide range of well put together videos covering all manner of training challenges using Rewards and Markers, and even offer online courses here.
Dog Training by Kikopup: Run by Emily Larlham, owner operator of Dogmantics. She shares her impressive skill with easy to learn and follow videos for the regular person. Solving unusual problems suddenly got easier, if not surprisingly fun using her methodology.
Higgins GunDogs: Mr. Higgins has used his experience and background in training falcons for the benefit of gun dogs. This method hinges upon a dog's natural cooperation with his boss/co-hunter. The Higgins method isn't exactly 100% fully force and pressure free as its creator pitches. However, the Higgins Method presents stress to the dog in a minimalist and constructive fashion and is without question the best overall and most humane, system for training and managing a high drive gun dog! We use the Higgins Method with all our dogs.
Regular visitors to this spot will note I have included Standing Stone Kennels, removed them, reinstated them, and now note they are off again... They have been moving in the right direction. It is important to note that SSK pays their bills by producing content on a rapid production cycle. So, it is important to recognize that the quality of their content varies widely. A knowledgeable trainer can easily sort the wheat from the chaff whereas the novice may not. Therefore, my best advice is to use their content with objective care, or leave it be if you don't know what good training looks like.
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I'm just a guy suffering with an infatuation with gundogs since childhood. Forty some years later this is what you get.