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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have a French Brittany pup on the way and was wondering what the reputable training books were for pointing gun dogs. This breed is supposed to be easy to train and calmer than an American Britt. No harsh training methods. Need some guidance on yard work for basic obedience and objectives to work on before introducing her to birds over the winter. Ex: Retreive to hand, whoa, heel etc. Thanks
 

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Lots of good books on the market....Probably one of the easiest to follow will be
Gun Dog by Richard Wolters...he also wrote Water Dog and Family Dog....No harsh training methods. focuses on making the dog a part of the family.
Good Luck
 

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Dunc,

Don't get Gun Dog. I've read the book and most reputable pro's will tell you that while there is some good stuff in there, there is also a lot of REALLY bad stuff and as an amateur, you'll find it very difficult to tell the difference. I ended up getting Delmar Smith's book ("Best Way to Train Your Gundog, the Delmar Smith Method" by Bill Tarrant) and the difference in philosophies between someone that was able to win field trials with Birttanies before anyone thought they could win (Delmar Smith) and a guy who was not a professional trainer and only trained one pointer before writing a book about it (Richard Wolter's) is amazing. You'll find the Delmar uses much less harsh methods and when he does have to put any pressure on the dog, he does so in a way that helps the dog to associate the displeasure with whatever it was doing, not the trainer.

That said, even Delmar doesn't use a whoa post anymore so there are a couple of things in that book that some consider outdated as well but the overall training philosohpy you'll find in it is still one of the bests.

Some others to look at would be Bill West, Larry Mueller, anything by Bill Tarrant, George Hickox or Sherry Ray Ebert.

There are two areas I strongly suggest you have a pro handle, though. Those are the intro to the gun and forced retrieve, if you decide you want it. Other than that, all you need is space and birds to train a bird dog. Enjoy your pup!

Also - you might want to check out http://www.uplandbirddog.com/forum/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?az=post&forum=DCForumID1. There are a bunch of pro trainers here that will gladly offer advice and many of them have numerous trial wins.
 

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With my lab, I have learned that EVERYONE has an opinion. I had a pro tell me to stay away from Water Dog, so I did. I read about 8 other training books, and still didn't feel I had a firm grasp on things. I got lucky and teamed up with a really good amature trainer, and work with him every evening. He said to read Water Dog, and adapt all the things I have read to train my dog. I personally feel that Water Dog was the easiest to read and follow for training, but wouldn't follow it to the T.

Long sotry short, read alot, and make up your mind on how to train your dog. Anything you read about training will increase your knowledge, and NO book will tell you how to avoid all the problems you'll encounter.

The common theme in ALL training books is to keep each step simple and build on the simple blocks. If your pooch gets confused, go back to simple. You have to be able to add before you can multiply...........


Good luck.
 

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I'll just say one more thing about Wolters and leave it be. He trained quite a few retrievers and by all accounts had decent retrieving dogs. Retrievers are different than most pointing breeds though. They mature faster, can take more pressure and can take it at a younger age. Things that work well with retrievers do NOT work well with pointers in most cases. Again, Wolters trained a grand total of 1 pointing dog (an English Setter) before writing his book. The others I listed have trained and trialed hundreds of dogs. Make your own decision but I would not recommend Gun Dog to anyone that wants to train a pointing dog that isn't either a robot or scared to death of the trainer. It is the only book I have ever sent back to Amazon for a refund and I wrote a note in the inside cover for the next poor buyer to hopefully save them some grief.
 

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no book, but a site

Dave Jones at brittanygundogs.com has alot of good info on training this breed. He stresses yardwork...heel, whoa, etc. I took my brit out to him ~6yrs ago as a 1yr old. He kept him for 2-3 months and I went out every other Sun. so I could learn what he was doing. Hardest hunting dog I've had and completely under control. Nothing harsh, just repetition.
 

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Dunc, I have looked at both books, but only bought Gun Dogs. Either are better than nothing. I'll see if I can find the book and I'll loan it to you. I'll give you a few tips after you get your dog. Don't get too attached and I'll take it with me for the winter? #1 is you will have a young puppy this year and do not try to over train it, but next season pull out the old shock collar.#2 be careful around the canal(tough to get when they jump in).

Your shepherd looked pretty bad, but the collie looked good. Are you waiting for both to go or only 1?

Looks like I will not be fishing this weekend, but will probably be down Sat or Sun., and I'll bring you what I have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the offer Marty, I'll read anything I can get my hands on. I'm headed to Pearsall Sat morning and will be back Sunday afternoon. Jody will be around though. My Shepherd is looking bad, I agree, the other pup has gone blind and is scared of his own shadow--growling at everything including my daughter, physically he's ok its his mind that's gone.

I won't train too much with the new pup until she's at least 5-6 months old. Just let her get to know the family.

The Brittanygundog site has alot of good info and I'll look into Wolfes book also. Thanks again for all the replies everyone.
 
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