Best advanced retriever or versatile training book

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Best advanced retriever or versatile training book

Postby Runningwild » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:22 pm

I'm looking for a book or list of books or articles to train to invitational water blind retrieve portion pretty much teaching casting
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Re: Best advanced retriever or versatile training book

Postby Big Bird » Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:48 pm

I would suggest that if you are working on the water blind portion of the NAVHDA invitational you obtain the recent April and May editions of the Versatile Hunting Magazine and read the two article authored by Curtis Fry on Training the Conditioned Retrieve. It is a two segment. If you follow that program you will not be too far off.
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Re: Best advanced retriever or versatile training book

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:59 am

I haven't seen the Versatile Hunting Magazine.

I think rudimentary handling skills for your purposes can be found by looking up "walking baseball" on Youtube. I would look at several videos to get a good idea of how to use it for your purposes. I would combine that with Robert Milner's "Absolutely Positively Gundog Training", especially for handling with distractions. It's an inexpensive paperback and is good for teaching other skills as well. Then there are the advanced retriever manuals by Evan Graham or Mike Lardy but are geared for higher levels than you need.
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Re: Best advanced retriever or versatile training book

Postby crackerd » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:21 am

Bruce, inarguably the best versatile training book is right here: http://www.ahdc.org/ahdcsite/training.php

The best advanced retriever training book is...a bound compendium of articles that Mike Lardy wrote for Retriever Journal http://www.totalretriever.com/index.php/articles/training-with-mike-lardy-volume-1

But in my experience with NAVHDA - before I started running retriever trials and tests, or running a versatile breed in the latter - the OP would be best served for the Invitational blind retrieve using white buckets on the distant shore of a pond. The blind is very rudimentary, just a straight-across-swim, no precision handling required, in most cases, no handling, period, required -as the dog is sent on on "Back!" and keeps on trucking 'til hitting the far shore, where it picks up a dead duck at the water's edge and heads back.

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Re: Best advanced retriever or versatile training book

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:34 am

Crackerd: I have both references you cite and you’re right about their relative strengths. IMO Lardy’s is too technical about water handling and “Training the Sporting Dog” is pretty weak. The reason I suggested Milner’s was because he stresses the need for teaching with significant distractions and, unless you do that, you may be disappointed in a do-or-die situation.

I’ve never been to the Invitational but my understanding is that the blind is not on the shore, but has been drug up the bank fifteen yards or so. The dogs are to land on the far shore, go up-wind, hit the scent, and then follow it to the duck. I guess it's not very difficult a test but I’ve heard of individuals whose dogs landed up-wind of the trail and couldn’t be handled to the trail, and others who needed to handle en route in the water and couldn’t.

So, if you’re lucky, you won’t need to handle, but if you’re unlucky it’s going to be either be in the water (where the dog’s tendency is to just dig back the same direction it’s going) or on land a long ways off.
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Re: Best advanced retriever or versatile training book

Postby crackerd » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:17 pm

Bruce, the "Orange book" from the American Hunting Dog Club (a/k/a "Training the Sporting Dog") - is weak as a specialist publication, but that ain't the intent; it's for developing a hunting dog, or working versatile breed, and I think it does a pretty fair job for the general gundog. I understand what you say about the Invitational blind, and agree with the placement of the bird, but would ask - as I've not read anything by Milner in years - how he teaches gundogs "in a positive way" to not give in to distractions. Better yet, what would the distractions be on a straight ahead water blind getting the dog to the far shore? A distraction on a water blind is a "poison bird" or a "dry sluice" in the water from a 12-gauge 90 degrees away from the line to the blind in a field trial. Unless it was trout or bass rising on the way to the blind, don't know of any distractions that the dogs at the Invitational would face.

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Re: Best advanced retriever or versatile training book

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:26 pm

I bought the “Orange Book” a ways back at your recommendation and it looks good but confess I haven’t studied it a lot. It could be the best recommendation for those looking for versatile dog retriever work however. Currently I’m using Lardy’s as my PP and I are going through the “swim-by” treatment.

Gypsy is known to blow me off on some land blinds (or on the water) because she thinks she knows more about where the dummy is than me. So, when I speak of diversions I’m not thinking of “poison birds” or “dry sluices”, but more like the pile of dummies she knows is behind her, whereas I’ve just given her an “over” to an unforeseen one. When I’m hunting I’m thinking that a diversion would be the spot where she last picked up a bird or maybe the sound of others shooting nearby. An acquaintance told me of his saga of some shore birds that landed off the line his dog was given at the Invitational so just a long water blind can be a challenge. At any rate, it’s frustrating when you think your dog knows how to handle but on test day (or in the duck blind) you turn out to be wrong.

In his current book, Milner has a drill he calls “the long unseen cripple”. It’s teaches your dog how to be handled away from, say, three dead ducks floating in the decoys to an unseen cripple getting away 80 yards out. And that’s sort of what his book does - distills the tasks of steadiness, fetching, handling, etc. down to bare bones (using PR techniques no less) and quickly gets your dog hunt-ready. (Sort of what I envision the Invitational should be about, where they’re not looking for whether the dog “challenges the line”, but whether it takes a given command).

The book’s like $12 bucks and is filled with information you might not don’t know about training your dog. It’s not going to replace advanced retriever training but I think is pretty useful to us hunters. That’s my bias anyway. Also, here's another pitch for "walking baseball" to quickly teach handling the fun way.
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Re: Best advanced retriever or versatile training book

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:10 pm

Problem I have with MILNER is how many times he allows a dog th refuse commands teaching PR. A dog trained in that manor retrieves but leaves you no foundation to fall back on. It just isn't in me to train a dog like that.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Best advanced retriever or versatile training book

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:31 am

Hey, GH, I won't argue that, and I'm not a devotee of his, but in his defense I will say that Milner used to be a retriever field trialer and has written a book or two about that so he knows his stuff, however his association with military animal trainers taught him newer techniques of training that he says are a lot faster than the traditional aversive methods. His methods won't resonate with folks who have already have their tried and true methods but I find them interesting just the same.

Incredibly, the "long unseen cripple" drill is about all he says on the subject of handling, and it's raw, but I'm thinking it might help the OP in a pinch when his dog has got to take a cast or go home.

I've not seen anything like it in Lardy's, Graham's or Hillmann's advanced books/videos and I've studied them all. I think I'll try it on my pup as it's pretty cool.
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Re: Best advanced retriever or versatile training book

Postby crackerd » Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:10 am

Bruce, to clarify a couple things: Milner used to be a field trailer in, like the Middle Ages - probably last competed in the 70s. Believe he also trained/trains SAR dogs, not "military" i.e. bomb detection dogs, and certainly not those used today in theatres of war. Those dogs, invariably Labs, come from the field trial ranks (or formerly the ranks, as they've also invariably been "washed out" as competitive dogs). But they become detection dogs precisely because they have been trained to handle at distance - which just happens to be the gaping hole and defiency in Milner's "positive" program.

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Re: Best advanced retriever or versatile training book

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:43 am

I really think that most, and I mean most people don't really understand aversive training. Probably, at least the way I do it, 95% is PR and 5% NR. You would think to read these boards that people think you train a dog like you cook a hamburger; you're searing it all the time. That is a poor understanding of aversive training. Aversive training, when done by a competent trainer is far more positive than negative BUT there is just enough negative instilled to cut the training TIME by months if not years and and to give you a foundation to fall back on should the need arise. A problem may never arise but if it does, the foundation has been installed.

The main problem people have training is that they simply don't care or aren't interested in understanding training. When arguements arise I see "Lardy said this". "Carr said that". " Milner said". Who gives a damned who said what? It is NOT understanding WHO said WHAT, the only thing that matters is WHY they said it and THAT is the important thing. Stop asking WHO and ask WHY.

When you become more interested in the WHY than the WHO you'll start to become a dog trainer.
Last edited by GONEHUNTIN' on Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Best advanced retriever or versatile training book

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:51 am

You guys are nitpicking. Here's what the dust jacket says: " Robert Milner has been training retrievers since 1972. He has trained well over two thousand retrievers with traditional compulsion training. In 2002 he turned to positive training and has since trained hundreds of retrievers with the positive model. His experience has been mainly with gun dogs, disaster search dogs and explosive detection dogs. He is a retired USAF LtCol with 26 years of active and reserve service, mainly in disaster response."
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Re: Best advanced retriever or versatile training book

Postby ryanr » Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:22 am

Training the Sporting Dog, aka "The Orange Book" is considered the bible of versatile dog training within the circle of NAVHDA handlers I regularly train with. And that group includes several senior judges and at least a half dozen handlers with multiple VC dogs under their belt. No doubt they've modified certain things thru their own experiences and continued learning (for instance earlier FF using more PR, including even treats for a young dog so motivated) but that book still remains the backbone of their training.

Bruce, I'm going to pick up Milner's book. I'm very interested in it and I don't think a good handler should ever stop learning about training and various methods. I'm extremely excited about this new pup because this breeding should produce pups with exactly what I want most: COOPERATION, along with excellent use of nose, strong point, and strong desire in water.
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Re: Best advanced retriever or versatile training book

Postby Kiger2 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:27 pm

Gonehuntin,
ou said this "When you become more interested in the WHY than the WHO you'll start to become a dog trainer." Which is exactly why I use dobbs method for FF.
And exactly why you are wrong to say his program isn't good good because its not "carrs". See you again in a month or so!!!!!!
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Re: Best advanced retriever or versatile training book

Postby Kiger2 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:28 pm

Gonehuntin,
ou said this "When you become more interested in the WHY than the WHO you'll start to become a dog trainer." Which is exactly why I use dobbs method for FF.
And exactly why you are wrong to say his program isn't good good because its not "carrs". See you again in a month or so!!!!!!
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