Anyone know a good hunting dog training book?

Peter M

New member
The technique Spencer describes is not his own, but it worked for me. It's a "gentler" FF method, and relies on the dog showing you he's ready for the next step (my interpretation). With my spaniel it took 2 1/2 weeks. With my pointer it took 6 weeks, with frequent "reminders" of the rules in new situations. I chose it because I understood it and was comfortable with it.

I use parts of Hup and E.K. Roggenkamp the 3rd ESS books. But I would also strongly suggest You look into the following.
Craney Hill Kennels of Mitchell Ga. Todd Agnew puts on a great 3 day seminar and covers his Spaniel Training Manual /Techniques . I attended his seminar this past May @ Windrift English Springer Spaniel in Cochranton Pa. Awesome.


One of my passions is retriever training.
Some new trainers think that if the dog does something wrong,
then getting mad and screaming at the dog will solve the problem.
It typically does not, but training can.
Patience and persistence are key.

Retrievers are not resentful creatures, their behavior is often what in there nature.
My retriever stole a loaf of bread off the counter (prey drive)
My retriever chases deer (prey drive)
My retriever pees in the garden (territorial behavior)
My retriever made me mad because....
Often the behavior is in the nature of the dog, and getting mad will not change that nature, but training can.

Getting mad is likely counter-productive for several reasons:
First, especially with retrievers trust and teamwork is so important.
Getting mad might confuse the dog and erode teamwork.

Second, when frustration starts, there is a problem.
Retriever training is about problem-solving.
Instead of getting mad, quit for the day and think about potential training methods that might solve the problem.

Third, dogs "live in the moment" so getting mad at a dog for counter-surfing a loaf of bread hours ago
while I was away is not likely to change that behavior.
Getting mad at a pup for peeing on the floor an hour ago is not likely to change that behavior.
Getting mad at a pup for chewing the couch 2 hours ago is not likely to change that behavior.

When my retriever looks “guilty,” he is reacting to my anger...he is reacting to my body language.
But doe he any clue about why I'm angry? Will anger change the dog's behavior?
Repetition in training is more likely to change the dog's behavior...
Patience and persistence are key.

So why do some get frustrated with their dog during training?
Frustration often occurs when human thinking that the dog
is being disobedient on purpose....due to spite or stubbornness.
Yet often the dog is doing what comes natural.
For example, you retriever runs the bank instead of swimming for a retrieve.
He is not being defiant, stubborn or spiteful...his retrieving drive is strong
and he wants to get to the bumper as quickly as possible.
He simply needs training to understand the human rule is to swim not run.

Another example, your dog understands the sit whistle and yet
he refuses to sit while running a water blind...this might make a trainer furious.
In reality the dog was running through lunging water and could not hear
the whistle sit command...and in his mind if he does not hear the whistle
sit, he is on the correct route, so keep on going.

Why do the best trainers NEVER get mad when training their retrievers?
I believe because they have decades of experience and dozens of retrievers,
and through that experience have learned that getting mad is futile
in terms of training retrievers.
The best trainers "walk in the dogs shoes" and try to understand
retriever behavior from the dog's perspective.