Recommended Reading / Viewing List – Retriever Training

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Recommended Reading / Viewing List – Retriever Training

Postby Peter Butterfield » Wed 05 Dec 2018 5:17 pm

There has been discussion lately about lack of mentoring / assistance available for gundog training in Australia, particularly for those starting out in retrieving. While there are no doubt many reasons why, the void is otherwise filled by a wealth of information provided by some of the best gundog trainers in the world that is readily available in books, videos and the internet.

Everyone I know who has succeeded in this sport has availed themselves of these resources at one time or another. The best time to do so tends to be when starting a new dog with occasional refreshers never going astray.

As a guide for new comers, I’d like to compile a Recommended Reading / Viewing List based on your opinions of (free and paid) training material available. If you have found any particular guide/s or publication/s useful with your own development please share details here along with any descriptions and personal comments you care to make.

If enough useful suggestions are received I will combine them into a formal list that will be published in our Guidelines section. Please contribute to this if you can to help future triallers.

Thanks & regards
Peter Butterfield

PS To kick things off, I strongly recommend the many excellent training articles available for free on this site at ... index.html
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Re: Recommended Reading / Viewing List – Retriever Training

Postby Prue Winkfield » Tue 11 Dec 2018 12:02 pm

Hope you get some good responses to this thread Peter.

"Building a Retriever - Drills & More" by Carol F Cassity. Contact: This is excellent and has been my "bible" for years.

"Sound Beginnings" by Jackie Mertens. Don't have contact for this but someone here might.
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Re: Recommended Reading / Viewing List – Retriever Training

Postby Bob Pickworth » Fri 10 Jun 2022 6:53 am

I have returned to trialing after a 20 year lapse and now running a new pup who is going well under the tutelage of experienced mentors (in Sydney). The resources most useful other than getting together with others who “have been there and done that” and have runs on the board in terms of successful trialing, are the DVD resources AND the notes / drill books by:
Mike Lardy
Dennis Voigt
Evan Graham
Bill Hillman
Danny Farmer.

Although expensive to purchase, they are there for referral and nothing is more expensive than mistakes and failure. The thing these videos don’t do is give you insights with the problems we encounter when training, sure they show you what to do and how to do it and hopefully avoid problems, but the problems are inevitable - this is where training mentors (training groups, training days etc) are invaluable. Without the help of experienced others, I would be still making the mistakes I was making 20 years ago.
I have been very appreciative of the input others have given me and none I have approached has even suggested they were too busy - all have been helpful and encouraging.
Sometimes some of the suggestions have been challenging to implement and criticisms of my handling have not always been easy to swallow, but Proverbs 17:10 says “A rebuke to a discerning person is of greater value than a 100 lashes to a fool” and you can’t argue with the results (they speak for themselves).

However the question you posed Peter was about books that have been helpful, here are some of the ones I have received value from.

“Absolutely Positively Gun dog training, positive training for your retriever” by Robert Milner.
“Advanced Retriever training” Laura Hill.
“Retriever training, the complete guide..” Tom Dokkens.
However by far the most useful for me as a
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