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Retriever Troubleshooting: Strategies & Solutions to Retriever Training Problems by John and Amy Dahl

Learn how to resolve problems that occur in the training of retrievers.

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Code: 2206
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Retriever Troubleshooting Back Cover

Copyright 2006, 256 pages, softcover, black and white photos and illustrations

Despite the eagerness of most retrievers to retrieve, there are many opportunities for problems to occur in their training, especially at an advanced level. Professional trainers John and Amy Dahl are uniquely suited to discuss training problems and techniques for solving them. John (a full-time professional trainer since 1975) has been training, hunting over, and competing with retrievers for 55 years, a span which has seen profound changes (and a number of fads) in training methods. John and Amy have trained countless dogs that came to them with problems already established, and have coached many more owners, often long-distance, through solving their training problems themselves.

From this basis of experience, John and Amy discuss many of the problems that occur in the training of retrievers and suggest solutions in the context of how retrievers learn, maintain their motivation, and adapt training methods to capitalize on the strengths of each individual. Retriever Troubleshooting provides valuable guidance on training dogs to go straight, developing marking and hunting ability, using pressure effectively, and promoting stylish, clean retrieves through clear lessons and judicious use of force.

John and Amy Dahl have more than 40 years of retriever training experience between them, and they also wrote The 10-Minute Retriever. They have won numerous field trials, five State Gun Dog Championships, handled six dogs to Field Championships and trained owner-handled dogs to their titles, including two Chesapeakes and two Dual Champions. They are popular columnists for The Retriever Journal and Just Labs magazines.

Get Retriever Trouble-Shooting and 10-Minute Retriever as a book combo.

Training topics include:

  • How advanced training applies to hunting and to competition
  • Blind retrieves
  • Achieving range and multiple blinds
  • Handling
  • Hazards and formidable obstacles
  • More disciplined lining
  • Marking
  • Use of an e-collar in advanced field work

  • Problem-solving topics include:

  • Challenges of training high-drive dogs
  • Controlling excitement level and related problems (creeping, breaking, vocalizing, crushing birds, freezing)
  • Mouth problems (too rough, eating birds, dropping birds, unwillingness to handle cripples)
  • Pace issues (keeping training moving and the dog challenged)
  • Inhibitions
  • Problems related to pressure
  • Lack of response at a distance
  • Line manners
  • Hunting problems (poor perseverance, unwillingness to enter cover)

  • Retriever Troubleshooting also discusses good general practices and individuality in training, along with specific real-life dog training stories that help you see how the experts deal with unique problems.

    Table of Contents:

    1. Basic Obedience
    2. Mouth Problems
    3. No-Goes
    4. Line Manners
    5. Lack of Hunt
    6. Lack of Style
    7. Directness
    8. Sufficient Range
    9. Popping
    10. Blinking Birds and Bugging
    11. Marking Problems
    12. Aggression
    13. Special Puppy Concerns
    14. Force Fetching Problems
    15. Manners

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    Customer Reviews

    3 Reviews
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    100% Recommend this product (3 of 3 responses)
    By Josh
    Pacific NW
    April 21, 2022
    This is surprisingly readable for a list of gun dog issues. I've found it pretty helpful in helping me think about troubleshooting issues with my do.
    • Some of the advice is not specific enough to easily follow. Some of the anecdotes are hard to parse. For example some read like: " thirty years ago I used this crazy strategy to train this dog and it worked because that dog was unique. I've never used it since and I don't recommend anyone try it." The authors don't go into much detail on how to figure out when to go outside the lines. In fairness to them that's a pretty hard thing to teach.
    By Jason F.
    Review for Retriever Troubleshooting: Strategies & Solutions to Retriever Training Problems by John and Amy Dahl
    December 7, 2013
    I haven't trained a dog in years and this book is a great refresher for things to look for, during training. This book actually gives imperfect scenarios and how the handler corrected them, unlike your typical training aides.
    By David D.
    Review for Retriever Troubleshooting: Strategies & Solutions to Retriever Training Problems by John and Amy Dahl
    November 22, 2013
    Gun Dog Supply - good prices, excellent service, fast order and delivery, great advice and overwhelming selection . Why shop anywhere else? Rylee Menomonee Falls

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