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Training Retrievers to Handle by D.L. and Ann Walters

For serious field trial competition or for the training of a first-class hunting dog.


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Code: 10560
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Training Retrievers to Handle Back Cover

Copyright 1979, 133 pages, hardcover, b/w photos, and illustrations

D.L. Walters was raised in his profession, helping his parents train hunting dogs. In 1945 he joined them in the business, specializing in retrievers. Before long he was on the field trial circuit and won his first Open Stake in 1951. In the years to come, he trained and handled two dogs to National Championships and one to a National Derby Championship. He also trained the winner of a National Amateur Championship. Retrievers have been his life.

In 1967, D.L. and Ann edited "Charles Morgan on Retrievers," spending three years organizing letters, manuscripts, and tapes of Charley Morgan before his death. They subsequently retired from handling dogs on the field trial circuit to stay on their farm in eastern Kansas. There they trained retrievers and developed this step-by-step program to teach handling. D.L. writes the "Ask D.L." Retriever Column for The Retriever Journal.

The training procedures used here are adaptable to all types of dogs and are specially designed to promote stylish, confident, hard running dogs on blind retrieves. The program stresses the creation of good habits and the prevention of bad habits. The steps are well illustrated with 12 photos and over 50 diagrams.

Anyone interested in the training of retrievers will find this a useful book, whether for serious field trial competition or for the training of a first-class hunting dog.

From the Introduction:

"This book is about training retrievers to handle. Handling is the act of directing a dog to the fall of a bird by whistle, voice, and body signals, a fall the dog has not seen or has forgotten. The book is meant for the man or woman training a retriever for field trial competition and for the duck or pheasant hunter who wants to hunt with a well-trained dog. The training procedures in it are not complicated, but they are meant for the dog and handler who have progressed through the early stages of retriever training. Before starting this work, a dog should be completely obedient. He should come when called, sit, stay, heel on command. He should deliver properly, and he should be steady."

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Training Yourself as a Handler
  • Lining your dog
  • Blowing the whistle
  • Casting
  • Voice
Chapter 3: Step 1 Part 1 - The 3 Leg Lining Pattern
  • Setting up the pattern
  • Starting on the pattern
  • Using the "no" command
  • Correcting a poor line
  • Dog plays with the dummies
  • Wind
  • Lining the dog
  • Popping
  • Step 1 Part 2 - Introduction to the Whistle
Chapter 4: Step 2 - Simple Baseball
  • Right over
  • Left over and back
  • Using two dummies, overs
  • Using two dummies, backs
  • Introducing the stop whistle
  • Come in cast
  • Careful casting
Chapter 5: Step 3 - Walking Baseball
  • Setting it up
  • Procedure
  • Come in cast
  • Correcting casts
  • Correcting stopping
  • Complete view of walking baseball
Chapter 6: Step 4 - The 3 Leg Pattern with Casts
  • Setting it up and lining
  • Casting
  • Including ditches or other hazards
Chapter 7 :Step 5 - Water Patterns
  • Setting up first pattern
  • Starting
  • Forcing dog to go into the water
  • Coming back by water
  • Smoothing out
  • Using the shot pistol
  • Casting
  • Variations and pattern blinds
  • Setting up second pattern
  • Starting second pattern
  • Ssmoothing out second pattern
  • Scenting the spit
  • Casting into the water
Chapter 8: Step 6 - The 5 Leg Pattern and Introduction to Diversions
  • Setting it up and lining
  • Casting
  • Angle backs
  • First diversion pattern
  • Dry shot and other variations
  • Upsetting marking
  • Second diversion pattern
  • 5 leg pattern with narrow angles
Chapter 9: General Training Guidelines
  • Make your training sessions just that
  • Plan your training ahead
  • Be prepared to change your plan
  • Be sure your dog will get the bird
  • A dog must be allowed to get into trouble
  • Decide what is right for your dog
  • Every dog needs good days
  • Don't nag, don't forget praise
  • Keep exercise and play areas apart
  • Don't worry about problems that aren't
  • Always go back to the pattern
  • Patterns are wonderfully versatile
  • Picking up the blind first
  • Two other variations
  • Pattern blinds
  • Importance of repetition
Chapter 10: Training Aids
  • What kind of equipment is right for you
  • Shot pistol
  • Shotgun
  • Prod
  • Whip and switch
  • Slingshot and CO2 pistol
  • Electronic collar
Chapter 11: Problems
  • Lining
  • Lining through small pond
  • Stopping
  • Correcting with electronic collar
  • Correcting with shotgun
  • Casting
  • Popping
  • Correcting with electronic collar
  • Diversions
  • Water blinds
  • Channel blinds
  • Playing with the dummies
Chapter 12: Conclusion


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Customer Reviews

7 Reviews
71% (5)
29% (2)
0% (0)
0% (0)
0% (0)
100% Recommend this product (7 of 7 responses)
By Rufus B.
Review for Training Retrievers to Handle by D.L. and Ann Walters
October 5, 2015
Great book for learning how to teach retrievers how to handle blind retrieves. Covers every aspect of training for blinds.
By William R.
Review for Training Retrievers to Handle by D.L. and Ann Walters
July 9, 2015
Good book. Always good to look at older methods to understand how newer ones have developed. There are a lot of good methods for correction without collar use as well.
By Joan P.
Review for Training Retrievers to Handle by D.L. and Ann Walters
April 23, 2015
This is a great guide to many of the line drills necessary for Senior Hunt. Step by step progression, easy to understand each drill.
By Claudia
Review for Training Retrievers to Handle by D.L. and Ann Walters
September 22, 2014
Excellent book.
By Bobby Z.
Review for Training Retrievers to Handle by D.L. and Ann Walters
February 27, 2014
Every retriever owner that wants to train his dog to handle should read and USE this book. This is my second book. I loaned my first one out and didn't remember who had it and lost it. This is a great book for someone new to this sport.
By Ronald V.
Review for Training Retrievers to Handle by D.L. and Ann Walters
October 28, 2013
Great reference to refine your training program. All done without electric collars (nothing wrong with them, though). I recommend the drills to finish or refresh your retrievers handling and marking skills. Should be on every retriever owner's bookshelf.
By David
Review for Training Retrievers to Handle by D.L. and Ann Walters
May 6, 2011
Great Book if you have a retriever that has finished its basics and needs polishing on handling, or if you just need to learn how to clean up handling on a more advanced dog. Not for a beginner or started young dog.

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