The Advanced Pet Gundog is the eagerly awaited and much anticipated sequel to The
Pet Gundog. Combining canine psychology and the latest teaching methods, Lez Graham
guides you through the next chapter in your dog’s education, helping you to turn
him into a steady, well-trained gundog that you can take anywhere.
Starting with the basic retrieve, you are taught not only ‘how to’ do the advanced
techniques needed to take your training to the next level and being ready to work
your dog (should you choose to do so), you also learn the ‘why we train this way’
which gives you a deeper understanding of your dog and a fascinating insight into
the mind of your pet gundog.
Lez writes in an infectious and informal style which makes this book an easy yet
informative read, giving you the techniques you need to train your pet gundog, regardless
of whether he lives indoors with you or not, to a very high standard - the rest
as they say, is up to you...
Lez has, in conjunction with Nick Ridley, produced DVDs to underpin The Pet Gundog™ series of books. These exciting DVDs mirror the exercises in the books which means you can read about a technique, watch how to do it and then go practice them with your own dog.
The DVDs are only available with the books and are attached to the back cover.
...extract from the book
Let’s just say for example you’ve had a hard day at work, you’ve come home, given
your dog a stroke and you’re now sitting on the settee watching telly with your
dinner on your lap. You’ve got your dog with you and told him to go on his bed as
you come in the room. By the time you’re sitting down your dog is half on and half
off his bed; what do you do?
Well, if you ignore him, before you know it he’ll be off his bed and either wandering
around, begging and drooling over your dinner, or if you’re lucky, lying at your
feet. You told him to go on his bed and you’re not reinforcing it. But what you
are reinforcing however, is that you don’t actually mean what you say and the dog
can choose to ignore you. Not a biggie do I hear you think? True, but not great
when you apply that same logic to the recall, retrieve and any one of a hundred
commands that you want your dog to do immediately and without hesitation.
If you’d put your dog back on his bed as soon as he got up you would be telling
him that you mean what you say and more importantly you’re willing to back it up;
that he can’t get away with paying lip-service or only half completing what you’ve
asked of him and that you expect him to do as he’s told first time.
That doesn’t mean getting all growly with him over it, just put him back on his
bed and tell him he’s a good boy once he’s there and lying down – if he goes to
get up just ‘ah-ah’ him and tell him to “go on your bed”.
I trained my dogs to go on their beds using first of all Shapes, then Bonios (in
order to keep them on their beds for a little longer whilst they ate). Once they’d
finished eating I would give them the release command so they were free to go. Oh,
by the way, for me ‘on your bed’ means go and lie down on your bed – standing on
it just doesn’t cut it... he must be lying down. I then increased the amount of
time between them finishing eating and releasing them. Whenever we eat in the living
room the dogs are in there on their beds before we even get in the room, waiting
and drooling for their biscuit - they know they can’t get off until we say so and
so they turn their backs on us and go to sleep once they’ve finished.
In the early days though, I cannot tell you the amount of times I had to put my
plate down and lead my youngster by his collar back to his bed. If there’s more
than one of you at home take turns with this exercise, if you’re on your own don’t
expect a hot dinner for a few days. With a dog that is learning this exercise, young
or old, use his collar and ‘escort’ him back, however, once your dog knows the command
and what it means and is just pushing the boundaries, then use the herding method
to put him back.
Once you’ve trained your dog to do something, then regardless of what it is, he
should be doing it first time, every time. Remember that if you tell your dog to
do something that he knows how to do (and you know he knows because you’ve trained
him to do it) and he doesn’t do it, then he’s making a choice, and that choice is
to ignore you. He’s basically decided you’re not important enough for him to do
your bidding and will do his own thing instead.
If your dog is not working for you he is working for himself. If he’s working for
himself he’s making choices. If he’s making choices he’s taking control. If he’s
taking control then he’s in charge and if he’s in charge... you’re not!
Foreword to The Advanced Pet Gundog
Over the years I have been lucky enough to watch some of the best gundog handlers
and trainers in the country and as a keen "amateur" I am like a sponge when it
comes to picking up new ideas and methods to make my training more successful.
I have had the pleasure of taking the pictures for both The Pet Gundog and now The
Advanced Pet Gundog and I am sure Lez got sick and tired of me keep asking "why
do you do that exercise that way I have never seen it done like that before?" Once
Lez had kindly taken the time to explain to me the thought process behind the method,
it was like a light bulb coming on!
As gundog trainers we know what WE want the dog to do but we very rarely give any
thought as to what the DOG thinks we want it to do and therein lies the key to Lez's
Because of her vast experience as a dog behaviourist she understands what makes
a dog tick and it is this knowledge that she applies in her training and she willingly
shares in The Advanced Pet Gundog.
I have quite a large collection of gundog training books and not one of them have
any mention of what a dog can see in terms of colour or how the dogs scenting mechanism
works and yet surely we should have an understanding of those two abilities as it
enables us to understand why a dog can't seem to find what on the face of it seems
like a simple retrieve.
I am so pleased that Lez has included these two factors in this book and I for one
found it fascinating and it has given me another excuse to use when my dog can't
find an orange dummy!
Nick Ridley Photography