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...DVDs
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.
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!
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 training methods.
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