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Will This Dog Hunt? Positively. A New Outdoorsman's Guide

For many outdoor enthusiasts and dog owners, hunting for sport or competing in field trials looks like a fun activity to enjoy with their dogs—but the traditional techniques for training great "gun dogs" involve shock collars, ear pinching, and other force-based methods, which can turn off even the most macho enthusiasts. But what if those methods weren't needed?

They're not, say Jim Barry, Mary Emmen, and Susan Smith, authors of Positive Gun Dogs: Clicker Training for Sporting Breeds. This brand-new book is a complete explanation of training gun dogs without using threats, punishment, or force while achieving top levels of fluency and reliability in the field. The authors know the demands of the sport and the nature of the dogs involved, and they understand the ins and outs of applied behavioral science, too. Their techniques apply to working with all types of gun dogs—pointers, setters, retrievers, and spaniels.

The co-authors of Positive Gun Dogs met on the PositiveGunDogs Yahoo Group discussion list, which Susan and Mary founded after recognizing that positive gun dog trainers, like themselves, needed an oasis. Jim became an active member, and soon the three trainers began working on Positive Gun Dogs in response to list members' frequent pleas for a well-developed resource—a guide that wouldn't promote coercion and fear as training tools.

"People don't want to hurt their dogs in order to train them and they don't have to," says positive training icon and author Karen Pryor, whose company KPCT is publishing the book. "We're proud to publish Positive Gun Dogs. It is a groundbreaking book for the US market and along with Clicker Gun Dog, a book by the UK trainer Helen Phillips, we now have two great books on both sides of the Atlantic for sports long-considered the domain of traditional training techniques."

According to Jean Donaldson, author of the well-known animal behavior guide The Culture Clash, "Positive Gun Dogs brims with crafty applications of learning laws. A goldmine of a book...never preachy in tone, Positive Gun Dogs presents a clear option for those who would rather not employ pain to train their field dogs." Pippa Mattinson, founder of the Gundog Club, agrees: "Positive Gun Dogs takes an exciting and refreshing new look at the training of gun dogs as hunting companions. No more 'ear pinching' or 'heeling sticks,' but at last a systematic and effective reward-based training program."

Positive Gun Dogs includes clear, systematic instructions for all levels of training and solutions for common training problems, with lots of illustrations, pictures, and diagrams for visual learning. Training logs are included to help you see progress and know when to move ahead. A comprehensive resource section provides guidance and support.

Take to the field—with your dog and Positive Gun Dogs as faithful companions. Click here for more information or order a copy today.

positive for upland pointing breeds

Have there been successfully trained pointing breeds for upland hunting?  I'm talking of a dog steady to wing and shot and savy enough to find and hold wild upland game birds.





Laurie Luck's picture

I'm Checking

Hi Dan,

I answer many of the questions that come into the site, but I'm not familiar with upland hunting. I've sent a message out to a large group of clicker trainers, though, and I'm hopeful they'll have an answer for us. I'll post here when I hear back. 

Laurie Luck
for clickertraining.com

I have HelenPholips clicker

I have HelenPholips clicker gun dog which is fantastic. I haven't read this book though but I am sure it would be great.

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