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Training Your Retriever Hardcover – May 9, 1991


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 351 pages
  • Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons (May 9, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399136207
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399136207
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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I recommend this book to anyone planning to train a lab retriever to hunt.
Kyle
The author spends alot of time talking about his experiences with Labs in the past and seems like a pretty miserable, ornery sort of guy.
Ben L Butler
I checked it out from the Library, and have purchased two copies since reading it.
Kevin E Weaver

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 19, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Although geared toward training your dog to be a hunting retreiver, this book is a must use when training your retreiver, and I would venture to say, any dog. When used properly, this book can help you teach your dog skills which will make you and your dog much better companions. My dog once began to run out into the street in front of an oncoming car. Because he was trained to stop on command, he stopped running when I called, and he narrowly escaped death. This book will show you how to teach your dog these basic obedience skills, as well as skills you might not think very useful, but will come in handy later on. For example, it is essential to hunters that their retriever remain still and quiet when in a duck blind. I'll probably never be in a duck-blind, but this skill is useful when you need you dog to go lie down. I highly reccomend this book
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Richard Medrala on August 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I first used this book to train a retriever. At the time I had no prior experience training a dog. I applied Mr Free's rules and in two weeks the dog knew the bacic commands--sit, stay, come, heel, and quiet. Since that time, I have used Mr. Free's rules to train a Springer Spaniel and a Beagle. The latter had been to school and the owner could not walk the dog because of it pulling. I took the dog for a 15 minute walk applying Mr. Free's rules and returned the dog to the owner holding the leash with just two fingers!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mary Horst on February 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Free's book is for those who want a HUNTING dog. If you're looking for a book to train Fido to do cute tricks for your friends like retrieve the paper go elsewhere. He trained dogs for field trials and intended them to be 1-owner dogs. I plan to train my next dog to be a more serious hunter than prior dogs I've owned. Even if you want a family dog that you can take in the field without being embarassed in front of your hunting buddies you can get several great methods from this book. Mr. Free stresses the importance of getting a good pup from exceptional pedigree to save yourself a lot of heartache down the road. I plan on using about 90% of what he recommends in this book. I own about six different retriever training books and this is by far the best. BTW if you plan on training anything other than a labrador retriever you may be put off by his obvious prejudice for this breed.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dan Earley on June 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I first read this book when I was a teenager in the late 1960s. Now I am giving it to my father in-law as a Father's Day gift.
One of the other reviewers said that this was an outdated book about training a field trials dog. I don't know how dogs have been updated in recent years, but I do know that field trials are the graduate schools of dog training. It is true that this isn't the book for you if you have a wild or stupid dog. Mr. Free believed that some dogs just were not worth trying to train. You give the bad dog to someone who would love it and care for it (did this happen to you?); then you get a dog with potential.
That said, this is the finest animal training book I have ever read. Don't get lost in the field trials stuff; try to concentrate on Mr. Free's principles. I think you could train anything based on Mr. Free principles. Oh, and most importantly - it's a good read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By willb@ellensburg.com on May 22, 1998
Format: Hardcover
If you're even just thinking about owning a retreiver, you need to read this book--and more importantly follow the author's advice. My father and I have trained several labrador retrievers over 30 years in accordance with Mr. Free's philosophy; it works.
The book reads well; is not overly complicated in scope--and provides practical strategies and "fixes" for most dog problems. Although oriented primarily to training big water dogs, it's also an excellent reference for training dogs of any breed.
You'll probably want to keep this book on your nightstand through your dog's formative years-- and refer to it often.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By B.E.E. on June 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Training Your Retriever is a fantastic book, if it's measured in terms of tried-and-true methods of training a working retriever. If you do what this book tells you to do, you will end up with a hard-charging, field-ready dog whose manners are impeccable.

That said, this book was written a long time ago and times have changed, so I want to make clear, without being insulting or judgmental, that this book is not suitable for everyone. If you think of your pets as your children, talk to them in baby talk, or chat with them continuously as though they are holding up their end of the conversation, you probably will not like this book.

There is no doubt that Mr. Free loves his dogs, but never for a moment does he lose sight of the fact that they are animals, not people, and they are bred and trained for a purpose. It is true that his methods of discipline might sound harsh today, but the book really isn't about beating a dog into submission. He does discuss corporal punishment, but the book and the training methods don't revolve around it. It is one tool for correcting improper behavior, and he discusses how it can be done without doing harm to a valuable animal.

There is a great deal more to this book than punishment. But if you think those passages might be more than you can bear, I suggest something by Bill Tarrant. Mr. Tarrant is much more modern in his approach and attitude and offers up insight and reasoning that is very creative and effective. Personally, I like reading both. If Free is coffee that's strong, hot, and black, Tarrant adds the cream and sugar.
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