Resources for Upland Training [Archive] - RetrieverTraining.Net - the RTF

: Resources for Upland Training

07-10-2009, 05:42 PM
I have a lab that is currently in the early to mid-transition stage of training.

In a few months, I anticipate hunting for quail and pheasant. Can anyone recommend good training resources for upland hunting training techniques (DVD, book, etc.)

07-12-2009, 06:40 PM
1. Training the Pointing Labrador, by Julie Knutson (She's written 2 books, get the latest hardback book.)

2. The Labrador Shooting Dog, by Mike Gould

Both are geared for the upland hunter. One discusses teaching a lab to point and the other is geared for flushing dogs.

The first book I mentioned (her 2nd book) has been written recently, the latter (by Mr. Gould) almost 20 years ago.

Both have some interesting insight into training for the uplands. There's a couple of choices for ya'.

I listed these in order of my preferences.

07-13-2009, 12:49 PM
Great thanks for the help. I am going to look into the books. I have heard of people using labradors as "pointers." Do labs adapt to this quality well or do they serve better as flushing dogs,

Outside of waterfowl, our primary hunting will be quail and pheasants.



07-13-2009, 09:08 PM
Julie's second book is great. While it is geared towards actual pointing labs a flushing dog can go through much of the same program. It's more about building the right foundation and developing hunting skills than actually getting a lab to point. I recently attended one of her seminars and it was a great experience.

My theory is a dog either has pointing instinct or it doesn't. Sure you can whoa break a dog and teach it to stop when he or she detects birds, but that's not a point in my book. Most anyone who has hunting around pointers know what a real point looks like. Every pointing lab is different, but both of the ones I've had were sight pointing stuff around the house as soon as I brought them home as puppies. Their natural tendancy was to stop rather than charge at it. Pretty cool to observe.

I was very sceptical about the whole pointing lab deal until I pheasant hunted behind one in South Dakota. I grew up hunting behind pointers and other traditional breeds, but very few of them knew how to handle pheasants like this dog. For me they are the perfect dog because I hunt upland as well as waterfowl. Not that I'm an expert trainer by any means, but training a pointing lab does present some unique challanges over just training an upland poniting dog or a pure retriver. But hey, that's one reason why it's so much fun. The main problem I have is there's very few quail left around my part of the country and no pheasants.

07-13-2009, 09:15 PM
Do the upland hunting competitions focus on flushing or pointing or either?

07-13-2009, 10:44 PM
I think AKC is flushing thought I'm not certain on that. The APLA test for point.

I just finished reading Mike Goulds book. In many ways it is similar to Julie's new book. Now, I'll confuse you. Mike's methods have evolved since the printing of that book. I can't give details other than because I'm just learning about it myself. But, Mike himself said hhis method has changed some.

I happen to like the pointing labs thus my choice would be Julie's book. However, Mikes book is a valuable sourse of information(not just for labs but for any down right good gundog) and I would recommend buying them both if you can swing it. I'm not too sure, but it appears that Julie could have used some of Mikes earlier ideas in her new book, but don't quote me on that. There sure are similarities though.

Without a doubt 2 of the greatest upland lab books written.

Julie's seminars are great too.

07-23-2009, 08:56 AM
Do the upland hunting competitions focus on flushing or pointing or either?

The UKC has a specific flushing test that is seperate from the retrieving tests unless it's the Grand test. In the UKC the dog has to flush the bird and in the APLA the dog hunts up a certain amount of birds in a multi acre field, points them(individually) and then the birds are shot and then retrieved. Each level of testing requires different standards and criteria.

As part of the testing the dog is evaluated on pointing so a dog "standing game" probably wouldn't make it. The APLA test also combines retrieving skills.