It doesn't really matter what book you read, who's program you use, or what club you belong to if you don't spend time with your dog. The biggest problem I see with Labs in my area is: Duck season is coming up and people decide they need a retriever. They buy a puppy that they can't do anything with because it is too young. A few months later Christmas passes, duck season is over, and spring is coming. The dog is now at a crucial training age yet the new owners have changed their focus on fishing, spring break, crawfish boils, or whatever seasonal hobby is popular. Now the dog runs wild on the yard for 9 months chewing up everything, digging up flower beds, and jumping on every person that comes by to visit. Now there is a 1 year old dog with zero retrieving ability, a ticked off spouse, and a hunter that will still be walking out making his own retrieves!
Dogs are like children, you have to spend time with them if you want them to grow up and be something. When I hear some average joe tell me the family is getting a duck dog I tell them to buy a started dog or buy a puppy and send it to the trainer at 4 months old. Most of the time it is cheaper to buy a started dog. I don't train dogs for anyone but myself. I wonder how many "Great Retrievers" never made a retrieve because they were forgotten in the back yard.
But of course, most people on this site don't have this problem. We all need more time in a day to work with our dogs!
Pretty easy to speak of Richard Wolters since he has been dead for almost 20 years. Most of his books were wrote in the 60,s. So guess when someone can write and produce videos to compete with him maybe they have the right to open their mouths and say he was an idiot but from where I sit he was a pioneer of his times.
PS the popcorn is cooking
I said the same thing when he was alive. He was a good BS slinger but he wasn't a dog trainer. If you want a dog to get even to the upper levels of retriever hunt tests you need more than he gives in his books.
Just because he's passed doesn't mean his books are better dog training tomes.
adjective not a noun regards
You old regulars here really know how to make a good impression on a newcomer, huh? I don't understand the constant bashing of all the old trainers just because you don't agree with their methods. If those methods got even a few dogs out of the back yard or off the couch... then I would say they were a success. Maybe the next NFC won't come from Wolter's book, but it is better than nothing at all.
More than one way to "skin a cat" regards...
I can go on record as saying Wolter's GunDog was the only training material, I've ever actually paid money for and brought. I had a 3 month old lab that I wanted to hunt. If I recall it was a pretty humorous down to earth book. That said I think I only actually read 2 chapters, then sort've skimmed everything else. I recall liking his attention of developing the nose, did really well with a young pup and her trailing ability. After that I got drug into a club day and a hunting partners Saturday training group and the dog sort've developed under tutelage, of steps and suggestions of what to work on next. This was much better for me as I have a pretty short attention span, books and programs can't really hold my interest, for to long so many other interesting things ;).
I've read most of his books and have pulled a few nuggets of info from them. Compared to the material available now they are very very basic to say the least.
Books are nice to read and get the basics from. But it's the little bitty stuff that as an amateur you won't notice that'll get you in trouble. Spend the money and hook up with a pro. They'll show you things and give you advice that you won't get in a book because every dog is different and reacts to correction in a different way. The pro will be able to show you how to get your dog motivated when it's needed and calm them down when it's needed. I did the book thing on my first two 15 years ago and they were good hunting dogs. I have two at a pro now and if I had known the difference 15 years ago, I would have had two awesome hunting dogs back then.