It's an interesting read of the old school. Used the book to train my Golden retriever in 1964 . We lived in a North suburb of Chicago at the time and lived in a two flat rental ,trained at the local city parks. On Sundays we would visit the trial people of the time, Barrington, Iilinois, Wadsworth, ilinois. Bent the ear of Cliff Wallace, Dual Ch Shed of Arden
Who had training grounds in Wadsworth,Illinois, Mr Wallace was very cordial to the 19 year old and his Golden, cleaned his kennels a few times. Fond memories of the book and some of the trialers of era mostly wealthy folks with a few commoners. I have original copy and 1963 maybe will dust it off and read again. Four bucks was a good buy just use it as good reading, not training.
It was one of the first books I ever read back when I was a kid.it was in my Fathers collection which is now mine and I just picked it up and glanced the other day.I use to sit and dream about finding a pup from all those bloodlines in that thing.Then one day I could afford a pup came home and immediatley opened it up as a refrence and there was a couple of the names.I thought I was the biggest on the block.Gonna go pull it out and see what names as I remember highlighting them or something.Great buy and thanks for some good memories.
Also my first retriever training book in the early 80's. I still go back and read it sometimes for James' humor, some of his stories make you laugh out loud. Of course everyone on here already knows this, but the biggest takeaway from the book to me was 'get a good dog to begin with' referring to learning to read pedigrees and buying the best pup you could.
My son was getting into labs last year and his gf didn't understand why he should spend so much on a pup. I had him read the chapter on pedigrees and he was able to give her multiple reasons to spend a few extra dollars, logically and easy to understand. Helped a lot. I have yet to see another work treat this subject as thoroughly.
I thought Free's book was well written and its kind of fun to read. Although it was my first training book, after getting into Smartwork and seeing TRT stuff, yep Free is very old school, but a good historic viewpoint on training, IMHO.
I love it. Four bucks will give you 100 times the pleasure, IMO, and there is still some common sense in there, if updated to current technology, and common sense isn't common, as the saying goes. The anecdotes about the great studs of yore that still show up in pedigrees are priceless.
Somebody talked of highlighting dogs' names--I did that too. :)
That was me and what was relly neat was I found that one of my best friends great Uncle owned a dog that was mentioned in one of the stakes.I thought it was neat anyhow.
Originally Posted by luvalab
I have the seventh edition and I have enjoyed reading it, as stated earlier it's not program. My copy has the test diagrams for both the 1967 National Amateur Championship and the National Open Championship, I find it interesting that the marks and blinds in both the AM and Open would barely make it into a decent Master Hunt Test these days. In humble opinion it shows how far the sport has progressed. And in no way am I taking anything away from these tests, I'm sure they were cutting edge at the time.
Enjoy your find.
After a bit more thought throughout the day, I will tell you that I remember a similar feeling that I recall from reading Free's book. I tend to have this feeling when reading almost all training material. You will come across a whole lot of stuff that makes total sense to you.
It will make sense because this was written by a dog person who has had success training dogs. Most all of us, even if we want to nitpick the nuances, will agree that if we view it objectively enough, the other trainer's ideas probably make some sense. They may not always fit our personal preferences, or exactly suit the temperament of dog(s) that we perceive ourselves to have, but it will probably have some fit.
I remember one of my first experiences with "trained" retrievers being dogs that were exclusively trained by someone who used Free's material. At that time, they were the finest retrievers I'd experienced.
Have fun! You will probably be glad you got it.
Saw your post and pulled mine off the shelf to look at it --- it's 1963. For awhile we found lots of old retriever training books and bought them up. Just for the nostalgic value and good reading and chuckle on a cold night. Makes me want to go read it again tonight--- but I have a new puppy so I should probably spend my time reviewing more “modern” publications and techniques.
Enjoy your new book.
Thanks all for the responses... I suppose it was $4 well spent ;)
I hope you enjoyed a trip down “Training Book Memory Lane" ... I am looking forward to flipping through the pages of an oldie but apparently - a goodie ;)