Saturday, March 5, 2011

Book 13: Retriever Training: A back to basics approach by Robert Milner

Robert Milner is becoming more well known for his positive training interest for retrievers. This book, however, was published almost ten years ago and isn’t as positive as he is now. Retreiver Training back to basics approach is like a lot of other retriever books I’ve read. It tries to cover absolutely everything from puppy care and selection to basic training to the field training and in doing so doesn’t always provide enough detail for a non dog savy person to easily comprehend. Though so many also do use it that… maybe I just underestimate what people can do or maybe dogs are just brilliant at succeeding even when we misunderstand or do weird things.

I didn’t make very many notes, nor am I likely to re-read the book. Maybe I’m underestimating all the retriever books I’m reading, but none of them have been as step by step and working towards fluency as I’d like. Though Milner did stress the importance of not going for perfection, yet still get the dog fairly competent on parts before taking him hunting, so as not to hurt any training progress that one has been working towards.

I’d be hoping to make it to Milner’s seminar in MN on April 2-3 but I just can’t justify the travel time or cost, especially as the first day is spent on learning theory and while it’s good to see experienced people teach others…I’m not going 12 hours for only one day of retriever training.

His more recent books will be going on my reading list.


Raegan said...

I've found that with a lot of retriever books. I think they take advantage of the fact that everyone is working with Labs and Goldens, who in general will let you get away with a lot more sloppy training than some other breeds of dogs.

I think newer programs (usually a DVD set, the big name ones seem to be Mike Lardy and Evan Graham) are a lot more comprehensive. They're far from R+ based, but if they weren't so expensive I'd love to get my hands on them. They seem really interesting but I won't spend my money supporting trainers whose methods I disagree with if I can help it.

Kristen said...

I don't know how much "newer" Lardy and Graham's materials are... I haven't seen a date, but I've seen most of the Lardy basic/intro set, and the quality appears to be at least 10 years old. I don't know how much is the same/different frm what he does -now-. But I guess not different enough that he's updated it?

I'm struggling with whether it makes more sense to R+-ify an existing program, if I need to look at the concepts taught in those programs and R+ the concepts, or if I should just read the rules and pave the way.... I don't want to learn something the hard way, but I don't want to get held back by tradition, superstitious exercises, or things that aren't necessary due to the differences in methods.

Definitely email me if you want to talk more about the content of the Lardy tapes ....or anything retriever-y!