wing pigeons or planting game. You will find lots of information on training with rabbits and even a chapter on pegging game (traps). As far as I know, the book is not even available from any booksellers in the United States.
But the book certainly sheds light on the thought processes of the Spaniel, and I think that Smith does a tremendous job explaining his methods. It is written in a manner that even an advanced trainer may pick up a few nuggets to utilize with the next problem dog to come along- and they DO come along!
Personalities of the Field Trial World
Ever want to place a name and face with those British bloodlines that litter our pedigrees? This is a good place to do it. Smith goes kennel-by-kennel though the UK spaniel world and gives a great summary of each line along with some entertaining stories. Takes a lot of the mystery away, in a good way. Most every personality shares a training tip as well.
This chapter, the entire book in fact, is full of pictures of notable dogs and trainers. For those with a FB Springer who are tired of the constant assault of SB fanciers stating "your dog does not meet the breed standard", these pictures of common ancestors are refreshing indeed. Makes you wonder "whom is not meeting the standard"!
Analysis of Successful Spaniels
Smith takes a close look at the real standard for Spaniels - performance. After all , the book is entitled "Working Springers and Cockers". Dissecting information on ESS Field Trial Champions from 1961 to the late nineties, he makes a point that bitches seem to be on the increase, decreasing the "available" number of titled dogs available for service. Obviously this has implications for the future of the breed.
The chapter also includes a discussion of some notable cockers. Since a large number of credible working English Cockers in the United States are imported from the UK, this is relevant information for the Cocker breeder.
Over 50 pages of this book are dedicated to various tables of F.T. Champion Springers and Cockers, and Successful Sire and Dams. For instance, in Appendix 1, Smith has attempted to document every ESS Field Trail Champion from the 1930's to the present. Each entry lists the Sire and Dam, the Owner and Breeder and the Date of Birth. Similar information is available on the Cocker. As stated before, the information is a gold mine of pedigree data, and the credibility of the information seems to be quite good.
For those who work with pedigrees, this information alone is worth the price of the book. One has to treat any compilation of such data with suspicion, but many pedigree buffs utilize this book to help confirm information gathered through other sources.
An Enjoyable Work
Sitting down and reading this book is a daunting task. The book is 288 pages, and the type-setting, unlike so many of the books cranked out today, is rather dense. Fortunately the book is easily digestible on a chapter by chapter basis. The training chapters are best read in a sequential manner, but amazingly they stand alone better than in most training books. The other sections are best digested in discrete sessions. All of this means that this is a book that you will be pulling off of your shelf over and over.
I'm not sure that the book would be appropriate for a beginner in the United States; it certainly would lead to some confusion when coupled with the multitude of advice given in our own books and magazines. However, I'm certain
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