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perhaps even today, which Keith Erlandson blamed on a certain kennel. Says Moxon, "Most trainers, like myself, are discovering that more and more puppies coming into kennels are reluctant retrievers, and call for very specialized treatment."

Not that it really matters, I liked some of Moxon's ideas better than Irving's. Irving, in his defense, is presenting the classical style of British spaniel training. I'll probably get some nasty e-mails concerning this, but I'm not convinced that you can spoil a birdy dog with too many pigeons. Something about loose feathers; mine never cared.

"Although throughout this book the rabbit has been referred to as the main quarry and real-thing practice for the pupil, I realize that nowadays in many areas rabbits are harder to come by than game birds."
- Moxon in Training the Roughshooter's Dog

Anyhow, my position in these reviews is to not make too many judgements on the style of training, but rather comment on the value of the writing. There are many different styles of training and most of my friends will vouch that my personal style is probably not theirs. In the continuum of spaniel training, Moxon and Irving's books set on the shelf with Mike Smith's Working Spaniels & Cockers (although not as comprehensive or linear as Smith's epic creation) and to the right of Erlandson's Working Springer Spaniel which seems to make more concessions to the American traditions.

Copies of all three books are available from:
Spaniel Journal Bookstore

Problem Gun Dogs
by Bill Tarrant - Copyright © 1992
paper back, 176 pgs., b&w photos
Stackpole Books
ISBN 0-8117-2639-8

Training the Roughshooter's Dog
by P.R.A. Moxon - Copyright © 1977
hard cover, 157 pgs., b&w photos
Swan Hill Press - Stackpole Books
ISBN 1-85310-501-1

Training Spaniels
by Joe Irving - Copyright © 1993
hard cover, 173 pgs., b&w photos
Swan Hill Press - Stackpole Books
ISBN 1-85310-419-1

Bill Fawcett resides in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with his wife Cindy and his Springer Jenna. He is a hunter, field trialer and member of the M-AHSC. He also maintains a public FB ESS pedigree database at

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