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I don't remember actually training Stylo. I do remember him flushing hares on open wheat stubble fields and Stylo sitting without needing a whistle or command. I remember one hare he flushed he actually caught the tail of the hare. As the hare ran off Stylo was sitting watching it and trying to spit out the white hair from the hare's tail. I thought what a remarkable little dog. Later I found out 3 out of the four pups from that litter showed the same trait. Spitfire was exactly the same and another littermate called Start showed the same trait. Start was trained by the local schoolmaster O.C. Jones and later became a Field Trial Champion under the handling of Marty Headlee from Central Ohio. Saighton's Scout inherited this trait from this line. I wondered what these dogs with their remarkable natural steadiness would have been like had they been trained by the standard American trial method of shooting birds for them before they were asked to be steady. I would strongly recommend anyone training a spaniel as a gundog never to shoot game until they have thoroughly steadied the dog to flush. It is far easier to have a steady dog if you don't teach it to be unsteady first. This seems to be common sense, but when I was training in the States I can't ever remember seeing a spaniel trained that wasn't allowed to retrieve birds they were chasing before any steadiness was even attempted.

"It (a driven shoot) was a great test of a dog's mental stability."

Stylo was going to a Frenchman as a shooting dog. He came to get his dog in late October as I recall. My lasting memory of that day was that the beating team came and I joined in for a day of rough shooting. We worked the stubble fields along the lake. Stylo flushed a hare sat and watched it run off with about three other spaniels giving chase and tongue. Although he was a very young dog nothing seemed to faze him. That evening I was talking to Stylo's new owner. He said every year he went on large driven partridge shoot in Spain where 2000-3000 partridge were shot in about 4 days. Most of the guns brought their dogs, but had to tie them to the shooting stakes to keep them steady. He thought it would be wonderful to take Stylo and not have to tie him up. I remember seeing this man the following year and how pleased he was that he could take Stylo to the partridge shoot and he would sit next to him without having to be tied to a stake.

The third dog I had started to train was nothing like Stat or Stylo although he was a littermate to Stat. He was a good-looking hard going strong dog. Most Saighton dogs were of a sensitive nature with a high desire to please. I began calling this dog "Rocky" which was short for rock head. I just couldn't seem to make any connection with this dog. It seemed he was completely uninterested in doing anything I wanted him to do. Whenever I took him out it was always a fight. I found it very frustrating especially when Stat and Stylo were so enjoyable to work with.

Shortly before leaving for Wales Talbot had arranged that I attend a weeks gundog-training seminar run by Delmar Smith a highly successful pro pointer trainer. Delmar had offered a free place in one of his courses after having visited Talbot. Delmar was an amazing character and a very talented dog trainer. One of the things he taught was force training to retrieve. It was not something I had ever contemplated doing with a spaniel, but could see in some circumstances it could be useful. It basically consisted of getting a dog on a table and tying a string around the dog's middle toes. By pulling on the string the dog would open his mouth. Delmar said dogs loved this training and would jump up on the table and wait for you to tie the string around its toes. I had never tried this method before but decided if I used it on "Rocky" he would have to do something I wanted him to do and than I could give him some praise. This was the only thing I did with "Rocky" for a few weeks. Sure enough within a few days of starting these sessions Rocky would tear out of his kennel and leap on to the training table madly wagging his tail and wait for me to tie the string around his toes. With the slightest twitch of the string Rocky would grab the dummy and sit proudly. It did the trick. We had made a connection and Rocky knew who was boss. Although he was never the easiest dog to handle he

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