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reviews by Bill Fawcett

Gundog Training by Keith Erlandson

Everything I said in my review about Keith Erlandson's book, The Working Springer Spaniel, probably also holds true for Gundog Training. This book was first copyrighted in 1976, but has been re-published at least three times. This should give you a hint about its significance.
Rough Shooting

Erlandson, in the Preface to the current edition, writes: "It is now over 17 years since the first edition of Gundog Training appeared on the booksellers' shelves. On the whole it has been fairly well received, both at home and abroad. Some people have been kind enough to tell me that they have actually succeeded in training a dog or dogs by following its guidelines!"

And so the book is, first and foremost, a book about "Gundog Training". However, it contains a most delicious surprise at the end of the book. The first edition contained a chapter on notable dogs. This has been replaced in the contemporary edition with an 110-page "chapter" entitled "The Proof of the Pudding" - which is just another way of saying, "Excuse me, I think I know what I'm talking about." Erlandson does; having made up 20 Field Trial Champions. This is a significant portion of the book for those with an interest in breeding, as these names are plastered all over the five generation pedigrees of today's stock. But more on that, later.

Keith Erlandson, for those that do not know, is a professional gundog trainer with a lengthy (and successful) Field Trail career in the UK. He is a prolific magazine writer - and so, is not unfamiliar with the pen. While favoring the Springer, he has made up five cockers and has also been successful with retrievers and pointers.

"They (cockers) particularly commend themselves to me because they make me laugh. We Scandinavians are a sombre people and in bygone ages required large quantities of Dangeld, ale and plunder to make us merry, so a dog that amuses me has an added attraction."

In Erlandson style, the book is not a systematic "cook-book" training guide, but rather a series of short chapters addressing specific subjects. As with The Working Springer Spaniel, it does not progress in a linear fashion ("when the dog is four months old you should be doing this, then this...") but is topical in nature.

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