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Suggested References for Dog Training Books


Sources of Training Supplies

for the Versatile Dog




New !!! We have directly linked to Selected books with cover photos or buttons can be ordered with a mouse click. VDD/GNA publications are hot linked to the Merchandise Manager.

Training Books

Miscellaneous Books

Sources of Supplies

Must Have (for novice)!

Versatile Dog Training

Bird Dog and Retriever

Training for VGP (Utility Test)

Save on Veterinary Bills!

A Must for Breeding

Training Equipment

Must Have Books for a novice versatile dog handler (These references are generally not available in public libraries.)


Armbruster Training Manual, Armbruster, L., Verein Deutsch-Drahthaar/GNA, no date. Leon Armbruster was a German ex-patriot who wrote this manual for the fledgling Group North America. It was/is the mainstay of many novice Drahthaar handlers, and it is an excellent reference for developing your versatile pup through its first year and the breed tests. This manual is available through VDD Merchandise Manager, Laura Johnson, 40 Kentview Drive, Carmel, NY 10512, (914) 225-7342. See also the Drahthaar Puppy Manual as an excellent supplementary reference.


Verein Deutsch-Drahthaar Group North America Judges Manual for the Association Breed Tests (VZPO), -(tan cover). This is the rule-book for VDD natural ability tests (VJP and HZP). This is an absolute necessity if you plan to test your dog (to meet minimum breeding requirements). You cannot prepare for a test without understanding the rules! In addition, it includes valuable information for filling out test entry forms. This manual is available through VDD Merchandise Manager, Laura Johnson, 40 Kentview Drive, Carmel, NY 10512, (914) 225-7342.


Tri-tronics Retriever Training, Dobbs, Jim and Phyllis, Tri-Tronics, Tucson, AZ, 1993. This is an excellent reference for correctly introducing your dog to and using an electronic collar. I also highly recommend attending at least one training seminar. Available through Cedar Enterprises, 43 Box Elder Rt., Glenrock, WY 82637, (307) 436-9528, Ron Roman. This is also a great place to get an e-collar at a reasonable price. Ron is a VDD member/breeder and gives e-collar clinics too.

Versatile Dog Training

Drahthaar Puppy Manual, Smith, Roger & Bohs, Nancy, 1998. This is a step-by-step guide to raising and training your DD during its first two years with detailed preparation for VJP and HZP. This book was long reserved for only vom Altmoor puppy handlers. Now, offered to the general public, it also an excellent source of information on DD history, care, maintenance and puppy development. Vom Altmoor pups have historically scored well at the natural ability tests, no doubt in part to the assistance that Roger and Nancy provide their novice handlers for proper preparation, much of which is documented in the manual. Phone:(609) 654-6005, e-mail: Roger Smith & Nancy Bohs


How to Help Gun Dogs Train Themselves: Taking Advantage of Early Conditional Training, Bailey, Joan, Hillsboro, OR, Swan Valley Press, 1993. Joan Bailey was a charter member and founder of NAVHDA. Her book is founded on methods that rely on pack behavior, and as such develop a strong bond between dog and handler. Being a well noted Griffon authority, many of her methods apply specifically to versatile dogs.


The Training and Care of the Versatile Hunting Dog, Bailey, Edward D. and Winterheld, Sigbot, North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association, NAVHDA, no date. The "Green Book" as it is referred is a very well written and a good introduction to versatile dogs, is the text upon which many veteran VDD and NAVHDA trainers have started. The book is usually available for a discounted price at the NAVHDA training days, so check out the NAVHDA website.

Bird Dog and Retriever Training


Training Your Dog for Birdwork, Rafe, Stephen C., Denlinger's Publishers, Fairfax, VA, 1987. Available through Starfire Enterprises, Dept. MN, P.O.Box 3119, Warrenton, VA 22186, (703) 349-1039. Steve Rafe received an award for this book and its innovative methods based on canine behavior. He also is noted for his proven cure and prevention audio tapes for gun-shyness. He has authored a number of training manuals, most recently one on training with pigeons. I use several of these and personally recommend them. Steve is also an editor for Quail Unlimited Magazine.


Speed Train Your Own Bird Dog..., Mueller, Larry, Harrisburg, PA, Stackpole Books, 1990. This is another excellent book that emphasizes enhancing development of natural instincts through the implementation of pack behavior. These methods foster a sound relationship between dog and handler. Larry has an inventive method for training steadiness and whoa as well as innovative home-made devices (such as release traps) that can help cut the cost of training equipment.


Training the Hunting Retriever, Robinson, Jerome B., Jerome Robinson, Canaan, NH, 1987. This is a basic nuts-and-bolts book on retriever training from pup to finished dog. Every handler should have at least one reference on retriever training. This and Retrieve are my personal favorites.


Retrieve, Medcalf, Bill, Taylor, Dallas, TX, Taylor Publishing Co., 1987. Similar to the previous book, this book contains many methods and drills necessary for serious retriever competition. Though many retriever competitions eliminate the dog's use of his nose, it is still helpful to teach a versatile dog to at least know how to run a line and take hand signals (in, out, left and right).

Training for the VGP (Utility Test)


Preparing a Utility Dog, Rogers, Larry, Nashville, TN, 1994. This is the ONLY (i.e. written in English) book covering this subject. Larry, himself an experienced versatile dog trainer/handler based it on a collection of information gleaned from Jack Mansfield, Tom Moore and other experienced Drahthaar trainers. Many have trained for this test through "trial-and error" or learned through "word-of-mouth", but Larry put it into print! The books are $15 each (postpaid). Send your check to: P. Larry Rogers, 1518 Highland Avenue, Columbia, TN 38401


Training for Totverbeller and Bringselverweiser, Wilkinson, G., Major, MBE (from lecture notes to the Royal Deerhunting Society), UK. Wilkinson was a veteran of WWII who remained in Germany as part of the occupational force for several years after the war. During that period, he immersed himself into the hunting culture and became well versed on hunting with versatile dogs in Germany. If you are interested in training totverbeller or the bringsel for your VGP, this may be a very useful reference.


Verein Deutsch-Drahthaar Group North America Manual and Regulations for the Association Utility Test (VGPO) 1996, Aug. 3,1998 Issue-(tan cover). This is the rulebook for the VGP or utility test. This manual is available through VDD Merchandise Manager, Laura Johnson, 40 Kentview Drive, Carmel, NY 10512, (914) 225-7342.

 Save on Veterinary Bills!


Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook, Carlson, Delbert G. and Giffin, James M., Howell Book House, Inc., NY, 1980. We do not advocate self-diagnosis or treatment, but an owner of an active hunting dog should understand first-aid and the seriousness of injuries and common ailments. Recognizing a critical injury and getting your dog to the vet in time WILL save you money!

  A Must for Breeding


 Canine Reproduction, A Breeder's Guide, Hoist, Phyllis A., Alpine Publications, Loveland, CO, 1985. Many brood bitches and litters are lost annually because of blatant ignorance and penny pinching. Breeding is a heavy responsibility, if you desire to do right by your breed, your dog and your customers. Do your homework first! 

 Sources for Training Equipment (US and Europe)


Altmoor Outdoor Sports Specialist, 433 Stokes Road, Shamong, NJ, 08088, (609) 654-6005, e-mail: Roger Smith & Nancy Bohs. Roger and Nancy, authors of the Drahthaar Puppy Manual are long time members of VDD/GNA. They are association judges, breeders, trainers and handlers of DDs, and they offer proven products (books, leads, collars, whistles, e-collars, etc.) at a fair price.


Collar Clinic, 3189 Logan Valley Rd., Traverse City, MI, 49685, (616) 947-2010. Good source for Tri-tronics, Innotek and other new and factory serviced e-collars, electronic fences, etc.


Dogs Unlimited, P.O.Box 1844, Chillicothe, OH, 45601-5844, (800) 338-3647. A good source with a wide selection of merchandise (leads, collars, whistles, e-collars, etc.).


 Eduard Kettner, 50602 Köln, Germany, FAX: 011-49-221-5965275. This is a great source for German training and hunting gear, particularly specialty items such as Jäger leads, blood-tracking leads and collars and weighted (Öberlander) retrieving dumbells. If nothing else, this catalog is a cultural exposure to hunting in Germany, with respect to weapons, clothing, equipment and traditions (e.g. CDs of German hunting music and informative books on the versatile dog). And, for the resourceful versatile handler, many of the training items can be easily fabricated at home. The catalog costs 50DM ($30), if air-mailed, but it is complementary if you request it via standard mail. 


 Frankonia Jagd, 7064 Würzburg, Germany, FAX: 011-49-9302/20202. Similar products to Kettner, except that FJ will refund 8DM ($5) from the air-mailed catalog price towards the first purchase. 


Foster & Smith, 800-826-7206 is a mail-order source of veterinary and dog supplies owned and operated by two veterinarians Drs. Foster and Smith. Non-prescription vaccines can be purchased (with easy to follow directions) for a fraction of the cost at the vets office. If you get your dog an annual physical, vaccinating at home is safe and economical. 


R.C. Steele, Inc., Box 910, Brockport, NY 14420-0910, (800) 872-3773, MINIMUM order $50, but great discounts on dog crates and canvas/kapok (my preference) retrieving dummies.


Scott's Dog Supply, 9252 Crawfordsville Rd., Indianapolis, IN, (800) 966-3647. A good source with a wide selection of merchandise (leads, collars, whistles, e-collars, pigeon supplies, etc.).




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Changes last made on: Aug 29 1999