Building a Grouse Dog: From Puppy to Polished Performer by Craig Doherty is the most comprehensive, how-to manual there is for taking an eight-week-old little squirmer of any pointing breed and turning him or her into that most coveted game bird finder there is a finished grouse dog.
Unlike many general pointing-dog training books, this one concentrates on one species – the ruffed grouse. Grouse are notorious for their caginess, their wariness, and their difficulty in being pinned down so a hunter can get close enough to flush and shoot. It takes a dog that has been trained nearly from birth to handle that task, and no one knows how to do it better than Craig Doherty.
Craig was the driving force behind Field Trial Magazine, is a columnist for The Pointing Dog Journal, regularly competes in grouse trials throughout the Northeast, professionally trains grouse dogs for clients from all over the country, and – this is important – guides grouse hunters using his own dogs trained in his outstanding methods; important because paying clients need results, and those results can only come by following dogs that know the game.
A number of how-to training books tell you what to do from beginning to end; but if you have started your own training, run into problems, and consult the literature, many times you’ll find that the advice is something along the lines of, “Well, you messed up because you didn’t do X, Y, and Z. Remember that so you won’t ruin your next dog.” Not Craig – if you have run into a snag with your current dog, Craig tells you what to do to get past it and on with the dog’s completed training.
So if your aim, your goal, is to own and hunt behind a finished grouse dog that knows what’s what in the coverts, Building a Grouse Dog is the best guide you’ll ever have.