Author Nona Kilgore Bauer begins Retriever Madness with a chapter called "Know Your Retrievers," and few know their retrievers like this expert author, trainer, and breeder. Bauer introduces the readers to the six retrievers recognized by the American Kennel Club, among them two of the most popular companion dogs in the world, the Labrador Retriever and the Golden Retriever, along with other superb overachievers: the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Flat-Coated Retriever, Curly-Coated Retriever, and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.
Geared toward readers who are interested in working with their retrievers in their bred-for capacity—hunting water fowl and upland game birds—Retriever Madness is the perfect primer to getting started in the field. The book offers advice on selecting a puppy with hunting potential, giving future owners insight on how to evaluate a puppy's birdiness, independence, prey drive, and personality. The chapter on bringing the puppy home gives recommendations for basic training equipment, including leashes, collars, dummies, whistles, starting pistol and the like.
Amateur retriever owners who hope to hunt with their dogs will find excellent advice for training for the puppy's first twenty weeks of life, the most critical period for training any puppy. In addition to the basic commands (sit, down, stay), the author also explains the release command, whistle commands, forward and backward heeling, and wait.
Four chapters are devoted to beginning field work, presenting diagrams and step-by-step instructions and covering such topics as puppy marks, throwing, water retrieves, steadying, force-fetching, marking, executing blind retrieves and more. The author offers remedies to commonly encountered problems in the field as well as a complete glossary of terminology that all readers will find helpful in understanding the lingo of the field retriever.