|"Hi, I'm Bud Grant, retired coach of the Minnesota Vikings."Throughout my playing and coaching career, stretching back a lot of years, I've always hunted. Ducks are my favorite. But I love all gamebirds, from geese to grouse and woodcock to quail. And I've always hunted over a Labrador retriever.
"I've had some great dogs in my time. In fact, many times I've applied some of the same principles I used as a coach to evaluate professional athletes to evaluating my dogs. Athleticism. Intelligence. Temperament. Willingness to learn. All of these are important in any retriever that accompanies me into the field.
"Joining me in my keen interest in retrievers is Dennis Anderson. I've known Dennis for more than 20 years, first in his role as an award-winning outdoor writer and conservationist. Then, over time, as an innovator. Dennis, for example, was the primary founder of Pheasants Forever, a group he first organized in 1982 through his newspaper column. Then in 1988, he wrote a year-long series of stories about our disappearing ducks, and organized—again through his column—a $650,000 fund drive to purchase a helicopter for federal waterfowl enforcement officers in the Southern Mississippi Flyway.
"Also in the 1980s, Dennis founded his kennel, BritishLabradors.com—a specialized and unique importer and breeder of British Labradors. Today, after many visits to the U.K., and thousands of clients, Dennis—and his wife, Jan—are recognized as two of the most knowledgeable breeders of British Labradors anywhere. But the Andersons have long realized that as important as genetics are in producing good retrievers, training methods are equally critical.
"Over the years I've owned two BritishLabrador.com dogs—and I know the Andersons' advice has helped me.
"My first dog, Maggie, was an AKC Master Hunter not long after she turned 2 years old. I could tell stories all day about the ducks and other birds she retrieved. My current dog, also a great field animal, was imported for me fully trained by Dennis and Jan.
"I'm not alone among their many many satisfied customers. When Millie, the famous springer spaniel owned by President George H.W. Bush, died, Dennis and Jan were asked to replace her with another springer. Likewise, Vice-President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, own a puppy they purchased from Dennis and Jan—a dog the Andersons also obedience trained for the Vice President.
"Now the innovation wheel has turned again—and Dennis and Jan have developed what I believe will prove to be a revolutionary and important concept in retriever training. They've formed the internet-based British Retriever Training and Hunt Club.
"Through the club, Dennis and Jan are offering for the first time to the general public keen training methods and lessons they have developed for owners of all retrievers—American and British. These same methods have been used for generations by some of Britain's top trainers.
"Now, this will only be offered to British Retriever Training and Hunt Club subscribers! More than 30 lessons are offered for retrievers up to one year old. Soon, another lesson set will be available for older, more advanced dogs. The lessons will be avalable to Subscribers Only on the Andersons' news website: www.British RetrieverTraining.com
"Subscribers also will receive Dennis' bi-weekly British Retriever Training and Hunt Club newsletter. Featured will be important retriever training advice, as well as insights into population trends, research and important news about bird hunting throughout North America - all designed to make your bird-hunting trips this fall more exciting and more productive.
"This will cost you some money. But not much. An annual subscription to the newsletter and one of the two year-long lesson plans costs less than $7 a month. Compare that to the $1,000 or more you paid for your retriever puppy—or the $600 a month many trainers are charging (and fairly so) to mold your dog into a finished dog.
"Subscriptions aren't for everyone, of course. Only for those who long for a quiet, steady dog in a duck blind—a dog that hunts with gusto, but always under control.
"Interested? I thought so. Just click here to join the British Retriever Training and Hunt Club."