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Elementary Spaniel Field Training.
Ralph C. Craig. Published by ASC

An introduction into the basics of Field training

Cost: $2.00 plus shipping. PDF fileOrder Form
Elementary Spaniel Field Training


Training Tips For The American Spaniel Club, Spaniel Working Tests And AKC Hunt Tests
Edited by Ruth Tabaka. Published by The American Spaniel Club

These tips are to help in preparing your dog for a Working Dog or Working Dog Excellent test and on to the AKC Hunt tests. The principles have been gleaned from years of teaching what leading authorities have set down. You will be proud when you have educated and developed a fine gun dog capable of using his abilities in the field.

Cost: $2.00 plus shipping. PDF fileOrder Form
Training Tips For The American Spaniel Club, Spaniel Working Tests And AKC Hunt Tests


The Steadying Process
By Paul Kinney
Reprinted by ASC in 2005 with permission from Paul Kinney

Throughout the training processing, the most technical response we will ask of the dog is to be steady. It is an unnatural response that goes against every other thing we ask of the dog. Because it so technical, it is very important that it is done correctly as not to affect some of the other traits of the dog. The process will develop all the natural abilities the Spaniel has been bred to do for many years and will insure that you and your hunting companions will safely retrieve more game, in a manner that will honor all the previous trainers and breeders who have dedicated countless hours to breed the most versatile hunting dog ever.

Cost: $2.00 plus shipping. PDF fileOrder Form
The Steadying Process


Working Gundogs: An Introduction to Training and Handling. (2nd ed. reprint). Martin Deeley. Published by The Crowood Press, c1993. ISBN: 1852237643

An explanation of the techniques to train spaniels and retrievers as working gundogs, this book should be of interest to the novice and experienced gundog handler, taking the reader from choice to forming a working team with the dog. Also discussed are the benefits of training classes, requirements of the shoot, and throughout there is an emphasis of understanding the psychology and needs of the dog.
Working Gundogs: An Introduction to Training and Handling


HUP! Training Flushing Spaniels the American Way. James B. Spencer. Published by Hungry Minds, Inc; c1992. ISBN: 0876056206 (2nd edition published by Alpine Publications, c2002. ISBN: 157779043X )

The book everybody seems to want is Hup!: Training Flushing Spaniels the American Way, by James Spencer. And it is indeed an outstanding book on field training (despite his inaccurate claim that there are no Cocker Spaniels that still hunt)! Unfortunately, it has been out of print for some time now, though there are usually a few used copies available. The 2nd edition of Hup!: Training Flushing Spaniels the American Way came out in late 2002. Its main drawback is that it is a special order, and it can take as much as a month or more before you actually receive it. (Reviewed by Ruth Ginzberg)
HUP! Training Flushing Spaniels the American Way.


Problem Gun Dogs: How to Identify and Correct Their Faults. Bill Tarrant. Published by Stackpole Books, c1992. ISBN: 0811713741

Veteran trainer and hunter Bill Tarrant goes beyond simple gun dog training and teaches handlers how to correct flaws in a dog's behavior in the field. He first explains how to "read" a dog--how to identify faults such as hard mouth and gun shyness--and then prescribes solutions for problems specific to each of the three major classifications of gun dogs--bird dogs, retrievers, and flushers.
Problem Gun Dogs: How to Identify and Correct Their Faults.


Urban Gun Dog Training Flushing Dogs for Home and Field. Anthony Z. Roettger and Benjamin H. Schleider III

This book was written with the urban dog owner who would like to use their spaniel for hunting or who wishes to use their dog in field tests. Perfect for our little compact breed. Most cocker spaniel owners because of the cocker size do reside in an urban setting. Anthony Roettger is an accomplished professional trainer. Owner of Roettger Ridge Kennel and training facility. He has put many field titles on dogs and has trained other handlers and their dogs to do the same. Benjamin (“Chip”) H. Schleider, an amateur dog trainer, is an aerospace executive and retired army lieutenant who years ago wanted to get back into hunting with dogs. Living in an urban setting Chip wasn’t quite sure how. He found a true asset in Anthony and Roettger Ridge Kennel. Together Tony and Chip have developed a program has successfully put hunt titles on his dogs. This book was written for people who live in an urban setting, have little working dog training experience, an seek to hunt with or gain hunt test titles with their flushing dogs. It has a very easy to follow format. Urban Gun Dog Training Flushing Dogs for Home and Field is a great resource for any level of training. (Reviewed and recommend by Kaye Bennett)
Urban Gun Dog Training Flushing Dogs for Home and Field.


High On Hunting Spaniels. Published by AKC.
Explains in detail the AKC's Hunting Test For Flushing Spaniels. Unlike Spaniel Field Trials, this Hunting Program is designed to evaluate and grade a Spaniels' hunting abilities against written hunting standards, not against each other.

May be ordered from the AKC Store.
High On Hunting Spaniels.


Form Follows Function. Published by Falmouth Video Productions.

The Form Follows Function video shows the relationship of the breed standard to the original (working) function of the Cocker Spaniel. An illustration of the standard in action!

The video can be ordered from Trish A Jackson 1867 Owego Hill Rd. Cortland NY 13045 (607) 835-6844
Form Follows Function


Pet Training Through Retrieving
For puppies and young dogs.
Martin Deeley

This tape based on Martin's experience with hunting dogs explains how you can exercise and train your dog using retrieving. He has used this technique and approach to train many non-hunting as well as hunting breeds and helped dog clubs and his clients develop beneficial retrieving skills in their dogs.

Retrieving is a natural skill with most dogs especially if encouraged as a pup. It is a great reward to a dog and can help and support you in fun training your family companion. Coming when called, ignoring other animals and distractions, developing attention to you, and mostly enjoying life together, this tape will help you create a companion that loves being with you and be a partner for life.

A gem of a tape! Takes you through the initial training of a puppy all the way to a 100 yard retrieve. (120 min)

Search the Internet for this Video.
Pet Training Through Retrieving

Working Certificate


Working Certificate



The Working Certificate Test Program is an introduction to field work for both dog and handler. The program is designed to give Cockers and all other Flushing Spaniels the opportunity to test their natural hunting skills in a non-competitive atmosphere. The Working Test Program supports fieldwork, urging owners to train their Spaniels to a hunting companion level. Two awards may be earned. The WD-WORKING DOG certificate for satisfactory work, and the WDX-WORKING DOG EXCELLENT for outstanding work. The ASC encourages the versatility of our SPORTING COCKERS in the field. The Working Test Program is viewed as a first step towards AKC HUNT TESTS.


  1. A working test may be offered by a flushing spaniel club or by a group of flushing spaniel owners.
  2. Permission to hold a test MUST be obtained from one of the Chairpersons of the ASC Field Committee and notification must be sent to the appropriate parent breed club secretary if breeds not under ASC jurisdiction will be participating in the test.
  3. The test chairperson must state the date and site of the test and name(s) of proposed judge(s). The judge(s) must be thoroughly familiar with the work of flushing spaniels in the field. The judge(s) qualifications should be briefly listed on the test application if they are not known to the Chairperson.
  4. Breeds for which notification must be sent to parent breed club secretaries include ENGLISH COCKER SPANIELS, ENGLISH SPRINGER SPANIELS, FIELD SPANIELS and WELSH SPRINGER SPANIELS. Breeds that fall under ASC rules and regulations include: COCKER SPANIELS, CLUMBER SPANIELS and SUSSEX SPANIELS.
  5. Breeds under ASC jurisdiction may participate in working tests offered by any of the above specialty or parent breed clubs and may receive working titles if the judging score sheets are sent to one of the ASC Field Chairpersons. Exhibitors should notify one of the ASC Field Chairs of the test date, site and judges at least a least 4 weeks in advance of your proposed WD/WDX test. Download the PDF fileRequest to Hold a Working Dog/Working Dog Excellent Test
  6. If a test is given by a group not directly associated with a parent club, the field chairperson may grant working titles after determining the quality of the judging and test procedures.


  1. Information on dogs to be tested should be entered on Working Test Judging forms. Download the form PDF fileASC Working Certificate Test Score Sheet. ALL INFORMATION REQUESTED on the dog, owner, handler and test chairperson MUST BE COMPLETED or titles will not be conferred.
  2. The COMPLETED ASC Working Certificate Form should be sent to the Field Committee Chairperson in your area IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TEST. Copies should be made and retained by test giving club in case of loss in the mail. The original form will be sent to the ASC Secretary so that she may issue the Certificate and send it to the owner. A copy will be kept on file by the Field Committee Chair.
  3. The COMPLETED ASC Working Certificate Form should be sent to the Field Committee Chairperson in your area WITHIN ONE WEEK AFTER THE TEST. Copies should be made and retained by test giving club in case of loss in the mail. A copy will be kept on file by the Field Committee Chair.
  4. The ASC Field Chairs shall keep permanent records of every dog that qualifies for a Working Dog (WD) or Working Dog Excellent (WDX) title. Records MUST BE GIVEN to the next succeeding Chairperson holding that office.
  5. An ASC Field Chair shall complete and mail WD or WDX certificates to the owners of dogs that pass working tests. Only one WD and one WDX certificate allowed for each dog.


Working tests are NOT competitive events. There should be no ranking or placing of dogs. THREE flushing spaniels must run to constitute a valid test. A dog must receive SATISFACTORY ratings in ALL CATEGORIES to receive a Working Dog Certificate. A dog must receive EXCELLENT ratings in ALL CATEGORIES to receive a Working Dog Excellent Certificate.

The judge(s) shall determine which title a dog receives provided the decision follows ASC guidelines.

A DOG THAT DAMAGES A BIRD SHALL NOT RECEIVE EITHER CERTIFICATE. A hard-mouthed spaniel is an unacceptable hunting companion or field event competitor.



There should be suitable cover, such as stubble, brush, grass, etc., high enough to hide the birds used in the test. The area used must be a safe distance from human habitation so that birds may be safely shot.


Each dog should work at least TWO live birds. More may be used if circumstances require it to give the judge(s) sufficient information on the dog's capabilities. Pigeons, quail, chukar or pheasant may be used and should be planted a minimum of 20 to 30 yards ahead of the dog and/or starting line, and apart from each other.

Established safe gunning rules must be followed. A bird that flies over the gallery should not be shot. Another bird should be put down for the dog. A dog must be given a chance to flush and retrieve. If a dog has demonstrated sufficiently that it can find and flush birds, but the birds can't be shot, a dead bird may be thrown, with a shot fired at the same time to allow a dog to demonstrate it's retrieving ability.


At least one steward should be appointed to keep spectators, other handlers and dogs in a close group behind the judge(s) or in an assigned area. This is to prevent interference with the work of the dog being tested, to give the gunners a chance to shoot, and to ensure the safety of everyone.


All state hunting department regulations should be followed. A Working Test could fall in the same category as a field trial under state hunting laws. A working test should be covered by insurance just as shows and obedience trials. If the event is sponsored by ASC, contact the Insurance Chairman prior to scheduling the event.


  1. Dog must sit or stay by handler at the starting line, unleashed, until instructed by the judge(s) to proceed. The handler then sends the dog, walking behind, allowing the dog to work the field and directing when necessary. Dogs are run individually, not braced.
  2. Dog must show a reasonable response to whistle and or command, and cover the course with a spaniel type pattern of quartering. The dog must not be completely out of control, although leniency and time would be given for the handler to collect the dog.
  3. Dog is NOT required to be steady to flush or shot.
  4. Dog must demonstrate sufficient hunting ability and desire to find and produce game in a workmanlike manner, without undo urging, or pottering.
  5. Dog must retrieve birds to hand or deliver within a few steps of the handler, so that the bird can be taken or picked up, without handler chasing dog. Handler may direct a dog to a fall if the dog has not marked it. HOWEVER, for a WDX the dog is expected to mark an open, direct fall and deliver TO HAND. For a WD, close proximity is fine.
  6. Dog must NOT damage birds. No chewing or crushing. Birds damaged by shot do not apply.


For the water test a dead bird is thrown into the water from shore at a distance of about 10 to 15 yards. As the bird is thrown a shot is fired. The dog must swim and retrieve the bird to shore for both levels. For a WDX the bird must be delivered to hand.

  1. Dog may be held on leash until handler is directed by judge to send dog. For WDX the dog should be steady, BUT may be held with gentle restraint.
  2. Dog must retrieve to shore; delivery should be within close proximity to handler, without handler having to chase the dog. For WDX delivery MUST be to hand.
  3. Dog must willingly enter the water on its own. If the dog must be urged, it CANNOT receive a WDX.
  4. Dog must prove its ability to make a water retrieve by swimming a minimum of 10 yards.

ASC Flushing Spaniel Show The 2016 ASC Annual National Specialty Show

will be held July, 2016

at Purina Farms in Gray Summit, MO

More information