Gary Ruppel of Kiowa, Colorado, has been helping me train my bird dogs for 20 years at his Kiowa Creek Kennels and before that at some local gun clubs.  I remember calling him when I got my first 8-week old Brittany puppy from a famous field trial lines, and the field trailer had asked to bring him back for summer camp when he was four months old.  I asked Gary, “When should I come out and start training with you, in two months?”  I’ll never forget Gary saying, “You are already four months late, I start training them in the womb, bring him out tomorrow.” 

Gary says that he starts training in the womb, like mother’s read to their unborn children.  He first bonds with the bitch, which is the foundation of all of his training.  “If the dog doesn’t do it because he loves you, you’ll never really get the full potential out of that dog.  You can do all the old methods of force breaking and whatever else you can think of, but a dog that it is doing something out of fear, rather than love, will never be performing at full potential.”  He says, “My pups already have heard all of the whistle commands when they are born, as they have head them in the womb.”

Books Featuring Gary RuppelTraining the Versatile Retreiver

Training the Versatile Retreiver to Hunt Upland Birds


By Bill Tarrant


Bill Tarrant has authored the first book designed to show the retriever enthusiast how to train his dog to hunt upland birds. Bill got together with the four top retriever trainers in America today: Mike Gould, shooting Labs; Gary Ruppel, pointing Labs; Butch Goodwin, Chesapeakes; and Jim Charlton, Golden Retrievers. Together they spent a week training and hunting the various breeds on upland birds. Each night they sat for hours talking a comparing training techniques. The result is this unique book. These five esteemed trainers give you the tools and techniques you need to train your dog to be a more effective hunting companion. you will be training the natural way, without a shock collar. There are also specific chapters on how to train and hunt your dog on pheasants, quail, chuckars, ruffed grouse, sharptails, huns, and prairie chickens. 224 pages.

plateaus of destinyPlateaus of Destiny by Mike Gould (Jan 20, 1999)


In this wonderful collection of short stories, Mike Gould takes us from the high montane of Colorado to the canyons of Idaho. It is a book by a master storyteller, someone who still practices the fading art of spinning a yarn by the campfire. Mike writes about a good mountain horse, lightning storms, dogs on point, coveys of blue grouse, an old favorite rifle, and gives a tongue-in-cheek account of how to poach a buck. He also tells us of wondrous things, spiritual things, times of deep despair and the grand majesty of nature. This is a wonderful book that will inspire you and lift your soul.


He Loved the Dog

He Loved the Dog: The Bill Tarrant Story [Paperback]

Mike Gould (Author)

Nonfiction. Bill Tarrant, who passed away in November, 1998, was the dog’s best friend. Bill Tarrant’s personal mission was to promote a new paradigm for treating and training dogs: humanely and thoughtfully. Through his powerful gift of writing, Mr. Tarrant educated people that brutality had no place in dog training. In this new book, Mike Gould honors his friend and continues his legacy.  Mr. Tarrant was the author of twelve dog and training books, and was the shooting dog editor for “Field & Stream” magazine for twenty-three years. He was the winner of 27 national writing awards. For his book “The Magic of Dogs,” he received a Pulitzer Prize nomination. Other noteworthy books include:


Hey Pup Fetch It Up“Hey Pup, Fetch It Up”

First published in 1979, Bill Tarrant was well ahead of his time; he’s been using praise & reward training methods long before the expression “operant” became vogue.

Primarily directed to training retrievers, Tarrant’s method & style is so honest – almost anyone wishing to train any breed will find the book useful and enlightening … If there is one consistent message that comes through Tarrant’s book, it is – NEVER HURT THE DOG!
Perhaps what makes this different from many others – is it becomes patently obvious even after a few pages that Tarrant is not teaching anything he has not tested & tried, he is himself unafraid watch, learn and try different methods.

Consisting of 20 chapters, the author takes the reader from how to choose a pup to training the first fetch, from how to transport a dog to emergency first aid, from housetraining a puppy to teaching the dog to force fetch. When & how to introduce a dog to water? … How to train for a soft mouth? … Gun-shyness, what to do? … Tarrant deals with all and more …
The book lays out training methods & schedules and offers potential solutions to difficulties & problems that may be encountered. Tarrant has developed his own training methods and procedure – some of which are rather novel. For example, he advocates using puppies to teach each other the beginnings of how to `stay’ and to give to the lead.
Each topic is explained in-depth; each stage of training dealt with in detail.
Written with wonderful humour, the book is filled with anecdotes and stories collected from a lifetime of training & living with dogs, the book is both entertaining and educational. More than just a training manual, the book teaches us how to better appreciate our dogs, respect the individual spirit within each animal and have better understanding of our canine friend.
A wonderful read.


Gun Dog Training

Gun Dog Training

By Bill Tarrant

Bill Tarrant was the author of ten books on dogs and was a columnist for Field & Stream magazine from 1973 until his death in 1998. He was named Writer of the Year by the Outdoor Writers Association of America, the Purina Corporation, and the Dog Writers Association of America, the latter honoring him with the award twice. He also received the Orvis Award for Distinguished Outdoor Literature.  Gary Ruppel and Mike Gould are featured as some of “Today’s Top Trainers” in the book.

instinctive shooting cover_

Instinctive Shooting: The Making of a Master Gunner [Now Published in Hardcover]

By Buz Fawcett

Learn to point and shoot like a pro.

Here, point and shoot.” These words from his father propelled Buz Fawcett’s shooting success as a child, gaining him a number of High Gun awards at local trap clubs by the time he was fourteen. Because of his success, his father awarded him his grandfather’s Model 1912 Winchester, which he mastered, even though it “kicked the whey” out of him.

However, his amazing shooting abilities as a kid didn’t follow him into adulthood. Fawcett entered into what he calls his “Dark Ages” of shooting after accepting an associate editor position at Sports Afield in New York City, where he had to read and edit what other gunmen were writing about shooting techniques. Eventually, he took a position as editor of Guns & Ammo magazine, located in California. He soon found himself in a position where he could shoot as much as he liked.

After a number of years and extensive research into shooting methods, Fawcett rediscovered his talents through a technique called “Instinctive Shooting.” This research and a lot of practice finally led to teaching a workshop on instinctive shooting to help others become adept at this miraculous “point and shoot” method. Instinctive Shooting is Fawcett’s guide for other gunmen, describing exactly how and what needs to be done to achieve the ultimate shooting instincts. Practical and hands-on, the book covers such topics as determining your dominant eye, achieving proper shotgun fit, how to correct point and shoot, selecting equipment, practice regimens, mounting, and much more.
150 color Illustrations.

Magazine and Newspaper Articles featuring Gary Ruppel

The Pointing Retreiver – featuring Gary Ruppel

The New Dog Men II – featuring Gary Ruppel

Gary Ruppel assorted magazine articles in B&W

Golden Retreiver – The Denver Post – Featuring Gary Ruppel

Meyers Trainers Philosophy Applies to Dogs and Humans – featuring Gary Ruppel


I am also asked what books I like on wing-shooting and side-by-side shooting, which include all of those above, together all the books by Bill Tarrant , Ben O Williams, and Robert Wehle.