Tag Archives: gordon setter hunting

Grooming tool – Mars Coat King stripper

If you’re new to grooming your Gordon Setter, whether for show or pet, owning one of these awesome stripping tools is a must. Figuring out which one to buy however, can be a daunting task if you’re new, so I’m sharing this handy dandy guide for your convenience!

Fine styles (#16 – #20 blades) for grooming heavy coats
#20 Blade Stripper is ideal for finishing and carding thick, fine coats such as Cockers, Spaniels, Setter and Afghans.

Mars Coat King
Mars Coat King

via Guide to choosing Mars Coat King to suit your dog breed.


Manufactured by Mars of Solingen in Germany, this is a recently introduced range of new styled stripping knives designed and precision engineered from high quality steel and fitted with a hard wood handle. They are typical of the quality associated with this German manufacturer, who is well known internationally for their traditional range of stripping knives.

The Coat King range is ideal for use as an aid for hand stripping and especially for the removal of dead undercoat prior to clipping particularly in the case of terriers. The Coat King knives have rapidly become very popular with many professional groomers, as well as individual dog owners. Coat King work well with all different kinds of breeds and coats.

These unique tools strip large areas fast! Quickly and easily remove loose hair, especially thick undercoats. Great for detangling and dematting. Leaves coats healthy and with a show quality finish. Premium quality strippers have curved, sharpened, stainless steel teeth with rounded ends for safety and comfortable wooden handles with ultra durable, solid tang construction.


Place tool on coat with light pressure and comb out in the direction of hair growth. Note: going against or aside hair growth will cause excessive cutting of hair. Only use once a week or every other week. (Too much use could result in a bald pet!)

Quick Guide:

Coarse & Medium styles (#6 – #12 blades)
for preparatory work and thinning out undercoat
#10-Blade Stripper is perfect for prep work and coarser coats such as Old English Sheepdogs, Irish Wolfhounds and Chows.
#12 Blade Stripper is ideal for heavy or double coats such as Pomeranians, Lhasas, Westies and Poodles.

Fine styles (#16 – #20 blades)
for grooming heavy coats
#20 Blade Stripper is ideal for finishing and carding thick, fine coats such as Cockers, Spaniels, Setter and Afghans.

Super Fine styles (#20 – #26 blades)
for finishing and thick, shaggy coats (especially Spaniel breeds)
#20 Blade Stripper is ideal for finishing and carding thick, fine coats such as Cockers, Spaniels, Setter and Afghans.

Use coarse styles to comb out the undercoat, fine styles for finishing.

The softer the coat, the finer the gap between the blades. The longer the coat, the finer the gap between the blades. Short coated dogs use the finest gap. For Long & Wire coats first use a course Coat King and then the fine one.

For best results and to avoid removing excessive top coat,
use tool only in the direction of hair growth.

via Guide to choosing Mars Coat King to suit your dog breed.

The Trail to Advancement by Jim MacWalter

Thank you to our newest Guest Blogger -Jim MacWalter for this article written in 2013 sharing his experiences training Gordon Setters for their Senior level Hunt Test title.

Brodie 1st Master QualificationLast spring, after entering my two Gordon Setters (Brodie & Ceilidh) in a few hunting tests in the new Junior Advanced level, the thought occurred to me that perhaps it was time to get serious and start their training toward Senior level and perhaps we might even achieve Master if we worked hard enough.

So in June we started our training with Jeff Reis of Berkley, Massachusetts. I say “we” because that’s how Jeff trains. He trains not only the dog but the handler as well. This is exactly what I was looking for as I wanted my dogs to recognize me as their handler and to be an integral part of any achievement my dogs may earn.

We started our training with Brodie, as I thought he might be the most difficult one to train due to his age, (Brodie turned seven this past December), and the number of years that I have hunted with him with little to no training, (my bad).

DSC_0528I was most pleasantly surprised when Brodie’s training progressed much faster than I ever anticipated. He quickly caught on to the table training, where he was taught the “Whoa” command and heeling command. He was soon in the field on a check cord, learning to implement the commands he learned on the training table. He was pointing the bird when he first caught scent rather than inches from the bird. This placed him ten to twenty feet from the bird, and in a position that made it less likely for him to break should the bird move. We moved on to teach him to be steady to the flush and the shot. This took a little longer as Brodie had never had to do this in the past six years that we have hunted together. Brodie thought it was the greatest thing to chase Sierra Exif JPEGthe bird when it was flushed so he could be there when, (assuming I hit it), it hit the ground. But he did catch on, and was soon making me proud as he held point though flush and shot. It wasn’t always a given that he would hold, and occasionally he would break, but considering his past this was terrific!

Brodie soon graduated from the training field we had been using to a new field and also a change from pigeons to quail. In one of our latest training sessions, the quail woke up from his nap and was walking around in front of Brodie and the boy held his point!! I was so proud of him that day that I thought I was going to bust the buttons right off my shirt!

DSC_0003We are now working with retrieving which is something that neither Brodie or Ceilidh care for, but must be accomplished in order to achieve our goals. So we sit in our living room with one of them sitting in front of me and I say “Fetch” and place a training dummy in their mouth, telling them to “Hold” and ending with the command “Give”. In the beginning this resulted in severe head shaking, trying to dislodge the dummy. But after awhile, the head shaking reduced and just recently Brodie has reached out to take the dummy when the command “Fetch” was given. So we are making progress, slow but steady

Ceilidh 3rd Sr. QualificationCeilidh’s training started in August. Ceilidh turned three this past October and she is a spit-fire. Since her training began, she has progressed from the training table to the training field with admirable results. She is much softer than Brodie and we have to be very careful with her in training so that any correction we give her is constructive and will not have a detrimental effect on her. Ceilidh is now holding steady to flush and shot and will soon be graduating from pigeons to quail.

photo 1CMy experience in Brodie and Ceilidh’s training has been amazing. I have learned much during this process and I believe I still have much to learn.

Witnessing when the light bulb comes on during the dog’s training is something not to be missed. You can see it in their eyes and in their body language when they understand what it is that you want them to do. It can be easily seen that they are as happy as you are when this event happens.TOSHIBA Exif JPEG

Both my dogs and I look forward to every training session and whether we have a good day or a bad day, we arrive back home knowing that we have learned something that day.

I have always had a great respect for the dogs and handlers in hunt tests. Watching a handler and his dog in a Senior or Master test is akin to watching a ballet. The team of dog and handler work together in a symbiotic relationship. The dog and his amazing sense of scent locates the bird and indicates it’s position to the handler by a staunch point. The handler may steady the dog with a soft “whoa” and goes in to flush the bird. The bird explodes into the sky, and the gunner does his job. The dog has held his point and watched intently as the bird fell. The handler instructs the dog to “Fetch” and the dog is off, finds and retrieves the bird back to the handler.

Brodie Sr. Hunter TitleAs with most things that are done well, the dog and handler make this look so easy. Since I have started training, I have learned this is not easy. It takes months of hard but rewarding work to attain a level where the dog and handler are now ready to enter themselves into a Hunt Test. Personally, I can think of no better activity than to spend some rewarding time in the field with my dogs.

Jim MacWalter

Calling on Field trainers!

J Mcwalter photo
Photo from Jim McWalter

We know you’re out there having the time of your life doing what comes naturally to man and bird dog – hunting! But after you’ve come in out of the cold we’re wondering if you would share your expert knowledge – as in how did you get your dog to do that?

We need field trainers who are willing to share their training methods, such as what resources do you use to guide you, do you have favorite books or websites that you recommend, can you or would you write articles about field training or field training issues to help other trainers resolve their problem? Especially and most importantly if that training applies and works well with Gordon Setters, because that’s the breed this blog is all about.

Please send your articles, links, recommended reading, videos, websites, the things you believe are very important to know when training your Gordon Setter to hunt to gordonsetterexpert@gmail.com.

mcwalter photo
Photo from Jim McWalter