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In Remembrance of Dr. Ed Bailey

His legacy and contributions to the sporting dog world will be remembered forever.

In Remembrance of Dr. Ed Bailey

Here’s to you, Ed. Your dedication to GUN DOG and our readers will be forever missed.

When I took over this magazine in the spring of 2019, I was fortunate enough to have a host of trainers/writers under the GUN DOG title that welcomed me with open arms. Dr. Ed Bailey was one of those and he was quick to e-mail and tell me he was happy to help in any way. That gener-osity from a stranger meant so much to me at the time as I navigated my new adventure. Ed and I would go on to form a friendship and mutual respect for one another. He was always willing to go the extra mile for both me and GUN DOG readers.

On October 27, 2021, I received an email from Ed’s wife, Uta, with news that I dreaded. Ed had passed away unexpectedly the previous evening. So dedicated to this brand, Ed had been working on what would have been his 150th article for the magazine just before heading to the hospital. That article was meant to appear in this very issue, but instead, I am writing to honor the late Dr. Ed Bailey on decades of dedicated service to you and this publication.


Background

Born in 1931 in Pennsylvania, Ed would find an early love of sporting dogs and hunting. His grandmother raised smooth coated fox terriers, while his uncle would introduce him to hunting at age 14. Another uncle would offer him a pair of English setters which would set off a lifelong association with hunting dogs.

Veterinarian school was calling to him before he was drafted in 1952 to fight in the Korean War. Ed’s time in the military would allow him to meet people from many different universities. Eventually, Ed decided to pursue studies in wild animal research after his military duties ended. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Montana before continuing on to earn his Master’s in Wildlife. His graduate studies marked the beginning of his life’s focus on animal behavior.

In 1963, Ed completed a Doctorate in Zoology at Penn State with a specialty in animal behavior. He was then offered a position at Guelph University where he started an animal behavior program within the Zoology Department where he taught undergraduates, Master’s and PhD students.

Publications & Contributions

Most notable to the sporting dog world, Ed was a founding member of the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA). In 1973, Ed and friend Sigbot Winterhelt would write “The Training and Care of the Versatile Hunting Dog”, otherwise known as the “green book” in the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association circles. This iconic publication would go on to be revered as a must-read for training versatile breeds to hunt feather and furred game.

Ed started writing for GUN DOG in the late 1980’s under the founder and first Editor in Chief, Dave Meisner. Since that time, Ed would go on to write for every Editor in Chief that served this publication, making him one of the longest-standing writers GUN DOG has ever had the privilege to publish.


Over the course of his career with GUN DOG, Ed always signed off his column with a call out to reach out directly to him with any issues readers may have in training and behavior with their dogs. His column ended with his direct email so you could personally contact him—opening the doors to Ed giving personalized, and free, training advice to all. His emails from readers never went unanswered, as he took the time to respond and give sound advice for all those seeking help.

He did the same for me when I would ask him behavior related questions about my dogs, taking the time to gain as much information he needed to give me an educated response. Every few months, Ed would email me randomly to ask about my boys, without prompt, genuinely curious on how my dogs were doing. In one of his last emails to me, he signed off with “Take good care of yourself and Lincoln and Jones.” That in of itself describes the generosity and heart of Dr. Ed Bailey.

Here’s to you, Ed. Your dedication to this magazine, to me, and our readers will be forever missed. Your legacy and contributions to the sporting dog world will be remembered forever.

Dr. Edward Bailey

September 22, 1931–October 26, 2021

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