I am planning on getting my first gundog for the coming season, for picking-up and beating. As I have no experience in training, would I be better off buying a professionally trained dog or can I buy a puppy and train it myself with the aid of a book and/or a DVD?
I would recommend the fulfilling experience of training your own puppy, but you need to research and seek proper help when required. Classes or one-to-one lessons may be needed, but first reading about the subject is a sensible step. I can recommend my own book Gundog Training for Home and Field and the supporting DVD Gundog Training for the Home and Field, both available from the publishers Crowood Press at www.crowood.co.uk
These take the new owner right through from choice of breed, early rearing, basic obedience, retrieving and hunting to the fully trained gundog and its careful introduction to the shooting field. You could also opt for the professionally trained dog that scenario is also covered by the book.