Gun dogs

PETER BLATCH says: In my book a fully trained spaniel should be around 2.5 – 3 years old, so that means it will have been with someone for quite a long time, creating a very strong bond with that person in the process.

So with this in mind, and to gain its trust, you need to take things slowly. Start by walking it on the lead at least two or three times a day and continue this regime for at least 2.5 weeks. When she’s not on the lead you should continually call the dog and encourage her to come to you. In this way she will get used to your voice and tone of command.

Until the dog has bonded with you – and this can take some considerable time – I would not take the dog out working. For some reason bitches sometimes take longer than dogs to bond fully. Remember, there is no quick way of speeding this up, you need to take the time to gain the dog’s trust.

Bear in mind it will be strange enough for the dog in this new environment, without being asked to work for someone she does not know.

Got a question? Contact: or Sporting Gun, PO Box 157, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 9FU