A friend says it should be taught on its own, but I would appreciate your comments.
The training basics such as sit, stay, walk to heel and early retrieving need to be done when the young pup is with you, and you alone.
Only then will its complete attention and concentration be on you, nothing else.
Until these skills are mastered I do not train in the company of other dogs.
Once the essentials have been thoroughly learnt and the pup is about 11 months old I start what I call “company” training in the presence of other people with dogs of the same age and standard.
As the pup matures into an adolescent of 15-18 months I like to run it with older dogs when I am picking up, encouraging it to hunt.
However, while I like a pup to learn from the older dogs, at this stage I don’t want it to encounter pricked game.
Close control needs to be maintained at all times so that there’s no chance of the youngster trying to take another dog’s retrieve in a tug of war.