I am thinking of buying an 11-month-old springer spaniel bitch from an elderly gentleman whose health has deteriorated so that he is unable to train the youngster. It is untouched and has never even had a lead on it. However, the dog comes from good stock and I wonder if I would be able to train her to full hunting level?


I am absolutely positive that the bitch can be fully trained, even at this age.

How you should go about the task depends on its previous management. I once took on a 14-month-old springer that had lived all its early life in a remote kennel with only the occasional run out with older dogs.

She was not at all socialised with people or used to any other environment, but once she gained confidence I was able to start the basics, just as one would with a six-month-old puppy.

However, if your dog has been over-socialised, it may be as bold as brass and chase everything in sight.

Treat it as though it is a puppy, but do not allow any more freedom in the open until it is fully obedient and answers the recall whistle perfectly in a confined area, field or rabbit pen.

  • drew anderson

    reading the article about it being to late to train the spaniel i aquired a 9 month old spaniel dog he was a unwanted present and had been left to run wild the first week i had him i let him of the lead in a small paddock to see what he was like it took me an hour to catch him. he is know 18 mounths old and after a lot of hard work from dog and owner i am now shooting over him he has turned in to a very good dog .he has one problem that i could do with some help with he is excitable and when he makes a retrieve he goes round in circles at my feet i have tryed to hup him if i tell him to leave it he does after a few circles i would be very grateful if someone could help.

  • aaron temperton

    I have a 12 month old springer ,when i take him for a walk he does what he is told and walks well on the lead.but when my wife takes him he is like anothere dog,he pulls on the lead ,he trys to lay down if he does not want to move .Could you please help .thank you ,MR AARON TEMPERTON.