When he came back I couldn’t believe it was the same gun dog.

His heelwork was perfect and all handling exercises were spot on.

I have had him back for five weeks but already I feel he is hunting too far in front and pulling me around.

What do you advise?

MARK WHITEHOUSE SAYS: You sent your gun dog away for training for a reason.

Were work commitments getting in the way of doing it yourself?

Do you consider yourself to lack the necessary experience or facilities to bring the gun dog up to standard expected in the field?

I do not want to sound disrespectful, but the latter is the usual scenario, and because of this it is very important that you, as a handler, should have at least two months schooling with your new shooting companion.

Whenever someone collects a gun dog I have trained, I give them a lesson observing and working their gun dog so they fully understand all the commands which have been trained into their gun dog.

Then every week or two I recommend that they come back for a refresher lesson until I am confident they fully understand their role as a handler.

This will then give them a very good start for when the season begins.

It sounds to me like you could do with some one-to-one training to bring you up to speed with your newly trained gun dog.

Don’t feel embarrassed.

If all is not going as planned it’s advisable to contact your trainer and arrange a few one-to-one lessons.

I am sure this will put all your teething problems to rest.

For more gundog training advice click here

  • Istkom

    The best way is to teach the absolute “down”.

    It means you have to train your dog that the dog most “down”- so collapse immediately and stay while you don’t release him.Your dog must do in case of command, sign with arm, spin whistle, gun raising and shooting. It is quite natural especialy with spaniels, which work covered places that go too far, or not willing to keep contact with the leader.

    If you have already trained this, you can lead your dog in the proper distance or stop when it exceeds the desired “circle”. After a you have practised enough, the dog will get used to the proper distance. This method can be used to prevent any undesired behaviour, e.g. running-in or chasing the game.