I own a spaniel and want to get involved with field trials and working tests.

He isn’t getting any experience because I don’t shoot, and friends have advised me not to go beating with him.

What is your opinion on taking a potential trailer into the beating line?

MARK WHITEHOUSE SAYS: My champion gun dogs and field trialling hopefuls have experienced beating and rough shooting days.

Under my complete control I’ll run a novice gun dog alongside a fully-trained and reliable gun dog.

This helps guide the youngster and they gain valuable experience.

These small, informal days will give a young gun dog the opportunity to come into contact with small amounts of game without getting them too excited.

They will get the opportunity to flush and retrieve game and all these tasks help to build and progress for a young gun dog’s future.

I am very selective with the first few retrieves, making sure they are not too complicated for a novice gun dog.

I always check all the game that my young gun dogs have retrieved to make sure they are not damaging them.

This then proves to me they are not hard mouthed.

Some professional trainers organise rough shooting training days.

These are great opportunities for both dog and handler to get assessed and be given some invaluable training tips.

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