I’ve now finished training my spaniel and thought I’d done a good job until I took her on a farmer’s shoot in December.

She blanked me when she was in contact with game and the more I shouted the more disobedient she became.

I scolded her after she’d run off three times. Was I right to do this?

MARK WHITEHOUSE SAYS: Scolding a gun dog on its return is completely defeating the object.

The next time she breaks she will stay away longer because she will be thinking she’ll get told off when she returns.

You have to act quicker and correct her when she does wrong.

Your problems can be corrected in a pen or in the presence of a professional trainer.

In a training pen you are able to put your gun dog under more temptation more frequently and so you are then able to correct any fault much more quickly.

At the same time you and your gun dog are getting good training tuition and this way you will have quicker and better results.

Never take a young gun dog into an active shooting environment unless you are 100 per cent sure that all foundation training is strong.


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  • Tomo

    I would suggest going back to some basics like sit, heel, stay and wait. when your dog does these things correctly take the spaniel out again but put it on the lead. if the dog behaves let it off the lead but keep it to heel