Mark Whitehouse says: Even at a young age puppies will start to establish a ‘pecking’ order.

The independent puppy may feel intimidated by the over-excitement of his brothers and sisters, or he could be a puppy that watches and weighs things up before wading in with all fours – a thinker.

Puppies that don’t get involved with playtime do develop into clingy individuals when separated from the other puppies.

These types will always need that bit of extra TLC to overcome their sensitivity and you must continuously give that puppy plenty of attention so it feels secure.

If I am looking for a puppy to compete with at a later stage, I would be looking for one that shows lots of natural ability such as hunting.

And even doing short retrieving exercises with a lightweight dummy or old sock, even at this young age.

I personally like a puppy to be very bold and outgoing and I like to see a puppy in the thick of it at all times.

For more gun dog training advice click here

  • Steve T

    My eight year old son wants a dog I’ve run out of excuses two years later he’s still on about a dog.
    I’m the previous owner of two Cairn terriers and this time attracted to the cocker spaniel.

    I don’t like the idea of using him for hunting I live in a very large house in Brighton by the sea and enjoy the long country walks would this breed of dog make the ideal family pet with his hunting and time restricted to mainly the family home

    Would he make an ideal pet ball fetcher?