I have recently bought a spaniel that has been trained for beating and rough shooting.

In my opinion he is stunning.

He has always been a keen retriever, steady to flush and a very keen hunter.

I got him in November but within two months he started squeaking when sat with me on the peg and in the pigeon hide.

Is this something that I have caused or was it already instilled when I bought the dog?

MARK WHITEHOUSE SAYS: A spaniel can be trained to do any task but, over a period of time, any dog, if subjected to too much pressure of game, will release its frustration by way of whining and/or chasing.

The question is, in his early days of training did the trainer concentrate on producing a rough shooting dog rather than a peg dog?

If this is the case then your young dog would have had more time spent on hunting, flushing and retrieving as this is active training, and not so much time spent on static and patience training.

Patience training is the art of schooling your dog to switch off and keep a cool head for long periods of time when in controlled and intense environments.

You can try and develop your dog’s patience further throughout the spring and summer months by limiting his hunting and retrieving activities and start increasing more static exercises like sit and wait training.

These training exercises can be further developed by group training at your local gundog training classes and once again only allow your dog to watch and observe the activities.

He must not be active, he must be static at all times, sat at heel on the lead at first and then progressing to sitting off the lead under your total control.

Take your dog for a walk around a clay pigeon shooting ground and once again let him see as much activity as possible whilst at the same time reinforcing sitting and patience training exercises.

After a few months of these new training methods you can then try him back in the pigeon hide.

Condition yourself into not allowing your dog to have too many retrieves at the beginning as this will soon get him over excited again.

You should sit your dog in the hide and walk out picking the majority of pigeons yourself by hand and then your dog will not get over excited and expect a retrieve on every shot.

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