I intend to train the dog for beating, but have had some negative advice from shooting friends who claim the dog will be ruined in the family house.

Is it difficult to rear a young working spaniel puppy in the house? I am not keen on having it outside in a kennel.

GUN DOGS

Paul Rawlings

There are many pros and cons for both ways of rearing a puppy, so the answer to your question is not simple.

A well-socialised puppy is much easier to train than one that has lived in isolation.

However, there is no reason why, with the correct management, a puppy living in kennels cannot be properly socialised.

Equally, gun dogs being reared in the house with a young family should have its own living space to avoid its being pestered continually by overenthusiastic children.

A separate room — perhaps a utility room or office — containing the puppy’s bed, water, food and toys to make it feel at home is essential, or a large indoor kennel where it can seek refuge if needed.

This can also be used to put the dog out of the way during family meal times.

An outside kennel could be used in the same way as a separate room, but the puppy must have plenty of interaction with you; it must not be left in isolation for hours on end, as this could seriously affect its well-being and mental development.

Puppies reared without sufficient human contact can become withdrawn, nervy, bark incessantly or just chew everything to relieve boredom.

All puppies need mental stimulation, good nutrition and the correct amount of exercise and training in order to develop into sound, sociable, obedient adults.