MARK WHITEHOUSE SAYS: To train any gun dog to the level where she is ready to be introduced to the shooting field can take many months, and this advice will come from the professional person that’s doing the training for you.

At 12 months of age most gun dogs are still very playful and immature. The first six weeks of training you would be expected to concentrate on basic foundation training, i.e. sit, stay, walk at heel and the start of basic retrieving exercises over the next six weeks.

This would then be followed with more advanced retrieving lessons, hunting up, steadiness and the introduction to game, i.e. the rabbit pen.

Once your gun dog has undergone this training program and passed with flying colours, then it’s time for you to have some lessons on how to handle your new training partner.

Your professional trainer should offer you help and guidance to suit you and your gun dog’s future training needs before you take her out into the shooting field.

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