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My gundog doesn’t seem to like his rabbit skin dummy?

How can I speed him up?

Jemma Clifford
In my experience it’s a mistake to let a six-month-old pup retrieve more than once or twice a week – reducing the number of retrieves keeps it interested and you can then use a retrieve as a means of praise.

By throwing too many training retrieves you are creating boredom which results in the lack of pace you’re now seeing.

First task with your gundog training is to drastically cut the number of retrieves and replace the dummy you’re now using with a tennis ball covered in rabbit fur.

This bouncy new addition will encourage the pup to run faster and inject a whole lot of new fun when he does get the chance to retrieve.

And a similar approach of ‘less is more’ should be applied to the rest of your pup’s training: as owners we remove pace by trying to do too much too soon – the best approach is to relax and make things fun.