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Is professional gundog training the answer?

He is quite a sensitive type but can equally be stubborn, which is why I’m having problems.

Friends say that harsh training methods are used at professional kennels and that my gun dog will not be able to cope with the discipline.

I’m afraid, however, that if I don’t do something soon I won’t have a gun dog for next season.

JEREMY HUNT SAYS:  I don’t think you should make any decision on how to tackle this until you have looked at all the options.

At 13 months old your labrador needs to be showing some signs of progress in his training, but you have obviously hit a bad-patch.

As I see it, you have three options.

Firstly, I would suggest you contact several professional trainers and discuss your situation with them.

These people are experts who not only have vast experience in training gun dogs, but also in understanding the idiosyncrasies of gun dogs and their owners.

Take advice from them. Look at what training services they can offer in terms of time, price and what stage of training your gun dog will have reached by the time you get him back.

You may decide that your gun dog would be able to cope with a remedial period spent in kennels with a trainer.

Always remember to choose a trainer who is prepared to spend time with you and the gun dog afterwards and not just hand back your gun dog after six weeks or so.

You’ll just end up going back to square one otherwise.

Secondly, you could undertake some private lessons with a trainer over a period of weeks or months.

Thirdly, you could join a local gun dog training club to get to know experienced amateur trainers in your area that you can join up with for training sessions.

Like children at school, gun dogs will often respond well to a training regime away from their safe environment.

If you do decide to send your gun dog away to a trainer, I suggest you go with your gut reaction.

If you like the person and the set up of the kennels, and feel the gun dogs are well balanced and happy in their work, then I’m sure you and your gun dog will benefit from the experience.

For more gun dog training advice click here