Q.
I have a wilful, fairly obedient but happy cocker bitch. If only I could stop her from chasing birds in flight. If a bird sits tight or even walks she takes no notice but once they rise then she is off. Can you help with any obedience training advice?

Mark Whitehouse says:
If you have a gun dog who has the intent to chase any game then ‘fairly obedient’ is just not good enough for all concerned. The gun dog could be a hazard and you as a handler are responsible to make sure you are in total control at all times. I don’t want to cause offence but it happens every year with untrained gun dogs who have chased game and then spoiled the next drive. Or even worse, if you are close to a road your canine friend could cause an accident.

The way forward with this type of gun dog is to contact a professional gun dog trainer. The reason for this is that you will gain access to proper obedience training facilities in a controlled environment, with lots of temptation for your gun dog but under the guidance and experience of a professional trainer.

With a regular obedience training programme of working your gun dog in a training pen you and your gun dog can both be trained together, and over a few months I would expect a vast improvement in both gun dog and handler.

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