Last year I bought a spaniel pup with the intention to training him.
He settled in at home very well with my older gun dog Alfie, who is seven years old.
Now the young spaniel is 11 months old I have started to do some training with him, but he does not seem to concentrate on me, looking around instead for Alfie.
What do you think I should do?
MARK WHITEHOUSE SAYS: Your young gun dog has bonded with Alfie more than he has bonded with you, the trainer.
He spends most of his day around Alfie so doesn’t need you to make any decisions for him.
He will look to Alfie and then will follow by example.
Young gun dogs will always go for the easy option if not given an instruction.
Split the two gun dogs up.
Kennel them separately for a while and train the youngster gun dog alone.
Don’t even take them out in the car together as this will still complicate the issue in hand.
You need your youngster to be focused on you at all times when training starts properly.
You should also start to spend more time with your young gun dog to form more of a solid one-to-one relationship.
He was looking for reassurance from Alfie, and this now has to come from you, the trainer.
Once he starts to understand he can rely on you his concentration will get better and his training more responsive.