I bought her for pigeon shooting and rough shooting and am not sure which direction to take.
MARK WHITEHOUSE SAYS: All basic foundation training is more or less the same, whatever the breed of gun dog.
You should get a good bond with the gun dog and master heel work before progressing onto other specific areas of training, as you would do with either breed.
If you decide to go down the spaniel line of training then the heel work will help your young gun dog to keep close when you start teaching hunting and quartering.
This will give you more control when you progress onto developing flushing ability.
If you decide to go down the retriever line of training you should be careful.
If you over-develop the gun dog’s long distance retrieving skills, which would be required of you and your gun dog on a picking-up day.
This could seriously affect your control of the gun dog when you expect him to quarter closely, which would be required for rough shooting.
It is possible that you will not get the best of both worlds. I would continuously assess the gun dog as he develops and make decisions from there.