playtraining gundog puppies

Is gundog boarding school worth it?

Q: A friend recently sent away his young springer bitch for some basic training at a gundog boarding school. It was the first time he has done this —previously he has trained his shooting dogs himself. During the time the bitch was away, he heard little from the trainer and…

Gundog training

Keeping a young gundog steady on a shoot day

A suitable shooting companion should be many things. They should be hard hunting, patient on peg, calm to heel and have reliable recall. These are only a few of the key skills and attributes. The basics in training will pay dividends in the long run and are so often overlooked.…

golden retriever

Training a golden retriever

A question about golden retriever training Q: After many years of having Labradors, I have bought a working-bred golden retriever puppy. I know this breed has a reputation for being slow to mature and more challenging to train, but this youngster is a joy to work with. However, he is…

gun-shy puppy

Is a gun-shy dog a lost cause?

There’s probably no greater disaster that can 
befall the gundog trainer than to discover that their talented new puppy is gun-shy. Is being gun-shy inherited? Many breeders maintain that 
gun-shyness is hereditary, which 
I’m not convinced about, but 
I certainly wouldn’t take the risk of breeding from a seriously gun-shy…

gundog training for water work

How to train your gundog for water work

Gundog training for water work needs to be done carefully and with thought; it is all too easy to end up with problems such as dropping retrieves, shaking and even refusal to enter water. It is a matter of choice whether you train your dog to retrieve from water, but…

play-training gundog puppies

Are tennis balls dangerous to dogs?

Q: My dog trainer has advised me to use tennis balls to train my Labrador to hunt and retrieve but I’ve heard there are risks from balls. Are tennis balls dangerous to dogs? What are your thoughts on this issue? Tennis ball risks When dogs play with balls there is the…

how to introduce a puppy to gunfire

At what age should you introduce a puppy to gunfire?

The most important thing to remember about when you introduce a puppy to gunfire noise is that you should take it gently and not rush anything. If your gundog puppy is confident you should be able to start at about seven to eight months of age. If she is timid…

dog emptying washing machine

Can you train a gundog inside?

We are living in unprecedented times. The situation with COVID-19, and the resultant social distancing and isolation, is stressful for the vast majority of us. But how is it affecting our canine friends? Some may actually be enjoying having their owners around all the time, particularly if they are used…

gundog puppy

Gundog training you can carry out in your garden (or even inside)

Here’s a list of basic gundog and puppy training exercises that you can practise whilst you’re social distancing or self-isolating at home. You don’t need a big area either. Just patience. Getting a puppy used to a lead Place a slip lead around the puppy’s neck, pushing the stop up…

What dogs see, hear and smell

What do dogs see when being trained to retrieve?

A dog’s eyesight is far better than ours, especially where movement and contrast is concerned. It is useful to know and understand how a dog sees colour as we can use this to our advantage in training. How dogs see colour Dogs see colour in a very different way to…