I am training her myself and she seems responsive to the basic obediences; sit, stay, stop on one blast of the whistle.
She is also steady to a training dummy when thrown in front of her.
She never runs in. My problems started at a clay pigeon shoot. I took her along for some experience and to monitor how she reacted to gunshot.
She would not sit still and was constantly whining.
I felt it was only a matter of time before she started running-in. Any advice?
MARK WHITEHOUSE SAYS: It sounds like you have taken too many steps forward and missed a very important part of this young dog’s training – the
introduction to shot exercises and patience training.
You say that your spaniel has never faulted in basic training and is steady to a thrown dummy.
This is what you have to go back to and when you throw the dummy you need to introduce a single shot at the same time so that your dog learns to relate the thrown dummy to the shot ﬁred.
At the start of this type of training exercise never send your dog for the
retrieve, always walk out and pick the dummies up yourself.
This is to teach your young dog to be patientand steady at the same time and
this exercise should be built up over a period of two to four weeks until
you are able to ﬁre several shots and throw several dummies.
Monitor any excitement shown and noise your dog makes when the starting pistol goes off, and only progress if she is clearly comfortable with it.
Over time swap the starting pistol for a shotgun with blanks.
You may think this is over training and conditioning but it works.
Introducing gunshot in early training gets the dog used to the sound.