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Why is my spaniel switching off?

He is from top field trialling strains and I intend to use him for walked-up, pigeon and duck shooting.

I’ve tried him on the peg and he is not bad for a cocker – we have a good rapport and lots of eye contact when he is sat watching me – but when I cast him off hunting he frightens me with his pace.

I do not know how to make him quarter side to side and he also seems to switch off during the hunt. What do you advise?

MARK WHITEHOUSE SAYS: Showing a young spaniel too much too soon without installing all the foundation training first causes complications and frustration.

Always put your foundation training in first and then start to introduce your young dog into the shooting field, not the other way round.

When you are at a crossroads and don’t know which way to turn it is time for you to seek advice from a professional trainer.

Start with one-to-one lessons so you and your dog are getting the same schooling at the same time.

This will pay dividends on the shooting field.

If you feel that matters are not developing quick enough after a few months then consider boarding your dog to have some more intense training.

For more gun dog training advice click here