As soon as you buy a gundog, training advice will be readily available, but it’s wise to consider that not everyone is as experienced as they will lead you to believe!
The information below, from training expert Tony Price, should set you on the right course.
Each dog is different
There are as many different ways to train a dog as there are dogs; there is no absolute right or wrong way. You should look to tailor the training to your puppy’s breed and temperament.
Look out for early warning signs
You are more likely to address issues if you spot the early signs when your puppy is still very young. If the puppy runs off for a retrieve but picks it up and runs off, or he lies down to chew the dummy or he refuses to return, you need to be wary of this when training.
How to train your gundog to retrieve
Should your puppy refuse to return with the dummy, you will get him to come back if you lay down, making yourself as small as possible, and make squeaking noises to encourage him to return. If the gundog doesn’t approach with the dummy, you can always encourage him to go out and repeat the action.
Try this task somewhere without distractions – such as a concrete alley way – and you may see the pup’s performance improve.
What’s important is that you keep the retrieve short.
Stroke the dog first
You should stroke the gundog puppy before taking a retrieve from him.
Increase the distance of the retrieve
You’ll know when to increase the distance because the dog will pick a retrieve without thinking and rush back to you. The time it takes to get your puppy to this stage varies according to the dog.
Move the retrieve on the grass
When your gundog has accomplished longer retrieves, it’s time to move outside. Opt for a location with short grass and revert to giving the puppy short retrieves.
If the puppy won’t come back to you
The gundog puppy might be slow at coming back with the dummy. If this happens, you may get him to behave if you start to run away as soon as it lowers its head to pick the dummy. If you call him as you run, you should trick the dog into picking the dummy and returning to you quickly.