Fran Ardley outlines some firm foundations for your pup’s training without overdoing it
As spring approaches, many people will be thinking about getting new gundog puppy, which may be their first. I am regularly asked by novice trainers what they should be doing with their new puppy.
New gundog puppy? Give it time
It is not so much what you should be doing but more a case of what you shouldn’t be doing. Too many people think they should be cracking on with training as soon as they get their puppy. They forget that at just eight weeks old it will need plenty of time to settle into its new home.
Once the puppy has settled in, you need to ensure it gets to experience the big wide world. If you plan to train your puppy to work in the shooting field, you do not want it to associate every dog it sees as a playmate.
This behaviour can be developed unwittingly by puppy socialisation classes.
Another thing I tend to control is the amount of exercise the pups have. I hear of too many people taking young dogs out for long walks in an effort to tire them out, but the ligaments and joints cannot take the strain of a lot of exercise, so in the early days it’s better…