Gundogs have a job to do, and if you have recently acquired a puppy to train up to be on the field, then you need to do so early, whilst generally maintaining their overall health.
To begin with, puppies in training need to know the basics such as toilet training, responding to being called back and generally being well behaved by around 10 months as this builds the foundations for in-depth training.
For future gundogs, it is important not to punish or harshly correct a puppy for carrying something they shouldn’t, such as a shoe, as this could teach them that retrieving items is a bad thing. Instead, take the item from them gently whilst saying “dead”. This will get them used to the action and will show that they have done well, as well as helping teach them to drop an item.
When introducing a puppy to heelwork, it’s important to keep the training interesting by walking in straight lines, figures of eight and occasionally turning left or right or altering the pace. This will ensure that they continue to stay focused on you throughout training and are prepared for real situations once in the field. The same goes for retrieving and training, as your puppy needs to be kept entertained and on their toes, else they will lose interest.
Using dummies in training and practising regularly will help to build your dog’s knowledge and understanding of what is expected of them in the field.
When using a dummy, it is important to remember to lift your puppy’s top lip out of the way when putting it in their mouth in order to teach them how to handle prey properly. You must also use the “dead” command when taking it away again to teach them to drop the prey. By using your hands, you can encourage them to bring the dummy straight to your hand and ensure that they keep their head held high, making sure not to drag the dummy or prey on the floor.
You must remember that a positive attitude needs to be maintained throughout training, as your dog may sense that you are getting frustrated if they are taking a while to pick something up and may think that they have done wrong.
It’s also important to ensure that your puppy has the best diet to keep them fit, healthy and active for longer. At Alpha Feeds, we can provide you with food for dogs of all ages to ensure that your working dog remains in the best shape and performs to its very best.
For any advice on feeding your gundog puppy, email email@example.com or phone us on +44 (0)844 800 2234.