A well trained gundog is a pleasure to share time with; whether intended as a working gundog, a family pet or a companion to share walks (or in my case fishing expeditions). A well behaved dog is a positively stress busting companion, but a dog that you cannot trust off the lead will raise your stress levels faster that you can say “come back!” – I know, I have had both kinds – and the come back! was always accompanied by one or two choice cusses.
So how do you achieve this level of training and co-operation, that will allow you to ask your spaniel (or pointer, labrador, brittany or whatever your choice of breed is) to stay whilst you stalk a wary trout with a fly rod, safe in the knowledge that your dog is not going to rush past and dive on top of the very trout you are stalking?
First off, punishment must be a last resort – the only time you should consider punishing a dog is when it behaves in such a manner as to threaten itself or someone / something else (disturbing sheep is one that some seem to not worry about but is not to be tolerated!) So never be rough with your dog under normal circumstances.
Training starts when the pup (or in the case of a rehomed animal, an older dog) first comes home. You must make yourself an item of interest in the animal’s life – in fact, you must be THE item of interest in your dog’s life. I suggest that you start with the Sit! command.
We are currently working on a whole set of command sheets, and when they are complete we will send them on to anyone who registers as a subscriber on the site, so either bookmark the site or subscribe now.