The Principles of Gundog Training
A pup ready to learn...
When it comes to training a gundog, a topic we'll look at more in the future, there are a set of principles which should be followed to maximize the effectiveness of your training regime and ensure that these lessons are not wasted on your dog.You should always bare these in mind when it comes to training a pup and put other thoughts or feelings to one side during the duration. Even when not training; you should be looking for instances in which you implement any training already done.
When it comes to developing commands for you dog to follow; consistency is key. Changing up command words, maintaining a double standard (teaching the dog a command for something that contradicts another) and developing different commands for different situations. Commands should have the capacity for universal application and not change from situation to situation. Be sure that the pup understands that be it out in the fields or in the warmth of home; your word is god.
While lessons should be consistent, you'll be wasting both your and your dog's time by repetition of the same actions day-in day-out in the same order. The dog should not be thinking that he is one step ahead of your, he must await your command and be ready to follow it. He shouldn't be able to act out a daily routine without you even being present. Mix up your lesson order, take different routes, vary the length of time commands are performed for and throw the odd curveball to keep the pup on it's toes.
Whatever command is given, it must be followed absolutely and completely. Letting the dog leave gaps, partially completing tasks or deciding to wander off after awhile is all unacceptable. If the pup gets away with it initially, he may continue to do so until the command or task breaks down altogether or may make the dog more of a liability than a proper gundog. The action must be properly enforced to ensure the pup sticks to it ie if the pup is told to wait, waits for a few minutes then wanders off; he should be taken back to the same spot and told to wait again.