[wp_ad_camp_2]Avid readers of gundog training books will have noticed that many books advise that you should not start training your puppy until he is over six months old.
One commenter on this website mentioned Keith Erlandson’s book ‘Gundog Training’ published in 1976.
He notes that Keith includes a warning to never begin gundog training before six months of age, and suggests eight months as the right time to begin.
This gundog owner was quite naturally worried that he may have started his own puppy off too young and done some harm in the process
Starting at eight months
Keith Erlandson was of course a brilliant gundog trainer and a good writer. I and many others learned a great deal from his books.
Like many of my contemporaries, I stuck to the practice of leaving my puppies untouched until around eight months of age right up until around ten years ago, when I started experimenting with some aversive-free training techniques.
This article is about why I changed the age at which I start training puppies, and why I believe it is ok for you to start training your young puppy too if you want to. With certain provisos.
Why did we leave it so late?
So what was the rationale behind leaving puppies to ‘untrained’ for the first few months of their lives? What did serious Gundog trainers hope to gain by this practice?
Well, there were a number of considerations. But the main reasons were as follows
- Building hunting drive
- Building confidence
- Building retrieve drive
It was thought that too much training would harm the development of these important qualities
Building hunting drive
Hunting game in order to flush rather than to retrieve is of course the spaniel’s primary role, and for many years it was believed that early discipline would inhibit a spaniel’s will to hunt.
However, it is becoming increasingly clear that this is not such a great risk as was once thought. You can read more about this issue in this article: Hunting versus heelwork for spaniels.
The article explains that provided your young gundog puppy is also given plenty of opportunity to explore and hunt in different types of terrain, he is most unlikely to abandon hunting just because you teach him to walk to heel at five months old.
Building retrieve drive
Working strain gundogs have been bred for many generations with retrieving desire in mind and most working retrievers and spaniels come pre-packaged with some desire to chase and pick up a thrown or moving object.
But, this desire varies greatly in strength from one dog to another and is often vulnerable.
I think of retrieving desire as resembling a little flame. Nurtured with tiny twigs and kindling it soon grows into a full grown blaze, but throw a log on this little flame before it is a proper fire, and the flame will be extinguished.
The concern of professional gundog trainers both in Keith Erlandson’s time and today, is that too much repetitive retrieving practice with young puppies, especially too much steadiness, will snuff out the desire to retrieve.
And this is still a valid concern.
However, it needn’t stop you training your puppy at a young age, provided that you arm yourself with the right information.
There are articles on this website about the importance of building retrieving desire carefully and not instilling steadiness too young. You can find out more on this page: Building and maintaining retrieving desire in your gundog
There is no doubt that gundog training methods have changed a lot since the 1970s. And the manner in which dogs were trained and the techniques used, were really what lay at the heart of why training was delayed.
When I first began spaniel training thirty-five years ago, slapping, scruff-shaking and worse, were common practice.
This kind of treatment can really dent the confidence of a young puppy, making it cowed and fearful.
The training process was a tough one for the young dog. Advice to hold off on this process until the puppy was mature, was sound. Using a lot of physical punishment and intimidation on a young puppy was quite rightly considered inappropriate.
And so puppies were not started on their training until they were considered mentally tough enough to be able to cope with the ‘corrections’ that were inherent in the process.
Changing methods in training
Over the last few decades, there have been some fundamental changes in attitudes towards dogs and in the techniques used by the mainstream dog training community today.
These changes have really accelerated in the last five years. Not only are methods of dog training available which require fewer aversive, more trainers are becoming skilled in these methods.
These methods have not permeated deeply into the gundog community yet, but there is a great deal of interest in them and they are gradually becoming accepted. Especially among retriever trainers.
Fewer aversives means an earlier start
Training without corrections mean that we no longer have to worry about damaging a young dog’s confidence by training at an early age.
On the contrary it is a good idea to do so as some of the proofing that needs to be done to get a high level of compliance from the dog in distracting situations can be more time consuming without the use of punishment.
Of course you will still need to take care to ensure that your dog is hunting and retrieving confidently, but that does not mean that you cannot get started with a range of obedience skills if you are teaching them without the use of aversives
Resistance to change
Many trainers are benefitting from an increasingly widespread understanding of how dogs learn, and how to train using predominantly rewards rather than corrections.
Not all trainers have adopted these new methods. And some old school trainers will still advise you to leave your puppy ‘untouched’ until he is older. Such a trainer may well warn you that modern methods do not work (not true) or that they take a lot longer (some truth in that)
But many ordinary gundog owners are happy to take a bit longer over their training and to use less punishment. Especially if it means that they can get going on their training from the moment that they bring home their puppy.
And one of the key advantages of these more gentle techniques is that there is no real minimum age limit when training can or should begin, provided that care is taken to maintain a happy attitude in the puppy and to avoid crushing his drive to retrieve.
Just because you can
Of course just because you can, does not necessarily mean you ‘should’. A three month old puppy can be taught all manner of skills.
But he is still a puppy and easily distracted. Just because it is possible to do so, does not necessarily mean you should feel under any obligation to ‘hot house’ your puppy and cram 6 months of education into a few short weeks. In fact, if you try, you’ll probably come unstuck
Good training is built on good foundations and the puppy months are a great time to build those foundations.
You don’t need a puppy that will sit and say for half an hour. But a puppy that looks at you for fun and food (yes food!) and that spins around and gallops towards you on the peep of a whistle is worth his weight in gold
Puppies’ attention span
Training should be age appropriate. A three month old puppy may be able to sit in your kitchen for ten seconds, but it will be a long time before she can sit quietly in a field whilst other dogs race around fetching dummies.
A puppy’s attention span is very short and if you push on too fast (as can be the temptation if you start very young) you will set your puppy up to fail. Which would be a great shame.
Your situation is unique
What you decide to do with your puppy will depend on your personal circumstances. I am guessing that Keith Erlandson did not have to walk the kids to school with a six month old spaniel in tow. If your dog lives in the home with you, rather than in a kennel, you are going to have to do a certain amount of training in order for your dog to fit into the rhythm of family life.
If your dogs are kennelled like my spaniels used to be, then you don’t have to worry so much about making a start in training because your dogs will not be influenced by other members of the family, or by having to lead walk outside of training sessions.
If you want to ‘trial’ your spaniels then you need to pay serious attention to building and maintaining hunting drive and speed. If you want to shoot over your retrievers or pick up with them, then you will need to cherish and nurture that retrieving desire. Go easy on the steadiness and don’t introduce it until your puppy is retrieving with panache!
Teaching your puppy to sit, and even to walk to heel at four or five months old, using modern and positive methods is not likely to be in conflict with those aims. Just remember to keep it fun, upbeat, and to enjoy yourselves.
Training without punishment
If you want to start training with a very young puppy then it is especially important that you understand how to train without punishment.
Check out the articles in our force-free archives and visit our sister site Totally Dog Training for detailed information and advice
More help and information
If you enjoy my articles, you might like my new book: The Happy Puppy Handbook – a definitive guide to early puppy care and training.
How about you
Do you start training your pups at an early age or are you a bit more traditional in approach? Share your views in the comments box below.
What age to start training your gundog was originally published in 2012 and has been revised and updated for 2015
Scott Perkins says
I grew up in Colorado and have had Cocker Spaniels since I can remember. I recently imported a WCS when she was old enough to fly over from the UK. Her training began the moment she got cleaned up from the shipping kennel. My dogs are part of the family and need to learn their house manners. Basic sit, stay, heel, down commands are easily taught in short daily or every other day lessons. I’ve never had a dull or slow Cocker and the sharper they are they more easily bored they can become. Exposure to all sites sounds and smells in shopping malls, traffic, people, etc., on our short walks is extremely important to condition the puppy to any of the natural distractions they will encounter in the field. Getting a puppy to sit to whistle is key to stopping a dash into traffic should it slip its lead or collar. Some pups need a slight bit of encouragement to retrieve while others are so naturally inclined to retrieve, they need little guidance other than high praise for job well done. Like an old time horse trainer told me 50 years ago when I was learning how to use my 1st Cocker on pheasant in the corn fields of eastern Colorado; make it easy to do the right thing and hard to do the wrong thing. The bitch trains her pups from the moment they are born. We are merely building that young mind that is fully capable and willing to learn new tasks that they soak up like a sponge. I’ve never had a Cocker that lost any of its drive, ability or desire to hunt by early training of house manners and basic obedience lessons. If the instinct is there, it’s our job to control it and guide it so the dog hunts for its handler and not itself. Nothing is worse to hunt over than an out of control dog in the field. Retrieves should be to-hand – not ripped out of the dogs mouth as it passes by the handler on the way back out to continue hunting.
Chrissy Beadle says
My WCS is 3.5 years now – she retrieved her first soft puppy toy 8 weeks old when I got her she as sitting to a hand signal within a few days and running around off lead from day 2 being outdoors (and retrieved me a piece of dried up orange peel she couldn’t get to me fast enough with it). Before I got into (pet) dog training myself a year after I got my WCS I am pleased my instinct was to only praise all the desired behaviours as her 100% recall and desire to work with me is the most rewarding thing – I made all early walks free running letting her build confidence in lots of different terrain and environments exploring – I took advantage of her early weeks need to be close to me and praised her for voluntary check ins (lots of them!) We also did proof training sit / stay for short periods where there were distractions. I pulled back on activities as she got to 7/8 months if she was showing boredom – particularly retrieving doing the odd one but introducing ‘seek’ games for dummies instead in woodland to keep her interest in dummies – in short doses only. I had to add in some heelwork at around this 7mo adolescent phase (as she started to get bird chase crazy) so steadiness work started – and on the advice of BASC trainers at her first scurry attempt for fun as this was all new to me as novice gun dog trainer – she was dubbed ‘hot’ at that point. Looking back now there was lots of ‘layering’ in her training – focus always tried to be on having fun and praising her lots (no food used as I didnt think she needed it praise / teamwork fun was enough) – the smile on her face on recall then and now says it all. Last year when she was age 3 I took her on her first beating days – all off lead – hot head hunting but quartering and whistle work paid off – however, not always ‘off the whistle’ when in full hunting mode! Problems that seemed to have arisen since doing more formal group training is stickiness – her drive to go out from me to get dummies in group work took a big dip (not when we worked alone tho – she was/is confident doing long memory & marked retrieves with just me) – so either she got confused about what was being asked once more ‘formal’ training started (at around 2 yo) or she got stage fright from something? I am slowly building up confidence in working away from me and the drive she has when working with me alone is slowly being transferred to group work. She is a clever dog as Cockers are 🙂 and I am now learning she actually is working out what I want rather than listening to instructions much of the time! (my training / swopping trainers & commands etc I am sure to blame and she has just got on with working out what she thinks I want and what she thinks is right and is mostly right but she needs to be taking instructions – training in progress still! Overall I would say for my WCS food treats just have not been needed building a bond through fun activities and allowing her to express natural drives and lots of stimulation has done us well (I use treats for trick training for fun with her and I train pet dog owners in positive training methods that includes food). I look forward to my 2nd WCS to train and see how different it may be and learn from some of my hiccups as a novice trainer from my 1st – being consistent for one thing from day 1 with cues and what I want my dog to do as I possibly muted some of her hunting drive once steadiness training started at 7 mo (for dummies at least as if there is game about then she is naturally full on! ) It has been a fun and rather long learning curve that is ongoing. I have learned that WCS have naturally high drive for hunting – it is how we harness it that counts and to understand the difference between training and working in the field and being in control of those strong hunting instincts 🙂 I really enjoy reading your articles thank you!
Paul Kemp says
Sorry Ruby was born. 24/11/2014 not 2015, she’s not that magical!!!
Paul Kemp says
My ESS was born nov 24th 2015 and has been beating and picking up all this year! It’s nonsense about when to start training, my ESS was brought up with a Cocker spaniel who has since died who taught her the basics, every walk and minute with my ESS has been used as a lesson and she only knows the right way. There has been no pain in her lessons she just only wants to please. I do not consider her the best but she has retrieved birds without any fuss all season,which I am truely amazed at for a dog who is now only just 1 year old
Fingers crossed next year should be magical.
My moto is put the time in and reap the rewards!
Zoe ledger says
Hi pippa, we have a gorgeous 5mth old working cocker dog which we have had for 4wks. He has a lovely temperament and will sit and come back to the whistle and command, until that is he finds something, a crisp packet, a stick, anything really and then he just runs around taunting us, wanting us to chase him! Any ideas what we can do? We’ve tried turning our back and walking away, but that doesn’t work. It’s putting me off letting him off his lead. Any advice much appreciated.
Hi Pippa we have a 6mth English male springer spaniel who sits, stays, comes to recall will retrieve with enthusiasm in the house and garden and is walking better on the lead but not quite to heal yet (with short 5 to 10 minute lead training sessions). The problem we’re having is as soon as he’s out on a walk his interest is no longer on us as his focus is on his environment and he’ll tear off until he’s tired and then come back but this is on his terms not ours. We tried going back to basics in the house and garden and not out on walks just walking him round the block on lead training (as advised by a trainer) but feel he’s missing out on excercise and socialising and also the lead is now becoming a chore to him rather than fun. We tried him again in a larger area as again he was fantastic in the garden and again he tore off. He doesn’t run far off but just catapults off at top speed and won’t come back on command. Could you please offer any advice as we don’t want to undo any training we’ve already done but also don’t want to deprive him of an enjoyable walk. We also feel if we don’t let him experience scents and a bit of freedom now it’ll be more of a distraction in the future as everything will b knew. We’ve always had bitches before and this is our first dog. He’s got a beautiful nature but is very head strong. Any advice would be nice if possible thanks
I should have added that up until approx 3wks ago his recall and obedience off the lead was fine he’s just suddenly started not to listen whilst out and we never shout at him when he comes back .
I have a 3 month old male lab. Iv had him since he was 5 weeks old. I was very strict when disciplining for house training. He now jumps onto a bell on the door or goes to door and kinda talks to be let out. No accidents in almost 2 months.it is extremely rare that I put him on a leash. I travel a lot and he comes with me a lot and wherever I stop to let him out he stays right with me. He loves to fetch. I have trained one other dog before. He was also a male lab. He would sit and stay for however long I asked, dig on command, never needed a leash (Roscoe).I no longer gave him.Niko is very smart and very willing to please. I’m basically asking for a how to on gun training as I have never trained a dog to hunt. But I also would like to train him to help with the cattle. Can I do both? I do a stern voice and a light tap on the nose only when he doesn’t listen after I have repeated something way More then a few times. And I can probably count on one hand how many times I have even had to do that. He is a husky lab mix. But since his ears fell he looks nothing like a husky.any help would be much appreciated since I am new to all of this. How young is too young for ssit and stay cause Roscoe was doing it at 3 months old, but he was juat naturally the smartwst dog iv ever met but Niko isn’t as strong willed and I am extrwmly aware of not wanting to break his spirit.
Dave Wheatley says
I consider myself as a competent trainer/TEACHER of cockers,I’ve trained a puppy on average every five years, for the last thirty five years(one semi retired one working one learning). I went to the keith Erlandson school and devoured all his books, he still is my hero. But when I look back at some of the methods I’ve used I’m embarrassed. Not cruel but much too regimented. After reading some of ( I will read much more, PROMISE ) your views and methods, I’m converting and getting good results. So on this subject I would say teach a puppy to walk politely on a lead ( they automatically heal) as soon as you can, 12 weeks ? for its own safety, plus it can learn about crowds and heavy traffic while attached to an umbilical cord. I use the “gundog sense & sensibility” method which is no words, and standing still with no jerking of the lead until the puppy complies(needs the patience of a saint). Then it’s play ,play , and more play, encouraging what you want and discouragement what you don’t, for the next six to nine or more months . My understanding nowadays is you teach for the first few months and training starts the very first time you insist on something (sit and stay).
Thanks pippa, you’re well on the way to becoming one of my heroes, Dave
Hi Dave, I’m definitely no hero, but thank you 🙂 We all used some pretty tough methods in the past, me included. That’s just the way things were. The whole dog training community is moving to a better place I think – and its good to be a part of that.
my male lab pup is 2 months old.bt very naughty.do potty here and there.when is the right time to start training my pup?? and how can i train him because he doesnot listen to me at all.suggestion please….
You spoke a lot about training working dogs? How old should you begin training a family dog. Should you start house training right away? How about getting the dog to walk next to you without running away? I’m not too bothered about teaching the dogs too roll over and do tricks e.t.cas long as he is well behaved?
House training for any dog should start straight away. Basic training for gundogs is based on a foundation of obedience, which is exactly what we want for our pets. You can teach your puppy to walk next to you just as soon as you like provided you use force free methods.
David phillips says
I have a 3 month old springer pup called millie, shes workin well with sitting on command, lays and spins on the spot but struggeling with heel work and cant stop her jumping up?
Her recall is quite good unless she gets an object in her mouth that she dosnt want to give up, which then i just turn and walk away and she follows and then comes to a call, i know shes still young but whats best way to control her on a lead
Sophie Williams says
Thanks very much for your advice Pippa, its made me feel a bit more confident about her training now. I’ve printed off all the articles and have ordered the book, fingers crossed!
Sophie Williams says
I got my first puppy 3 weeks ago, she’s a cocker spaniel and I am about to start some basic training with her, she’s 11 weeks old. All I was going to start was walking to heel, sit, stay and recall over the next few months (as well of course as house training, she seems to understand that she should go outside and gets it right most times, but she can be quite forgetful and goes sly on the floor). Is it too soon to start her training on too much? I don’t want to get it wrong. Also, she cries a lot when I leave her alone in a room, which I have been told will stop in time, I think I just need a bit of reassurance that what I’m doing is OK.
Hi Sophie, 11 weeks is still very young. At this age your priority is building the puppy’s confidence and focus on you. There are articles in this section that you might find helpful. To get you started with basic skills over the next few months, you might also find it helpful to get a copy of The Right Start
And this article on crying puppies might also help. For more reassurance drop into the labrador forum and have a chat to some other gundog owners.
Katie Scott-Gall says
I am reading Total Recall at the moment & have just found your website which is a gold mine of useful information on Gundog training.
We have a beautifully bred 4month old golden Lab puppy called Scrumpy & a 7yr old black one called Beamish who is the first dog I’ve trained ( with help) He’s a great worker & very biddable. Scrumpy is SO different…very high energy & very independent! He has a nose like a blood hound & an insatiable appetite with a passion for ‘bush tucker’ which makes him quite challenging…the more unsavoury it is the better! This meant we’ve had to keep him on the lead much more than I would like even in the garden! And he does pull quite a lot. He is coming to call & the whistle quite well & I’ve taken your advice to set him up to succeed. Beamish is a good calm influence but I’m a bit worried that Scrumpy is going to become a handful.
He is quite boisterous so I’m wondering what would be the best way to discipline him?
Hi Katie, glad you are finding the website useful. If by discipline you mean correction or punishment, then that would depend on your own philosophy or approach to training. It would also depend on the situation and on your dog’s temperament. I don’t think it is something I would want to generalise on. I may be able to comment on specific examples of situations where you are having problems.
Thanks Brenda, its great to see even tiny pups working out how to use their noses isn’t it.
Brenda Cox says
I breed labradors for work or play, hopefully they will do both. Several of my pups go as pets or working pets and often to first time owners. As soon as I start to wean the puppies, I use a whistle to come for food. At about 6 weeks I start to put food on the floor and start ‘hi lost’. I always stress to the new owner that if they want the puppy to retrieve to hand, not to let the children (or anyone else) play tug. To sit on the floor, legs apart and roll a tennis ball across the floor, lots of whoopee when the pup picks it up and races back to you, say ‘give’ as you remove the ball from pups mouth. Eventually I just restrain the pup with my hand around his chest until I give him the word ‘back’ as I remove my hand. Then I introduce the word ‘wait’, while I’m restraining him. At this stage the pup is getting every retrieve but soon I shall be standing up and pup will sit beside me and one of my others may get the retrieve. move to the garden, slowly, slowly, building up to a thrown dummy and extending the distance, removing my hand from the dog, just telling it to wait, then ‘back’.
If steadiness isn’t in place, you can use a lead to restrain a dog but there is no substitute for poor retrieve and delivery, that’s why I get that in first.
K Burge says
Began training at 8 wks just walking on lead at heel with sit commands. Nothing too strict mainly exercise. Began intro to the pond getting feet wet on her own terms and intro to duck wing. 9 wks she swam on her own and retrieved tennis ball sitting on verbal command. 10 weeks is sitting and coming on whistle and voice is swimming .like am adult dog retrieving tennis balls in the pond. Began retrieving tennis balls in short cover. Only two to three retrieves every other day. 10 sits/here per session every other day. She did return a full sized doken launched from a winger at 80 urea. She is also on check cord during 2/3 of the walk. The last part she can run and do what she wants.
Robin Guenier says
Great advice. Thanks.
You are welcome 🙂
Robin Guenier says
I was the commentator who asked the question that prompted this article. I’ve had gun dogs for many years (starting when Erlandson’s book was published) – initially spaniels and, four years ago, a labrador – Ned. I’ve always bought trained dogs about 18 months old and then continued their training through to early shooting days. It worked – and I’ve had some lovely, obedient, reliable and always friendly dogs. Then early this year my dear old spaniel, Sam, died (aged 16) and I decided to have a puppy from a litter Ned had just sired.
So Oscar arrived, aged eight weeks. And, as I’m now retired, I decided to train him myself. Initially he lived in a cage in the kitchen and it was my job to let him out in the morning, feed him and give him a run in the garden. We loved these sessions – he seemed to learn something new every day. Without any pressure, he was quickly house trained and was running around with me, exploring the garden, chasing bumble bees etc. Throughout he was anxious not to lose touch with me (this has continued – if we walk in the local wood, he’s continually checking to see where I am). We had great fun, for example, with him chasing after his toys – and he eventually graduated to tennis balls. I taught him to sit – not difficult as Lab puppies seem to like to sit anyway – both on a spoken “sit” and then when I raised my hand. And it seemed a natural progression to do this before throwing a tennis ball. And sometimes he even stayed sitting until I told him to fetch it! At about the same time, I found I could walk away and he (usually and increasingly often) stay sitting – even when I hid. All this was fun for us both – especially when he could walk alongside me, holding my hand with his sharp little teeth. So, by the age of four months, he was happily doing lots of useful, basic things. Then he graduated to living outside in the kennel and run with his dad. He accepted this change happily (he’d already spent lots of afternoons there) and the three of us – rather to Ned’s surprise (he’s a rather serious dog) – enjoyed it. At about this time, I encouraged them both to sit and wait for their meals – calling one or the other forward first. They got the idea quickly. By then, when Oscar was about eighteen weeks old, I was taking him put for short, rather more serious (not very) training sessions – mainly sitting, staying and walking to heel and learning to respond to the whistle. He progressed well so I tried a very few retrieves, encouraging steadiness, especially by collecting a high proportion myself. He absolutely loved this. So just a few times I took a dummy with me when I was walking both dogs and, building on that “one at a time for dinner” experience, I sent either one or the other for the dummy – if Ned went first, Oscar sat there trembling with excitement. And sometimes gave in and ran in to join his dad. That didn’t (and doesn’t) worry me at this early stage. Add to all that, a couple of trips to a local stream where he’s done some (very enthusiastic) retrieving from water.
That brings us to today when he’s six months old. And he seemed to me to be coming along well and learning a lot with any pressure at all. I was very pleased. Until that is I read that I had started far too soon: could all this be spoiling him for the future? Your article reassures me a little. But not entirely. Should I be slowing down a bit and, focusing on sitting, staying and walking to heel, defer more steadiness and retrieving exercises for a few weeks? The trouble is Oscar loves it all and would, I think, really miss it. What’s the answer? This is probably my last chance to train a dog and I don’t want to get it wrong.
PS: one interesting development. As I said, Ned is a rather serious dog – but now this puppy (albeit in a grown up body – they’re about the same size) has joined him and wants to play, he’s lightened up and they love to race around playing silly biting games.
There doesn’t seem much point in unsteadying your dog at six months if you have already steadied him and he is still enthusiastic about retrieving. But, be careful about group retrieving (with the older dog), especially around water, if the pup seems over-excited (you mentioned trembling with excitement) , you could end up with a squeaking problem. Once steadiness training has commenced it is better to insist on steadiness at all times, or the dog will be getting mixed messages.
Marked retrieves are very exciting and you can overdo it. Retrieving in company is also very exciting. Quite a combination. 🙂
Memory (go-backs) are less likely to wind up the puppy..
Every puppy is different, but at six months I am usually still doing a lot of my pup’s training on their own, and introducing group work for obedience (sit stays etc).
I think you might find it very helpful to have a couple of one-to-ones with a good instructor. Just to put your mind at rest that you are on the right track, to assess whether your pup is actually ready to cope with retrieving alongside another dog. And to generally help you decide what to do next.
Mike Smith says
Good article, I start training as soon as I take procession of the pup but with the litters we breed ourselves I start the training at two days old, that’s on the second day after being born using the Bio Sensor (superdogging) system.
I start to put recalls into the litter from three and a half weeks of age with good recalls by six weeks, of course at this early age it’s all done in the kitchen before moving out to the garden. The last pup of the litter to go to their new home, the pup that the people can’t take for a week or so after the others have gone knows a good recall to name. We have one now, a nice black boy, Milo, who is going to his new people in four days time.
That’s nice Mike, did you keep a pup?
Mike Smith says
I wish, but we already have four dogs all living in the kitchen, as you do, In one of the training sessions we where talking about this very subject of how many dogs could be kept in a home environment, someone said they have seven goldies and I said if they were cockers that would be an impossible situation since we only have two human laps for them to sit on.