Spring is the time when many will bring home new pups or they are in the final stages of preparing for their new arrival. For people looking to help their new pup develop not only as a companion but also a versatile gun dog, the road ahead needs a plan, and the execution of that plan begins with the first steps toward developing the natural instincts of your new puppy.
I would highly recommend the following books as a guideline to getting you started down the right path.
How To Help Gun Dogs Train Themselves
Joan Bailey – Swan Valley Press
Training the Versatile Hunting Dog
Chuck Johnson – Blanche Johnson – Wilderness Adventures Press
There is a lot of work ahead so it is best to get started as soon as you have the pup acclimated to their new home. The earliest stages of puppy development revolve around exposure to situations and environments which will aid in the young prospect building self confidence.
Most of this is done by simply allowing the dog the room and time to explore their environment off leash in a safe area. During this time you do not need to encourage the pup verbally, you simply need to keep quiet and allow the young dog to develop a sense of security and confidence in a number of different environments. The books listed above provide for more detail on this process.