A Brief Guide To Training
We now have the puppy finding birds and pointing nicely. At about 16 weeks the puppy will be running after the birds trying to mark where the bird will fall. This is good! Now your part - wait until the bird is more than 50 feet from you and the puppy is chasing madly after the bird. Shoot the bird. The puppy will be so involved in chasing the bird, that the sound of the gun far enough away, will be minor to him. After the 3rd or 4th bird, the puppy reasons that every time the gun goes off, the bird falls down. The bird is the puppy's reward for his work.
Incidentally, learn to shoot! Buy pigeons and have a friend throw them for you. Gordons do not appreciate bad shots!
A word to the wise! A Springset dog is high-powered in the field. If your puppy is old enough and experienced enough to come unglued when given birds, give the puppy (and yourself) a break and run him for approximately 40 minutes before putting birds down for him to work. This takes some of the edge off his energy, enough so that he is able to concentrate on working and not goofing off. Don't resent the time this takes. A young dog has a great deal of energy just on general principles. A dog with the drive and compulsion to find birds that exceeds the normal is going to be the dog that will eventually bring the most pleasure to the hunter to work with due to the sheer intensity of his performance, not to mention the increased number of birds the dog will find, and the increased time he will be willing and eager to work. At a young age, the dog does not have the self control necessary to focus immediately on work when he has the opportunity to run and find birds.
If you have any questions that you feel are unique to your puppy or dog that are not covered in the book, or you just would feel more comfortable discussing a training situation with Norm, call the kennel. He will be glad to help you.