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— The following is a article produced by permission by George Daniels from the legendry "Pantherdell kennel"
In this short article I shall endeavour to show new members or novice handlers how to give their newly bought puppies a foundation which will help to turn them into a reasonably trained dog that can be an asset as a pet, or later on a useful gun dog. I will start right from the beginning when you bring home your new puppy.
I begin by making a very small dummy from part of a rabbits skin & stuffing it & making it into the shape of a dumbell small enough to carry in its mouth. At first I tease the pup with the dummy, this it to get his attention, when he is quite keen to get it throw the dummy a few yards in front of him. The pup will usually run to get it but doesn't always want to bring it back to you.
So to avoid this happening, I create a little alleyway or training track by placing sheets of masonite parallel with one another & about 4 feet apart, closed off at the end. This is so he has nowhere else to go other than to bring it back to you.
It is only necessary to give your pup 3 or 4 retrieves twice each day. Whatever you do, do not scold him harshly at this early stage, after a week or two you will find he is retrieving quite well for a little fellow.
Releasing the Dummy
The next step is to get him to sit in front of you & hold the dummy until he gives it to you. You do this by sending him to retrieve the usual way, when he returns with the dummy all you do is gently push him down by putting your hand on his hind quarters, telling him to sit at the same time.
Holding the Dummy
You will probably find he drops the dummy. To avoid this, hold your hand, clamping his mouth. Tell him to hold for a second or two the first time, then increase it until he becomes an expert at sitting & holding.
If these exercises are repeated regularly morning & night your dog will have basic grounding that he will never forget.