Gundog Foundations™(Puppy Training)

Puppy training is the cornerstone of the foundation upon which all of your future
training and success will lie.
— Chris Butz

A young puppy looking to its handler for direction.  Start to own the eyes at this young stage so your gundog looks to you for direction.

Puppy training is a fun, but crucial, part of setting the foundation for your relationship with your dog and the training base from which we will build in later developmental periods.  While the basics of dog training are the same across breeds, understanding both the history of gundogs, their unique wiring, and how you plan on using them in you sporting lifestyle is critical and why Bespoke is the best choice for your training.  We ONLY train gundogs and have lived, hunted and trained them for over 30 years.

When we look at training gundog puppies, the first 6 months is really a lot of what we call "training without training".  By this we mean that the pup should be having fun, bonding with its handler and learning about different environments that it will be encountering as a gundog.  This, however, does not mean it is not "learning" because that is happening all of the time at this developmental period.  In fact, we will have you doing "training" but the pup won't know that it is being trained.  For some important developmental periods of the puppy and associeted work we recommend, please scroll down.


Bonding Stage: 8-12 weeks

The best time for you to get your puppy home and begin its acclimatization to the family is between 7-8 weeks of age, depending upon the breed.  If this does not happen, many pups work to bond more with littermates in this crucial time and can be harder to establish leadership with.

This is also a time to be VERY careful about the potentially scary situations you might expose your pup too.  If you don't tread carefully during this 4-5 week period, a situation that scares your pup can remain with it for its life and will be hard to undo.  So don't have your puppy running into thorny thickets and be careful about loud noises that are too close to your pup.  If you are in a situation where the pup gets scared act like it is no big deal as the puppy will be looking to you as its leader and will mimic your response.  Also, don't pick up the puppy oohing and awing to try and calm him or her down as that can transmit fear from you to the pup.  Just redirect the pup's attention and move from the situation.