First you will require a wistle of the rather shrill type which the dog can hear even if he is hunting in kale or roots. The noise of his tail beating about the wet leaves makes it very difficult for him to hear You when you are training your gun dog and in all probability he will not be able to see you either. The human whistle is not penetrating enough.
Teach your puppy to come immediately, when he hears a few short blasts on the whistle. If in the early days you are dog training your puppy to come to a whistle and he stops at some distance and looks at you, but does not come because he does not understand what vou require of him, crouch low to the ground and continue to blow short sharp notes on the whistle. It always seems to intrigue puppies to see humans looking like dogs and they come at once to investigate. Once he understands what the whistle means this of course will not be necessary.
Your Gun dog puppy should also learn the word ‘come’ used in conjunction with the whistle. Always insist that he does come when you call him and never call him back unless you really mean it. Do not let him get away with half measures.
When punishment is necessary through deliberate disobedience then it is better to take him by the scruff of the neck and shake him, scolding at the same time, rather than resort to a beating. And make sure this was a deliberate act. If you punish and your puppy didn’t understand that will leave a burden on your relationship and make your dog training efforts that much harder.
These can be made in various ways and need not be elaborate. To begin training a puppy a sock filled with nylon stockings is as good as anything as it is both light and soft. On no account should a heavy or hard dummy be used. A plastic detergent container is excellent for size so long as it is well padded and not filled with anything too heavy. I usually keep one dummy with a rabbit or hare skin wrapped round it or a pair of duck’s wings attached by means of an elastic band to make the dummy more realistic.
You will also need a dummy for use in water and the best type to have is a cork-filled one which is both light and buoyant. These can he bought ready made from some gunsmiths. Canvas dummies are frequently used but are inclined to be too heavy for a young puppy.
Equip yourself with at least three dummies for land and two for use in water.
One more thing which you must have is a slip lead. These can be obtained from most good pet stores but can be made quite easily and effectively from nylon rope. Cut the rope to the length you require and seal each end by burning it. Buy a small ring about an inch across. These are easily obtained at a hardware shop. Attach the ring to the cord. A shoe mender or saddler will make a very neat job of it for you. You can also have a loop made the other end if vou wish. Now thread the rope through the ring and adjust it to fit your dog by putting a knot either side of the ring.
I have found these leads most useful and they are light and easily put into one’s pocket as well as being cheap and easy to make.