Copyright © 2000 by Robert Milner
Training your dog is extremely easy if you control his environment and channel his behavior in the directions you want. Your dog will practically train himself if you keep from interfering too much. However, many common training practices are totally counterproductive. The major culprits are:
Raising Pup Outside
The belief that hunting dogs should be raised outside in a pen persists with great tenacity. This belief is hogwash today. It was probably valid fifty or a hundred years ago. Then the kids were outside and spent a lot of time with the puppy during the formative years of both. That way kids and puppies learned to communicate with each other.
Today, however, the situation is different. The kids are all in the house watching TV, playing video games, or cruising the Internet. Any puppy relegated outside to the pen will grow up in relative isolation, deprived of the social interaction that he needs to develop communication skills, and more important, to develop the bond with people that gives him a desire to please. That desire to please is the basis of a lot of reward-based training. Without it you've made your job much harder.
Pup should be raised in the house. Then he and you both develop the communication skills to make Pup into a great gun dog. Additionally, Pup develops the desire to please that enables a lot of reward-based training. Raising Pup in the house makes things easier for both you and him.