Gundog Puppy Training in Dorset

Gundog Puppy Training Group Classes in Dorset

Are you looking for gundog puppy training in Dorset? Did you type in gundog puppy training near me? No doubt, a quick Internet search revealed a lot of puppy training classes in Dorset. However, finding specific gundog puppy training can be more difficult. Add to this difficulty the fact you want to train your new gundog puppy using ethical and positive reinforcement techniques, then your search can be a lot harder. Here at Muttley Solutions, we offer gundog puppy classes geared specifically to the gundog breed regardless of whether they are pure or crossbreed.


We offer a 4-session preparation course for puppies between 12-20 weeks so that you can confidently join our level 1 group gundog class. This will put the basics in place.

There are up to three in a class, lasting 60 minutes. The cost for the four sessions is £60


Puppy gundog training in Dorset
Puppy Gundog Training

What is Gundog Puppy Training in Dorset?

So what is the difference between puppy gundog training and general puppy training? Many owners have a gundog breed or crossbreed and never intend to work their dog. Gundogs have been bred to perform certain tasks built into their breed characteristics. Many of the behaviour issues that we see later on can result from the frustration on the part of the dog because these breed traits are not being met. General puppy training will be sufficient to get the basics on board when the puppy is around 12 weeks. However, the issue may lay with the actual dog trainer who does general puppy class training. They may not have the experience of understanding the different breed characteristics of these types of dogs.

From the moment they are born, Springer Spaniels, Cockers and others from the spaniel family appear to be in hunting mode whenever awake. This means they are very busy and can be full-on. Some trainers can find this disruptive in their class because they have limited experience dealing with these breeds. Another example of this is with the HPRs. These dogs are also very specialised, and the developmental stages are usually longer than most other breeds. One of the most common dogs currently around is the Viszla. Several clients have come to me from other trainers because their dog was disruptive in class, and the trainer struggled to deal with it. Is this to say that all general dog trainers will struggle to teach pet gundog breeds? Of course not; there are some excellent trainers out there.

puppy gundog training in Dorset
Puppy Springer Spaniel

We Understand the Needs of the Gundog Puppy Who is not Working

Here at Dog Training The Right Way, we have a lot of experience working with various gundog breeds and all associated crossbreeds. We understand these dogs have a job to do regardless of what the owners have decided. Our role is to bridge that difference between dog and owner and start to utilise some of the gundog techniques so that we can improve obedience and the general relationship between dog and owner.

What will we learn in the Gundog Puppy Training in Dorset?

When you sign up for a puppy class, you can be assured that all the dogs in the group will be between 12 and 18 weeks. My class sizes are maximum of 3 gundog puppies. We focus on some key aspects of the training syllabus rather than trying cramming lots of training techniques. This small group gundog puppy class is a preparation for the Level One gundog programme we offer, and you can seamlessly move to the group from the gundog puppy classes once you have completed them.

We offer a rolling gundog puppy group programme. The actual course is made up of four weeks. Each week there is a set syllabus dealing with some aspects of training. You can join this rolling programme at any time in the course as you will complete the four sessions and the syllabus. It is held at my Merley field near Wimborne in the evenings.

The Puppy and the Recall

It is always advisable to get the basics of the recall in place with your puppy as soon as possible. One of the key factors is that you are fun, and the puppy wants to be with you. We must have a communication tool between yourself and the puppy, and you will be taught to use the whistle to facilitate a recall. We can quickly establish an excellent whistle recall with your puppy by using positive reinforcement. As you will learn later, I will teach you not to use it! The key to a successful recall is not putting your puppy in a situation where you need to recall them. A recall is essential for all breeds of dogs; however, it is particularly important with gundog breeds because of their high prey drive.

The Gundog Puppy and Prey Drive

Prey drive is both a dog owner’s friend and foe. Out-of-control prey drive can be dangerous and, on rare occasions, result in the dog being euthanised because it has attacked livestock. When understood, we can use prey drive to get motivation within the dog. Nearly all dogs have an element of prey drive. The gundog breeds, on the whole, naturally have a high prey drive as this is the factor that gets them to work for us when hunting. Owners with a gundog breed who do not meet their dog’s breed traits risk owning a frustrated out-of-control dog.

The best time to start to work with your dog regarding prey drive is when they are a puppy. One key factor is ensuring the owner understands what prey drive is, how it affects their dog and how we can utilise it in training. When we run puppy gundog training classes, prey drive will factor a lot. This is not something we can switch off within the puppy; therefore, we need to ensure we have excellent obedience, manners and a solid recall.

Puppy Classes loose lead walking.

Perhaps the most difficult thing new dog owners have to learn is the art of loose lead walking. A great deal of time and effort has to be invested in puppy training around loose lead walking. We must remember that it is not normal for the puppy to walk next to us, attached to a lead and at our pace. Without the right training, the owner quickly trains the dog that pulling is rewarding. This can be a difficult road back as a dog gets older. Our puppy training classes heavily teach the owner how to achieve loose lead walking using positive reinforcement. The key to this success is for the owner to understand loose lead walking from the dog’s perspective.

The Secret to Training Your Puppy is to Have Fun

People complicate puppy training and become fixated on perfection. The secret to effective puppy training is consistent, persistent, patient, and with plenty of repetition. The most important aspect of any training session must be it is fun. The puppy wants to come back to you because you are fun. The reason the puppy wants to walk at the side of you is that you are fun. As soon as training becomes boring and frustrating, the puppy and the owner will switch off. We can’t do training without fun, but we can have a great time with the puppy and throw in some training along the way.

A great way to have fun is to throw a gundog puppy training dummy so it gets used to this game and sets the foundations for the more formalised retrieve later. When there is no pressure on the puppy, it will do what’s natural and most likely bring the dummy back. We want this to be fun, and this relaxed approach is a great way of training your gundog puppy without it being too serious.

If you have a puppy gundog breed or a crossbreed gundog puppy, then we can help give you the best start. Our training is progressive in that you start with us at gundog puppy school and then have the option to join us every other Sunday at our purpose-built gundog training facility. Here you can work through levels 1 to 5, which will ensure you have an obedient, well-mannered dog. You will build a fantastic relationship with your best friend and understand how to meet their specific breed traits.

Is my puppy cockerpoo a gundog?

Yes, it is. It is what we class as a crossbreed. Part of the dog is a cocker spaniel, and the other is a poodle. Both of these dogs, in their own right, are gundog breeds.

At what age can I start gundog puppy training in Dorset?

There are two aspects of training. One is around basic obedience and manners, and the other is around specific gundog techniques. I believe that if you don’t have the foundations around basic obedience and manners, you will struggle when you try to do more advanced gundog techniques. This is one of the reasons I run specific puppy gundog training classes so we can start the right way from day one. You can come to my gundog puppy classes once the final injections are done, so around 12 weeks.
The best way is if we touch base via zoom before you even get your puppy. That way you are doing it right from day onegundog puppy training

Can I still do gundog training with my puppy even if I don’t want to work them?

Absolutely. I predominantly run Pet Gundog Training for the many varieties of gundog breeds where owners have decided they will not be working them. By starting to better understand your gundog puppy and enlisting in training that meets their breed traits, you will have a lot of fun together.

Do you shout or use aversive techniques to train gundog puppies?

Definitely not. We use positive reinforcement and set the puppy up for success rather than testing failure. I’m currently training with the Gundog Training Academy to be recognised as a positive reinforcement gundog instructor. The course is recognised and validated by the Animal Behaviour Training Council.