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urine to 'show it' what a bad pup he has been and 'teach him a lesson', thinking someone somewhere said that was the thing to do. As pup grows up and 'learns' from these experiences he learns that people enjoy them jumping up, that hands grab him when he doesn't want them to, and he learns that hands and people sometimes must be avoided. He also learns that it is not pleasant to urinate when people are around (even in the yard!) or when he does need to urinate, to hide so they cannot see him doing it. As I am sure you will realise, none of these behaviours help you train the perfect shooting companion.

"Reward your dog for the correct behaviour."

These are just a few examples of how a pup learns and is taught the wrong behaviour without owners even recognising it. Most owners want their dogs to be clean in the house, to come every time they are called, to walk nicely on a leash and to have good manners around guests and other dogs and then of course want them to become good shooting companions

For some reason dog training is considered something that every owner can do. Some owners claim the dog will learn as he grows or in many cases he will grow out of the bad habits he has learned. Not always so. The dog will often learn and keep a behaviour that you develop. Some of his behaviour will come from natural instincts and inherited behaviour but there is no doubt that what the owner does during the first four weeks of ownership shapes and builds permanent behaviour. Behaviour which can be very difficult to change.

There are two primary rules to dog training, Do not ask or tell your pup to do something he does not understand or can evade and Reward your dog for the correct behaviour. Do not reward (even inadvertently) for the incorrect behaviour. Putting the pup in a position where he can always do right and be rewarded, and the timing of rewards and correction are important skills in bringing up and training a good shooting companion.

In the early days you and your puppy are getting to know each other, so make sure that he associates you with pleasurable times, moments of enjoyment and interest. Your pup will need lots of sleep time and what better way to do it where there is less likely chance of disturbance such as in a kennel or a dog crate such as a Lintran, Port-a-Pet or even Airline Kennel box. It is not a good idea to have the pup running free throughout the house with all it's dangers. Confinement to it's own 'room' when you want pup to rest or you cannot give it any attention will help with housebreaking and avoiding damage in your home. A pup's attention span is short. So have him out of the 'kennel' for brief periods and then put him back for a nap. The short periods out can be quality time where you can concentrate on pup and teach the right behaviour. Generally ten to twenty minutes is enough, although the body may still be going the brain of the pup soon becomes tired and that is when problems occur. During these short periods with your pup you can enjoy not only training but also watching pup and learning yourself what makes pup 'tick'. By observing your pup you will be able to know a lot more about how he is thinking and can anticipate his actions and reactions. You will find that getting to know your dog and his behaviour is a fascinating hobby in itself. Learn to 'read' your pup and you can then develop the right training approach to bring on the partner you are looking for.

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