The one question I get asked the most frequently is when to start gun dog training? Popular advice on this will always differ, and for many people it seems logical to set their dogs up with gun dog or obedience training as early as possible. My advice, however, is to wait.
Whether you are training your dog for basic obedience or giving it gun dog training; waiting for your puppy to mature will always be more advantageous for you as a trainer.
I believe it’s important to allow your puppy to have some time to actually be a puppy. Instead of inundating them at an early age, allow them to become a little more mature and less rambunctious.
Usually, I say begin your training after their adult teeth come in. This can be anywhere from 4-6 months.
With my personal gun dogs, I wait a bit longer and begin training a puppy around eight months old.
Around this point, they are more attentive and willing to learn the techniques you want to train. They are also quicker to pick up the basics like ‘sit,’ ‘stay,’ and ‘heal,’ as they are a little bit older, mature and ultimately ready to begin forming a good training ethic.
Obviously not all dogs are the same, and not all puppies will be ready to train at the same time. However, when a dog is mature enough to be trained the learning will come easier, and with fewer issue for the trainer.