The best time to expose your puppy to our puppy development program is between the age of ten and twenty weeks. Exposure to birds, gunfire, free run and healthy pack behavior instills confidence and enthusiasm for building a foundation for future formal training.
Our puppy program is two weeks of intense focus on birds. We are not working on any formal training or commands, instead are developing your dog’s natural instincts by providing opportunities to develop their independence and identity. These opportunities are crucial to your dogs development toward reaching his or her full potential. For this reason, we require this program regardless of your dogs age prior to continuing in our formal training program.
Hay Creek Kennel’s puppy development program includes the following:
- Bird Introduction: Introduction to both pigeon and quail. Your dog will start using the scent of the birds while hunting rather than depending on their sight.
- Gun Introduction: When done properly, gun introduction is very simple. Once a puppy is accustomed to birds and constantly thinking about birds we gradually introduce gunfire. Because your puppy is intent on finding and chasing birds, the noise of the gun does not negatively impact them and becomes an enjoyable part of the experience.
- Cover Introduction: Your dog will identify cover and where to go to find birds. Exposure to varied cover at this stage prevents your dog from becoming overwhelmed in future situations in the field.
- Free Run: Bird dogs need independence to do their job. By allowing young puppies the opportunity to stretch their legs and run we help them to develop this independence.
- Socialization: By having the experience of being with a group of dogs of all ages, your puppy will learn to become a healthy pack member.
- The Chain Gang: The chain gang is similar to a desk for children. It helps your dog begin to gain focus as well as develop patience and compliance.
What can You Be Doing at home?
Always remember, just because we are not focused on formal training doesn’t mean your dog isn’t learning. Be prepared for the arrival of your new pup by establishing structure and boundaries right away. The best way to stop undesirable behavior is to prevent it from starting in the first place.
Be consistent. For example, don’t pick up your puppy when he or she is jumping on you, don’t let your puppy out of your arms while he or she is squirming, and don’t let your puppy out of his kennel crate while barking or fussing. There is a fine line between positive structure and boundaries and too much restriction or domination. You must provide enough structure so that they understand you are the pack leader, while allowing them to learn and experience life! Proper puppy development establishes a relationship based on trust and respect leading to successful formal training and a healthier, happier dog and owner.
We can assist you in establishing proper structure and boundaries by offering guidance and answering questions.
$175.00 per week
We also offer a puppy development program during our annual winter training camp in south Texas. This is a tremendous opportunity for your new puppy to experience wild birds. Visit our Hunts page for more information regarding this trip.