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Puppy Development: Year One Checklist

The first year is critical to developing a well-rounded bird dog.

Puppy Development: Year One Checklist

Set your bird dog puppy up for long-term success by bringing out the desirable traits in the first year. (Gun Dog photo)

Puppies represent the raw material after all, and it’s the lessons you teach and the decisions you make that chart a puppy’s course through its formative first year. At Ronnie Smith Kennels, we firmly believe that a puppy’s first year is critical, and in that first year, we as trainers must help shape a dog’s response to new experiences, to stimuli, and to the stresses inherent in learning new behaviors. For that reason, let’s dig deeper into some do’s and don’ts, remembering that the journey of developing your bird dog begins the moment your new pup comes home.

Picking a puppy is essentially an academic exercise. It requires research and...

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