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What now? (14 wk pointer)

I have a 14 week old male Weim. I have exposed it to about every hunting field situation I could in my area. He has shown great desire for birds, done some swimming in deep water, has pointing instincts, and does a fair of retrieving. He also has shown a great excitement for gunshots, so there is no gun shyness. I have also done some drags, in the dark, with a pheasant of 15 to 45 yards and he does an excellent job following the sent trail and retrieves right to me. I feel this dog is doing very well for his age and want to continue developing him but I don't want to push him to fast or to slow, everything to this point has been allot of fun for both of us and I want that to continue, but with his level if I can push a little harder I will. Do I go to a training table or do I continue to do birds in the field to keep up the interest.
Any advice would be helpful.


To your questions "What do I do now?"

Well I would certainly keep up the dog's interest but you need to watch for signs. First you said he is only 14 weeks old and this is just an infant. The dog has a long way to go to become a true hunting partner. Right now everything the dog is doing is fun as it is mostly a new experience for the dog and it sound if it is new to you also. Be careful and watch out for bad habits. This is the time that training if not done correctly can cause problems further down the road. Everything you talk about falls under the NAVHDA philosophy. I would suggest you purchase the NAVHDA's Training book (The NAVHDA GREEN Book) and follow this for the table work. Just remember once you have a dog, any dog, the training process is a lifetime commitment. The better you are at it, the better the dog becomes. Better trained dogs just hunt better and more fun to be around. So start an introduction to the table. This training can become boring for both you and the dog but find a way to make it fun. Lots of positive short repetitions are better than long drawn out sessions. By positive I mean lots of verbal rewards when you get the response you are looking for. Also check out a local NAVHDA chapter in you area. They can really help.


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