Bringing home a new puppy is a special time, especially when he will become your constant companion and hunting buddy. You may envision yourself in full camouflage, hunkered in a duck blind with your dog right beside you. He’s quietly waiting for you to drop birds from the sky so he can do his job of gently retrieving your prize from the water. Kyle Wintersteen tells how to train the rambunctious puppy you have now into what could be your ideal gun dog.

“[Buying a new puppy] tends to signal the start of a highly busy, stressful few weeks. The puppy isn’t housebroken. It chews everything in sight. And heaven help you if you get a barker. I once offered a friend my truck if he’d just watch my puppy while I slept for three continuous hours, something I hadn’t done in weeks. A small part of me was actually serious.

But anyhow, enough of the negative aspects. Puppies are supposed to be fun, and they are. The key to ensuring a positive experience for both you and your pup is a little commonsense and preparation.”

Photo by: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife