Your puppy is home, everyone is thrilled and lots of experiences await. Your puppy will become part of your everyday life over the next few years, and whatever he learns in those first six months with you will be of major significance if this relationship is to be as successful as possible.

Before socialising your puppy

Your little puppy must be allowed to “settle” in your house and get to know his home and surroundings. You should make sure as many of his experiences as possible are positive, while also getting him used to the vacuum cleaner, the washing machine, etc.

However, as his owner it is important for you to respect your puppy’s rest and calm periods. When your puppy is tired, let him sleep until he is fresh and well rested.

Children are great with puppies, so if you can, let your children spend a lot of time with your puppy. Let them play together, snuggle up, go on walks together and have lots of contact.

Try not to stress your puppy

It may be a good idea to focus on what your dog should be comfortable with when he is grown up. Your puppy must learn these things gradually – not from the very first day when he arrives in your home, though. As with all other training, you have to do take things step-by-step.

Socialising a puppy is not a science. Essentially, it involves the puppy going out with the owner and meeting lots of animals and people and encountering lots of scents and sounds that he will encounter throughout his life. I have a very practical approach to this, and my puppies are gradually taken out on “new adventures”.

It is all a matter of finding a balance in training so that you do not “oversocialise” your puppy. You should not take him out to do new things all the time, as this is highly likely to stress him. First and foremost, the puppy should focus on the owner when training, so it is still very important for contact between dog and master to be the number one priority. This is why socialising your puppy should be a calm, quiet experience.

The first five tips for training

  • Allow your puppy to practise being on a lead and go on walks with him on the lead.
  • Teach him to sit before going in and out through the door, and before eating
  • Get him used to sleeping in “the same place”
  • You must train your puppy right from the outset to understand your tone of voice when you say “yes” and “no”. Praise him when he does something you want him to do.
  • Go on lots of walks with your dog in all kinds of terrain – through fields, forests, etc.


Trust is not something your puppy is born with

I wrote previously about the importance of getting puppy from a breeder who spends time with the puppies and gives them lots of good experiences. This is worth its weight in gold, as puppies are not born trusting humans.

Hence this is an important learning process that your dog has to go through, and as a dog owner you have the important task of continuing with the training that the breeder began. You must do this by means of positive experiences, teaching your puppy to trust humans first and foremost, but also “the environment”.

Good advice

My next blog will be all about starting actual hunt training. But before we get that far, here are a few words of good advice to hunters with young puppies.


  1. Do not force training
    Many readers have got themselves hunting dogs with the aim of having a clever and sociable dog by their side when they hunt. The vast majority of people achieve this, but remember that your puppy has to learn lots of different things before he is well trained.

    So do not force training, and avoid “skipping” the easiest parts. You need motivation and LOTS of repetition before the basic training is in place.

  2. Play and learning are interlinked
    If you like, you can allow your puppy to “play” with wings from pheasants or partridges, for example, or maybe even snipes. This is good for the dog, and it gives him the opportunity to sniff at wings, and maybe you can even start with a little easy retrieving.

  3. Socialise with other dogs
    By all means register for puppy training sessions with your dog. This will give you inspiration, and it is good for your puppy to spend time with other dogs. Here, you might also find that your puppy is less obedient than he is at home, where he can generally “do the things you ask him to do”.

    If you experience this, do not lose your enthusiasm and belief in your dog – just make yourself at home when training and carry on your good work with your puppy.


There are all kinds of pleasures involved in having a dog. Although the first year with your puppy may be rather demanding, your effort will pay off and in the long run you will have a sociable and happy dog who can make your life even better.

A dog that does what he is supposed to do in all respects is truly a pleasure, either at home or when out hunting. You have to remember that your dog must be happy in your home and is a member of your family when he is not out hunting with you.

Good luck!

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