During a recent shoot our hound picked up his first pheasant. He has since performed well in the field with only the odd misdemeanour. Below are some tips on dog training, It is certainly a satisfying hobby - but we'll stick to the branding!
TIP 1 - build respect and trust - don't hurt the animal - however if you give in on any aspect of training this is a sign of weakness and will reduce the animals respect and trust in you and your word
(I had an issue with recall with my dog - this ended up with me chasing him around a field for 20 minutes until I caught him - he always came when called after that as he knew he couldnt get away with it - this reinforces what is the golden rule in training - NEVER GIVE A COMMAND YOU CAN'T ENFORCE)
In reality this translates to TRY never to give a command you can't enforce - undoubtedly there are times when you can't make the dog do what you ask - the less this happens the better behaved the dog will be.
TIP 2 - diet is very important to a healthy dog - he/she should have shape - far too many people over feed
TIP 3 - training a dog is as much about training oneself as the animal - stick to your guns
TIP 4 - ignore whining - do not react to it - only react when the dog is quiet
TIP 5 - pulling on the lead - if the dog pulls turn him the other direction until the lead is loose then proceed on course - basically the dog must learn he only travels in his desired direction when there is no tension on the lead. it is all about tension on the lead and teaching them they dont get where they want to go with it. You must stick to your guns - it will take alot of stopping and turning until the dog learns
I will post on teaching a retrieve next - you will need 2 toys / dummys