Somewhere in this web-site, we claim that gundogs are one of the most “people friendly” breeds. If you come across one that isn’t, it’s probably due to lack of social mixing - or a bad experience as a puppy. Experts reckon that 4 to 16 weeks is the ideal time to get this one established, so you don’t have much time to get going!
“In-house” socialising can start as soon as the puppy arrives. It’s important for it to, not only meet all the inhabitants, but everybody who comes to call - including the postman! The problem is germs that can be carried by outsiders, particularly on shoes and trousers. Before handling the puppy, visitors should be asked to wash not only their hands in disinfectant, but their shoes as well.
Socialising outside the home must wait until the puppy has completed its first full set of innoculations - at about 12 weeks - and has been cleared by the Vet to go out into public places. If you have any shops close by, then take your puppy with you. If it’s too far for it to walk - see - use a car to get there, and walk with your puppy when you get there. Allow plenty of time for it to “sniff and explore” - and meet and be made a fuss of by other shoppers. The puppy will enjoy it and will very soon accept it all as part of everyday life and be relaxed about it. Don’t be too afraid of meeting other dogs - just be a little careful. Make sure that the other dog is on a lead. At the first sign of any aggression, pick your puppy up, and walk on. You certainly don’t want your puppy to grow up to be afraid of other dogs, or to be “defensively aggressive”.
If you don’t manage to achieve “relaxed socialising” as a puppy, then you’ve missed the golden opportunity - and need to attend classes. These can range from “Puppy Socialising” to “Ring-craft” to “Obedience Training” to “Gundog Training”, anything to get your puppy or dog mixing with other dogs and humans, at the earliest opportunity. Check your local press - ask your breeder - or check the notice board in your Vet’s reception area.
Just in passing......if .....“Man’s best friend is his dog” ........