A Cornerstone Guide to Your Gun Dog Introduction to Birds

Aug 07, 2020

Two of the most frequent questions we get asked here at Cornerstone are...

  1. When should I introduce my dog to birds?
  2. How should I introduce my dog to birds?

The answers to these questions are crucial because they can have a significant impact on how your retriever turns out!

First, when should I introduce my dog to birds? 

Many people are understandably eager to introduce their young puppies to birds. If that's you, have you stopped to consider the possible ramifications? After all, the goal is to take your pup and turn it into the best hunting retriever that it can be.

With that in mind, here are a few things to consider. You could introduce your dog to birds early on when it is a puppy; however, you aren’t going to get the full benefit of bird intro.

This is especially the case if you give a little puppy a bird to hold. It will probably end up just dragging the heavy bird around or worse. It could even chew it up like a toy.

There are a lot more beneficial...

Continue Reading...

The Best Toys for Your Gundog Puppy: The Answer May Surprise You

Jun 10, 2020

Once you have your retriever puppy, you are probably wondering what type of toys you should give to it. If you are planning on only having a family companion, you can pretty much give it whatever toys you would like.


If you are planning on turning your pup into a duck hunting dog, then there are a few things to consider. 

Should I give my pup toys or not?

You may or may not be aware yet, but a young pup is like a piranha. They like to bite nearly everything that they can- including you. Your first instinct will likely be to divert your pups attention away from biting people and furniture.

The easiest way to divert your pups attention is to give it something that it is interested in. Toys will undoubtedly do the trick here, but...

If you have plans to train your hunting dog to be an excellent retriever, you will want to avoid giving your pup toys to play with at free will. Toys aren't necessarily a bad thing, but if you have toys and you don't handle them right, you are...

Continue Reading...

Avoid the 3 Biggest Mistakes with Retriever Puppy Training

Jun 10, 2020

Training a young puppy into an incredible hunting retriever is something that many aspire to and achieve, but along the way, simple mistakes can slow the progress. 

Before we dive in, if you haven't had a chance to check out the other posts that are available in this series, then you can check them out here.

Top Three Retrieving Mistakes (Avoid them at all cost)

  • Too Much Too Soon
  • Long Distance Isn't Always Best
  • Missing The Small Details: Don't Do It

All three of these mistakes are extremely common and usually end up in frustration later on in training. Read carefully, and be sure to follow the recommended advice below so that you can end up with the best success.

Too Much Too Soon

What's one of the first things we all do when we get our new retriever puppies? Retrieve, of course!

Some puppies come ready to retrieve, and others are late bloomers. Nonetheless, as soon as a pup shows promise with retrieving, the temptation to start retrieving as much as possible arrives....

Continue Reading...

What to Do With Your Puppy Biting, Barking, and Jumping

Jun 10, 2020

There are three main issues that you may face with your puppy. It's important to work on these issues as soon as possible.

  • Barking
  • Biting
  • Jumping

All three of those can be extremely frustrating to deal with if you aren't sure how to handle them properly. The good news is that there are solutions.


A puppy's bark is sharp and powerful. It can certainly hinder the tranquility in your home. If you handle it right, it will only last for a short period, but if you make a few common mistakes, it can be hard to stop your pup from barking.

When you get a chance, you will want to read over our blog post on what to do when your pup is barking.

For now, just know the number one rule: don't reinforce or reward your pup for barking. 


Biting/nipping is the next main issue that people face with their puppies. It's important to understand that up until this point in your pup's life, it has been surrounded by littermates that love biting all over each other. This is one way...

Continue Reading...

What to Do When You First Get a New Puppy

Jun 10, 2020

Once you have prepared for puppy pick up day, you also need to be prepared for when you arrive at home from puppy pick up day.

Introducing your puppy to the home is one of your best opportunities to start things off on the right foot. If you do everything right, you can really set yourself up for success. Training a puppy starts on your puppy's first night in your home.

Three Important Topics Can Make All The Difference 

  • Expectations that set the tone
  • Establishing a routine
  • The transition from litter to family

Expectations That Set the Tone

Expectations can either help you or hurt you when it comes to your new pup. If you have expectations that aren't met, then you probably will have a pretty tough time as you incorporate your pup into the home. On the contrary, if your expectations are met, you will have an incredible time as your pup becomes a part of the family.

So what should you be expecting? 

Well, you have a puppy, and it's going to be doing things that a...

Continue Reading...

Your Secret Weapon: Crate Training a New Puppy the Right Way

Jun 10, 2020

One of the very first things that you will want to do with your new pup is crate train and housebreak it. This is all part of bringing your pup into the home successfully. These new puppy principles are essential for your gundog's success.

The crate training process can turn into a nightmare if it isn't done properly. Fortunately, we've created a step by step Crate Training & House Breaking Guide that you can download here and follow. 

This guide will show you exactly how to crate train your puppy and beginning housebreaking. I highly recommend downloading it along with reading this blog post.

With that said, there are a few key focus points that you need to know so that the process will go as smoothly as possible.

  • Why crate size is key and why you should consider keeping your pup in a crate
  • How you handle accidents determines how quickly the process will go 
  • Food intake and water intake are essential for developing control as well as...
Continue Reading...

Preparing for a New Puppy: Everything You Need to Know For Pick Up Day

Jun 10, 2020

If you are like me, you and your family get excited thinking about picking up your new puppy. Picking up a puppy can be such a wonderful day. You can make the most of it if you keep in mind a few of the new puppy essentials.

We will cover those in the next few minutes, but for now, let's talk about the supplies you will need to make puppy pick up and the transition into your home as smooth as possible.

New Puppy Supplies Needed For Pick Up Day:

  • Natures Miracle Urine Destroyer

We have used the enzyme destroyer types with excellent success because it eliminates not only the soil but destroys the odor-producing enzymes that can cause your puppy to have accidents. You can purchase this product at most pet stores or online. Simply follow the directions on the label, and you will see the benefits right away.

  • Paper towels and some type of general household cleaner

These are handy to have on hand in case something is spilled or clean up after the urine destroyer as above. Also, you can...

Continue Reading...

Your Guide on How to Pick a Puppy That’s Right for You

Jun 10, 2020

When you are in the market for a puppy, there are so many things that can go through your mind.

If you are like most, you have spent hours and hours watching videos, researching different breeders, and daydreaming about the hunting adventures that you and your pup will one day embark on. 

You may also be researching and thinking about how to pick the best puppy for you. If you are, then you are on the right track. The first step in picking a puppy that's right for you is finding the right breeder. If you haven't found a breeder yet, then you will want to read our blog post on How to Choose a Good Breeder and Get the Right Retriever.

Once you find a breeder, you can begin the journey of picking your puppy.

So how do you pick the right puppy for you? 

Picking the right puppy for you doesn't boil down to an exact science, but there are definitely things that you should consider. 

Things like...

  • Picking the litter (Choose your pup based on the parents)*
  • ...
Continue Reading...

How To Choose A Good Breeder and Get The Right Retriever

Jun 10, 2020

Do you know what the first steps to having an incredible hunting dog are?

One of the first steps is finding the right breeder for you.

If you get this right, you won't have to worry about many of the red flags when picking out a puppy. 

How can you choose a good breeder?

There are a few important things to consider when thinking about choosing a breeder for your hunting dog.

  • Establish a Budget
  • Look up Reputation/Reviews
  • Gauge Responsiveness
  • Ask about Facilities 
  • Get Proof of Health Testing
  • Research Bloodlines

The budget is a great starting point.

Starting with a budget in mind will help you determine which breeders you should consider. With that said, if you are just now starting your search, you might be wondering about the different price ranges and what they will get you.

Prices vary drastically but generally start in the low hundreds and can range upwards of $2500. As with most things, you will get what you pay for. That doesn't mean you can't get a great...

Continue Reading...

What to do When You Hit A "Wall" with Your Retriever Training

May 22, 2020

When you're going through your journey of training your hunting dog, at some point you're probably going to run into a wall or basically what feels like a wall. You may not feel like you're moving your dog forward or may even feel that you're taking some steps back.

Often, you may be off to a fantastic start and feel like everything is going well. Then all of a sudden, things take a turn for the worst, and it doesn't feel like you're doing very well. Then, you get frustrated. That frustration just compounds and the frustration starts to actually slow your progress down, and that makes you not do as well with your dog. Maybe even make some bad calls as a handler.

That frustration can be your enemy because your pup will pick up on your negative emotions and respond.

I understand this frustration when it looks like your dog isn’t learning. I have great news for you though. It's not always a wall that you're hitting when it feels like you are stagnant.

I have two simple steps to...

Continue Reading...
1 2 3