Basic obedience is the foundation for all training. A gun dog that is not obedient is of no use. Most of us, in our excitement to encourage our puppies to retrieve, either simply don't spend enough time on basic obedience, or do not have a high enough standard for the correct behaviors. Obviously, a young puppy can't be expected to be perfectly obedient. However, once the instinct to retrieve has been encouraged, the dog's ability to become a great gun dog is going to be directly related to his obedience skills.