Hunting Dog Training - Gun Dog Training - Retriever Training
A well trained dog is essential for any avid hunter. Your dog should learn from the very beginning how to be an able partner in any situation, whether you are on the ground or on the water. Beginning when your dog is still young, teach him the basic commands of all good hunting dogs, whether it is the all important sit command for retriever training, or the come command for the pointing breeds. By beginning as early as possible, you are almost certainly assuring a successful working relationship between you and your dog in the future.
Your hunting dog should be introduced to not only essential commands, but all the tools important to a satisfying partnership with each other in the field, including gunfire. Hand signals can be introduced as well as the use of whistle commands. Scent training is used to teach identification of prey, and dummies are used to teach your dog how to retrieve kill without damaging it. Keep in mind, however, that though your dog may acclimate well to use of dummies, nothing is a perfect substitute for using real feathers or the actual bird in hunting dog training. As your dog becomes more comfortable in the process and masters necessary skill sets, more advanced tricks can be taught.
Once your dog has been conditioned to accept the basic commands, you can consider dog training collars as an additional tool available to help boost your dogs chances for success. An electronic training collar is an effective way to back up the training your dog has had up to this point. By using different levels of stimulation via controls on the collar, you can reinforce specific behaviors or stop unwanted behaviors. Usage of an e-collar should be handled with the utmost care and the help of a professional should be considered until you and your dog are both comfortable with the process.
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As with all training, positive reinforcement and encouragement is key. Reacting negatively to mistakes made by your animal will only ensure that your dog sees anything associated with his hunting training as something to be avoided. By making the training process fun and exciting, he will look forward to each new session. Also, keep the training as real as possible for your dog as this will help in confidence building. For example, if you plan to use a blind, make sure he’s had plenty of experience before he is on his first hunt. With adequate time and patience, your dog will become invaluable to your hunting experience.
Hunting dogs are invaluable when out in the fields or in the woods. With their elaborate sense of smell and hearing, these dogs can mean the difference between a good and bad day out. Training hunting dogs is no easy task. You must work with them from a very young age.
The “trick” to learning the ropes of being a good hunting dog is plenty of praise and positive reinforcement. Canines love to run packs and are extraordinarily willing to please. This does not mean training is easy or quick.
Each pooch must learn the appropriate dog training commands. Chief among them is “sit”. While most dogs understand up to 100 words, it is important to remember to keep each dog training command simple. This lessens confusion. With proper training, an average dog can learn up to 160 commands, according to psychologist Stanley Coren.
The first dog training commands you should focus on are the basics: “sit”, “stay”, “come”, “fetch” and “heel”. Take careful notice of the order. “Sit” is the number one command for good reason. You want your hunting dog to stay calm when necessary.
Other commands will come in good time. The more complex, the more positive reinforcement that will be needed. That reinforcement isn’t necessarily more treats, it is being more precise about what you expect. The easiest dog training commands are only one syllable: “sit”, “stay”, “come”, “fetch” and “heel”. But more complex commands should be accompanied with your dog’s name. For instance, “upstairs Sam”.
Keep in mind that hunting dog commands might be similar. “Sit” and “heel” are similar but not the same. “Heel” means to stay close and disengage. But “sit” is two commands in one: to “sit” and to “stay”. Therefore, “sit” is the most important because it requires a large amount of training.