Hunting Dog Training -10 Tips You Should Never Forget
Hunters usually take dogs during an open season more as partners than as companions. These animals have incredible senses of smell and sight – the same characteristics you need to catch your quarry.
However, the thing is, dogs are not all born natural predators. Some may become too excited and start running around the vast field ahead of them. Others, on the contrary, may feel scared at the sound of gunshots and the view of larger games.
You definitely cannot afford to have the man’s best friend acting either way, can you? The trick to avoid that is by starting your hunting dog training early.
What Are Hunting Dogs?
The typical breeds that huntsmen take are the hounds. They are fast and strong; the game birds and other four-legged creatures are effortless to track for them.
If your plan is to use your gun or bow and arrow during the hunt, you may bring the beasts from the Sporting Group. The list includes spaniels, setters, pointers, and retrievers. Their ultimate job in the wilderness is to locate where the quarry fell and carry it back to you.
10 Tips for Hunting Dog Training
1. Begin With Obedience Drills
Since your animal will accompany you outdoors, the normal ‘Shake hands’ or ‘Sit’ commands will no longer suffice. You should instruct them how to ‘Stay’, ‘Come’, and ‘Retrieve’ instead.
Although there are professional obedience schools that the dogs can enter, it’s still better to guide them yourself. In this manner, the pup won’t think twice before obeying you in the field when it’s used to your orders.
2. Teach How To React After Firing A Shot
Different gun dogs specialize in diverse specific creatures. There are breeds that track flying birds, fight wild pigs or foxes, or snatch fallen animals from the water. But one trait they all share is the eagerness to run towards their prey before you even say so.
A proper hunting dog training, therefore, covers teaching it to remain calm before and after you shoot the game. Skipping this tip can just make your animal a distraction to you and other hunters.
3. Make It An Awesome Marker
Considering your dog is a year old, it will initially only want to play around without care in the world. Even when it’s from a sporting breed, you still need to help the pet understand how to mark a target.
You can achieve that by teaching it to hide within the grass or near the water. After all, that’s where shot quarries tend to land.
4. Exercise Running In A Straight Line
The hardest kind of animal to manage in the wilderness is one that doesn’t run straight to the game. The dog should blend in with nature, most importantly, and not scare the creatures away.
It is easy to train them to hold a line whether you live in the city or on a countryside. In case it’s the latter, then the fences can control their path. For the former, the long streets will do.
5. Impart Some Organization Skills
When you hit multiple targets simultaneously, an untried dog will sort of go into panic mode. This animal won’t know which quarry to retrieve first and on what direction to move. Hence, you may have to fetch it along with the hunted beings.
You won’t encounter such troubles if your hunting dog training comprises handling similar situations too. Allow it to see you fire at several things at once before commanding the pet to go after one of them. By doing this drill often, your dog can perform its task well.
6. Train With Decoys
Veteran hunters set up decoys, which are often the replicas of the quarry, to prepare pets for the hunt.
Conduct the exercises as if it’s the real deal already, and watch how the dogs will react. Feel free to change up the position of the bumpers with those lures as well. What’s essential here is for your animal to not ever notice you arranging the decoys yourself.
7. Acquaint Your Pet With The Animals
Are you aware of how boxers mentally or physically train with the opponent’s image in their brain? With a dog’s high level of intelligence, it should be able to do that too.
Rather than showing a photo of the prey, however, you should introduce live or frozen sample of it. This job isn’t difficult when it comes to birds, but you should still try with four-legged animals.
Of course, a re-introduction is also necessary for experienced hunting dogs.
8. Alternate The Settings
Since you can’t be certain of where your game will drop, familiarize your pet with land and aquatic locations. This training is specifically essential for bird dogs, because they may have to dive in and move ashore quickly.
9. Let It Experience Riding A Boat
The ninth tip is a necessity in case the hunting season requires you to go on a boat with your animal. It may seem fearful the first few times it rides one, yet the fright will subside later on. The drill will work with or without the vessel on water.
10. Exhibit Weather Precautions
Last but not the least, stay considerate of the fact that dogs can’t take on too much heat. The perfect time to train is during the morning or late in the afternoon – that’s when it’s not so hot. Nevertheless, ensure that you have plenty of cool water on hand for you and the animal.
When hunting dog training, remember that the animal cannot learn everything in one day. Thus, show as much patience as possible. Anticipate various scenarios that it may go through outdoors too and teach your pet how to overcome them.
After some time, the dog will be ready for the hunting season. Good luck!
Did these tips help you train your animal to hunt? Let us know in the comments’ section now!