The decision to train your dog for hunting is a big deal. Some owners might have gotten a dog specifically for that purpose, and others might consider it seeing the dog’s natural abilities. No matter the reason, there are plenty of challenges that come along with training a hunting dog.
To get the most out of your training and your dog, here is some top advice from pro trainers that will help you and your dog become the best possible hunting team that you can!
1. Create Basic and Obtainable Goals
The only way that you can see and record progress is if you have realistic goals and expectations, which you should create for your training. Whether your dog will be a pointer, flusher, bird retrieval, or something else, every dog should have some goals that you have set to try and accomplish. Even if it is basic things for a new puppy like housebreaking or heeling, create simple and obtainable goals!
2. Teach Your Dog “Sit” and “Stay”
One of the first goals for any hunting dog, regardless of the type of hunting you want to do with it, should be the basic commands of sit and stay. If your dog is already familiar with these two basic commands, you can move onto more complex training, but these two should be learned first in order to get started.
3. Practice Daily
The only way that you and your dog are going to get better is by practicing. Practicing daily will help your dog remember the things that they have previously learned. If you wait a few days or a week in between training sessions, your dog might forget what it has learned and you will be starting behind where you could if you train every single day.
4. Invest in the Proper Training Equipment
From crates to dummies, all the way to leashes and vests, whatever your dog needs in its training, get it! The sooner they become accustomed to this gear, the better. Most dogs are considered members of the family, so why wouldn’t you want to invest in the best gear you can for your hunting partner?
5. Keep it Simple
Don’t bite off more than you can chew, especially when getting started. Practice one basic concept at a time, and avoid confusing or frurstrating your dog. Keeping it simple will help them learn much quicker and have more fun while doing so.
6. Be Patient
Training a dog can be extremely frustrating, especially if your dog is free spirited. Remember to exhibit patience throughout the process, and take a break when needed. Your dog will learn, but having patience when training is key.
7. Have Fun
Last but not least, have fun while training your dog! Don’t take it too seriouslyl, and remember the reason why you are training your pup in the first place. Have fun throughout the entire training and in no time you and your dog will be hunting pros!
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