Training any dog is hard enough as it is but training A Gun dog is a whole other level of hard.
In addition to the usual commands like sit, heel, and stay, Gun dog owners want their dogs to have the ability to recall and retrieve their game.
I’m sorry, Before we go any further, for you who don’t know:
A gun dog is a kind of hunting dog that is bred mainly to help hunters in finding and retrieving game, usually birds.
They are divided into three primary types: Retrievers, Flushing dogs, and Pointing breeds
Gun dog training requires a lot of hard work, patience, persistence, and dedication. It usually starts the moment you hold your little ball of fur in your arms for the first time and Believe me, it never ends.
In this article, we gonna talk about everything you need to know about gun dog training; tips, mistakes, techniques, when to start and what breeds are the best suited to be gun dogs
So, shall we,
Everything You Need to Know about Gun Dog Training
What Are The Best Gun Dog Breeds Out There?
Not all breeds can be exceptional hunting dogs.
You certainly can’t picture your Yorkie’s prey drive adding too much to your hunting success, can you?
Many different kinds of dogs can serve as wonderful hunting partners depending on what kind of game you’re pursuing.
With a lot of patience, you can train any dog to be a haunting dog but there are certain breeds that are natural hunters. It is much easier to work with them
There are plenty of hunters who are loyal to their breed, whether it’s a cocker spaniel, an English setter, a Boykin spaniel, an English springer spaniel, a Brittany spaniel or any other breed, each one will produce great hunters.
However, Here are my top 10 favorite hunting dogs breeds.
- Golden Retrievers
- Springer Spaniels
- Chesapeake Bay Retriever
- Hungarian Vizslas
- Italian Spinones
What Is the Best Gun Dog Training Techniques?
Training a gun dog isn’t a complicated dilemma as one might think. you can’t go wrong with a few basics.
In order to teach your puppy how to hunt, He needs to understand the following:
Retrieve, Stay, Recall, and Search.
The dog should stop, go away from you, and come back to you when you want.
That’s basically it,
But Hey, Not so easy, The devil is always in the details
First Command, Retrieve or Fetch
- Retrieving is taught by starting with a ball, a dummy or a toy first.
- Throw the toy at a short distance at first, ask your puppy to go and get it by using a commanding word like “Fetch it” or “Go”
- You can extend the distance as your dog gets better at retrieving.
- When your dog returns the toy or the dummy, make sure that you swap it for a treat, and give it lots of praise!
- After several attempts, start using a toy with animal urine on it (of the specific animal you want your dog to target) and have him retrieve the toy to get accustomed to bringing that scent back to you for a big reward.
Second command, Stay or Wait Until Given a Release Word
- To achieve the desired outcome of this command, show your dog the palm of your hand and say, “Stay”. Take a step back, and let him wait for no more than a second. Get back to him and treat him immediately.
- With each attempt, increase the time and the distance as long as your puppy is confident with the exercise.
- Combine teaching him to “Retrieve” and “Stay” by throwing a toy and asking your puppy to stay.
- Ask your dog to fetch the toy when you give him a release word like “Fetch it” or “Go.”
Third Command, Recall or Come When Called
- Choose a certain word for your recalling command like “Come” or “Get Back”; you can also use a whistle.
- Make sure to have lots of treats, call your puppy using the recall word. Once he comes, Give him lots of praise and a treat for coming to you. He needs to learn that coming to you is rewarding.
- Now try to combine all three exercises or commands with your puppy. Throw the toy, ask him to wait, and then release him to fetch. Once your puppy has the toy that he should retrieve, use your recall word and call him toward you!
Fourth Command, Search or Find Things with The Smell
- It’s preferable to start this exercise with your puppy at a young age. Hide treats with a strong smell all over your home and garden, and have your puppy search for them.
- At the beginning of the teaching process, your puppy won’t know what to look for or what the command “Search” means. So start by pointing out the area in which to search.
- Praise your puppy each time he sniffs out a treat! Take him to each area where you have hidden a treat, and ask him to search.
- Do the same steps repeatedly until your puppy is confident with the word “Search” and then you can move on to the next step.
- In the hunting field, use animal urine on objects for your puppy to sniff out. This is done by hiding a toy or dummy that have urine drops on it, make your dog sniff out the urine smell on a piece of cloth to get acquainted with what he is supposed to search for
- Ask your puppy to retrieve this toy by using your search command, and give him a huge reward when he successfully gets it.
That’s it. If you go through the training process of your gun dog with these in mind, I guarantee you the results will be incredibly amazing.
I hope this helps and answers all the questions you might have.
Good luck on your gun dog training
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If you have any tips or questions regarding the subject, Feel free to tell me in the comments section and I promise you I will respond ASAP.
Have a nice day and Read you next time.