Last Updated on February 22, 2022
How to Train a Hunting Dog: Hunting dogs, also known as gun dogs, are trained to assist hunters in finding and retrieving games. But it is impossible to train a dog that can hunt all types of animals. Even if it were possible, each dog would be better at some types of hunting than others.
For example, Retrievers are good for bird hunting whereas, American Foxhound is suitable for deer hunting. Though, we can train hunting dogs in various ways using a variety of gear and training methods.
However, the best way to train a hunting dog depends on the type of dog and how the hunter will treat the dog in the field.
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Breeds That Are Best for Hunting
Hunting Dog training does not work with all breeds; some breeds are better suited for hunting. Such as-
- American Foxhound
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Pet Dog VS Hunting Dog
A hunting dog has different living requirements than a domestic pet. Unlike a pet who can play with toys, a gun dog has been trained to retrieve game hunts with tools.
A pet usually knows his name and only responds to their owner when they are being called. Whereas a gun dog used to be disciplined when around firearms, remain calm in the field, and follow his master’s every commands.
However, training a hunting dog is not challenging. When gun owners surround hunting dogs, they will automatically start to train themselves.
But, there are ways to train hunting dogs more effectively. You can train them by controlling their environment and making sure that they follow your orders.
Training Tools of Hunting Dog
Gun dog tools manufacturers offer a broad range of products for the training and hunting of gun dogs. Some are:
- A dog whistle
- Gun dog clothing
- A dog GPS collar
- Dog hunting backpacks
- Dummy and launcher
- A commanding collar
- Kennels and covers
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What Is the Purpose of Gun Dog Training?
Training your dog to hunt is not all about basic commands such as come, stay, or sit. It includes multiple specialized skills, advanced behaviors, and responding quickly and correctly to various situations.
Therefore, training a dog for hunting usually takes time; it doesn’t happen overnight. However, hunting dog training should be thorough so dogs can anticipate their prey’s location and find them more quickly.
They must understand when it is appropriate to stay close to their owner and when it is acceptable to flee in pursuit of prey.
Yet, training a dog to hunt should be begun when the dog is a puppy, and it should progress as the dog’s physical and mental abilities grow.
Socialization of Hunting Dog
Socializing your dog for hunting is an integral part of successful hunting training. Before training your dog for hunting, make sure the dog knows the fundamental obedience and commands.
Also, it’s necessary to teach them to relax on command so that hunters can concentrate on their target without worrying about their dog’s barking.
Therefore, when training a hunting dog, it is essential to expose them to various environments to become familiar with various odors and sounds. Indeed, the sooner your dog is socialized, the easier and more effective it will be to train him to hunt.
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How to Train a Hunting Dog?
You’ll want to consider how to train your dog for various situations to get him ready for the hunt. One method is to train a dog to ignore certain noises, become accustomed to various obstacles, and concentrate on the chase.
By following a simple process, you can teach your dog to be more comfortable around new and frightening situations.
1. Adopting Loud Noise
You must start exposing your dog to loud noises as soon as possible. To get your puppy used to everyday household noises, use a pot or a drum to make normal household noises.
In the beginning, your dog may be startled by these loud household sounds. Over time, these loud household sounds will become commonplace, and your pet will either stop noticing them or show no reaction to them. As soon as your dog starts to ignore these loud household sounds, immediately treat and praise him for establishing a positive impression.
Once your dog gets accustomed to the sound in the house, take them to the noisy places for the gradual adjustment with various sounds and increased volume. Moreover, a park adjacent to a highway is an excellent location to socialize your dog with the sounds of passing cars and backfires.
If you intend to hunt using a firearm, you must first acclimatize your dog to the sound and vibration of shooting. So, first, you should expose your dog to recorded gun sounds. Moreover, there are countless sound recordings online that you can use to train your dog.
Start taking your dog to the hunting and gradually allows your dog closer to the action. But, you should initially maintain them a safe distance from the mainline of hunters.
2. Acclimation to Obstacles
Your dog must become familiar with a variety of surfaces. Line the bottom of their crate with synthetic grass, take them to the turf, and try laying down a piece of Barbeque or other treat and rewarding them for walking, running, or jumping.
Introduce your puppy to dog agility training as soon as possible so that he can develop strong hunting skills. Dog agility courses’ rugged terrain is an excellent way to warm up for bouldering or challenging climbs.
Numerous dogs are irritated by overhanging branches or other stuff casting shadows or brushing against them from above. You can assist your dog in adapting to these hurdles by hanging towels or other stuff from their crate.
Teaching your dog to cross tunnels and holes is an essential part of obstacle training. A variety of agility courses have tunnels of varying lengths and materials available. You should train your dog to follow the command for entering and departing these areas.
Once you have trained your dog to ignore noises and move through obstacles, you can simulate real-life scenarios. Because, in real-life situations, loud banging and rustling bags will occur as you move through a tunnel or weave under hanging obstacles.
3. Destruction Free Return
Teaching your dog to touch your hand with his paw can be helpful for training purposes or for times when you need to show your dog where something is. When your dog rubs your hand, feed it treats. If your dog is used to being rewarded for rubbing your hand, it will be more receptive to the command.
Once your dog has understood these essential commands, add distance for touch. It is better to teach them to sit and stay first, then come and return.
When your dog is consistently touching your hand from a long distance, stop luring them with the treat and encourage them to keep touching. Also, it’s essential to reward your dog from time to time. So, you can use your opposite hand to reward them and make them habitual to touch your hand even if there is no food on the hand.
Once you’ve taught your dog to touch your hand, you should begin to teach it the verbal and hand commands for returning. You may want to choose a word that you will use solely to recall your dog immediately. Moreover, a hand signal is an excellent association because it may be seen even if your dog cannot hear you.
After your dog has mastered the recall, you should start testing its recall in increasingly distracting environments. Public dog parks, walkways, and dog-friendly businesses and events are excellent places to test your dog’s recall.
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Hunting Dog Training Tips
1. We spend the majority of our time indoors. So, allow your puppy to grow up inside. Your puppy needs your companionship to bond, develop communication skills, and develop a desire to please.
2. As puppies grow, they spend more energy on growth than on play. Throwing an excessive number of retrieves might slow down their growth by tiring them out, resulting in pain and lack of interest in retrieving.
3. Be specific in your commands. So, avoid repetition of commands. You want your dog to respond to a single command, not to repeated commands. If the dog does not respond, employ a technique to get his attention and establish dominance.
4. Don’t allow your dog to disobey you. You must train your dog not to eat or go out if you haven’t permitted him. To perform any action, your dog should wait for your command.
5. Please don’t push your dog to do things you haven’t trained him to do. Instead, encourage him to do as you wish through the use of training techniques.
There are various techniques and methods for training your dog, depending on the type of hunting you intend to do.
To become a successful hunting dog, they must be trained for the specific type of hunting that you will perform. So, if you want to hunt with your dog, make sure your dog gets his training first.
In this article, we have tried to share all the necessary information on hunting dog training. So, we hope this article will be proved helpful to you to train your dog for hunting.