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Gun Dog Training Insights For Brilliant Results

Apr 8, 2008
If you've ever seen a hunter with his dog, you know that the bond between them is very strong. The hunting dog listens and responds to every command quickly and precisely. This takes time to accomplish but is well worth it.

Types of Retrievers: Breeds such as Labrador retrievers and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling retrievers are excellent gun dogs having been bred over hundreds of years for just that purpose. However, despite centuries of breeding, dogs can still be willful.

Basic Commands: Commands such as Whoa, No, Kennel, Sit and Come are vital. Your dog must know and obey all of these commands before you take him out to the field. If your dog won't obey you when he's on a leash he certainly won't obey when he has the freedom to run at will. Your dog should be taught in a realistic situation in the field and not at home.

Field Training: Once your dog learns those commands and he has been taught not to be frightened by gun noise you can start field training. Start with dummy training. Your dog must learn that he is meant to retrieve something and starting with a dummy is the best way to teach him what he is suppose to do.

Dummy Training Methods: Be sure to choose a dummy that is suitable to your dog. Dummies may be made of plastic or fabric and some are made to look like game birds. You'll know he's ready when your dog has learned to gently retrieve the dummy without shaking or damaging it.

Occasionally the dog will not go for an actual bird and you may need to train him further by using a dummy with feathers and streamers added on. This will mimic the movements of an actual bird and he will become more confident handling it. Streamers imitate the actions of a bird when it is not quite dead so that the real bird likely will not frighten your dog.

Use Decoys: If your dog seems afraid when you ask him to retrieve a bird, transition to real birds slowly. You can use either a stuffed duck or a pheasant as a dummy decoy, so ask your local taxidermist for one.
About the Author
Author Rebecca Foxton wants to help you bring your pet better direction with Gun Dog Training. Check out her nutrition tips for people with dogs and cats and read her FortiFlora article series on Dog Buffs.
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