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Training Your Hunting Dog: Steadiness and Trust
Training any dog takes plenty of patience and commitment. However, these two things become even more important when you are training your hunting dog. This is the dog that will be not just a companion, but also a helper. You want to be sure that when you take them on a hunting trip, they know exactly what to do and how to behave. However, you also want them to not be afraid. They need to trust you when they hear the sound of the gun, and stay calm. Here are some tips to help when training your hunting dog.
1. Use an E-Collar
There are a number of different types of e-collars, including a large selection of training versions meant for hunters. These collars allow you to give your dog commands from a long distance, and do so quietly. Over time, the more your dog uses the collar, the quicker they will come to understand what sort of behavior is expected of them. There are even specific collars that have built in bark limiters, for dogs who tend to ruin the hunt by giving themselves away. This works automatically by giving them small mild static corrections without you having to hit any buttons
These collars, however, need to be introduced slowly. Give your dog time to get used to how it feels before you turn it on and start using it.
2. Take Your Dog to the Hunting Area
Once your dog is comfortable with the basic expectations you have, take him to the area you plan on hunting in. This is not so you can actually go hunting, but so your dog can get used to the terrain and following the commands in that setting. It could be more difficult for them to stay still and quiet with all the different sights and sounds, so it is important that they get used to the area before going any further. Have your gun with you as well, so they can get used to the sight of it.
3. Introduce the Gun
After your dog has had time to get used to the area, start introducing the sounds of the gun. Start with it being empty, then work your way up to the sound of a .22 cal. Eventually, work your way into your normal sized rounds. The sound may make your dog scared at first, but by taking it slowly and watching their reactions; you can show them that they have nothing to be afraid of. This will add another level of trust between you and your future hunting partner. The more comfortable they are around the guns, the calmer they will stay during the actual hunt.
4. Set-Up Mock Hunts
Sporting Dog Pro sells different types of training gear for your hunting dogs, including dummies and animal scents to go with them. You want your dog to be familiar with the scents of what you plan on hunting, so start by just letting them smell it before you launch it. Then, walk your dog through the set up until they become used to it and can do what you want to your liking.
It may take some time, but by the end of training, your dog will be a confident, trusting, and helpful companion on your hunts. After training, you can graduate them to a GPS collar, so that you can easily track them when they are on the move. Talk to the us to find out more about the training and hunting products we offer!