The Gear You Need For Hunting Dog Training

Getting your hunting dog ready for the woods is a long and difficult process. You want him to be able to do things like point out and retrieve game skillfully. It may take a couple of whole hunting seasons to get your dog just the way you want him to be.

The very first step before you can expect him to start learning those hunting skills, is basic obedience training. He has to be able to handle commands like “stay” and “sit,” and has to be able to follow orders to come or stay quiet. How your dog performs will determine whether the hunt will be successful or not, and it is a factor in the safety of both the dog and hunter. As an example, your dog needs to know not to bark at geese when they are coming into view. It will ruin the hunt, and your buddies may not want to take you along with them next time. If your dog runs out too quickly, he will scare the prey away, and may also cause an accident. It is important to control your dog.

There are some essential pieces of equipment that will be important when you begin training your dog to be a good hunting dog. Number one on your gear list should be a 3/8-inch rope, made of polypropylene and somewhere around 30 feet long. With this rope, you can keep your dog under control while doing training exercises, and this way you won’t spend time and energy chasing after your dog if he runs away. This rope is also effective for correcting him.

Dogs don’t like loud noises, and where there are guns, there will be loud noises. For this reason, you will have to use a small pistol or some other firearm for your training. A handgun is the way to go; a larger rifle would be big, heavy and cumbersome, and would be hard to juggle with all the other equipment you will need for training. If you are training a retriever, you can use dummies or “bumpers” when you are teaching it to fetch. You can find different sizes and colors. When you are doing a “marking” drill where you are teaching the dog to fetch by sight, you should use white bumpers. If you are doing “running blinds,” where you are teaching the dog to run into an area to look for something like a fallen bird, you should use colored bumpers.

Whistles are necessary when training a retriever. Whistles are high and loud, and generally work better than the handler’s voice, which may not pierce through other noises as well. You should use the whistle when you want the dog to return to your side. There are whistles with various features, such as built-in megaphones to direct the sound away from your ears. These are a bit more expensive, but you might find that it’s worth the extra money to have one that is versatile.

One good way to get a dog to learn to fetch a bird is to have a friend throw the bumpers up into the air for the dog to catch. If you are training your dog by yourself, you can buy bird launchers that throw bumpers up in the air for you. They are big and expensive, but you may see results quickly using one. They have different features; for example, some can throw multiple birds.

Lots of hunters use electric collars for training their dogs, but these are controversial. With these, you hold a control which you can use to trigger a small electric shock. An electronic device is connected to the collar. With these devices, you can immediately and easily correct the dog for any kind of undesirable behavior. It may seem cruel, but the shock the dog receives is about the same as you get from touching a metal appliance after scuffing around on the carpet in the winter. Some people feel this is inhumane, but others consider it much nicer than traditional aggressive or forceful tactics that some trainers use.

You can learn a lot about dog training from listening to the experts. While you are getting your gear together to start training your dog, you may want to consider getting some of the tapes that are now widely available. These tapes contain useful tips for training and common guidelines.

What would you do if something happened to you or your dog when you are out in the woods training? You should always make sure you carry a good First Aid Kit. Most of the things you need in that Kit can be used for dogs as well as people, so if you make sure you have everything you need, you’ll both be covered. Here are some things you should always have: tape, scissors, sterile bandages, tweezers, an antiobiotic ointment like Neosporin, topical solutions, ibuprofen (but make sure it’s okay to use for both dogs and humans) and maybe some anti-inflammatory like Rimadly or Deramaxx. You can get these prescribed by your veterinarian. If you have a good First Aid Kit, you can make sure you are hunting safely.

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