Gun Dog Training – The Basic Concept
The major categories of hunt dogs are retrievers, flushing spaniels and pointing breeds. The training of these breeds varies in few aspects depending on the job specification. Irrespective of the job, common practice is to start gun dog training as young as puppies as young as 3 or 4 months old.
The gun dog training process for the Retriever will consist of making them sit alert without moving to retrieve the game. They should clearly watch where all the games fall after hitting. If the dog fails to see the fall of the bird or bumper, they will be sent on blind retrieve. The hand signal and whistle will be used to convey the message. Special training is given to hold the bird gently and firmly until asked to release to the handler’s hand. Shaking to ward off excess water or to battle the bird is not permitted. The dog should be trained to stay within the gun range. He should remain sitting during calling of birds in the blind or on the flush of the bird and gunfire in the field.
Gun Dog Qualities
The primary qualities of these dogs like intelligence, controllability and adaptability should be sharpened during the training process. Enough care should be taken in enhancing stamina and providing a balanced diet. Their ability to smell feathers, track birds, even under thick covers is of prime criteria. Their ability to remember each fall is to be taken care of during training. They should nark the area of the fall and proceed directly to that area when released for the retrieve. They should be trained to enter all types of terrain without hesitation and hunt for and or retrieve downed game. Socialization skill is another important skill that needs to be developed. Concentration is to be acquired through training. The eyesight of the dogs should be keen and should be aware of what is happening, but also understand what their handler is asking of them at all times. Keep in mind that they are working for you and they should not be hunting for themselves.
There is another difference in training of the gun dogs depending on the breed and the handlers. They should be trained to chase the falling trajectory of the birds. And of course, they should be friendly enough to the master and willing to accept praise and pressure. The behavior pattern of all dogs is not same. His domicile, environment, as well as daily structure, shall have to be made clear to him through training and repetition. Remember that the gun dog training should not be overdone. Overtraining should be avoided and most dogs only need about 15-20 minutes of training every day.
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