Are you looking to have your hunting dog trained? Are you concerned with skittish behavior? Antelope Lake Retrievers wants to help your put your pooch at ease. We are your go to gun dog training experts in northeastern South Dakota.
So where do we begin?
All training for hunting begins with basic command training. We recommend to begin formal training around 6 months old. This is perfect time to begin this formal training. Remember to not rush the obedience training. This takes time and patience. Basic commands are the foundation for the building blocks of both starting and finishing gun dog training
First a few words about using a slip-lead in training.
“Building a strong foundation in formal training requires that you, the trainer, maintain control over pup at all times… Since immediate application of both negative pressure and positive reward are essential during all training sessions, proper placement of the lead is of utmost importance. Proper placement of the slip-lead depends on which side you plan to work the puppy on.” For details on how to place the slip lead on the pup, see the full article from MossyOak.com.
You’ve heard it said that “the eyes are the window to the soul.” Using this statement in gun dog training is imperative, because a dog can read you through your eyes. Do not wait until 6 months to begin this part of the training process. You can begin working on eye contact as soon as you are the owner of the dog.
The basic obedience commands are “sit,” “heel,” “stay,” “here” and “place.” The concept for teaching these commands are very similar, and they all begin with the eye contact. When you want to give a command to your dog, begin by calling his name. Once he looks at you (makes eye contact), you may give the command. This establishes the report and focus with the animal.
Once you have established eye contact, you can start with word commands. Word commands are learned by using slight pressure on the pup, such as pushing his hind end down while pulling up slightly on the slip lead. This will teach you dog to sit. Once he has mastered the verbal command, you can introduce the whistle, by using a verbal command followed by the short blast on the whistle. (Each whistle command has a different length and tone, which they will get used to as you teach them.) Eventually, you will be able to simply use the whistle commands to direct your puppy. And always use lots of praise with your dog, as this will be your best form of training. Dogs seek praise and affection from their people more than anything.
We will look into deeper training methods to help your animal be at peace when you pull the trigger, in future blogs. Antelope Lake Retrievers looks forward to assisting you as you prepare your best friend to join you in what you enjoy most! The Hunt!