Most hunting dog owners take for granted the commitment a professional dog trainer makes when he decides to make training dogs his life’s work. A professional not only commits to training the dog, but accepts the responsibility of taking care of the animal’s mental and physical need as well, just in the same way his owner made that commitment when he purchased the animal. In other words, owning a hunting dog is a huge commitment especially if you intend to train your dog in whole or in part.
Once your dog is home, a training schedule should be developed with a timetable of goals to achieve. If you never use a professional, you can set this up yourself using books or the internet for helpful information.
There are certain skills that all hunting dogs need to learn in order to become proficient at their jobs. Ideally, these skills should be taught in a predetermined order and on a well balanced time schedule so the youngster understands and accepts these lessons as a standard for not only his performance in the field, but in his everyday life as well. Even a young pup can learn these lessons; when lessons are ingrained at a young age, dogs accept them more easily.
If a pup starts off learning the right way to behave, you’ll prevent the establishment of bad habits. if you don’t teach a young dog exactly how you want him to perform a skill or command, he will simply do it the way his instincts tell him it should be done. This is usually not the best thing for the team of hunter and dog. When a young dog repeats improper behavior, you now have a bad habit that can become quickly ingrained.
Then before proper habits can be instilled, the bad habit must be erased. This takes precious time away from properly advancing your trainee to his next level and now you are burdened with the task of undoing what your pup improperly learned. Puppies do not sit still and mark time, they will learn life’s lessons whether you teach it to them or they learn them on their own. Even if you can’t find time on a daily basis to work you pup, a walk or playing with a toy can teach him good habits. The little things, such as not jumping up on people, not running away when called and not digging in the flowerpots, are small lessons that add up to respecting you and building eagerness to work.
As dogs mature, their early lessons provide the basis for advancement. And dogs with good basics are much more enjoyable to train and eventually hunt over. An obedient, yet joyful dog is the result of being consistent in your everyday habits. Training and/or maintaining a hunting dog is a serious commitment, and, as with any endeavor, you get out of it, what you put into it.
I know it’s a difficult task for a hunter with a job and family to commit so much of his spare time to such a task, that’s why training your dogs to hunt, has to be important to you, or you simply will not do a good enough job. The best reason I can think of to motivate you is, “your teaching will last a lifetime”.
Have fun training!Grady Istre writes in dog training every other week and can be reached at Reibar.com