How To Train Hunting And Terrier Dogs In Their Early YearsHow To Train Hunting And Terrier Dogs In Their Early Years

Do you love to spend your vacation by sticking to your favorite sports like, ‘hunting’? That’s great; but, don’t you feel isolated at times when you are just hunting alone and nobody is there in the fields as enthusiastic as you? You feel lonely right? Then, perhaps you might consider having a companion dog that is also an excellent hunter. Before you try to purchase a hunting dog that will make your hunting quite enjoyable you need to consider many factors.  Finding a hunter dog won’t be difficult. Dogs such as a retriever (like the Labrador retriever), beagle, miniature poodle, bloodhound, and etc are excellent hunter dogs. You can hands-down purchase them, and start training them when they are pups. BUT each one is a brilliant hunter for a reason, and often that dedication to the hunt, means difficult generally training for you, even in simple tasks like recall.

If you want your dog to be an expert hunter, then you need to have a LOT of patience. If he/she cannot catch your training don’t be impatient and start forcing them. When you start forcing them, they will become more stubborn, and will never ever listen to your commands. Some dog can also become human aggressive or overly timid.  Each breed will have a bad defense mechanism you don’t want to evoke. So, be patient and follow the tips given below that will help you train any hunting dog breeds at ease.

5 tips to train your hunting dog:

  • Begin when your dog is a pup: When your puppy is 6-8 weeks old, begin the training. Of course they often arenet weened until 10 weeks, but the earlier the better. Why? It’s because puppies at this age have a short attention span, so always keep training them two to three times a day for at least fifteen minutes. But, don’t force them if they are in a play mood.
  • Teach him/her to be obedient: Before you start making your pup chase a prey, make sure you teach him basic commands such as “sit”, “stay”, “run” and especially the “recall” command. The “recall command” is important because it will make him come back to you when you call him. This is quite essential when you are in an open field hunting for rabbits.
  • Teach them to track scents: A dog’s main power is the ability to smell and find things easily isn’t it? So, make sure your hunting partner learns to track scents. What you can do is scatter bits and pieces of treats throughout the yard or the garden, and allow him to sniff around and find them. This will train him to track a scent easily.
  • Teach him to chase a meat: To make your pup ready to chase a meat, what you need to do is tie a sausage or a piece of meat with a string and drag it around the yard/garden. After running or walking ever three meters or so, just keep cutting little pieces of the meat. This will not just help you train the pup to chase meat, but will also train him to follow extended scent trails. Later, when he learns to track scents and chase meat, drag a dead rabbit or any other prey through the grass so that the pup gets familiar with that particular prey’s scent, and prepares to track preys.
  • Introduce your pup to a prey: As soon as your pup is in between twelve to sixteen weeks, introduce him to the prey that you love to hunt, be it a rabbit or a bird. Let him sniff the prey first, and then you can release the prey. If you find your puppy is chasing it, then you are a successful hunting master! Most hunting dogs have an innate desire to hunt, but not all.
Whether you have terrier dogs, water dogs or any other type of hunting dogs, make sure you follow the above-mentioned tips to make him your best hunting companion.
by Jennifer Miller
References and Bibliography

Maria Willick is an experienced dog trainer, who has specialized in training terrier dogs. If you want to know about training a terrier or any other hunting dog breeds, then go through her articles.

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