Training Your Gundog

german-shepherd-957701_960_720Rearing a successful hunter can be an arduous task, particularly for first timers. It’s important to make the correct decision in choosing the perfect breed to fit your needs, and be proactive in gathering as much information as possible on the subject. Joining a local club will go a long way in gaining experience and seeking a professional trainer can really help in unlocking your dog’s natural instinct and potential.

When to start training?

Formal gundog training can usually begin as soon as seven months, depending on the individual puppy. However, creating and securing a bond between you and your companion is imperative and should begin from the moment you meet. A prosperous working relationship can only be achieved through mutual trust and respect, which is fostered during the initial six months of the pup’s life.

Exposure is Everything

It’s essential to expose your young canine to as much of the hunting world as possible, this means introducing them to other dogs, travel crates, gunfire, gamebirds etc. within the first year. Traversing diverse terrains is also a must, from the open moors to closed woodlands, which builds the youngster’s certainty and strength, and nurtures his predatory drive. Allowing the pup to experience water will ensure confidence in future hunts. This is a crucial element in the training process

Be the Pack Leader

This simple premise is actually one of the most difficult tasks for many dog owners, which applies to anyone seeking a balanced and enjoyable relationship with their canine. All puppies are innately programmed to follow a pack leader, so your job is to project a calm yet assertive energy consistently from the minute the dog enters your home.

The Basics

Set boundaries and stick to them. Establish basic commands, such as ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ and continue to work with them on a daily basis, particularly around feeding time. Control is crucial when beginning with gundog training, which can be practiced by introducing the whistle at a young age. Offer the pup plenty of variety when it comes to tasks of search and retrieval. Stay positive;don’t give up!