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Much like the average household pet, hunting dogs require training. However, in addition to household training (going outside, sit and stay), hunting dogs need specific training for the field. For example, hunting dog training should include retrieval tactics, locating tactics and much more. In this blog, we are going to discuss important things to know before you begin training.

Hunting Dogs Have Instincts

As discussed in our previous blog, many hunting dog breeds have instincts that will come in handy not only in the field but also during training. For instance, beagles have a willingness to learn. Whereas coonhounds have a different set of instincts (intelligence and determination) that are sure to shine during dog training. However, a dog’s instincts aren’t the only thing that makes them a good hunting dog. With the correct training, almost any breed is sure to succeed.

Master the Basics

Before you get too deep into your hunting dog training, it’s crucial that your dog has mastered the basics. Basic commands include sit, come, stay and heel. These are also familiar commands that many household pets learn. If you’re just starting out with a new pup, a good tip for basic training is praise and repeat. What are praise and repeat? After your dog has successfully completed a command, provide them with verbal praise, a treat or both! Next step? Do it all over again. During the dog training process, reinforcement is crucial. The positive reinforcement of a treat and verbal praise will teach your dog he or she has done something good.

Move to the Field 

After your dog has mastered the basics, it’s time to move them to the field. Field training is a great time to teach your dog to locate and retrieve. Start by training your dog to locate decoys. Set up decoys in various patterns in the field and have your dog locate them. Once they’ve located all the decoys, revert back to praise and repeat. Eventually, your dog will catch on that locating rewards them with positive reinforcement. Once your dog has mastered locating, you can start training them to retrieve the items. This can be done by throwing and retrieving or blind retrieval. Much like locating, retrieval is an integral part of the hunting dog training process.

Continuous Training is Key

Once you’ve got the dog training down, it’s time to take your pup into the field. You’ll likely be pleased with what you see. In order to keep your dog’s performance at peak level, the right nutrition and continuous training are key. By choosing a food created for hunting dogs, you’re choosing to put your dog’s health first. And, when your dog is healthy and happy, it will shine through on the field. However, it doesn’t stop there. In addition to the right nutrition, quarterly training will keep your dog in shape for the many hunts to come.

Whether you’re looking for hunting dog tips or hunting dog nutrition, you’ve come to the right place. For more information regarding our performance line check out the products page! Check out our blog for articles on hunting dogs, dog diets and much more.