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Hunting dog walking through field with hunters legs in photo.

Training and Nutrition for Hunting Dogs

Training and nutrition are crucial to your dog’s overall health and performance and it never ends. However, many would argue that the first year of your pooch’s life is the most important when it comes to training. To ensure that your hunting dog reaches his or her full potential, you should begin working with him or her on day one. Like all puppies, your dog is likely going to be filled with energy. Providing your hunting dog with the correct training and care early on to correct bad habits is important. Here are a few tips for turning your puppy into a hunting dog and companion for life.

Nutrition:

It’s important to note that your hunting dog will need specific nutrients that they can’t get from the average bag of dog food.

While your dog is still a pup, you will want to feed them puppy food. Puppy food is formulated with the right nutrients to meet the needs of your growing puppy. When you transition your pup from puppy food to adult food, this is where you should consider the food you are choosing.

Often times, hunting dog owners will choose to feed their dogs high-energy or high performance dog food. High-energy foods are formulated to meet the dog’s nutritional needs as well help your dog maintain endurance. High performance dog food is the most common choice for hunting dogs. This type of food is formulated to meet your hunting dog’s nutritional needs as well as help them to achieve peak performance.

Commands:

Teach your hunting dog basic commands early on. Be sure to stick with the same commands so that you don’t confuse them. Early on you will want to keep your commands simple. Teach your hunting dog the basic commands like sit, stay and no.

Bird Training:

You can’t expect to take your hunting dog out with you on a hunt without any bird training. You can begin training with a dummy bird. During training early on, you will want to teach your dog how to handle the bird to avoid rough handling when it comes to the real deal. Once your dog has mastered training with the dummy bird, you can introduce live birds. You can usually get birds to train with from a local trainer. Observe your hunting dog’s interactions and how he handles live birds. Once you feel comfortable, you can take him out on his first hunt.

Continuous Improvement:

As we mentioned early on, training and nutrition never stops. Take your dog to the vet for regular checkups and as needed. Make updates to your dog’s food plan based on recommendations from a vet. It’s important to reevaluate your training techniques and introduce new ones. Track your dog’s performance, make notes of areas where they could use improvement and areas where they exceed. Taking note of your hunting dog’s performance allows you as the owner to ensure they reach their full potential.

Joy Dog Food has been providing nutritious food formulated to help hunting dogs reach their peak performance for over 70 years. If you’re not sure which food is right for your hunting dog, we can help! View our products to see what makes the most sense for your dog.

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