Here’s your last call for hunting dog training before the season begins.
Do hunting dogs anticipate the season as much as we do?
Odds point to yes, and to make sure you’re as ready as they are, here are some pointers that will help get them in hunting season shape, along with some suggestions for training gear and accessories that will go a long way in helping them become the master hunting partners they were bred to be.
View the slideshow for some tips and gear selections, and let us know about your canine hunting partner in the comments below.
Not every hunting dog needs to be “trained,” instead it’s often a case of molding and customizing already-instilled instincts.
Using a training collar system like the Micro-iDT PLUS Remote Waterproof Dog Training Collar System can really help reinforce the positive and discourage the negative.
Tracking dogs are just as important as bird dogs, especially when it comes to mountain lions, and the Garmin® Alpha™ 100/TT™ 10 Dog Tracking Bundle helps get your hound to the point of reliability.
GPS tracking capabilities and a touchscreen display brings dog tracking to the modern day, technological world we live in.
Working up to realistic bird dummies is a good idea, so start hunting dogs out with something like the Pete Rickard’s 2×9″ Floating Bird Dog Dummy.
The weight and cord make it easy to throw, and it’s ideal for the first introduction of a dog to his hunting gig. Try one of these before graduating to a lifelike duck or pheasant dummy.
Especially when working with new puppies or dogs that haven’t hunted before, a long and durable leash is essential.
Keep your pooch in line with the DogBone™ Rigid Built Leash, but don’t ever jerk or yank the leash to get the dog to do what you want. Subtle tugs and direction are what works best.
If you’re working with a retriever, they’ll need to build up to actually getting downed birds into your blind or boat. Start them off with the Remington® Retriever Training Kit.
With a training dummy, a whistle, duck scent, check cord and training book, this is a great way to start a puppy with the right steps.
Ever tried to follow a blood trail that just seems to disappear? Tap into the keen sense of smell that dogs have with the Dog Bone™ BloodTrail™ Dog Training Scent.
Made from real deer blood, the scent can help familiarize a dog with the smell and lead it to success.
Along the same lines, a DogBone™ Shed Antler Retrieving Kit will make your springtime shed hunts far more productive.
A dog’s sense of smell trumps a human’s every time, so if you haven’t already, consider teaming up with your dog when it comes to shed hunting.
Dog training is made easy when ever accessory and supply is kept in the right place. What better place than your dog’s kennel?
The XL Heritage Kennel Jacket can be used while traveling or in the field, and features roll up window flaps and supply pockets galore.
Clearance price: $39.99
Dog training tools need to advance up to realism as the dog gets closer to the season, and the Remington® Foam Training Duck with Scent Injector Kit is just the ticket.
Lifelike qualities and the addition of scent makes it one of the best ways to bring your pup up to speed.
Maybe your dog won’t be hitting the water, but when fields of pheasants are being targeted, he can still help out just as much.
Try the Remington® Foam Training Pheasant with Scent Injection Kit, and work with your dog so he or she understands what a true retrieval means. Encourage a soft and light-pressured pick up and carry with this durable and lifelike trainer.
Even goose hunting can be enhanced with a properly-trained dog. Using a Dokken’s Canada Goose DeadFowl Trainer, you can encourage your dog to pick up the bird by its body, instead of by its neck.
Birds of this size can be intimidating at first, so let your dog warm up to the weight and mass of big geese before bringing him on a hunt.
Go for an aerial training lesson with the DT Systems® BL 709 Remote Pheasant Launcher System, and you’ll be glad you invested in such a great tool.
Launching dummies into the air brings the dog closer and closer to the real thing. Even better, the remote capabilities of this launcher allows you to be up to seven football fields away and still operate it!
Once a dog gets introduced to the basics, they’ll need to be brought to the field to get used to the job environment. It can’t be stressed enough: protect your four-legged friends from foot damage or stress with something like the Ultra Paws Rugged Dog Boots.
Whether the terrain is rough, the water is cold or you just want to be sure your dogs aren’t worrying about their feet, dog boots can make a big difference.
Another great protective piece of gear, the Cabela’s 5mm Neoprene Flotation Dog Vest with Armor-Flex™ Chest Protector will really help a retriever who dives for ducks quicker than a flash.
Get your dog used to wearing the vest every time you train, and it will be an instant signal that when the vest comes on, it’s time to work.
Sale Price: $44.99-49.99
Finally, you can’t forget some of the comforts of home when hunting with a dog, and making sure they’re well fed is just as important as filling your own stomach.
Don’t ever forget dog food and a way for your dog to easily chow down, like the Ruffwear Bivy Cinch. It’s a convenient collapsable food bowl with a non-slip bottom and a hang loop for drying.