The foundation of gun dog training relies on laying the groundwork. This includes giving instructions, affirmation and rewarding the dog for the behaviors you are trying to enforce. On the other hand, creating boundaries is another vital aspect.
Gun dog training involves both discipline and reward. Logically, good performance is rewarded with positive reinforcement, such as praise. Discipline is learned through various training methods, all of which involve setting boundaries for the dog. The dog needs to understand how far you are willing to let him go, and respect your boundaries. He needs to learn when it is time to retrieve, and also when it is time to stop running.
Tools of the Hunt
As you know, guns aren’t just for protection, they are also necessary for hunters to score their prey. A well-trained gun dog is needed for the hunter to retrieve his kill. Having an eCollar with a GPS tracker will add confidence to a hunt. A GPS tracker lets the hunter know exactly where the dog is located, at all times. With that being said, GPS trackers for dogs can be quite pricey.
Whether you go with a GPS collar or not, a remote trainer is an invaluable asset to gun dog training. However, there are so many on the market, it may be hard to decide on a specific one for a hunt. Here are a few suggestions.
The Mini Educator e-Collar is an excellent choice. For such a small device, it packs quite a punch. One of its most helpful features is that it is so small that it fits neatly in the palm of your hand. This makes it nice and discreet, and an easy-to-handle gun dog training tool. Good for dogs both big and small, the Mini Educator can be used for behavioral training as well as for hunting.
Are you looking for a containment solution as well as a training collar? There is one system you might try. It is called the Border Patrol by D.E Systems. It has 50 levels of correction. However, as long as your dog is 35 pounds or over, the correction strength of the Border Patrol is not something to worry about. Here’s how it works. You set waypoints on the GPS tracker to determine the limits of where your dog can and cannot go. He automatically receives a correction if he gets too close to your predetermined location. Its remote trainer function also allows you to use it for gun dog training.
Something to Consider
Serious waterfowl and upland bird hunters may find that professional training for their gun dog is a great idea. How much should you expect gun dog training to cost? According to Field & Stream, rates range from $400-$800 per month. Finding a professional that is located close to your home is a good idea. The more opportunities you have to spend in the company of your trainer, the better-equipped you will be to handle any hunting problems that may arise.
Although gun dog training isn’t rocket science, some make it more complicated than it needs to be. In Robert G. Wehle’s classic, Wing & Shot, “The actual mechanics of training are quite simple. The difficult and important part is how the mechanics are carried out and what you have left when the job is done.”