Teach Retriever to Hunt

Retrievers are natural predators and hunters, so when you teach retriever to hunt you are taking advantage of and developing his innate abilities.

teach a retriever to huntIt is best to start hunt training with a puppy so that you can bond and he can get to know your hunting style. Not only will you have a hunting partner but a faithful companion and friend.

Teach Retriever to Hunt by Starting Early

The earlier you start with this type of training, the better. Your dog needs to become accustomed to the noise and the smells as well as the commands used during a hunt.

  • Desensitizing to gunfire. It is essential that your retriever get used to the sound of gunfire before you take him on a serious hunt. Start by exposing him to the sounds from a distance and take him with you to target practice. Eventually you will want to train him in the presence of gunfire by setting up simulated hunts. Shoot away from the dog at first and build up to shooting right over him so that he won’t be frightened during an actual hunt.
  • Sit, stay, come and heel commands. Teach your puppy the basic commands early so that you can build on them when you teach retriever to hunt. These form the foundation for all other commands and should be second nature to you and the dog before you move on to more complex directions.
  • Practice makes perfect. Train every day if possible. It is far better to do 5 to 10 minutes every day, several times a day than to spend an hour or so once a week. Puppies have short attention spans and need plenty of repetition.
  • Make training fun. Even though retrievers are born and bred to hunt, you want to make the training fun and rewarding. Train to the age of the dog and don’t expect more than he can deliver by exercising patience.
  • Always use positive reinforcement. This works far better than punishment and negative reinforcement. Your dog is eager to please you so make it easy for him by training for success. This will bolster his self-esteem and make him willing to try even harder.
  • Train with a dummy. Teach retriever to hunt by throwing a dummy early and often. The beahvior you are looking for is for him to retrieve the dummy, bring it to you in his mouth and wait at heel until you are ready to receive it in your hand. This takes time and patience.
  • Early water training. Introducing your puppy to water early is essential. Do it in such a way that the experience is a happy one. Water should be a source of adventure and treats.
  • Decoys and scent. Your dog must be able to tell the difference between a real bird and a decoy. Use scent, duck wing or feathers in training.
  • Join a dog club. Find a local dog club to join or a good book to guide you on the finer points of training.

Hunt training can be a great way to exercise and challenge a retriever. Teach retriever to hunt with plenty of patience, positive rewards and consistency and you will have a happy friend for life.