Gundog training tips

Gun dog training Guide:Tips you need to know

gun dog training tips are important because training should start from the day it’s at home. Even though you have hired a private trainer, some basic gun dog training tips should be handled by you. This will help you bond well and also be able to tackle behavior problems (existing ones or future ones).

Before we dive into gun dog training tips, it’s important to look at some of the reasons why you should train your gundog.

Importance of training your gun dog

  • Building relationship-Understanding how your gun dog learns and using positive training can help to build a bold relationship. Successful training doesn’t use “who is the boss” method. Who is the boss is a method where you establish yourself as the dominant. The approach is both physically and physiologically damaging to your dog.
  • Teaching life skills-Many dog owners think that domestic dogs have an easy life compared to wild ones but living among humans comes with a lot of challenges. Teaching your dog basic manners will prevent them from developing stress-related behaviors.
  • Increase dog sociability-Training your dog will increase her social interaction and this will help in dealing with domestic life pressure.
  • Avoiding problem behaviors-You will avoid behaviors problems if you spend more time teaching your dog how to live among humans. Having a language to communicate with your dog means more comfort and security.

Gun dog training can be overwhelming and a big project to tackle if you are a first-time gun dog owner. If done step by step, it’s pretty easy a task to take head-on. Here are top 20 gun dog training tips that can be helpful. Make sure also you grab the best dog training collar 

Gun dog training tips

1. Choose a short name ending with a strong consonant.

When picking your new puppy name, make sure you keep it short and end it with a strong consonant. This will be helpful during training because when you call his name he will hear you clearly.

If he is an old gundog, don’t hesitate to change his name. This is because it means a new life, a fresh start if he had a rough time where he lived before. He will start responding to his new name very first because gundogs are easily adaptable.

Remember also to keep the name pleasant. Let the name be about great things he thinks about in his life e.g.Candy, Biscuit, Peanut, Pebbles etc. Read more about Gun Dog names. Avoid unpleasant names that will make you look bad to your gun dog.

2. Determine ‘house rules’

To avoid confusion when the gun dog comes home, you need first to determine house roles, i.e., what the gun dog can do, and places he can access.

The main reason for determining ‘house rules’ is to avoid confusion between both of you.

Example of house rules are:-

  • Which parts of the house are no access?
  • Will the gun dog have his own chair?
  • Is he allowed in your bed?
  • Is he allowed in the sitting room?
Should I allow my gun dog in bed?
dog in bed
Should I let the dog sleep in my bed?

Allowing your gun dog in bed has a lot of implications. It’s a tough decision which has its repercussions. Accepting your dog to sleep in your bed will corrupt his mind and he will not view as the boss, thus no respect for you.

Allow him to sleep on your bed on invitation only.

3. Let him have his own private place.

 It is important to set up a den for your puppy or gun dog that is not used by any other family member or pet. A special room will give him comfort and have his own time to relax in a safe place. Reward him any time he remains silent in his den which is normally a crate. A crate is an important tool for your gundog. Buy it before he arrives at home.

4. Let him relax once he arrives at home

If your puppy comes from a busy shelter where he had litter mates, you have to ensure he gets comfortable in his new home. Have a ticking clock and warm hot water in a bottle in his sleeping area is advisable. This too will act as heartbeat and warm from his littermates.

Ensure he is calm and relaxed before starting any training because he won’t be productive.

Now that he has a name, and a private place for him and in a relaxed state, begin teaching him basic concepts.

5. Train him to come or respond immediately when you call

This is the most important first command your gun dog should learn. It’s a command that can save your gundog’s life. Think of a situation where he is chasing a hare across the dog and a truck is coming down towards him. You yell ‘Come Candy’ and he fails to respond. What will happen? Definitely, you know the answer, He will be hit and die instantly. Don’t wait for such a situation.

Ask yourself, ‘Does my gun dog come when called for the first time?’ If the answer is No, it’s critical, you need to do something, a lifesaving skill for your gundog.

Training gun dog  ‘come or recall command. 

  • Don’t tell your gun dog to ‘come’ and lock him in his crate or punish him. Let him learn that ‘come’ command means a great time with you. Play with him whenever you call him or give him food.
  • Use a new recall command word if you have used ‘come’ command before punishing your gun dog several times. It’s much easier to train the dog to use a new recall command than changing his perception about a ‘come’ command.
  • Avoid using gundog’s name with a negative association. For example Yelling ‘Candy No’, or ‘Candy Stop’. This makes your dog reluctant when called.

6. Give a reward whenever he behaves well

Always remember to reward your puppy anytime he behaves well. Rewards can be in form of praises, toys, food or treats. Rewarding the gun dog or puppy will offer positive reinforcement and he will know he is getting it right in what he is doing.

Never reward the gun dog or puppy for bad behavior, because he will get confused and he won’t know right and wrong. One mistake that gun dog owners make when rewarding is forgetting rewards or offering rewards more frequently. We will look into details about ‘Rewards’ topic another day.

7. Make your gun dog exercise on a daily basis

Gun dog exercise is very important. A short walk on daily basis is not enough for a gundog. Lack of exercise makes abored unhealthy gun dog with aggressive behavior.

There are 3 things you should consider when drawing your gun dog exercise timetable. These are:

  • Size-Overweight gun dog needs exercise to help them shed excess fats. Make sure you start with simple exercises and advance as time goes.
  • Age-Young dogs have more energy for vigorous exercise compared to older ones.
  • Breed-Some breeds like Pug, Boston Terriers may have a difficult time when breathing if they do intensive vigorous exercise.

8. Always be consistent in your gun dog training

It’s important to be consistent during training. Always remember to reward your gun dog whenever he is right, punish him when wrong. The ‘house rules’ you set on the first day let them not be changed.

All family members should be on the same page when it comes to dog training. They should use the same cues and methods of training. If one family member tells your dog to ‘sit ‘ and another tell him to ‘sit down’ it will take years for your dog to understand or he may never.

Family members’ interactions with the gun dog should be consistent. If some family members allow the dog to jump on them and others don’t, it will be hard for the gun dog to stop jumping on people even strangers because he doesn’t know what to do.

9. Pay no attention to your gun dog ‘Jumping up’ behavior

Dog jump
Discourage dog jumping behavior

Puppies love to jump whenever you great them. Ignore this behavior and wait till he relaxes.

Never encourage gun dog jumping by panting him or praising him. Always pay no attention whenever he is in jump position, by doing so it will discourage his ‘ jumping’ behavior.

10. Reinforce what he has learned during his fun time

Puppies like having fun moments. They easily forget something they have learned few minutes ago. Never hesitate to correct him whenever he does wrong because repeated correction will reinforce what he has learned.

11. Dissuade his biting or nipping behavior

dog aggression biting
Discourage dog biting behavior

One way of dissuading biting behavior is to act as if you’re in great pain when he bites you. He will be amazed and quickly he will stop.

If this does not work for you, give him a chew toy or bone when he bites. This trading in trick will teach him it’s wrong to bite.

12. Complete training sessions with a positive annotation

Always congratulate him on wonderful training sessions. You can praise, pet or offer treats. Let him know you are very pleased by his performance. The positive annotation will make him more willing to show up for the next training class happy and ready to learn.

That all about gun dog training tips. Don’t forget to share.