Training your gundog can be a great experience, but it is important to know what you are getting into. Here are five things you need to know before gundog training.
As you are probably aware, gundogs can be extremely obedient and terrific addition to the family. However, your gundog will need to be trained, and you need to have thought about a few areas and make some important decisions before starting out.
Know As Much As You Can About The Breed Of Your Dog
A gundog is a hunting dog that has been bred over generations to find, flush and retrieve birds or animals. Gundogs are typically divided up into three categories: gun dogs (pointer), spaniels and retrievers.
You need to know which category your gundog falls into before you start training. There are also a whole range of additional working dogs that fall into other breed categories but for whom you will need to learn as much as you can too.
Gun dogs (pointer) typically point and hold/lock up the animal, spaniels flush out and retrieve animals, and retrievers fetch back birds or animals to you. You'll want to train your dog not only how to work with people but also with the natural instincts they were born with.
Many gundog / working breeds have high amounts of energy, so it's important to train your gundog properly from the beginning. You may never intend to use your dog for hunting, but you still need to provide the stimulus it requires to have a happy and healthy life.
The breed of the gundog you own will determine what type of training they need and how much work is needed for them to become a well-rounded gundog.
Gundogs are intelligent breeds that can be stubborn at times, so the key is to keep puppy training fun and engaging. This means setting up “games” for your gundog pup where he or she has a chance to learn new things, but also make some good decisions on their own as well. Your gundog can learn more than 20 commands, so initially teach them the basic foundations and then move on to additional cues as you both progress.
Training Your Gundog Breed
A gundogs intelligence makes it very easy for them to pick up on new things but only if the motivation is there!
Gundogs are not the right choice for everyone in terms of training needs. If you are not able to spend a lot of time with your gundog, then they may become bored or frustrated which can lead them to be disobedient.
They enjoy hunting in open spaces, however, in spaces like this, you will lose their focus when they are young. Start your training in boring environments such as inside the house, and then, when you feel they are ready, opt for outside locations where they will have plenty of room to roam and explore with their nose!
Keep in mind, gundogs can be very sensitive animals so any harsh or forceful training methods may make them timid or worse afraid of you which is exactly what you do not want when it comes down to gundog training! If this happens then there's no way getting around it; retraining will need to happen later on once they've matured more and you have regained their trust.
Make gundog training something that is fun for both of you. This means making sure they are getting plenty of exercises, mental stimulation and positive reinforcement! Gundog breeds need time to think things through especially if they feel pressured into doing something before their ready. If this happens, there's a good chance that he will start ignoring anything you say which can lead them to be naughty.
The age and health of your gundog matter when training
Gundogs have a very high energy level, meaning they can get into trouble if not given enough exercise throughout the day - this being said it's important for gundog owners to ensure their dog's health and age is considered in order for them to remain healthy and happy!
It’s important for gundog owners to be aware of the breed and health-related issues that affect gundogs. For example, gundogs can suffer from a range of joint problems such as osteoarthritis which is very painful and uncomfortable - this means it's essential owners pay close attention to how much exercise they're giving their dog in order not to overstress these joints!
As well as the health of gundogs, gundog owners must be aware of their dog's age and how this will affect them when training new behaviours - no matter your dog's breed or size you should not start any kind of formal gundog training until they are both mentally and physically ready, although it is advisable to introduce early socialisation skills and general obedience commands from a puppy.
Younger dogs can easily become overwhelmed by all kinds of stimuli which could lead to anxiety issues later on in life but this is not to say gundog owners should wait until their dog reaches old age before training them.
Owners need to be aware of the physical and mental capabilities that each breed has. It's important gundogs are given enough exercise on a daily basis which can also help with reducing stress levels in dogs as well!
Gundogs only live for around 12 years (please note this depends on your gundog's size and breed) so make sure you're doing everything possible for its health now rather than trying to sort out any issues after the damage has already been done!
Be consistent with what you teach your gundog
The most important characteristic that a gundog owner must have is consistency. This means not only being consistent in your training methods, but also from one day to the next and from one person to another. You need to be absolutely consistent with how to train a dog.
If dogs are even slightly unsure of what is expected of them, there's very little chance of success when it comes to gundog training which requires precision, accuracy and timing on the part of both the handler as well as the dog.
However, gundog training must also be consistent in terms of day-to-day expectations from the trainer. This means not only ensuring that you are always on train your gundog but it is important for you to stick with a schedule so you can plan and track your dogs' development.
Consistency lays down clear guidelines for dogs to follow, so gundog training becomes much more efficient and continuity in understanding is important. If we understand one thing and then switch to another, we can't remember what we learned before and it's harder to make any progress.
Staying with the same ideas consistently also enables the gundog to notice patterns and see more quickly what we are requiring from them. It is important to maintain consistency if you want to make sure that your gundog doesn't forget what they've learned.
Keep training sessions short
Most people are unaware that gundog training is not actually about the length of time spent in a session. It's about what you do during that time. Training sessions should be short, with an emphasis on rest and recovery periods so that the dog has time to process what it has learnt.
The most important thing is to make sure your dogs are not overworked and shut down mentally. A dog can remain physically active for many hours, but can only focus and mentally concentrate for far shorter lengths of time.
Training should be done in several short sessions throughout the week rather than all at once or on one day per week. This helps keep dogs interested and less bored because their brains are stimulated more often. Starting basic obedience training early with young gundogs can help reduce behaviour problems as adults because their natural instincts are strong and you need a relationship that makes you more interesting than the environment you are in.
The training sessions should be broken up with plenty of steadiness, training exercises and rest periods. The gundog training sessions should be about having fun and keeping the dog interested. If you find yourself doing a lot of talking to your gundogs, then it is going on too long.
The LWDG Quick-Train Sessions System
Training a dog takes time, energy and patience. You need to plan your training sessions well in advance if you want to keep up with the daily demands of your dog and life.
The LWDG has created this free workshop for you because we know that planning practical short training sessions that you can fit into your day is hard work! So we've put together another jam-packed webinar for you where we will show you how to fast-forward your dog training using just 10-minute sessions each day.
We have spent years developing our "Quick Train Sessions" system, which allows us to train our dogs quickly and effectively every day. This system can be used by anyone who trains dogs - from beginners all the way through advanced trainers like ourselves!
Nearly 700 dog owners registered to watch this workshop live, and it's now available as an instant view recording. Register Now For Instant Access
Use positive reinforcement techniques instead of punishment for better results
Another important part of gundog training is teaching your dog to be obedient and independent. This means that they need to know how you want them to behave without having an actual command, as well as knowing what their boundaries are so they don't run off or become a nuisance when out in exciting environments.
Start off and continue with positive reinforcement-based training rather than using fear-based techniques like leash jerks or scruff shakes as this helps avoid these problems from occurring!
Don't make your dog work against his nature. In most training exercises, a layering-up approach is beneficial. Begin by gradually increasing changes like the distance between you and your dog during sits and stays. Start by keeping the distances short, avoid distractions, and offer strong praise for coming back to you.
Many gundogs love treats when working with their owner, which is why using these types of rewards during gundog training works well at keeping your dog focused on you. Once your gundog has mastered a command, you can begin phasing out food rewards and working on praise-only training methods if you wish.
Gundog training is a rewarding process, and gundogs are excellent working dogs in all situations. Gundog training is a lot like parenting: if you don't want your gundog to engage in negative behaviours, you need to be sure they get plenty of positive attention. Positive reinforcements such as treats and praise for doing good things speed up both learning time and outcome success.
Gundog training is an important part of gundog life. If you want to train your gundogs efficiently, it's vital that you stay consistent in terms of what they need and when they need it.
We hope these 5 things have helped you to improve your knowledge of gundog training and what you need to do.
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