The Right Way To Train Golden Retrievers The Hunting Dog
Mar 6, 2020 Positive reinforcement is a crucial aspect of training Golden Retrievers. Instead of scolding the dogs for bad behavior, they must be rewarded
Back to my original argument and point about why its good to hunt your field trial or hunting test dog. For many people field trial dogs, field trial training and field
Is It Bad To Wait A Few Weeks Or Months To Start Training
Theres lots of evidence that proves a puppy who starts training at 6 months can very quickly catch up to and equal the skills of a puppy that started training at 8 weeks.
So waiting a while, perhaps a few months, and just letting your puppy be a puppy wont necessarily cause any long-term harm to your training goals.
But you will have a puppy that doesnt know any commands so you cant ask them to sit, stay, drop or do as you ask.
If living out in the country and your dog spends all their time kenneled outside and do not venture into town or perhaps inside friends homes and business premises, then maybe this doesnt matter.
But if they live indoors with you and your family, are taken through town and into other peoples buildings, then you will definitely want to be able to keep them under control. So starting training early is pretty much essential and will be a massive help to you.
Vigilant Supervision: Behavioral Correction
A new golden retriever pet parent must be prepared to be ever vigilant in watching their new pup like a hawk! If your puppy accidentally pees inside or chews on a household item, you cant yell or punish your pup if you werent supervising them properly. Thats like punishing at a 2-year-old who just burned their hand on the stove-top flames. Yes, inform them that fire is unsafe, and they should never touch the stove when you are not around.
You are the parent, and you are always responsible for their safety and well-beingso that moment is 100% on you. Puppies, in so many ways, are like human children. You would not harm your human child. Therefore, you should not harm your canine child!
Biting & Chewing
Dogs use their teeth for a lot of things. It is a natural canine behavior. However, you dont want your dog biting your neighbors kid or tearing your new comforter to shreds. You need to direct their biting properly, so they know when it is okay, and when it is not okay to chew on something.
To curb their desire to nibble on your favorite shoes, provide your puppy with lots and lots of chew toys. If they start chewing on a household item, redirect them to a chew toy.
Puppies are also capable of adjusting their bite pressure. If your golden retriever puppy has not yet learned what hurts you and what does not, you will need to yelp like an injured dog to let them know. Yes. Yelp.
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Keeping Your Hunting Dog Healthy
To keep your hunting dog healthy, maintain vaccinations, keep veterinary records complete, and follow your vets advice about your dogs diet. The breeds of dogs most common as gun dogs live in the 10-15 year range. A healthy dog can be active for many of those years.
Also, safety should always be your priority. An untrained or poorly equipped dog jeopardizes your hunt and endangers you and the dog. Invest in equipment and training to keep your hunting dog healthy and happy.
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THE RANGE 702
Ryan Fortier / Head Trainer
Ryan Fortier grew up hunting Pheasants in the Palouse wheat fieldsof Eastern Washington, Chukar and Quail hunting along the canyons and orchardsof the Northwest’s vast rivers and eventually found himself drawn to theWaterfowl Hunting to be had all up and down the mighty Columbia River. This time spent Duck hunting as a teenager is where his trueappreciation for Retrievers began. After a rough upbringing and findinginspiration in what not to do… he soon found himself training dogs inthe off season and competing in AKC Hunt Tests and Field Trials.
“Witha desire to be constantly learning, evolving and thinking outside thebox, I like to think that my style and methods of teaching and trainingare unique. But they are a culmination of countless hours in the fieldwith many different types of people, bird dogs and retrievers, as wellas having had the opportunity to be exposed to the many great trainersbefore me. Such as George Hickox, Bill Gibbons, John Greer, LarryCalvert and Mike Lardy just to name a few. Training methods are passeddown from generation to generation but all the best trainers havesomething of their own that can not be explained. It is that whichmakes their program unique. With a completely new perspective andthe addition of Blake Gibson, his youthful energy and unparalleled passion, the Sky is truly the Limit for out Long Hollow Program… We lookforward to training with you and your new hunting buddy”. – RyanFortier
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But Isnt 8 Weeks A Little Too Young To Start
Well, its an interesting fact that you are training your puppy every single minute that you spend with them anyway.
From the moment you get your puppy, they will be watching and learning from you. Learning how you act, what your motions and gestures mean, where they can go, what theyre allowed to do, what to play with and what to be scared of. And much, much more besides.
A puppy at 8 weeks knows nothing of life and learns everything from you at an amazing pace, all day every day.
So you are training your 8 week old puppy whether you think you are or not. Why not start a little basic obedience or trick training as well?
After all, its far easier to prevent bad habits forming and steer your puppy away from trouble if you have a little control of them that comes from learning a few basic commands.
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Why Would Somebody Want To Wait For Their Puppy To Be 6 Months Old
This advice traditionally came from the trainers of working dogs who quite rightly felt it best to leave a puppy to be a puppy, let it grow some and become stronger before starting formal training.
I say quite rightly because up until the last couple of decades, working dog training was quite hard on a dog. It was very physical with the use of corrections and physical punishments and aversives very common. The accepted idea was that it was cruel to be so physical with a very young puppy and so training was delayed until 6 months old or so.
But there are so many gentle, positive reward based training methods today that physical corrections and aversives are almost completely unnecessary. So waiting for 6 months to start training is no longer essential.
Loud And Incessant Barking
We do not recommend using bark collars. A dog barks for specific reasons that come naturally for a canine. It is unfair to punish them for an instinct to protect, defend, or inform.
A better way to combat loud, incessant barking, is to be a bit like a detective and track what/when/why your dog barks. Does your dog only bark when the neighbor dog approaches your property line? If so, your dog is likely frightened or feeling defensive. Before you can tackle a change in behavior, you must first understand why the behavior is occurring.
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How Do I Pick A Retriever Puppy
A prospective buyer should be sure that the entire litter of puppies hes choosing from has been well socialized. Do Your Homework. Picking A Pup With Credentials. Look At The Pups Parents. Ask The Breeder For Help. Judging Temperament. Reasons For Producing A Litter. The Breeds Health History. Pick A Well Socialized Pup.
So What Is The Right Age To Start Training A Golden Retriever Puppy
The choice of when to start training your Golden Retriever puppy is entirely up to you. But for the reasons above, the ideal age is as soon as you get them home at 8 weeks.
Training is fun and completely stress free using modern techniques so you have nothing to fear concerning how it will affect your puppy.
As long as you take things slowly, never punish or correct them, keep training sessions short and make sure its rewarding and fun for them, training your puppy from 8 weeks of age is nothing but beneficial.
And youll be impressing your friends with your little puppys neat tricks in no time
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When Should You Start Training Them To Hunt
For the best results, you need to start as early as possible. This way, your dog will have enough time to develop all the hunting skills he or she needs to become an effective hunter .
Puppies are eager to please and will thus learn much faster than older dogs. And the good news is, even though theyre young, you will notice the initial results in only a couple of months.
Finish Up Hunting Equipment Introductions
If you have not completed the introductions suggested in the 56-month-old training, now is the time to work on that. Remember, you want your dog exposed to as much hunting equipment and scenarios as possible before you begin to hunt with him/her. Give him the exposure he/she needs so that progress can be made when you add hunting situations.
Gunshot exposure should be ongoing during these months, but make sure that you are doing this correctly. This is one area that can quickly spell disaster if it is done incorrectly. Learn how to do it correctly here.
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What Can You Teach A Young Puppy
You should start crate training, house-breaking, bite-inhibition and socialization from the moment you get them home.
But Golden Retrievers are such intelligent dogs that they can learn a whole variety of simple commands and tricks while still very young. You can teach your puppy:
- Give paw and high five
And lots more not listed.
Take a look at this 10 week old puppy to see just how well they take to early training.
Utilize Their Puppy Years
The Golden Retriever is a highly trainable breed. Its important that you utilize their puppy years to prepare them for a well-behaved adulthood, as this combination will evoke the best personality possible from your pup.
Take your dog to puppy classes! Theyre a breed that loves to learn, and professionals will teach them obedience, commands, and then show you how to incorporate the lessons at home.
If you choose to do it yourself, identify what you want from the process, and do your research. Know that Golden Retrievers can be a bit more fickle in their adolescent years and often require more work to keep them on track. But if you follow these tips, it should not prove difficult.
All said and done, the Golden Retriever has earned its reputation for a reason. Theyre fantastic dogs and blossom in their training. Dont be surprised to discover just how quickly your Golden learns what youre teaching him, and how hard you fall in love with the little pup.
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Preparing Your Dog For Hunting
Up until now, the training has been generic the training focused on making your pup a good citizen and family dog. But at this age it is time to dig into preparing your dog for his future hunting career. It is also at this age that many retriever owners get anxious, or impatient, and decide they can jump right into actual hunting. This is a rookie mistake and many potentially great hunting dogs have been ruined by their owners lack of self-control.
Training beyond obedience will depend largely on what you plan to use your dog for. If your retriever will be a gun dog or a hunting partner, the training you provide during this period of your dogs life is crucial to his future hunting career.
Retriever Hunting Training When To Start And What To Do
As a professional retriever trainer, I am often fielding calls from people who need advice regarding dog training. One question that I hear the most is:
At what age should I start training my retriever puppy to hunt?
My answer is always the same start now! Everything you do with your puppy from the time you pick him or her up from the breeder is technically training. You must understand that your retriever is learning every day, whether you are formally training him/her or not.
Your dog is learning:
- Whos the boss in the family?
- Who can I jump on or step on?
- Is it okay to steal food off the table or counter?
- What things in the house are okay to chew and which are not?
- Where can I go potty that is okay and where I shouldnt go?
Even this most basic training can substantially impact the ability for your retriever puppy to transition into a hunting machine.
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How To Train Your Golden Retriever How To Hunt: Tips For Training Dogs
A great way to get your Golden Retriever to learn the basics of hunting is simply teaching them to play fetch. Dogs that are trained to fetch will always bring back their toy, which is one of the first steps in hunting. They also enjoy retrieving objects and its a great way to bond with your dog!
Dogs like Golden retrievers can learn how to hunt by chasing smaller game such as rabbits or squirrels. This can be a great way to get them used to the idea of hunting while still being able to enjoy themselves.
A Golden Retriever can also learn how to hunt larger game with a bit of training. They will need some practice before theyre ready for it, but if you take the time to train them then your dog will be able to bring home meat when hunting season begins!
The most important part of hunting is being able to shoot the target. Make sure you practice shooting with your dog so that they can get used to it and arent afraid when theyre out in the field!
Once your Golden Retriever has learned how to hunt, teach them some basic commands such as sit and stay. This way they will be able to listen while youre out hunting so that you can focus on the task at hand!
If you want to practice your dogs hunting skills while on a hunt, then have them follow you with the rope in their mouth. This way they can focus on following commands and not chasing after the game!
Here are some training tips for how to train a golden retriever or any other type of hunting dog:
How To Train Your Golden Retriever To Be A Hunting Dog
Experienced hunters know that they cannot go wrong with a golden retriever. These energetic dogs are born for hunting adventures and are one of the best hunting dog breeds.
As soon as you let a retriever off the leash, you will see them leap into action and start chasing birds or any other animal in proximity.
Golden fur and a friendly face might not scream danger, but these loyal dogs do have a killer instinct that can be triggered when needed.
So how can you turn your furry friend into a formidable hunting companion?
How do you train a Golden retriever to hunt at your side?
Stay tuned to find out!
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Short Crate Training Sessions
Short crate training sessions are one of the most sure-fire ways to get your pup comfortable with its crate. Your golden retriever should feel as though the crate is a home, not a jail.
Small sessions in the crate help to establish this concept with puppies. Let your new puppy explore their crate. Leave the door open while they sniff around. Place their food inside and let them eat in the comfort of this new domain. Then shut the door for 10 minutes. When they are let out, sit with them, play with them, and snuggle with them.
You can reward your golden pup with treats while they are inside the crate, to further establish the crate as a comforting space. No need to reward them after theyre out of the crate as the reward upon leaving is the joy of your company! This also helps to establish your authority and dominance.
For more info on crate training, check out our article How to Crate Train a Golden Retriever.