Which Dog Training Methods Will Work Best for Us?
Hunting dogs are intelligent, quick learners. There are many dog training methods to choose from. Here is an overview of the basics. These types of dogs really want to please their owner.
Remember to be consistent and to adhere to the fundamentals of dog training regardless of the method you choose.
What Common Dog Training Methods are Available?
Conventional – Trainers teach obedience commands (sit, stay, come, etc.). When a command is not followed, corrections are made. While common for most dogs, hunters or gundog trainers often use a different methods.
E-collars – Electric collars shock the dog as punishment for disobeying a command. These collars are often used with mature hunting dogs doing field work.
The dog must know what he is expected to do or the punishment will not work. Timing is crucial. These dog shock collars should only be used by experienced trainers.
Positive Reinforcement – Here you reward a good behavior. The dog connects the reward with the desired behavior. Then repeats this to receive the reward. Unlike other dog training methods, positive reinforcement is about learning.
Clicker Dog Training – When the dog does a desired behavior, you “mark” it with a click. Follow the sound immediately with a treat.
This is essentially just a variation of positive reinforcement. Eventually, the dog must be weaned off of the clicker and the treats.
Dog Whispering – Approach to training using wolf pack behavior as a guide. The trainer becomes the pack’s leader. The dog becomes submissive and does what the trainer asks.
Combination – A number of methods discussed above are combined. A common combination is conventional training and positive reinforcement. Dog whispering is also combined with positive reinforcement in most cases.
Crate Training A Dog Serves Several Purposes.
First, using a crate gives the dog “his” space. He will find comfort in being inside. The crate can then be used for easy traveling.
Second, crate training a dog makes him easier to house train. The dog views the crate as his den and will “hold it” until he goes outside.
The crate can also prevent him from being destructive as a puppy when he cannot be supervised.
Finally, using the crate is the first training you will do with your hunting dog. It sets the tone for the rest.
What are Dog Hand Signals?
Using dog hand signals is a method of training with no vocalized commands. This method is good for hunting dogs. Any of the dog training methods discussed above can be used with these signals.
Using hand signals is no more difficult than using vocal commands. The key is to use positive reinforcement and to teach the dog to focus on your gestures.
Remember that hunting dogs have worked closely with humans for hundreds of years. They want to please you. If you choose the right dog training methods, you and your dog should be successful.