We all know the joy a dog can bring into our lives. During our time spent together, memories are created and cherished. When pet owners find that one of their hobbies align with that of their pet’s, the bond between man and beast becomes stronger.
Some future pet-owners search for a dog that loves to run if they are avid marathoners. Others, who prefer to describe themselves as film-buffs, may look for a smaller dog who loves to cuddle in front of the television. Likewise, hunters may search for the perfect hunting companion.
Bird hunting specifically is a popular sport for dogs and has been for hundreds of years. When training bird hunting to a dog, there are three key concepts for them to learn: tracking, flushing and retrieving.
Tracking calls for a bird dog to silently follow the scent of birds, while flushing involves scaring a flock out of its hiding for you to aim and shoot. Retrieving, the final moment of a dog’s hunting tasks, requires them to retrieve any fallen birds and bring them to you.
There are a few scenarios in which you may be considering training an older dog to bird hunt. You could have just recently gotten into the sport yourself and want to train your long-time furry friend to join you or maybe you’re in the market for a new pet and hoping to adopt an older dog.
In either regard, your end goal is to experience some memory-making in the great outdoors with your dog. Don’t feel discouraged by popular bird hunting blogs that say training a puppy is the only way to obtain a “real” bird-hunting dog. In fact, in some ways training an older dog, you will find, is easier than gaining the trust and attention of an excitable puppy.
Taking on training a dog, no matter the age, is always a process and sometimes a few tools are needed to help you. Before getting started, consider purchasing one or more items to aid you:
While bird hunting breeds, such as the spaniels and pointers, may have innate abilities and talents when it comes to sniffing out and retrieving birds, it’s not necessary for every bird-hunting canine to come from these revered breeds.
A lot of what hunters look for in their bird-hunting companions is restraint and obedience, which every dog can gain. However, to instill these traits, as a trainer, you will need to be both patient and consistent.
Inconsistency while training an animal will only confuse them and lead to adverse results. This means keeping to a schedule, routine and the task of punishment and reward is beneficial to both you and your dog.