If you have spent countless hours walking through the woods, up and down the mountainsides, and racking up the miles in search of dropped antlers each year, you already know how hard finding them can be. In many instances, it can take everyone you know, the perfect conditions, and a lot of luck to find what you are looking for. However, the good news is that your furry four-legged friend can become a hot little antler shed hunter with the right training.
When properly trained, your pooch could easily help you find more antlers than you ever dreamed of. But, before you tackle training, consider whether or not your dog is up to the task and any other jobs you expect your dog to do, like track wounded animals for you or retrieve waterfowl. Each of these can have an impact on the type of training you use and the results you expect.
The biggest thing your dog needs, in order to be able to track down things like antlers, is his sense of smell. The good news is that most dogs have excellent noses and love to seek out things using it. Of course, some dogs are better at using their noses to find things than others. Does this mean you can't teach most other breeds to find things using their noses with a little practice and training?
Scent training is very common with hunting dogs, but can be adapted to most breeds. As for commands, you can use any word or combination of words for this skill such as ‘find’, ‘seek’ or anything else you choose. The most important thing is to stay consistent with your command--if you don't, all you will be doing is confusing your dog. The younger you start, the faster your pup will learn this skill and the more antlers you can add to your collection.
Training your dog to find antler sheds doesn't require a lot of supplies. In most cases, you should only need: