You’re a keen hunter and have been for many years. But you’ve recently decided to strengthen your team by adding a canine component. A Brittany dog is the ideal candidate. These hunting dogs have all the attributes you need. They’re agile, attentive, fast and intelligent. However, despite being a quick learner, yours seems to be having some difficulties mastering the ‘retrieve’. The chasing he can do, but he’s not always so keen on returning things.
Training him to retrieve is an essential if you want a hunting companion that can enhance your performance. It also helps instill discipline into him and paves the way for other commands. It’s also a useful behavior to teach for other reasons. Brittany dogs need a decent amount of exercise. So, if he can retrieve, you can throw balls for him on walks to tire him out.
Because Brittany dogs are fast learners and an intelligent breed, you can definitely teach him to retrieve. The challenging part comes in initially conveying to him what you want him to do. Once you’ve jumped that hurdle you just need to find the right incentive. Brittany dogs, as you probably well know, have a soft spot for anything edible, and for a lot that isn’t.
If he’s a puppy he should be full of energy and eager to please. This means he could respond to training in just a few days. If he’s older and stubborn then you may need a while longer. It could take up to a couple of weeks. Get this training right though, and you’ll be one step closer to taking him out hunting with you. You’ll also find you’ve got a fantastic way to bond with him by playing fetch.
Before work can begin you’ll need a few things. Some multi-colored frisbees will be required. Alternatively, you can use a tennis ball. Both are favorite toys of the Brittany dog.
You’ll then need a generous supply of treats or his favorite food broken into small pieces. Try and find a quiet space where you can practice. A large yard will do the job, as will a local field. You can practice training when you’re on your daily walk.
Once you have the above you just need patience and a pro-active attitude, then training can begin!