Dog Training

Dog training can be challenging, especially for a hunter working with his/her pup for the first time. First, we need to recognize that your puppy knows pretty much nothing in its first few weeks of life. It is important to remember that you have to take things slow. Do not rush it! Patience is key in the dog training process. When I first trained my hunting dog, it was hard to resist from the temptation of wanting to rush him out to the field as soon as I could. But I knew that my pup needed to learn basic commands before he could move on to the more advanced skills.
Basic commands are just that, the basics. Basics such as; no, sit, stay and heel. The command “No” should be used to discourage the pup of its bad behaviors; jumping on people, chewing on things that do not belong to the pup, and using the bathroom in the house. After constantly using the term “No” with your pup, he/she should relate it with bad behavior, and understand what it means.
When I taught my dog to sit I found that food was a great motivator. Food helped get things moving along with the pup. What pup doesn’t love food? When feeding your puppy, hold the food bowl in one hand and say “Sit”, while pushing on the dog’s backside with your other hand. Once your dog sits down, put the bowl in front of him/her. Your dog will quickly catch on that when he/she sits, then they will receive food. ‘Stay
Teaching your dog to “Stay” is extending the “Sit” command. When I was teaching my dog to “Stay,” I would have him sit first, then I would firmly tell him to “Stay” and hold my hand out towards him, and slowly walk away. I would wait a few seconds and then I would call him to come to me. Be sure to show your pup encouragement by praising him/her when they start to understand the “Stay” command. Gradually extend the period of time that you allow the pup to stay. If your puppy gets up just take him back and start the “Stay” process over.
When I taught my dog to “Heel,” it took patience and time. Put your pup on a leash and have him/her walk on your left side. Once the pup starts walking ahead of you, then you pull the pup back and say “Heel.” If you stop walking, then your pup should stop and sit. You cannot expect your pup to learn overnight. It takes time for your pup to learn, and you have to be willing to put in the time to train your dog. Repeat this process until your pup understands what “Heel” means. You also have to make sure that you are rewarding your dog when it is doing a good job!
In the end, training your dog will be a great reward for you and your pup. Once you send your pup on its first bird and everything is working as it should, then you will realize all of the dog training has paid off. Once your pup learns the basic commands to dog training, make sure you check out marshmutt.com for all of your training gear that you will need.

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