Written by Joshua Riddle
Training a dog has the same fundamentals of training any of our pets. I have been to some great seminars and read some great articles, and one of the greatest basic lessons that I have been taught is that you need to teach your dog how to learn. Start out small and move on to more intensive things as they master the previous techniques. It is the same as schooling for us, we are not going to use all of the things that we learn throughout our schooling, but the fact that we have been taught how to learn and expand our foundation is a great indicator on how far we will go.
Last year I picked up a dog that we had previously placed in a family, but they could not take care of her any longer. The only hunting technique she was taught was to play fetch with a ball other than that she was just taught household obedience and other tricks that they had wanted her to learn. This little Bitch had some great potential and picked up hunting training very fast. Because of her foundational training to work with her owner she grew to know that something was expected of her and would work at learning what I wanted her to do very quickly. She has now placed in many trials and I am working on her field championship.
I start my puppy training by having the puppy sit before I deliver his food. Once he has mastered that technique I move on to having him sit about 5 feet away and put his food down and don’t let him get it until I release him by name. These little trainings are teaching him that I expect something out of him and until he does what I ask him to do, he will not get rewarded.
These are just a few techniques that I have been successful with and would recommend. Training is not just about beating into our animals our objectives, but it is as much mind games as it is work ethic. These animals are intelligent and the faster we can get them to want to do what we ask rather than force them, the faster we will achieve our goal and have the training stick.