How do I train my pet gun dog?

Do you want to work your gun dog breed?

I often get asked how do I train my pet gun dog? There are perhaps more people with a gun dog breed who have them only as a pet. Only a small number of owners actually work or field trial their dogs in comparison. As a dog trainer in Dorset who specialises in training gun dog breeds who are not working i see this issue daily. Many people get a gun dog breed with the romantic notion of working them , yet know nothing about the breed or the sport.

Gun dog breeds are a true worker of the dog world. They have been bred to help us hunt. Once upon a time their use was to put food on our table. Nowadays, whilst the game is still eaten, it is about the sport and countryside management.

The gun dog breed

The Kennel club (KC) gives a list of the recognised gun dog breeds. However, there will be other dogs one could class as a gun dog breed, but they are a cross variety. My own dog Henry is a cross between a Labrador and springer spaniel and he does display both traits of hunting and retrieving. He is a great worker, but the KC won’t recognise his breed so I am limited what I can do with him. If you want to compete in field trials then you will need a pedigree dog to be able to enter.

Pet gun dog training

Where to train my gun pet dog breed

If you decide you want to work or compete your dog then you need to find a gun dog club where you can get the right advice to fit what you want. There are a number of clubs around and I am not going to advise which is the best. You need ask yourself is the club near enough for you to commit to regular training. No good joining a club which is 20 miles away and travelling gets an issue in winter.

You will need to look for recommendations and feedback to see whats happening at the club. Is their Facebook page kept up to date? What is the website like? Does it tell you about the club and is it updated? There are so many options nowadays to check out any club you are joining.

One to one gun dog training

Do you need to fast track your gun dog training or are you happy with the group setting. One to one gun dog training is a great way to go as it goes at your pace, however it is usually more expensive than the group sessions. I personally have done both types of training and my progress was much quicker with 1:1 training.

Training in the gun dog world is steeped in history and tradition. However, that can be an issue in that a lot of the old ways of training are still present. This involves using pain and fear to train the gun dog. Thankfully many gun dog trainer are now realising you can get better results by using more modern methods of training and correcting the dog. If you join a club and see rough handling or out of date training methods then find another club.

Training your dog to work in the live environment or to compete is great fun. However, those dogs and owners who make it look so easy have put in hundreds of consistent hours to get to that level. Like any sport you get out what you put in. In this case you are working in partnership with an animal which brings a multitude of challenges in itself.

Challenge yourself and your dog if you don’t want to work or compete them

It is a recipe for disaster if you combine a gun dog breed and boredom. Many of the cases I take on in Dorset are gun dog breeds who are not being worked. The owner has decided they will not work the dog. However, the dog cannot switch off their breed traits just because they are not going to meet what they were bred for. If you have taken the decision not to work your gun dog then Muttley Solutions could be the answer if you live in the Wimborne, Poole and Wareham areas of Dorset

We have 3 live environments which are ideal to train your dog in. The idea is I teach you some of the gun dog techniques so that you can have great fun with your dog when your out and about. The first thing you and your dog will learn are excellent obedience and manners. These are the cornerstone to any well trained dog. We will asses their recall and put in a plan to address any issues. If your dog pulls on the lead then we will get you loose lead walking. This type of training is ongoing rather than a quick fix. This will meet your dog’s needs if you are not going to work them

Have a look around the site and contact me if you have any questions then contact me.

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