Hunting & Training Tips

Here’s how we make the most of each hunt.

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Hunting & Training Tips

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Basic Training

Retriever Training: The Transition to Water
Retriever Training: The Transition to Water

Retrievers love water, so you wouldn’t think that transitioning from land retrievers to water retrieves would be difficult. It isn’t, as long as you follow a few simple guidelines.

The key to a...

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4 Good Reasons to Crate-Train Your Dog
4 Good Reasons to Crate-Train Your Dog

One of the first things you should do when you get a new puppy is get him used to spending time in his crate, or portable kennel. If your dog lives in the house, the crate is a good place for him...

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Getting Your Retriever in the Thick of Things
Getting Your Retriever in the Thick of Things

If you were going to go pheasant hunting on a farm where you’d never been before, where would you start your search? You would probably head for the thickest cover because you know that’s where...

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Pup’s First Hunt: Building Your Future
Pup’s First Hunt: Building Your Future

A puppy’s first season, and more specifically, his first hunt, can be the most pivotal in his life as a gun dog. You only get one chance to make a first impression and that impression can have a...

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Introducing Your Retriever to Upland Hunting
Introducing Your Retriever to Upland Hunting

One of the most common questions I’m asked when I’m doing training demonstrations for SportDOG is this one: “How do I keep my retriever hunting in range?” Without a doubt, keeping your dog from...

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Shed Hunting, Part 2: Help Your Dog Help You
Shed Hunting, Part 2: Help Your Dog Help You

In my last article I described the benefits of shed antler hunting in the off-season and how to get your dog started in this fun sport. Now let me go into more detail about how to teach your dog to...

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Shed Hunting, Part 1: Starting Your Dog Out the Right Way
Shed Hunting, Part 1: Starting Your Dog Out the Right Way

It’s too bad bird seasons only last a few months. It seems like fall arrives and brings the excitement of pheasant and duck hunting, but then before you know it winter has set in and all you can do...

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Understanding Canine Influenza
Understanding Canine Influenza

If you have been watching the news lately or reading metropolitan newspapers, you may have noticed articles about a “new” flu outbreak in dogs. In some sections of the country, veterinarians are...

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Dealing with Hunting Dog Injuries
Dealing with Hunting Dog Injuries

Cuts are common in hunting dogs. Briars, barbed-wire, broken glass, or even sharp broken saplings can slice a dog’s skin as it hunts. Appropriate field care of wounds can decrease healing time and...

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Hunting Dogs Require Extra Care When Traveling
Hunting Dogs Require Extra Care When Traveling

One of the most exciting parts about hunting is the chance to travel to new areas in search of upland birds and waterfowl. Before you pack the truck and take off, however, it’s a good idea to...

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Advanced Training

SportDOG Brand® Launcher System Revolutionizes Retriever Training
SportDOG Brand® Launcher System Revolutionizes Retriever Training

Retriever training was changed forever with the introduction of “wingers” and other rubber-band-type devices that could fling dummies or birds from long distances, creating realistic, challenging...

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Make Your Upland Retriever Crazy for Feathers
Make Your Upland Retriever Crazy for Feathers

There’s nothing better than a hard-charging flushing dog that is absolutely crazy for birds. But how do you make sure your young retriever will turn out like that? Here are the steps I use.

You...

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Understanding Hunting Dog Ear Infections
Understanding Hunting Dog Ear Infections

Most hunting dog breeds have flop ears. This drooping ear flap contributes to a high incidence of ear infections because it decreases air circulation and traps bacteria, fungi and debris in the...

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Straight Talk About Protein for Hunting Dogs
Straight Talk About Protein for Hunting Dogs

As I travel across the country attending field trials, visiting kennels and hunting, I get a lot of questions about dog food for some reason. One topic that stimulates many questions is protein...

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Rigors of a Tough Hunting Season
Rigors of a Tough Hunting Season

During the 2009-2010 hunting season, most of us endured our most interesting upland season in quite some time. The entire country experienced unique weather conditions this fall and winter. Hard...

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Early Season Grouse Hunting
Early Season Grouse Hunting

The 2010 hunting season is just around the corner, and in many states the Sharp-tailed grouse and Partridge season are the first to kick off. This is where our summer dog training and conditioning...

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STOP! Your Retriever with a Whistle
STOP! Your Retriever with a Whistle

People seem amazed when they see a running dog instantly stop at the sound of a whistle. The funny thing is, there’s really nothing amazing about it if the dog has been trained properly. While...

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Training Your Retriever for Double Duty
Training Your Retriever for Double Duty

If you own a waterfowl dog, chances are that sooner or later you’re going to ask it to perform upland duty. It might be a pheasant hunt as a sideline to your Dakota duck hunt, or maybe an afternoon...

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Live Birds are the Key to Better Hunting Dog Training
Live Birds are the Key to Better Hunting Dog Training

It's no secret that giving your hunting dog lots of experience with live birds in the off-season will make him a better hunter when fall comes around. But what types of birds are best? The short...

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Whatever You Call It, the “Trained Retrieve” is Important
Whatever You Call It, the “Trained Retrieve” is Important

It’s a term commonly heard among retriever trainers who run dogs in hunt tests and field trials: “force fetch.” Others call it the “conditioned retrieve,” “force breaking” or, the term I prefer,...

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