Hunting & Training Tips

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

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Hunting & Training Tips

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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Hunting Conditioning is Important Year-Round
Hunting Conditioning is Important Year-Round

The time most hunters seem to think about getting their dog into shape, if they think about it at all, is right before the hunting season begins. It’s natural to let your dog’s conditioning slide...

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Poor Performance in Bird Dogs
Poor Performance in Bird Dogs

Your bird dog has been a strong, eager hunter with lots of pizzazz and snap, but now he has lost that snap, speed and stamina. He still eats well, is bright and alert with normal bowel movements....

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Go Slow When Introducing a Dog to Gunfire
Go Slow When Introducing a Dog to Gunfire

Sometimes hunters are so eager to develop their new pup into a hunting dog that they rush things. With some training exercises, if you make a mistake and try to teach something too fast, you can...

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Don’t Forget to Introduce Your Duck Dog to Decoys
Don’t Forget to Introduce Your Duck Dog to Decoys

In our excitement to build a retriever into a top-notch waterfowl dog, it’s easy to forget small but important details. For example, your dog might make you proud when he completes a long retrieve....

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Bark-Control Collars Offer Dog Training Benefits
Bark-Control Collars Offer Dog Training Benefits

When bark-control collars came on the market, they solved a problem that most of us have experienced at one time or another: a dog that just won’t be quiet. Most hunters are familiar with...

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The Right E-Collar for Retriever Dog Training
The Right E-Collar for Retriever Dog Training

Opinions on the right way to choose and use a remote electronic collar for retriever training are as varied as the countless training methods used to create a top-notch waterfowl dog. I’ve been...

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In-Ground Containment Fences are for Hunting Dogs, Too
In-Ground Containment Fences are for Hunting Dogs, Too

During our training of the pointing breeds, I’m often asked if an in-ground or “pet containment” fence is a good way to keep a hunting dog from wandering away from home. I say “Yes,” but then...

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Less is More When Introducing Your Dog to an E-Collar
Less is More When Introducing Your Dog to an E-Collar

Today's electronic collars are excellent tools for training dogs in the off-season and keeping them in control during hunting season. Of course, a tool can only be as good as the trainer who is...

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Is Your Hunting Dog Ready for an E-Collar?
Is Your Hunting Dog Ready for an E-Collar?

Today's electronic collars are excellent tools for training dogs in the off-season and keeping them in control during hunting season. Of course, a tool can only be as good as the trainer who is...

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Watch for Displacement Behavior
Watch for Displacement Behavior

No matter what breed of dog you’re training, at some point the dog will try any number of tricks to avoid giving up its alpha position. Yawning, scratching, sniffing, head shaking and licking are...

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Reward Based Training for Labs
Reward Based Training for Labs

Imagine you go to work this week giving your best efforts to satisfy the boss and make the company successful. During that time you forgot to return one phone call and came in five minutes late on...

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Keeping the Fun in Retriever Training
Keeping the Fun in Retriever Training

Wouldn’t it be nice in the middle of a rough day if someone stopped by and said a few words that made all your cares go away? Instantly your negative feelings would disappear and you’d be happy....

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A Simple but Valuable Dog Training Command: Kennel
A Simple but Valuable Dog Training Command: Kennel

You’ve probably often heard that it’s a good idea to “crate train” your hunting dog. A dog that accepts his crate or travel kennel as a pleasant place is much easier to manage when you’re on a...

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Understand This Before you Train
Understand This Before you Train

Every animal on the planet has an alpha or beta relationship with every other animal. We usually think of “beta” as submissive and beaten down, but in wild packs or herds, that is not the case. The...

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The Right Way to Teach the Here Command
The Right Way to Teach the Here Command

I’m always amazed at how many different opinions there are on the time and technique for teaching one of the most basic hunting dog commands: “Come,” or, as most trainers say, “Here.” It has always...

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The Correct Way to Teach the Heel Command
The Correct Way to Teach the Heel Command

If the command “Heel” is so basic and simple, you have to wonder why you see so many dogs that won’t walk quietly by their owner’s side. Admittedly, some dogs are easier to train than others, and...

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Preparing to Teach a Pointing Dog’s Most Important Command: Whoa
Preparing to Teach a Pointing Dog’s Most Important Command: Whoa

Without a doubt, the most important command for a pointing dog is “Whoa,” which means, simply, “Stop moving, NOW.” Of course, any breed of pointing dog from good bloodlines doesn’t have to be...

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Where to Find a Dog with the Right Stuff—Part 3
Where to Find a Dog with the Right Stuff—Part 3

So now you know what you’re looking for in a puppy, but what if you do not want to deal with puppy hood? Started dogs are sold on a regular basis and can make good gun dogs. The first question that...

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Where to Find a Dog with the Right Stuff—Part 2
Where to Find a Dog with the Right Stuff—Part 2

The most reasonable way to locate a well-bred puppy for yourself is by doing a great deal of research. Ask each breeder why he bred the parents of the litter. If they cannot document good reasons,...

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Where to Find a Dog with the Right Stuff—Part 1
Where to Find a Dog with the Right Stuff—Part 1

Each time someone calls to ask about locating a puppy, I have flashbacks to my first dog, Sam. I purchased Sam from a friend who had an athletic eager hunting dog. He decided to breed his girl to a...

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Where to Begin with Puppy Training
Where to Begin with Puppy Training

There are several different things that need to be done for and with a new puppy. First and foremost make sure all pup’s shots are on time and up to date. Find a local veterinarian and set up an...

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Talent Is Not Obedience
Talent Is Not Obedience

Whoa! Can your hunting dog “whoa” or stop on a dime? Does it always come when called? Will it turn on command or always sit or lie down when instructed? Will it gently deliver a bird to your hand...

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Spring Training
Spring Training

Spring is in the air, which means rabbit season is over in most parts of the country. So now what? I have a kennel full of Beagle rabbit hounds and no hunting, making this the perfect time to give...

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Finding Your Perfect Retriever Puppy
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In this SportDOG Training Tip (originally aired on Pheasants Forever TV) SportDOG Brand Senior Pro Staffer Chris Akin walks you through selecting a puppy. Akin discusses the pros and cons of owning, hunting and training females dogs versus males.

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Whoa command
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SportDOG Basic Training DVD Chapter 5: SportDOG Brand Senior Pro Staffer Tom Dokken walks you through teaching your pointing dog the "Whoa" command. This is equivalent to "stay" for most hunting dogs, but will tell your pointing dog to stay on point and not assume the standing position. Tom will show you how to train for this command, and reinforce it with an remote training collar.

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What To Do If Your Dog Gets Skunked
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In this video (originally aired on Pheasants Forever Television) SportDOG Brand Pro Staffer Tom Dokken walks you through bathing your dog after a run in with a skunk. This quick, effective bathing treatment will have your gun dog smelling great in no time.

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Choosing a Dog
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In this SportDOG Training Tip (originally aired on Pheasants Forever TV) SportDOG Brand Senior Pro Staffer Chris Akin walks you through selecting a puppy. Akin discusses the pros and cons of owning, hunting and training females dogs versus males.

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Reinforcing Basic Obedience Commands
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In this SportDOG Training Tip (originally aired on Pheasants Forever TV) SportDOG Senior Pro Staffer Chris Akin walks you through correct reinforcement of basic obedience commands. Using various dog training tools, Chris will show you how to properly train your dog to be field ready.

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Choosing a Hunting Dog Puppy
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In this SportDOG Training Tip (originally aired on Pheasants Forever TV) SportDOG Brand Senior Pro Staffer Chris Akin walks you through selecting a puppy. Akin discusses the pros and cons of owning, hunting and training females dogs versus males.

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Moving to E Collar Training
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In this SportDOG Training Tip (originally aired on Pheasants Forever TV) SportDOG Brand Senior Pro Staffer Chris Akin walks you through transitioning your gun dog from a leash training program to an electronic collar dog training program. Chris makes this lesson simple and easy to follow. It can be applied to various basic obedience commands including heel, come, here and more.

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Necessary Paperwork to Travel with Your Gun Dog
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In this SportDOG Brand Training Tip (originally aired on Pheasants Forever Television) Dr. Spoo,DVM discusses the importance of having the correct paperwork for your hunting dog when traveling. Having the proper records on hand for your gun dog can prevent any delays when you get out in the field.

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Fitness training
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In this SportDOG Brand Training Tip (originally aired on Pheasants Forever Television) SportDOG Senior Pro Staffer Tom Dokken gives tips on getting yourself and your gun dog in shape for the hunting season.

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Using a remote beeper
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In this SportDOG Training Tip (originally aired on Pheasants Forever Television) SportDOG Senior Pro Staffer Tom Dokken walks you through the basics of using a remote beeper to track your dog.

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Trailing down game
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In this SportDOG Training Tip (originally aired on Pheasants Forever Television) SportDOG Pro Staffer Tom Dokken gives an overview of teaching your dog to trail downed game.

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Keep your dog on-track
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In this SportDOG Brand training tip (originally aired on Pheasants Forever Television) SportDOG Senior Pro Staffer Tom Dokken goes over the basics of keeping your hunting dog on track of the appropriate game in the hunting field.

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Last out, first in
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In this SportDOG Training Tip (originally aired on Pheasants Forever Television) SportDOG Senior Pro Staffer Tom Dokken gives tips on starting and ending your hunt to keep your hunting dogs safe

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In control for safety
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In this SportDOG Training Tip (originally aired on Pheasant's Forever Television) SportDOG Senior Pro Staffer Tom Dokken gives tips on using your remote collar to protect your hunting dog.

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Pup’s first hunt
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In this SportDOG Training Tip (Originally Aired on Pheasants Forever Televsision) SportDOG Senior Pro Staffer Tom Dokken gives tips on your pup's first hunt. A gun dog's first time in the field should set him up to enjoy hunting for the rest of his life.

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Tips on gun training
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In this SportDOG Brand Training Tip (originally aired on Pheasants Forever Television) Tom Dokken shares his insight into gun training your hunting dog. Gun training is one of the most important parts of training your hunting dog, so don't rush the process. Allow about two weeks to have your gun dog ready for action.

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Kennel command
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SportDOG Basic Training DVD Chapter 8: SportDOG Brand Senior Pro Staffer Tom Dokken gives tip on teaching your gun dog to kennel using the e-collar reinforcement. This command is important for transporting your hunting dog to and from the field.

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Come/Here Command
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SportDOG Basic Training DVD Chapter 6: SportDOG Brand Senior Pro Staffer Tom Dokken gives tips on the Come/Here command. This is a crucial command in any dog training regiment.

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Down command
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SportDOG Basic Training DVD Chapter 7: SportDOG Brand Senior Pro Staffer Tom Dokken walks you through the steps of teaching your dog the down command using an electronic dog training collar. This command is critical to hunting dogs and dogs alike.

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Heel command
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SportDOG Basic Training DVD Chapter 2: SportDOG Senior Pro Staffer Tom Dokken walks you through teaching your hunting dog the "heel" command and using a remote training collar as reinforcement.

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Sit command
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SportDOG Basic Training DVD Chapter 3: SportDOG Senior Pro Staffer Tom Dokken give tips on teaching your gun dog the sit command using electronic dog training collar reinforcement.

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Introduction - SportDOG Basic Training
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SportDOG Basic Training DVD Chapter 1: Introduction to the SpotDOG Basic Training program. SportDOG Senior Pro Staffers Tom Dokken, Chris Akin, Charlie Jurney and Rick Smith introduce you to the basics of gun dog training. Included are the basic functions of your remote dog training collar, essential rules of dog training, and many commands necessary for preparing your hunting dog for the field.

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Upland hunting in high cover
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In this SportDOG Training Tip (originally aired on Pheasants Forever Television) SportDOG Senior Pro Staffer Tom Dokken gives tips on using remote beeper to track and train your hunting dog.

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