Hunting is hard enough on you. Think of how it is on Old Yeller.
Hunting takes tremendous concentration and patience. Whether you’re set up in your blind, or hitting the terrain hard, chasing the rut, it requires tremendous focus, patience and energy.
Now, think of what it must be like for the dog.
A good gundog has to fight off every evolutionary instinct to just plunge in and go after the bird or other prey in deference to the hunter. That takes tremendous training. So we’re going to offer up some of the best gundog training tips and videos we’ve found so far in our own hunt on the web.
The good news is that it’s an embarrassment of riches. Whether you’re working with a new dog, or you just need some pointers to get Old Yeller back to his best, we offer up these sites and videos below as best in breed.
Getting a good gundog in full retrieval mode is not easy. He must sit calmly and watch as the retrieve falls to the ground, and then wait longer for permission to go.
Trainers call this “steadiness to fall.” It’s especially important because out in the field the dog is subjected to so many temptations and excitements.
Why does it matter when the dog responds?
“Sometimes birds are not dead when they fall to the ground. Sometimes they are wounded. It is vital to prevent suffering that a wounded bird is collected immediately,” writes the experts at Totally Gundogs.
“If two birds are shot in succession you must be able to choose which one your dog collects first,” they continue. “This must be your choice because his choice will always be to collect the first bird he saw fall. Whereas his duty (and your responsibility) is to collect any bird which is wounded first.”
You can learn more about “steadiness to fall” here.
Here are 6 good gundog training tip videos, courtesy of the terrific dog folks at the Fieldsports Channel
Steadiness with Dummies
How to Show Displeasure
Steady to Heel
Straight Line Long Retrieve