10 Tips to Train Your Dog to Hunt

10 Tips to Train Your Dog to Hunt

Do you want to train your dog how to hunt? Are you thinking of how to get started training your dog for hunting? Dogs have been man’s best friend for a long time and they are very loyal and always want to please their masters. In this article, we share tips to help you train your hunting dog.

  1. Build a Strong Relationship

    Before you begin to train your dog how to hunt, always build a strong relationship with your dog. Spend quality time playing with it, taking walks in the yard and outdoors with your dog. This time spent building the relationship will reap good rewards in the future.

    Dogs are good companions and they always want to please their master and even more so when you have built a strong bond with your dog. Buy a few toys and spend time playing with your dog. During this period, its trust in you will reach new heights and it will trust you for any new thing you introduce into its life like training.

  2. Have a Training Plan

    When you are thinking of how to train your hunting dog, spend some time to develop a plan that you will take it through. Don’t just start training your hunting dog with just any idea that comes to mind. Spend some time researching different aspects of dog training for hunting so you can have a well thought of plan.

  3. Basic Commands

    Start training your hunting dog with basic commands like “come”, “sit”, “stop”, ” heel”, “no”, and “stay”.  Don’t make the mistake of trying to teach your dog too many commands in the beginning. Start with just a few to get it into the beginning phase of the training.

    Introducing too many commands in the beginning might confuse the little dog and this is not the way to start training your dog. The main aim of this part of the training is to get it to become obedient. Additionally, you want to practice the basic commands in different environments so it learns to respond quickly.

  4. The Outdoors

    When you begin training your dog to hunt, it is important that you slowly introduce it to the outdoors, especially the areas where you will be hunting. You want your dog to become very familiar with the hunting terrain and not be intimidated by it.

    Take it to the hunting area and let it explore the hunting grounds. Let it hear the birds and other animals make sounds. Let your dog discover the creeks, swamps, hills, valleys, thick vegetation, and other parts of the hunting ground.

  5. Introduction to Water

    If your dog is not well familiar with bodies of water yet, introduce it to water. This should be one of the easiest parts of the training but be careful to not take it to very large and deep rivers in the beginning. Let it become familiar with ponds, creeks and small rivers before you take it to large bodies of water.

    Most likely, your hunting dog will have to retrieve birds from areas close to rivers or have to swim through small bodies of water to retrieve birds. You want your dog to learn how to swim and become very familiar with bodies of water.

  6. Introduction to Birds

    Another important aspect of training your dog to hunt is to get it familiar with birds.  Your dog will have to find and retrieve birds during hunting and you want it to become familiar with birds. You can use decoys or dead birds to get it familiar with birds and learn how to hold the bird in its mouth as it retrieves it.

  7. Introduction to Gunshots

    You will have to slowly introduce your dog to the sound of gunshots. Don’t assume that it will automatically be familiar with the sound of gunshots. It might become afraid of gunshots if you didn’t slowly introduce it to that sound. It will take some time and you have to slowly work with your dog until it becomes familiar with the sound of gunshots.

  8. Reinforce Good Behavior

    Another important aspect of training your dog to hunt is to reinforce good behavior. This is very important for your dog and the bond and trust that you build with it during your time spent playing will help in teaching it to practice good behavior. Rewarding it with treats and toys can also be a good strategy of reinforcing good behavior.

  9. Locating & Retrieving Game

    As your dog progresses with the training, at some point, you will have to start training it how to locate and retrieve game animals and birds. There are many different strategies to implement for this training.

    The most popular way to train dogs to locate and retrieve game is by using decoys.  You can implement drills in which it goes out into the field, finds the decoy, and brings it back to you.
    By repetition, your dog will learn how to locate and retrieve game.

    Additionally, with a strong relationship built on trust and friendship, your dog will want to please you and will find the bird and bring it to you.

  10. Training & Hunting Supplies

    You want to get good quality training supplies that will help your dog learn and implement the training. Clickers, dummies, whistles, and the best dog training collars can help you effectively train your dog to hunt.

    Additionally, when the training is over and it has learned majority of it, you want to get a hunting vest for it, a crate that it can spend some time to rest in, first aid kit, water, some treats, etc.


    Training your dog how to hunt involves planning and implementing the training. You have to be patient with your dog as it will go through a period of passes and failures for some time before it is fully trained. You will have to understand that this is an ongoing process for a protracted period of time.

    In this article, we discussed how to train your hunting dog. If you would like to learn more about hunting and working with your hunting dog, then click here.