To train your Labrador as a Gun Dog, there are some training sections and tips you should consider to reach the point so that it becomes a well-trained dog in hunting. Most people are excited and ready to take their dog into duck hunting blind and shoot a hundred ducks over them. That is the last thing you should do in the first year with your dog.
You must get in the mindset that the first hunting season with your dog is all about the dog. You should get a buddy or two buddies at most, go out, and everybody understands that hunting day is for the dog.
You are looking to shoot 2 and 3 or 4 birds, where you have got a situation that is very easy for the dog to go and pick up those birds. You want to set your dog up for success in that first year.
Sometimes you won't know where the birds will come from. You won't know how to shoot at them or what kind of cover the birds will end up in. All that will be stuff you can't train for, and you've got to use that situation as a teaching moment with the hunting dog.
However, there is nothing in training that can replicate a live hunt. A live hunt is always a live hunt, and you can't possibly know what to expect when you are out there in that duck hunting blind with your hunting dog.
Here, the dog is ordered to sit attentively and wait for the master's command. A dummy launcher is used to accustom the dogs with a bang of gunfire. The Labrador will carefully mark the dummies as they fall to the ground.
In this technique, a right line is pointed to the dog, and a specific whistle command is used to call the dog's attention when he is not initially in the right area. Over many days of training, the dogs will get used to their master's voice and the meaning of his commands.
Labrador trainers use a steady whistle that tells the dog he's near the quarry and must root around in that area.
In this technique, the master gets the dog to mark a particular spot where he throws the dummy and walks him to a remote area where the form cannot be seen from a certain distance.
The master then casts the dog out in a straight line for the dummy to retrieve. However, the Labrador has to remember the distance travelled, the spot where the dummy fell, and bring it back to the master's hand without any damage.
The above-listed techniques are what you want to look for when we talk about building skills upon Labradors as hunting dogs. Go through and set up exercises where you have to use all the skills that your dog has learned. That's getting your dog ready to go out there and play the hunting dog role.
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