Monday, 16 September 2013

Train Your Dog for Some Missouri Waterfowl Hunting Action

Train Your Dog for Some Missouri Waterfowl Hunting Action
A Well Trained  Retriever After the Duck Hunt

Duck hunting alone can be quite challenging in winter especially when you have to retrieve a shot duck from the freezing cold water. In times like these, we wish you had a hunting dog; a four legged hunting partner would just swim out and bring the downed duck to you.

If you are thinking of going Missouri waterfowl hunting this winter, the good news is that you have a time to train your dog before the hunting season starts.

Time to Train Your Four Legged Hunting Partner

Here are some step-by-step dog training tips from a duck hunting guide in Missouri:

Choosing a Hunting Dog that Can take to the Water

Not all dogs are suitable for duck hunting in frigid temperatures. Make sure you choose from a water dog breed that can assist you in your duck hunting adventure. Some of the popular sporting dog breeds include Labrador Retrievers, Chesapeake Bay retriever and Golden Retrievers.

Introduce the Dog to Water

Since you’ll be duck hunting in wetlands with shallow and deep water, you must make your dog familiar with the water. You can do this by enforcing the idea that water is fun. For positive reinforcement, praise your dog when it enters and exits in the water.

Teach Obedience and Complex Hunting Commands

For calm and a pleasant hunting companion, you have to teach your dog both the obedience and hunting commands. These include sit, down, stay and of course heal. This will be time consuming but worth it. Teach each command separately one by one. Repeat the command over and over. Move to the next command once the dog learns the first command successfully. Then go back and reinforce all of the lessens and commands, while teaching back, fetch and here commands.

Make Your Dog Familiar to Decoys and the Scent of Real Waterfowl

This is an essential part of the training. You can’t miss this step! Here you need to help your dog differentiate between a decoy and a real duck. Even though you will be training your dog with a dummy often called a bumper, once your dog is introduced to a real duck wing or live bird it should never confuse the two again. Now train the dog to fetch and bring to you the scented waterfowl to hand while navigating around decoys.

Reward Your Dog to Reinforce Positive Behavior

This part of the duck hunt training is the real test. Here you will learn whether your dog is all set for the hunting expedition or not.  Have some friends join you on a training day, Throw a few bumpers with real wings attached out in water and on dry ground.  With your dog in heal and other people around as a distraction and the use of shot gun sounds and positive reinforcement, command your dog to fetch.  See if the dog brings retrieves the bumpers to you. If it does a good job, reward the dog to reinforce this behavior.  Remember to be careful, reward and use a lot of praise when introducing your dog to shot gun sounds the first time and until the dog has become familiar and unafraid of the loud sounds. 

Expose Your Dog to  Real life- like Scenarios

With the help of other duck hunters ,find a good practice ground and take your waterfowl hunting dog with you. Expose your hunting partner to the life-like scenario by using pen raised ducks with live fire over head. This will help prepare your dog for a life like duck hunting situation.    For more details on how to get in on the Missouri duck hunting action visit