Hunting – Tracking – Pointer – Retriever Training

Breeds For Hunting, Tracking and Bird-dog Work

Hunting dog breeds are a type of bird-dog used in guide and aid hunters in the field. Pointing breeds were selectively bred for finding game and directing hunters to their locations. Pointers have a natural instinct to stop and aim their muzzle in the direction of game. This tells  hunters where the game is located so that they can move into range. Other services provided by hunting dogs are game flushing functions and quarry retrieval. Gundogs typically begin acquiring their hunting instincts when they are about 2 months old. Different breeds excel at different specialties. For example, German Shorthair were frequently used to track and retrieve birds on both land & water. There is a modern trend to train hunting dogs to provide a more versatile range of services. 

The North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association defines versatility as a “dog that is bred and trained to dependably hunt and point game, to retrieve on both land and water, and to track wounded game on both land and water”. Our “Training To Hunt & Track” classes specialize in the pointing aspects of field support, but can incorporate other aspects of the versatile hunting dog philosophy depending on the owner’s needs. We develop the hunting skills and disciplines needed to produce a reliable hunting partner in the field.

Not All Dogs Make Good Hunters

While breed selection is an important starting point, the temperament, intelligence, and skills of each individual dog ultimately determine how successful a dog will be in the field. A brief qualification process is common to determine if a specific animal is qualified to enter the training process. A brief trial period (about 1 week) is also typical to confirm a specific dog’s aptitude.


Field Commands For Hunting Dogs

The hunting dog training  program teaches responses to the following commands covered during the first 3 weeks of the hunting dog training.

Stay -For Stop    Here -For Come    Whistle -For Come     Sit  -For Sit    Fetch or Visual -For Fetch    Tap On Shoulder  -Full Release
Easy – Creep with caution  point when close   Leave It -Drop game in hand   Kennel Up – Get in the kennel

Owner Guidance & Orientation

After the dog training has been completed, desk and field orientation of sessions with the owner are scheduled with at least 1 joint expedition to the field with the dog.

Vaccination Prerequistes

Trips into the field have the potential to expose all visitors to a host of parasites and bacteria hazards. Prior to field exposure, each dog should have a health certificate from a veterinarian showing that the dogs has been vaccinated against DHLP, Parvo (current Parvo shot within 60 days), Lyme’s Disease, Kennel Cough and Rabies. The dog’s stool and heart worm tests should both be negative. The owner should always have the dog medicated for heart-worm at recommended intervals.

Typical Hunting Training Duration Times

The training of Pointer breeds usually start when the animal is between 6 and 18 months of age. It takes a dog with average intelligence & aptitude about 6 weeks to 3 months to complete their training.  This training includes quartering to whistle, pointing, retrieving. The last weeks of training focus on exercises of Honoring the Brace Mate’s Point and Steady to Wing & Shot.