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Managing your dog's first hunting trips

A dog can sometimes behave spontaneously making it difficult to manage during its first outings. Here are some of the solutions to train and guide it

Managing your dog's first hunting trips

How to manage the first outings of your hunting dog

A dog can sometimes behave spontaneously making it difficult to manage during its first outings. What are the tips and solutions to train and guide it?

Patience will be paramount during your first hunting trips with your young dog.

Even if, throughout the breaking-in phase carried out during the off-season, your dog has been able to provide you with proof of its qualities as a hunter and its obedience, it often happens that your first hunting trips come up against a few "problems".

Even if your young dog is perfectly prepared, you cannot leave in just any condition on this first day. The first rule to follow is to go alone and with only one dog. Contact with other dogs and other hunters will only disturb your faithful companion.

#1 AS SOON AS YOU GET OUT OF THE VEHICLE, YOUR DOG RUNS FAR AWAY AND DOESN'T LISTEN TO YOU.

Avoid parking in areas devoid of natural obstacles such as fire-breaks, stony paths, lanes or empty fields as this incites this type of behaviour and counters obedience training.

Prefer denser places such as meadows of tall grass or woods, your dog will settle down more easily and listen more attentively to your commands. 10 to 15 minutes later, once relaxed, you can go to relatively bare areas in a calmer way.

Transport of Hunting Dogs
Modjo hunting trip

#2 Your dog doesn't always come back when you whistle.

The whistle should not be used to instantly bring the dog back but to attract its attention. Once you have blown your whistle and you have captured its attention, go in the opposite direction without facing it. This situation will comfort your dog, giving it the idea that you want it to find other things such as a new area where game could be hiding.

You will then become more alluring for it, because you are moving towards something interesting. In fact, your dog will naturally come back to you.

#3 Your dog has startled its first game.

First, only shoot a bird after the dog has pointed. And don't worry, opportunities missed at the start of the season will be made up later.

Under these conditions do not succumb to temptation: just because you have a gun in your hands doesn't mean you have to use it.

Not shooting a startled bird is of great benefit to your dog, as its mistake is corrected by making it stay still exactly where it should have pointed.

Taking into account the training that you will have given it beforehand, it will understand and remember this lesson very well. Also, if the startled bird hasn't been shot, you'll have a much better chance of finding it in a nearby area. This new opportunity to find game will then allow you to put your dog to the test again.

hunting dog pointing
Managing your dog's first hunting trips

#4 Your dog cannot find the fallen game 5 meters in front of it.

This situation is frequent in areas of tall vegetation (grasses, gorse, ferns, etc.) which close in on the killed bird.

Remember that when killed the scent of the game is at its lowest (around 1%). If you add the high excitement of the young dog following the gunshot and the haste of its master, who, annoyed, will in turn come to seek the game and in so doing spread his/her own scent everywhere, it is almost impossible for your dog to find the game.

The best solution is to spot the area where the game has fallen and come back to it about 10 minutes later. By this time, the master's scent will have dissipated, the bird's will have increased and the dog's excitement will have subsided, making it easier for it to find the bird.

In connection with this subject, here's some further advice: