Training hunting dogs with E Collars is a great way to prepare your dog for hunting season
Today’s e collars are excellent tools for training hunting dogs in the off-season and keeping them in control during hunting season.
E collars for hunting dogs are only a tool. They are as good as the trainer who is using them. With that in mind, it’s important to remember that an e-collar is most beneficial when it is used to reinforce commands your dog already knows. They are not meant to teach a dog a command it has never heard before.
Before you start training hunting dogs with e collars, be sure your dog fully understands your commands. Again, an e-collar reinforces a known command. There is a natural, common-sense progression we follow while introducing pointing dogs to training and their commands.
This progression is one I suggest, regardless of the dog breed we are training. Most dog owners understand the importance of good obedience training and are anxious to jump into it while the dog is young. But before we get into that, we should lay the groundwork that will make our dog a superior bird-finder.
We want to have a period of teaching to our puppy that primarily directs them on bird contacts such as quail, pheasant, chukar, and pigeons as well as introducing the young dogs to the gun. We want young dogs to find lots of birds and be free to chase them.
During this time, we are giving them lots of positive results from using their natural abilities. I use a time frame of roughly two months of “bump and run” type outings for the pups. The intent is to teach the dogs that birds are fun.
Eventually, we time gunshots to coincide with bird finds. We start gradually by using a blank pistol or small-gauge shotgun from a distance that will not startle the dog. The dog associates the noise with the best part of his outings—finding birds. We now know our young dogs are full of enthusiasm for birds and they will not be shy of gunshots.
By this point, we need to move into the obedience phase of training with the dog still associated with birds. Regardless of the techniques we use to teach commands such as stopping (whoa-training), holding point (steadiness) or patterning, be sure to reinforce the commands by traditional means such as the whoa barrel and check cord.
Remember, we are still in the teaching phase, and electric collars for dogs will later be used to reinforce the commands. There are several different e collars for dogs companies on the market that will make an excellent all-around system for our training and hunting.
We need to keep a keen eye for the e-collars that allow us to adjust the correction level to our dog’s temperament and response level. After we have been doing the obedience drills for a few weeks, only then should we can introduce the e-collar.
“Even then, the e collars for training hunting dogs are never to be used as a punishment tool, it’s a reminder.”
We still do not want to turn on the collar at this time; we only want our dogs to get a feel for it. The dog should simply be learning that anytime it is out of its kennel, it will be wearing the collar. Soon, your dog will associate the collar with the excitement of enjoyable training sessions.
All of this preparation is leading up to one thing: being able to correct the dog with stimulation from the collar and not have the dog lose its enthusiasm because of it.
Even then, the e collars for training hunting dogs are never to be used as a punishment tool, it’s a reminder. This comfortable process works best for both us and our dog when we use an easy-to-operate collar that lets us start with very low stimulation levels.
The SportDog SD-1225 is an excellent example of an e-collar that is simple to operate and provides low stimulation levels, ¾ mile range and the chance of accidental over-correction is no longer a concern.
E collars for training hunting dogs are simple and affordable finishing tools that will completely finish our dogs from beginning to end as well as in the field.