In today’s world of high tech electronics it seems as though there is no end to technology. We are able to do things like take pictures with our phones and show them to friends instantly.
Things that were unheard of 10- to 15 years ago are now making our lives easier and more convenient. Dog training equipment is keeping pace with this type of advancement. There are electronics such as remote collars now that we can regulate the electrical stimulus from the palm of our hand. There are remote launchers that can throw dummies from hundreds of yards away, or will hold training birds in traps until we select them to flush. Devices such as these are making trainers and dog owners alike able to train their dog quicker and better than we were able to in the past.
However, a lot of the equipment in dog training has not changed, and the simple fact is that good old-fashioned patience and repetition is still needed to train that canine companion.
Buy A Long Rope
If you had to buy one piece of equipment to begin training your dog the item I would recommend first would be a long rope. Go to the local hardware store and go to the rope section and look for some yellow “boat tow” rope. I normally recommend one-half-inch thickness. This rope is very durable and also floats when you use it in the water. Buy 50 feet of it and also purchase two brass snap swivels big enough that they will allow the rope to slide through the looped end. Cut off around six to eight feet so you are left with one rope roughly seven feet long (your leash), and the remaining portion will roughly be around 40 feet in length (your check cord). Attach one snap swivel to one end of each, and tie a knot in the other.
Use A Choke Chain Early
The second most important piece of equipment would be a choke chain collar. I normally recommend purchasing one when you begin your training your puppy around 12 weeks of age. So this may mean you may have to eventually get another one as your dog gets bigger. The key is to introduce the choke chain at a young age with light corrections, so your pup gets used to the pressure associated with it. The key to this introduction is to use light pressure in conjunction with a command. Short quick snaps with the leash with a command will generally work well. What your trying to teach the dog is to “shut off” the corrections by compliance, which should always be followed by positive reinforcement.
Make sure you also have some fun objects to retrieve right away also. Small dummies, wings, or toys can be a good beginning. Once you feel you have established retrieving desire in your dog, you can find more sophisticated objects such as large bumpers, Dokken Dead Fowl trainers, dead birds, or best of all live birds. The key is that your dog is enthused to retrieve anything, anywhere. Not simply one favorite object in the backyard.
Please read more in Part 2.
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Jason Dommeyer has a lifetime of hunting experience and 15 years experience as a dog trainer. He has turned many pets into expert hunting dogs at Cannon River Kennels (http://www.cannonriverkennels.com/) In addition to training hundreds of hunting companions, he has trained dogs for premier pheasant hunting lodges in South Dakota along with duck hunting lodges in Mississippi and Mexico. His experience also includes both hunting and guiding for upland and waterfowl game from Canada to South America. For more information on training your dog with Cannon River Kennels, call 507-663-6143 or visit (http://www.cannonriverkennels.com/) He will write weekly on dog training tips.