Before we get to the training tips, we suggest you determine what your dog will be doing. Whether it’s going to be a hunting dog, field trial dog, or family pet. Our family saying is; “Buy the brains, train the habit”. We’ve found that these dogs don’t have to be limited to just one field, but training for each field takes some separation.
Tip Number One: Consistency
Consistency is key. It’s easy to let things slide because you’re tired of trying and things are getting frustrating. If one of your rules is to sit before eating, make the dog sit EVERY time. Letting it slide even once creates sloppy behavior. Consistency and repetition go hand in hand. Just keep with it.
Tip Number Two: Patience
Having a dog is also an opportunity to train you. If you don’t have it already the dog will help you learn the skill of patience. Train the trainer, then train the dog. Perfect obedience won’t happen in a day. If the task at hand isn’t well received, give it a break and come back to it later.
Tip Number Three: Positive Reinforcement
Teaching a skill needs to be fun. If the dog associates it as a negative experience, naturally they won’t want to obey the skill. Keep it fun, and acknowledge your dogs achievements. They can read your emotion in your tone of voice. Training treats are one of many ways to show positive reinforcement.
Tip Number Four: Exposure
In most cases, throwing a dog under the bus by exposing them to stressful, or very exciting environments can end in a undesired result. You will want to assess what kind of circumstances and environments your dog will be in. A gun dog needs to be exposed to a gun shots, and be able to keep their wits about them. If done improperly, you will create a gun shy dog, and it will never be usable in the hunting field.
Tip Number Five: Potty Training
This is where consistency, repetition, patience, and positive reinforcement all come together. To train them the quickest and the most efficient, take the pup out every two hours (including throughout the nights) to encourage that outside is the only place they go potty. Praise them when they do it right! We used training treats with all positive results. Also let them know when they have an accident that its not acceptable. Always have the pup in your vision, they will naturally look for a place where they are not vulnerable. If you do see them squat, or act like they going to go, pick them up, and get them outside quickly. Don’t allow accidents, it will be perceived that its okay to go in the house. Keeping with this technique, you should have your pup fully house/potty trained in two-three weeks.