Hunting dogs can be handy if they are trained well. There are specific hunting dog breeds that some people prefer to train themselves. More often, people want to send their dogs for hunting dog training to get properly trained.
Hunting dog training could be costly but it’s worth it. Let’s look at how much hunting dog training costs and the factors to consider when choosing a trainer.
Hunting Dog Training Cost
There are different types of hunting dogs meant for various purposes and tasks. The most common hunting dog breeds are terriers, hounds, dachshunds, gun dogs, etc.
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Training costs for hunting dogs can vary between $500 and $1000 per month. Hunting dog training can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months or more. So, be prepared to spend $1500 to $6000 in total.
Apart from the training cost, you might have to pay for things like live birds, dog food, medical administration, etc. So, you need to add all this when calculating the total cost for training.
Although cost is an essential factor to consider in hunting training, it’s not the only thing that matters.
Many other factors are vital for hunting dog training, making it worth the investment.
Factors to Consider When Hiring a Trainer
Determining the quality of hunting dog training should not be limited to the amount you spend on it. Cheap training without individual attention to your dog could lead to negative results. Therefore, consider the following factors when hiring a hunting dog trainer.
How Much Time is a Dog Trained
Many dog trainers take large groups of dogs at a time. Therefore, the time dedicated to each dog is minimal. Your dog might not be able to benefit from the training without individual attention during training.
From a practical point of view, a group that takes up to eight dogs is ideal. This way, you know your dog gets individual attention during training.
Also, training concepts should be taught until the dog can grasp them properly. Rushing through concepts without your dog being able to grasp them correctly will lead to unsuccessful training.
Who is Training the Dog
Sometimes, you mean to hire a professional trainer, only to learn that his assistant is the person training your dog. It often happens as the experienced primary trainer cannot handle multiple dogs simultaneously.
Having an assistant to train your dog is OK, as long as he has some experience in hunting dog training. The problem is that assistants are often trainees who have come to learn the practical aspects of training a hunting dog.
When this happens, your dog might be a trial for the assistant trainer, and it might not get the quality training you can expect from a professional.
Therefore, inquire about who will be training your dog, his experience level, etc.
Track Record of the Trainer
Another essential factor to consider when choosing a hunting training system is the track record or referrals of the trainer. If there is a website, you can check it to find out what clients have to say about the trainer.
Apart from this, you’ve also got to do your research and try to find what others have to say about the trainer. Call them and ask any questions you’ve got about the training.
Some trainers also give you a chance to watch hunting dog training live. This way, you could get an idea of how the training is conducted and determine the satisfaction level.
Also, if you want your dog to compete, you must find out the trainer’s record in competitions. Do the dogs earn ribbons in trials or tests? Do they advance and progress to the next level in tests? These are some of the questions to which you need to find the answers.
Methods of Training Being Used
All types of training are not the same. Some dog owners change trainers because of an unsuccessful trainer from the previous trainer.
Sometimes improper training methods could cause dogs to get scared or broken. It’s seen when they move on to another trainer.
Therefore, find out what sort of hunting dog training methods the trainer uses and do your research about them. See if these methods are considered successful and suitable for your dog.
Reading online reviews and speaking to others who’ve gone through it will give you a better idea of what you should do.
The Use of Live and Dead Birds
You wouldn’t believe it if I said that some hunting dog trainers use dead or dummy birds during training. It’s OK to use these to a certain extent, but hunting dog training should use live birds such as pheasants and ducks.
If you want a reliable and competitive hunting dog, you must train it with live birds at some point during the training. This way, your dog knows what to expect in a real-world hunting scenario and will be more experienced in hunting live birds.
Availability of Ongoing Support by the Trainer
Hunting dog training does not end soon after your dog goes home after completing the program. Dogs are not machines and will not do everything perfectly from day one.
That’s why it’s essential that the trainer also trains the owner and family on how to maintain the training at home. The trainer should make the owner aware of what to do on specific occasions.
This hands-on training is what you’ll be using when you take your hunting dog home. You have to find out if the trainer provides this type of adequate training for the owner as well.
Then, if you have any questions after you take the dog home, you need to be able to contact the trainer and get help. No question should be too small as you’re not a professional in this subject matter.
Therefore, a good hunting dog trainer should be available to help and answer your questions, even after training.
Photo Credit: Roberto Nickson/Pexels
Is Hunting Dog Training Worth the Cost?
Hunting dog training comes at a high cost, so you’d find yourself asking if it’s actually worth the investment?
Remember that you can’t determine the success of hunting dog training from how much it costs. The factors above also matter when choosing a hunting dog trainer.
Having a professionally-trained hunting dog is an absolute blessing to a home. So investing in this type of training is worthwhile considering the results.
That’s why it’s vital to do your homework and choose a hunting dog trainer who is professional and delivers as promised.
Basics of Hunting Dog Training
Hunting dog training should start with training your dog on basic commands like ‘sit’, ‘come’, ‘stay’, ‘heel’, etc. You should also socialize with your dog to build a strong relationship. It will later help your dog get along with hunters, people, and other pets.
You should also take your dog out onto fields and meadows so that it gets used to running, exploring the surroundings, and discovering game birds. Make sure you use one of the best dog collars for pulling to keep control of your hunting dog while outdoors.
You can also get them used to the water by putting them on a boat, which is useful when hunting waterfowl etc.
Hunting Dog Breeds
Here is a list of popular hunting dog breeds.
- Labrador Retriever
- English Setter
- American Foxhound
- Brittany Dog
- Boykin Spaniel
- Golden Retriever
- German Shorthaired Pointer
- Jack Russel Terrier
- Irish Setter
- English Cocker Spaniel
- American Water Spaniel
- Gordon Setter
Photo Credit: LaBruixa/Pixabay
Hunting dog training costs can vary depending on the quality of training. You need to focus on getting high-quality professional training without solely considering the costs.
Consider the above factors when choosing a professional hunting dog trainer, and you’ll have a well-trained hunting dog in no time.
How long does it take to train a hunting dog?
Training a hunting dog could take between three to six months. However, training is a continuous program and should be followed at home, even after training.
What is the easiest dog to train for hunting?
Labradors and Golden Retrievers are the easiest hunting dogs to train. German Shorthairs, Springers, Brittanys, and Pointers are also hunting dogs that are relatively easy to train.
What is the best hunting dog breed?
The Labrador Retriever is the best hunting dog breed. Labrador Retrievers are strong and muscular, and their love for water makes them the best in hunting waterfowl.
Buying a hunting dog or training a hunting dog: which is better?
Training a hunting dog is better as you can fix any issue you find while training. When you buy a hunting dog, you may be unable to fix a significant problem that the dog has gotten used to.
Read more about dog training on our website!
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