The Basics of Hunt and Field for Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers-huntingGolden Retrievers make wonderful family pets because they are a very friendly, gentle, and loving breed. What you may not realize, however, is that the Golden Retriever is also a very talented hunting breed – this breed was developed as a gundog and retriever. If you want to teach your dog how to use his innate hunting skills, consider training him for hunt and field.

Training Tips for the First Year

Although Golden Retrievers are talented hunting dogs, it takes time to train them properly for hunt and field. Before you even think about starting your dog with hunt and field training, however, you need to do a lot of work during the first year to prepare him for this type of training. General obedience training and socialization are both incredibly important – they set the foundation for the hunt and field training that will come later on down the line. Your Golden Retriever needs to trust and respect you, so you should take your time in teaching him basic obedience (things like Sit, Stay, and Come). You should also teach your Golden Retriever to give you his attention when you call his name. Although being an effective water retriever requires some degree of independence, you still need your dog to look to you for direction, both during training and in the field.

Basic Hunt and Field Training Tips

Once your Golden Retriever has some basic obedience under his belt (he should be properly socialized as well), you can start thinking about taking your hunt and field training to the next level. For the Golden Retriever, one of the most important skills your dog needs to have is being able to come on command. This is an important aspect of basic obedience training but you will need to take things to the next level by teaching your dog to come when you call even in the face of distraction. Out in the field, your dog will need to respond to commands even when shotguns are going off and birds are falling from the sky. Not only is it a matter of obedience in this case, but also a matter of keeping your dog safe.

In addition to teaching your Golden Retriever when to stay by your side, you also need to teach him when and how to actually do the retrieving. You will need to work with your dog to teach him not only how to fetch, but how to bring back the bird and to drop it when you tell him to. For many dogs like the Golden Retriever, teaching your dog to chase and pick up the object is the easy part – the hard part is getting your dog to bring the item to you instead of running off with it and, when he does, to drop it. It will take a good bit of time and training for your Golden Retriever to learn and master these commands so be patient and consistent. The more often you train and the more consistently you reward your dog for doing what you want him to do, the faster he will learn.

Training your Golden Retriever for hunt and field is not something you can do over the weekend or even over the summer – it takes years for dogs to become master hunters. The key is to start early and to make sure your dog has a firm foundation of obedience training before you begin. Then, just make the training sessions fun and keep the rewards coming!

Photo credits: Franco Vannini/Flickr

The article, The Basics of Hunt and Field for Golden Retrievers was originally posted on April 11, 2017 and was last updated on April 11, 2017. It was posted in the category, Training with the Tags: , ,

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