Do you know that a well-trained dog can smartly sniff out antlers than you can do? Here is the step-by-step plan to make your dog respond to shed dog training.
How about combining your routine exercise with treasure hunting as you walk the expanse of the countryside with your dog? Maybe you have done this alone in the past with a few successes. Doing the same with a trained dog to shed hunt will yield better results for sure. Bear in your mind that a well-trained dog to shed hunt will produce a better result than you can personally do. Your well-trained dog can smartly snort out antlers than you can do. This is the reason to have your dog to undergo shed dog training.
Training your dog to shed hunt demands a step-by-step plan which also requires a positive attitude and excitement during the training. A dog trainer can help to train your dog to shed hunt, however, you can do it yourself.
Be systematic with the training
Shed dog training must be systematic. Each training session should not be more than 15 minutes each day and probably three times per week, lest you overwork your dog. Your dog needs time to digest and assimilate what it learned in previous lessons. Shed dog training is a process that cannot be mastered in one hurried training session even by the smartest dog. You need to be as enthusiastic and excited as you must during each training. Your attitude will influence the response of your dog to shed dog training. Just like everyone, your dog needs to be encouraged, praised, appreciated and rewarded for every effort, however clumsy your dog may be at the beginning.
Teach Your Dog the Art of Retrieval
The first step in shed dog training is to teach your dog how to retrieve. You can begin with its favorite toy, a ball or a doll. Engage your dog in play fetch. This is to allow your dog to learn how to find and bring an object you have thrown back to you. Repeat this exercise a couple of times until your dog masters the throw and fetch game. Remember, encouragement, praises, and treats will spur your dog to learn faster. Like man too, some dogs learn faster than others. With persistence, your dog will begin to bring back every object you throw to you.
Proceed To Train Your Dog For Shape Identification
When you are satisfied with the retrieving prowess of your dog, it’s time to teach shape identification. Get a soft replica of a shed antler. You need a soft antler replica to avoid causing
poking-fright in your dog. A real shed antler is hard; it can poke and hurt your dog. This will create a kind of shed-shy. Real shed antlers have unique shapes different from any other object around them. Introduce the shed antler to your dog and it will get used to it soon. Let your dog knows the name of the antler as ‘shed’. This is necessary for your dog to understand your command later. Don’t start play fetch with the replica shed antler yet, let your dog recognize it first. When your dog has recognized the soft antler, begin to play fetch with it. The hallway or a free corridor is most ideal for this shed dog training. This allows your dog to concentrate and focus on its assignment. Progressively, move the soft antler to a more concealed place in the yard or your garage. Begin with easy hiding places first and to more difficult places later. Don’t allow your dog to see you when hiding the shed antler. Then, give the command “Find the shed!” Sticking to this command helps your dog comprehend what its task is.
Introduce The Antler To Your Dog
Bring up the real antler when your dog has successfully perfected the art of finding and fetching the soft antler. Allow your dog to gnaw on the authentic antler for a while (but not as a chewing toy). This is only to acquaint itself with the real antler. Remember not to play fetch with the actual antler to avoid creating poke-fright. Hide the actual shed. Real out the “Find the shed!” command. The result will inform you of the level of your dog’s comprehension of the whole training. Don’t take the efforts of your dog for granted, follow every successful recovery with treats. At this level, you are already building a future shed-hunt champ. The enthusiasm and patience demonstrated during the training sessions will score you as a good dog trainer.
Train Your Dog To Use Its Nose
After some successful recoveries, your dog would have intuitively aligned itself with the smell of shed antlers. Searching with the wind on its face will also be established at that stage of the training. This is to prepare your dog for the real exercise of shed-hunting in the countryside or CRP fields. Your dog will rely on its nose to search and discover sheds in the thick. Freshly dropped sheds have a unique odor that your dog needs to know before heading taking it for shed-hunting.
You can enhance the shed odor recognition and detection by smearing some antler scent on the base of the shed you have acquired for your dog training. If you don’t have one already, you can get a bottle of antler scent from any archery shop. Remember to wear hand gloves to prevent interacting with the antler’s scent with your scent. Then try the hide and recover game with your dog by situating your dog downwind from where you have hidden the shed. Go ahead with the usual “Find the shed!” command. This time, your dog has achieved tremendous shed dog training and technics of recognizing the antler, deciphering the antler odor, and searching with the downwind. These are required for a shed-hunting expedition in dense CRP fields or thick bedding places.
Scouting is primarily your responsibility. You need to understand that Scouting is necessary for a successful shed-hunting. Deer usually shift in winter away from their favorite fall sites for food and cover. You need this understanding guiding your dog to the right shed hunting sites. You may also use the deer tracks in the snow as a useful guide. Your dog can only shed-hunt rewardingly where there are shed antlers. Remember to celebrate and reward your dog for its first successful shed hunt in the thick.
If you keep perfect training records with your dog through the above procedure, then your dog is ready to go to shed hunt.
To enjoy wonderful shed hunting experience, take your dog through a shed dog training and turn it to a wonderful shed hunting companion.
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