The dog days of summer are upon us and most sportsmen are still trying to
find that trophy walleye, or other gamefish that has eluded them throughout the
Panfishing can be fun during this timeframe if water temperatures are not
cooperating with big fish. One thing that most outdoorsmen probably are not
thinking about during fishing is dog training. However, this can be an
opportune time to "kill two birds with one stone," by taking your
duck hunting companion with you while fishing!
Get The Dog Used To The Boat
A lot of waterfowlers will wait until opening morning for their dog's first
boat ride of the year. These same duck hunters have been on numerous boat rides
with friends or family members throughout the summer and never thought about
taking their gundog with them. We all know that the duck opener can often bring
unexpected chaos with thing such as motor problems, decoy issues, or even gun
malfunctions. If you throw in dog confusion, opening morning can turn into one
To avoid the dog confusion part, try bringing your dog with you the next
time you go fishing. Make sure your dog understands that there are rules that
have to be followed while riding in a boat. Distractions during boat rides are
common and allow you to test your dog if he or she reacts to them. By having a
leash and choke chain, or a remote collar on, will make it easier for you to
discipline your dog during such events.
Steadiness is one key element to having a dog under control in the boat.
Retrievers tend to want to jump out of the boat when they see movement in or on
the water. Keeping your dog steady can be worked on while casting. Crankbaits
and bobbers will resemble a thrown dummy or bumper and will often get a dog to
break. This is a great time to teach the dog that he or she must be obedient
until released. If the dog does jump out of the boat, make sure to correct them
back into the boat and not allow them to chase your lure. (Make sure you use
hookless baits when beginning this process!)
Take A Retrieving Object To Toss
It is important to bring a fun retrieving object along so that you can also work
on successful retrieves during this process. "Kennel" your dog at a
certain location in the boat that he or she will be in while hunting. Teach
them that this is their spot and to remain there until being released.
Helping them out of the water, back into the boat is another area that can be
addressed during the fun retrieves. These drills are a lot easier when the
weather is warm and you don't have waders on!
Try taking your dog on your next boating adventure. This time can not only
establish good boat manners, it can also create a good bonding opportunity with
you and your gundog.
Shop The Sportsman's Guide for a great selection of Dog Supplies/Training Aids!
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 provides dog training tips twice a month.