I handed the receptionist at my doctor’s office a business card as I was paying my bill, and we chatted about the “Your Pet Space” website for a moment. As I was heading out the door a man in the waiting room asked, “What is it you are doing with hunting dogs?”
I chuckled. Our dogs are traditional hunting dogs, but we never hunt, so I replied, “I am teaching them to be house pets.” We chatted about the website and how we are putting together pet care information in one place.
I haven’t hunted in years, but when I adopted my Brittany I thought I might want to get involved in field trials, so I started Castle’s training using tips in the book Shortcuts in Gun Dog Training** by Ronald Mohn. Whether you intend to hunt or not, this book offers exercises that will help you bond with your dog. It includes things all dogs need to learn such as coming when called, sit, wait, and stay. My favorite exercise is retrieving. The book explains how to teach your dog to retrieve game using a “soft” mouth as to not damage the game. It makes for a fun game of fetch.
What do you do with your dog? Dogs need to work out daily to keep their minds sharp and to expend their energy. If they don’t spend their energy in a productive way they will use it in a destructive way. You have probably heard the sales pitch claiming you can train your dog in ten minutes, and that is true. Ten minutes a day every day. So choose a path with your dog that will be personal and meaningful for you, and work with your dog daily.
Dave Jones is an insurance sales desk supervisor by day and a professional magician by night. He lives with his wife Joy in Anderson, Ohio, but grew up on a farm with pigs, chickens and cows as well as dogs and cats. You can e-mail Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org as well as follow him on Facebook.
**Shortcuts in Gun Dog Training is now out of print, so we suggest you reserve it at your local library.