Articles About Buying, Caring For, and Training Dogs

Read about dog training, dog care and hunting dog tips.

Buying A Gun Dog

Finding your first pup begins with research—and word of mouth is a good place to start. Spring is the time of the year most hunters are on the lookout for a new pup, one that will be ready to hunt in the fall. If the person already has a good hunting dog, chances are a good breeder […]

Picking A Puppy

Do some homework on genetics and follow a few basic guidelines and you’ll get a keeper. You probably all remember the line, “How much is that doggie in the window, the one with the waggly tail,” from your childhood days. When it comes to choosing a future hunting companion, basing the selection of a puppy […]

The First 12 Weeks

The early stages of a puppy’s development will have a lasting impact—so a breeder’s litter management is crucial. A new puppy is a lot like a new baby. Both are very impressionable, and generally what they see and hear in the early stages of their development will have a lasting effect. That’s why it’s important […]

A Backyard Kennel: Home Sweet Home

When a couple is awaiting a new baby, they usually have accommodations ready before the little one comes home. The new owner of a gun dog puppy should make the same commitment. The first thing I ask new dog owners is what kind of kennel they are going to keep their new pup in. I always stress […]

Building A Dog House

A dog on the loose is its own worst enemy. How many times have you seen a dog running about the neighborhood, digging in someone’s garbage cans? Or worse yet, getting hit by a car? Even in the country, a dog should have a place to go, where it will be protected from the weather, […]

Dog Kennel Run photo

Kennel Floor Septic Systems

Septic system can help make your hunting companion a happy camper For dog owners, there’s nothing more detestable than having to clean up after their pets. A dirty kennel not only looks and smells bad, it also can be a breeding ground for numerous insects and bacterial and fungal growths. But a carefully designed septic […]

A Car Kennel As A Training Tool

What’s the first training tool an owner should get for a new puppy or dog? A canvas dummy? A dummy launcher? A check chord? A portable kennel should be the first order of business for a new dog owner. No matter what you call them—a dog crate, a dog carrier or portable kennel—or which style […]

Basic retrieving by black lab puppy

Training the Basics

Repetition is the key ingredient at this early stage Keep it simple. That’s my philosophy when it comes to teaching a dog the basics. The most important aspect of training a dog, whether a pup or 1-or-2-year-old, is putting them through lessons of repetition and gradually making the task more difficult. The problem most beginners […]

the fundamentals of sit and stay

The Fundamentals

It all starts with sit, stay, heel, and come commands With the grouse season just around the corner, the most important thing a trainer should remember before turning to real birds is that the dog must know the basics—sit, stay, heel, come. The dog has to have fundamentals down, I can’t emphasize that enough. They […]

10 labrador retrievers lined up for photo by professional trainer

Laying the Groundwork for a Pro Training

There’s work to be done before you bring your dog to school There is no quick fix to dog training. It takes a lot of time. Repetition is the key. That’s why today, more than ever, people are turning to professional trainers to teach their hunting dogs the fundamentals. These days, our lives have gotten so complicated, most […]

Teaching Obedience in the Field

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, the old saying goes. But, that was probably written by a lazy old dog or a lazy owner. An older dog may have a lot of bad habits that you need to correct, but they’re still trainable. Ideally, we like to start the pup out young, when they’re 12 weeks and older. When you […]

Land/Water Work

The dos and don’t of an important stage in any dog’s training. You’ve probably heard this story before: “He won’t retrieve on land, but he does it all the time if it’s in the water.” Hunting dog owners who think that’s the way a good water dog should act might be in for a rude awakening. It’s a […]

searching for the hunting dog training ground

Hunting for an Urban Training Area

A gravel road, industrial park, vacant subdivision, etc. For a dog owner who lives in the country, the possibilities for training sites are endless. There are the short and long grasses located on Conservation Reserve Program land. Or the cattail sloughs. Or the small creeks. Or the fence lines. And many more areas too numerous to name. It’s enough to make city folks drool—just […]

Energy For Hunting Dogs

Diet and nutritional supplements are crucial to keeping a dog from running out of gas during lengthy hunting trips. Most dogs, no matter how fit, will run out of gas on those three-and four-day hunting trips—if their diet isn’t properly supplemented with something that’s high in fat and protein. As a trainer, I’ve heard all […]

Labrador Retrievers after a successful hunt

Treating An Injured Dog

Try these tips out when your buddy gets into trouble People usually don’t like to think about unpleasant things, such as illness or injury. It’s just their nature. But in the case of a sick or injured dog, it’s better to have a game plan before the first hunting trip of the season than to suffer […]

hunting dog with pheasant

Late Season Hunting

December is a time of honest assessment—and some of the best hunting of the year It’s transition time for most gun dog owners. They’ve had several months of upland or waterfowl field trips, but now switch gears and go big game hunting. For those owners, it’s also a good time of the year to reflect […]

Gun Dogs and Traps

Traps are few and far between but here’s some advice just in case. Most gun dog owners wait with anticipation for fall. It’s a time when they hopefully will get to see the fruits of months of training—good field work by their dogs. But they’re not the only outdoor types who live for this time of year. […]

Common Hunting Courtesy

Common Courtesy In The Field

Tips on how dogs (and you) should behave in the field Probably one of the most important things a gun dog owner can do before a hunting trip is to discuss his or her dog approach and field manners with their potential partners. Nothing can ruin a hunting trip faster than a companion who doesn’t […]

Black Labrador Retrievers with Pheasants

Last Hunts

Inevitably, the day will come when a hunter will have to put down his aging dog. A gun dog’s life span is a short one—typically 10 to 14 years—compared with a house dog, which may live from 14 to 18 years. The difference is that a gun dog has the wear and tear of field […]