Training a Poodle as a Gun Dog

As with any type of training, a dog must be a very young puppy and training must start in earnest as soon as they are able to coordinate properly. However, it is also important to make sure that you do not overdo it. Because poodles are such clever dogs, they also like the independence of thought, which means that if the training is too harsh from a very early age, they might not respond to it.

In other words, you need to make the training fun while they are puppies. Like humans, poodles need to enjoy what they do for work. Poodle pups are normally first trained for basic obedience, learning to respond to commands such as sit, wait, fetch, stay and drop.

Once these commands are learned, the whole affair becomes pretty easy. Poodles are always eager to please and really do enjoy working, so it is only a matter of time before their training progresses naturally.

A bit learning curve for any dog is dealing with the sound of gunfire. Because they are going to be used to retrieve hunting quarry, your poodle will have to get used to the sound and be able to function and work without being startled by it. This can be done by gradually exposing the dog to the sound on playback or in real life while it is playing and in a secure environment with its handler. Once it becomes comfortable in that situation, it can then be allowed to train proper retrieving with live gunfire.

The last and most important lesson for a Poodle gundog to learn is the soft bite. This skill essentially allows the dog to pick up the quarry once it retrieves it and bring it back to its master without puncturing it or damaging it. This can take a while for the dog to master and it is always advisable to train it with a carcass before taking it out on a hunt.

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