bad habits of duck hunt dogs
05-28-153 mins read
3
Here are some of the most common bad habits of duck hunting dogs. Keep these in mind if you have a young dog and before you begin off-season training to ensure your pup is ready to roll come November.
Training Tips

Here are some of the most common bad habits of duck hunting dogs. Keep these in mind if you have a young dog and before you begin off-season training to ensure your pup is ready to roll come November.

Bad Habits of Duck Hunt Dogs

First thing’s first, it’s not your dog’s fault. Even the most experienced prized duck hunting dogs will behave unfavorably at times. These bad habits are reinforced whenever we as owners and trainers let the negative action happen more than once. Most negative behaviors occur when a dog is not fully prepared to be in a specific hunting situation. Work out all the problems and be sure your dog is prepared prior to the hunt. Below are some of the most common bad habits of duck hunting dogs. Keep these in mind if you have a young dog and before you begin off-season training to ensure your pup is ready to roll come November.

1. Restlessness in the Blind

Dogs that continually pace the blind or whine cost your group birds. They can get in everyone’s way and spook ducks overhead. This type of restless behavior arises out of an expectation for action or an unfamiliarity of new surroundings. When you go out for a training session, do you immediately fling dummies around and send your dog right away?

The key point to get across with this situation, is that a lot of duck hunting is sitting and waiting. If your dog expects action from the moment it reaches the blind, then you are in for a long morning. Make your dog sit for a while before beginning your training sessions. Make it sit and stay during activities when it would rather be active (throwing the ball with your son, doing yard work, etc.) Most importantly, when at the blind, make a correction the first moment your dog perks up off the ground. Another factor that might cause restlessness is new surroundings. New people, new calls, and a new hunting location can all be causing excitement and a bit of confusion. Be sure to familiarize your pup with duck calls and new surroundings you will be using. Train with them. Never be too critical of your dog in new situations with stuff they’re not used to. They first need to understand what is expected.

2. Breaking Early

Your dog is one of the best retrievers on the planet. He follows every command you give him and is flawless in your training sessions. However, when you start shooting and ducks start dropping, everything goes out the window. Probably the biggest issue duck hunters face is early breaks. A dog that takes off on a line before it is sent is a very bad thing, especially if it darts in the direction of ongoing shooting. Ensuring your dog sits and stays on his mark until sent is not only for for the safety of your dog, but also for more practical reasons.

Your dog can get a better read on a downed bird when holding its position until the bird is fully dropped. This also allows you to target a second group of ducks that are close behind and about to drop in on your hole. If you let your dog leave his mark before a duck is downed, then the behavior will only get worse and worse. Fido will soon be bailing out the blind at first gun sound. Don’t be afraid to use a leash in the blind early on.

If your dog bails early, give a stern tug to keep him from leaving his mark until you give the command. If the problem is really bad, consider using a break box.

3. A Hard Mouth

Some dogs are naturally hard mouthed some are naturally soft mouthed. As a hunter, you truly will not know your dog’s tendency until it retrieves a live bird for the first time. A few ruffled feathers is never a bad thing, but if your dog is returning with a mangled piece of carcass, you might have a problem. The key is to train for soft mouth from day one. Obvious rule number 1 – absolutely no tug of war. Puppys learn to lock their jaw and clamp down on whatever object is in their mouth.

Introducing your puppy to real birds is very important. The transition from bumpers to a live flapping duck is too much for many dogs. Everything is new with a live bird from smells, texture, taste, and movement. If your dog’s first time handling a duck is on it’s first hunt, you are building a hard mouth habit. Slowly transition your dog to get used to live birds by taping wings to a familiar bumper and then eventually let your young dog retrieve leftover ducks from a hunt. If hard mouth is not addressed early on, you most likely need to seek the help of a professional trainer to break your dog of the habit.

Don’t ask too much of your gun dog. Some hunters can be very nit picky and want their dog to be absolutely perfect in every aspect of the hunt. Yes, there are some bigger issues like the ones mentioned above, but as long as your dog is working hard, knows what’s expected, and gets the job done you have one hell of a hunting partner to be proud of.

z
small_tan
small_gunmetal
small_mossy_oak_greenleaf_tan
medium_tan
medium_gunmetal
medium_mossy_oak_greenleaf_tan
intermediate_tan
intermediate_gunmetal
intermediate_mossy_oak_greenleaf_tan
large_tan
large_gunmetal
large_mossy_oak_greenleaf_tan
large_mossy_oak_greenleaf_gunmetal
small_mossy_oak_greenleaf_gunmetal
medium_mossy_oak_greenleaf_gunmetal
intermediate_mossy_oak_greenleaf_gunmetal
small_du_green
medium_du_green
intermediate_du_green
large_du_green
small_mossy_oak_bottomland_tan
small_mossy_oak_bottomland_gunmetal
medium_mossy_oak_bottomland_tan
medium_mossy_oak_bottomland_gunmetal
intermediate_mossy_oak_bottomland_tan
intermediate_mossy_oak_bottomland_gunmetal
large_mossy_oak_bottomland_tan
large_mossy_oak_bottomland_gunmetal
G1™ KENNEL
Regular price
500
Sale price
500
5 Star Crash Tested. The original.
Double-Wall Rotomolded. 2x impact protection.
Lifetime Warranty. All kennels.
American Made. No corners cut. View More Details
Quantity must be 1 or more
Color:Gunmetal
-
+

z
blaze-orange_traditional
black_traditional
blaze-orange_combination
black_combination
mossy-oak-bottomland_combination
mossy-oak-bottomland_traditional
TIE-DOWN STRAP KIT
Regular price
110
Sale price
110

GUNNER tie-down straps are used to securely anchor your dog crate to your vehicle and are the only ones that we recommend for 5 Star Crash Test certified safety.  Read why it's important to use GUNNER straps for safe travel. 

Made with an extra-thick custom cambuckle for additional break strength and a synthetic material to ensure you can leave these out 24/7. Now offered in two strap length options to accommodate a greater variety of setups.


View More Details
Quantity must be 1 or more
Strap Color:Blaze Orange
Strap Length:Combination
-
+

z
medium_black
intermediate_black
large_black
PERFORMANCE PAD
Starting from
Regular price
90
Sale price
90

This GUNNER tough-skin insert provides a 3/4” pad of cushion for the crate, as well as waterproof comfort for the sporting dog’s tired joints on the ride home.

View More Details
Quantity must be 1 or more
Performance Pad Color:
-
+

z
black
FAN KIT 1.0
Regular price
230
Sale price
230

Your dog works hard for you – this fan works hard for your dog. The GUNNER Fan Kit 1.0 is a high-powered device designed to mount easily to the crate, with a stainless steel mounting rod and custom tensions bolts. Built to provide significant ventilation, especially while kennel is stationary. A durable structure, just like our customers are accustomed to.

NOTE: If you're interested in this product, also check out the latest formulation GUNNER Fan Kit 2.0.

View More Details
Quantity must be 1 or more
Fan Color:Black
-
+

small_gunmetal
Regular price
500
Sale price
500
blaze-orange_combination
Regular price
110
Sale price
110
intermediate_black
Regular price
100
Sale price
100
black
Regular price
230
Sale price
230
share this story
MORE LIKE THIS
Upland Hunting Rig Essentials
The gear that should never leave the truck from September through February.
How to Go Fishing With Your Dog
Oftentimes, going fishing means leaving your gun dog gear at home in exchange for a rod and tackl...
What’s the Difference Between Llewellin Setters & English Setters?
A Llewellin Setter is an English Setter but an English Setter may not always be a Llewellin.

GET IN TOUCH

Our support team are on hand
Monday - Friday
8am - 6pm CDT

SMS
 Offline
CHAT
 Offline
EMAIL
 Offline
CALL
 Offline

THE PACK OPINION

ADDED. COMPLETE YOUR SETUP

FOOD CRATE NAME PLATE

Regular price
30
Sale price
30
I've reviewed and approve the design shown in the preview