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9 Voice Commands for Hunting Dogs

Yellow Labrador Retriever standing in tall grass next to person in brown pants and water boots

Dogs follow your tone and voice rather than the words of your commands. If you are an upland bird hunter, voice commands can make controlling your hunting dog much easier. It will also add more fun to the hunting experience. In this article, we are going to explain how voice commands for hunting dogs can be useful.

Voice command for Hunting dogs

It does not matter what dog breed you are hunting with. What matters is how comfortable your dog is with you and how it responds to your voice. Pet MD explains that your voice is an essential tool to control your dog and the following commands prove it.

Sit

3 Hungarian Vizsla dogs sitting in tall autumn grass

It is one of the most important things to train a hunting dog to sit. This is because your dog will most likely start moving around when you call up for shooting birds. To prevent this annoying habit, you need to teach him/her to sit while you hunt.

‘Sit’ is an essential tool in hunting and is one of the easiest commands you can teach your dog. Here is how to do it. First, hold a treat close to your pup’s nose and let him/her move the head upwards. That allows your dog to lower its back and wait for your signal while sitting on the ground. If your dog sits quietly, give him/her a treat with a pat on the back to show affection.

Stay

Hungarian pointer in tall winter weeds with a touch of snow on the ground.

This command is nothing new for hunting dogs. This command is usually used out in the field. Even if you are hunting with multiple dogs, they should all obey your commands. That can become challenging for some dog owners who still haven’t trained their dogs for the ‘stay’ command.

Dogtime mentions that it’s important to start this training without tempting distractions. Keep your dog’s focus on you by maintaining constant eye contact with him/her. Repeat the word ‘stay’, and reward your pooch with a treat if he/she stays in one place.

Fetch

Hunting dog returning wild game bird to owner

Fetch is another basic command for hunting dogs. However, Outdoor Life explains that force fetch is not typically recommended. If your dog is not interested, postpone this training for another day.

When your dog is ready, throw a toy in any direction and say ‘fetch’. Most dogs will naturally run after it. If your canine friend brings the toy back to you, praise him/her and give a treat for encouragement. Repeat this process several times so that your dog learns to fetch objects.

Come

Weimaraner running in grassy field towards camera

Calling for your dog in any scenario during hunting is very important. Making your dog come to you and stay by your side can make or break your hunting game.

To teach your dog the ‘come’ command, start by holding a treat or a toy in your hand. Let your hunting dog chase you, and repeat ‘come’ in a friendly tone. As your dog comes to you, gently pat it and feed it a treat. Gradually increase the distance and repeat this process several times to teach this command.

Kennel

Woman opening kennel gate for 3 dogs

Kennel training is an important voice command for hunting dogs. For this command, you need to have an appropriate crate for your dog. Place a treat into it to lure your pup towards the crate. As your dog enters its kennel, repeat a word or a phrase like “kennel” or “kennel up”. Repeat this process a few times, and your dog will likely start responding to your voice command.

No

Chesapeake Bay Retriever sitting in field of yellow wild flowers

This voice command for hunting dogs stops your dog from doing something you don’t want it to do. Here is how to teach your dog the ‘no’ command.

First, make sure your dog is hungry before beginning this training. Bring a treat in front of your dog’s nose. When he/she tries to get it, firmly say ‘no’ and move it away. If your pooch steps away, reward it with the treat. You may need to repeat this process many times because some dog breeds are more stubborn than others.

Heel

Brown hunting dog heeling at hunter's side in the woods

This command teaches your dog to walk right beside you rather than behind or in front. Sit Stay mentions that you will need lots of treats for this training. Show a treat to your dog, but don’t let him/her eat it.

Use a clicker or say ‘heel’ while moving forward with a treat. Make sure that the treat is dangling in front of your dog for better results. Keep the treat at a distance so that your dog has to walk by your side. Repeat this process multiple times to strengthen this behavior.

Down

Australian Cattle Dog Blue Heeler laying down in a yellow grassy field

Every dog doesn’t enjoy being in a submissive role. Therefore, this command can be difficult to teach, especially if you own a stubborn breed. However, you can use a tasty treat (that smells great) to train your pup.

Keep the treat hidden inside your fist so that your dog can smell it, but not see it. Move your hand close to your dog’s nose and let him/her get a whiff of the treat. Slowly lower your hand to the floor while saying the ‘down’ command to your dog. You’ll likely have to slide your hand over the ground to get your dog to follow it.

Quiet

Older man in suspenders sitting on the bank of a river with his dog

When a good hunting dog hears something, it will bark. However, this can result in excessive barking, which may drive your game away. This is why it is important to teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. Otherwise, the dog will continue to bark incessantly.

Bring your dog close to a barking source, such as doorbells. As soon as the doorbell rings, put a treat under your dog’s nose and say, ‘quiet’. Give the treat to your dog if it stops barking. Repeat this until your dog stops barking on command.

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