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A black Lab retrieves a bumper from a pond during a training drill

Sporting Dog Training

Pro training tips to help bring out the best in your sporting dog

Jared Moss of Best Gun Dogs trains a GSP in the Utah mountains

The Importance of a Training Foundation

Training a sporting dog is like building a house. First comes the foundation, followed by the first floor, then the second floor, then the roof. I use a progressive training system for two main reasons. The first is that I only give a dog more work when it’s ready. And second, I have a fallback position when a dog makes mistakes. The stronger the foundation, the better the dog. It’s just like with a house.

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How Dogs Learn

Using a short, focused training session helps handlers bring out the most in their dogs. Differentiate training from conditioning, and you’ll have a dog that learns quickly and is in great shape come hunting season.

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Chris Akin training a Black Lab with a bumper
Black Lab puppy fetching a pink bumper in a field

Positive Training Methods for Puppies

To get next level performance from sporting breeds like Labs, GSPs, and all breeds in between, use positive training methods when your puppy is young. This training method rewards puppies for successfully completing a task. Once a puppy understands the kind of behavior that gets him a reward he’ll want to do more of it. Here are four ways to get started using positive training with your puppy.

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Handler training a GSP with a checkcord

Making the Most of Your Dog's Pro Training

For most owners, the decision to send their dog to a pro trainer is a big deal, and rightly so. On the one hand, there is a lot of excitement about bringing a pup to new training levels. On the other hand, there is some anxiety in the separation.

Tracey Lieske cuts loose an English field cocker for a flush

Properly Command Your Sporting Dog

As a full-time guide and dog trainer, I feel that chatter and over-commanding are the biggest issues I see between clients and their dogs. For some reason, nonstop talking gives some handlers a sense that they’re in control of the dog.

Handler sends his black Lab on a preseason training drill

Last Minute Training Tips for Your Retriever

Dogs get just as excited as handlers, and we can’t blame them for being a little rusty. Here are some last-minute training tactics handlers can utilize to make sure that the season opener is successful.

Handler uses clicker training with Lab on a place board

Clicker Training For Puppies

To become successful hunting companions, sporting breed puppies have a lot of skills to master. Clicker training is a great training method for sporting breeds. The method marks and rewards good behavior.

Yellow and Black Lab puppies running in a field

How to Stimulate Your Puppy's Mind

A puppy’s brain and nervous system develops rapidly, much faster than their bodies. Sporting breed puppies have a lot to learn, so here are 4 ways to help stimulate their active minds.

Handler Teaching Dog to Fetch a Bumper

Positive Training Tips To Teach Dogs To Fetch

Regular positive training sessions help sporting breed puppies develop into confident young adults. Some commands like ‘come’ and ‘sit’ are one-step processes and are easy to teach.