Mastering the Art of Training Your Dog to Find Sheds

Dog training is an art that requires patience and understanding of the animal’s behaviour. Training your dog to find sheds, i.e., antlers fallen from deer, is a fantastic exercise for both the owner and the dog. It can become a productive hobby, a bonding time, or even a sport, shedding hunting. But how do you train your dog to do this? Let’s delve deeper into mastering this art.

Understanding the Basics

The key to successful training is understanding how dogs think and operate. Dogs are intelligent creatures that we’ve spent centuries domesticating, enhancing their ability to interact with us and understand certain instructions. While all dogs possess this potential to learn, certain breeds excel in this respect, making them ideal shed hunting dogs.

Starting With Basic Command

Before your dog can run off and fetch sheds for you in the wild, they need to comprehend basic obedience commands. Training your dog to understand commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘come’, etc., will help you maintain control over your dog. This control is vital to ensure your dog’s safety and efficiency in locating sheds.

Dedicated Training Time

Consistency is quite crucial in training your dog. Shed hunting is a skill that needs repeated and frequent practice. The more you work with your dog and the more regularly you do it, the faster they can learn and perfect the skill. Try to allocate some time each day to work on these capabilities with your dog.

Utilize their Natural Scent Ability

Dogs are blessed with an excellent sense of smell. Use this fantastic trait to your advantage when training yours to hunt sheds. Enhance their scent tracking abilities by creating scent trails using a deer antler. Start with small, straightforward tracks then gradually increase the complexity as your dogs improve.

Introducing the Find and Fetch Command

Once your dog has the basic commands as part of their repertoire, and is familiar with the smell of antlers, you can introduce the ‘find’ and ‘fetch’ commands. Rewarding your dogs with treats or praises every time they successfully find and fetch the shed will do wonders for their motivation and excitement about the task.

Gradual Field Exploration

Start with smaller, controlled environments before moving into more extensive, actual fields. Expose them to different types of environments as they gain experience. This practice helps them adapt to various ground conditions and enhances their ability to locate sheds in diverse environments.

Persistent Training and Patience

Understand that not all dogs will learn at the same pace or show the same level of proficiency in hunting sheds. You must be patient with your dogs and continue to encourage and reward them for their efforts. Your patience and persistence may soon be rewarded with a dog that can proficiently hunt for sheds.

Loving the Process

At the end of the day, it’s about enjoying the process. Celebrate the small victories and enjoy the bonding time with your dog. Whether you’re merely engaging in a fun new hobby or aiming for a championship, what truly matters is the joy and the bond it brings for you and your dog.

In Conclusion

Training your dog for shed hunting can be a rewarding experience for both you and your furry companion. It is an art that requires patience, consistency, positive reinforcement, and above all, a love for the process. Remember, the purpose is to enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Good luck with mastering this fantastic art!

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