Mastering the Art of Training Your Squirrel Dog

Squirrel dogs are unique breeds trained to hunt small game creatures like squirrels. However, this article will focus on ways to master the art of training these special breeds to make the most out of your hunting experience or just as a cherished pet.

Understanding the Squirrel Dog Breeds

Many dog breeds are excellent at hunting squirrels. These include the Mountain Feist, Treeing Cur, and the American Squirrel Dog to name a few. While these breeds are predisposed to chase and tree small game, it’s the training that refines their abilities to become effective hunters.

Getting Started: Preparing for Training

Ensuring Your Dog Gets the Right Nutrition

To keep your squirrel dog energetic and healthy during training, proper nutrition is paramount. A diet rich in protein, fats, and fibre should help keep their energy levels high and promote proper growth and development. Always consult with your vet for the best diet for your dog’s breed, age, and training demands.

Regular Vet Check-ups

Regular visits to the vet are necessary to ensure your dog is in optimal health. This includes regular vaccinations, de-worming, and other necessary health procedures.

The Training Process

Establish a Bond

Before you begin training, form a bond of trust and companionship with your dog. Start by devoting time to play with, walk, and groom your dog. This bonding is critical as it encourages your dog to follow your commands and respond to training cues later on.

Basic Training Commands

Begin your training with basic obedience commands, such as “Sit”, “Stay”, “Come”, and “No”. These commands are the building blocks for more advanced training. Make sure your dog understands and responds correctly to them before moving forward.

Squirrel Dog Training Techniques

This specific training involves teaching the dog to track and ‘tree’ a squirrel. The dog must learn to pick up and follow a squirrel’s scent – a task called ‘scenting’. They must also learn to chase a squirrel up a tree and keep it there, called ‘treeing’. This requires patience, persistence and consistent methods of positive reinforcement like treats, praises, or toys.

Challenges in Training


Like with any other form of training, your dog might get easily distracted. This especially applies during outdoor training sessions where other scents, animals or people might distract your dog. To manage this, gradually train your squirrel dog in different environments, gradually increasing the level of distractions.

Age Considerations

Older dogs might take longer to train and younger dogs can be easily distracted. Adequate patience is required in both scenarios. It’s generally easier to train a squirrel dog when it’s still a puppy, as older dogs may have already developed their own ways of doing things.

Maintaining the Trained Skills

Once your squirrel dog has mastered the essential skills of scenting and treeing, it’s important to keep practicing these skills with them. This can be achieved by scheduling regular training sessions and hunting outings. This way, you ensure your dog maintains the skills and keeps getting better at them.

Professional Help

Should you find it difficult to train your squirrel dog, consider hiring a professional dog trainer. Ensure they have experience with hunting dogs for best results. It’s worthwhile to invest in professional training as it can save you time and ensure your dog learns the correct hunting behaviors.


With patience, persistence, and the right training techniques, you can guide your squirrel dog to reach their full hunting potential, or simply be a well-behaved pet. Remember to keep your training sessions fun and engaging for your dog. This way, your dog is likely to develop the necessary skills and enjoy the training process, making this endeavour mutually rewarding and enjoyable.

Related Posts

Unraveling the Secrets of Board and Train Programs for Dogs

Are you considering a board and train program for your pup? These intensive, immersive training programs can be a game changer for busy pet owners or those…

The Ethics Behind Training Service Dogs: A Deep Dive

Service dogs are more than mere pets; they are specially trained companions offering assistance and enhancing the quality of life for individuals living with emotional, psychological, and…

Unlocking the Power of a Spray Bottle for Dog Training

While there are many paths to dog training, one of the most effective can be found in a simple, age-old tool – the spray bottle. If wielded…

Unleashing Your Dog’s Potential: Discover the Art of Shed Hunting.

Shed hunting is an increasingly popular outdoor activity that engages your dog’s natural instincts and provides them with physical and mental exercise. Not only is shed hunting…

Mastering Mutt Manners: Prevent Your Dog from Barking at Strangers

Having a faithful canine companion by your side can bring immense joy and satisfaction. However, everyone will agree that inappropriate behavior, such as excessive barking at strangers,…

Essential Tips for Training Your Dog to Remain Calm Around Strangers

Training your dog to remain calm around strangers is an essential task for every owner. Not only does it improve your dog’s behavior, but it also creates…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *