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Tips & Training

Our Top 5 Tips in Training the Dog You Want

Great Dogs are Both Born and Made

A great household and hunting companion can provide both you and the dog with years of fun and a relationship that’s better than you have with most people. Just like any great relationship, though, it doesn’t happen without a bit of work. Even the best dog in the world needs to be matched up with the right owner and the right methods to reach his full potential. If you’re willing to put in the effort, here are five tips that can definitely help you along the path to getting and training the perfect dog for you.

Choose the Right Dog Top 5 Performance Dog Training Tips

The best way to make sure you have a long happy relationship with your dog is to find one that matches your lifestyle needs the best. You want to find a dog that lives comfortably how you live, hunts how you like to hunt and plays how you like to play. Do your research to find a breed that suits you and then do your research on breeders to find a reputable breeder that produces a dog that will match your desires. This is the first step in the process and the most important.

Get to Know Your Dog First

Even if you do your research and get just the dog you want every dog has his own style and personality. Before you jump right into training of any sort, build some trust in the relationship with your dog and figure out what type of training he responds to the best. Some dogs will struggle under correction and other dogs will only thrive under lots of it. Match your methods to the individual needs of your dog and you’ll get better results consistently.

Establish Yourself as the Alpha

Dogs are pack animals and they’re constantly evaluating their position in the pack in relationship to new pack members. As far as your dog is concerned, the pack includes you and the rest of your family members. It’s important your dog is made to understand very early on that you are the pack leader and he is expected and required to follow your lead. Done right, this will result in a dog that takes direction and correction readily and happily.

Be Patient and Stay Consistent

No matter what behavior you’re trying to train into your dog, it’s going to take time and repetition to get it down. It’s also much more difficult to go back and fix undesirable behavior once it’s been developed through improper or rushed training. You’ll find you get much better result through frequent training sessions in short durations to keep your dog engaged until he’s fully comfortable in what you want him to do. Then, once you think he’s got it, continue to reinforce it so he gets it every time before you put him through it under the stress of hunting or competition.

Praise Them for Their Work

Your dog wants to please you and the best way to let him know he has is to provide positive reinforcement. The easiest form of reinforcement you can use anytime and anywhere is to simply praise him when he exhibits the behavior you desire. Just a couple words in a happy tone of voice and a scratch behind the ear is plenty of encouragement to get your dog feeling rewarded for doing what you want.

Keep Up the Good Work

While these tips are more about creating the right mindset for training than training itself, they provide the foundation on which good training is built. Not all trainers agree on the exact same methods but, regardless of your specific training methods, you’ll be off to a good start if you take these steps in seeking out your perfect canine match.

American Brittany

How They Look

The Brittany (American) is a medium sized pointing breed with a dense, wavy coat that’s generally orange and white or liver and white patterns; often with some ticking. You can also find tri-colors as liver and white dogs with orange markings on the eyebrows, muzzle and cheeks and under the tail. Their tails are either docked completely or to a length of less than approximately four inches.

How They Grow American Brittany Pointing Dog

Brittanys start smaller and have a more moderate growth rate versus some of the larger pointing breeds. The adult dog’s height usually ranges from 17 to 21 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders and weight usually ranges between 30 and 40 pounds.

How They Hunt

The Brittany is a close working pointer that will naturally hunt and retrieve. Although not the largest bird dogs, they’re tough and durable with a coat built to handle the rigors of thick and heavy cover. They’ll cover a lot of ground with their speed and agility and are happy to tackle birds that look about as big as they are.

How They Behave

You’ll usually find Brittanys to be active and alert dogs with social dispositions. They’re known to be excellent household and hunting companions and very outgoing by nature. They can be very good house dogs but you’ll want to make sure they get the opportunity for activity or they can become restless.

What to Feed

As Brittanys often hold their weight better than some breeds, we generally recommend starting on the Active 26K formula. You can then switch to the Power 30K formula if they struggle to maintain weight during heavy training, hunting or competition.

Kinetic Active 26K performance dog food

English Setter

How They Look

The English Setter is a large breed with a silky coat that’s generally long with feathering at the ears and tail and also on their underside. The base hair coat color is usually white with secondary colors including orange belton (speckling), blue (black) belton, liver belton and yellow belton. Tri-color belton are also found as blue belton dogs with tan markings on muzzle, eyes and legs. Tails are left at the full length and are very distinctive when hunting. Field bred lines generally vary quite a bit in appearance from show bred lines so are usually pretty easily differentiated.

How They Grow English Setter Performance Dogs

Being a large breed they are usually fairly fast growing. As adults, their height ranges from 23 to 27 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders and weight usually ranges between 45 and 75 pounds. Field lines show a definite tendency toward running lean so plenty of calories are generally required to maintain body condition.

How They Hunt

The English Setter is known for speed and athleticism and generally hunt quickly and efficiently. The breed was developed specifically for hunting upland birds and they’re considered a great combination of agility and stamina. English Setters typically have excellent noses and plenty of energy with the drive to cover a lot of ground.

How They Behave

English Setters are well known as a breed that produces lions in the field but lambs in the home. As a rule, they do very well in a home environment. They’re gentle and affectionate and usually easy to train with positive reinforcement. If you give them a fair amount of outdoor activity they’re generally pretty mellow and relaxed when indoors.

What to Feed

English Setters are another breed that’s well known to struggle to maintain weight rather than become overweight. We generally recommend starting on the Power 30K formula and possibly switching to the Ultra 32K formula if your dog really struggles to maintain weight during heavy training, hunting or competition.

Kinetic Power 30K performance dog food

English Pointer

How They Look

The English Pointer (aka Pointer) is a large breed with a smooth, short coat. Hair coat color is primarily white with liver, orange, black or lemon patches or speckles. They tend to run pretty lean but with a well muscled frame. Their tails are left full (not docked) and make them easy to spot when running the field or on point.

How They GrowEnglish Pointer Performance Dog

Being a large breed, Pointers will grow pretty quickly to a full height that usually ranges from 21 to 24 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders. As adults, weight usually ranges between 45 and 75 pounds although some field lines tend to run somewhat larger. As they will struggle to maintain weight you’ll want to make sure to keep pups well fed.

How They Hunt

In short, they’re a big running breed that are known for hunting hard. The Pointer is pretty tireless in the field and love to hunt with great range over large areas. They exhibit natural hunting instincts and tend to work well in the field with other dogs. Pointers are versatile hunting dogs but are considered better suited to upland hunting in warmer weather as their coats aren’t particularly thick or heavy to help them deal with the cold.

How They Behave

They’re loyal and will make very good companions provided you keep them active. While Pointers are affectionate and generally social, field bred lines are likely to become restless when kept as indoor pets unless exercised well and often.

What to Feed

Pointers are another breed that’s more likely to struggle to maintain weight than become overweight. We generally recommend starting on the Power 30K formula and possibly switching to the Ultra 32K formula if your dog really struggles to maintain weight during heavy training, hunting or competition.

Kinetic Power 30K performance dog food

German Shorthaired Pointer

How They Look

The German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) is a large hunting breed with a coat that’s short, sleek and dense. Color of the hair coat should be liver, liver and white or black and white, solid, patched and ticked or roan. They have a naturally lean build but are generally well muscled. Their tails should be docked to roughly forty percent of the normal full length.

How They Grow German Shorthaired Pointer Performance

German Shorthairs are large dogs and grow at a fairly rapid pace. For adult dogs, height usually ranges from 21 to 25 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders and weight usually ranges between 45 and 70 pounds. While you don’t want them to grow too fast it’s important to keep them well fed as they tend to run lean.

How They Hunt

A good hunting German Shorthair exhibits excellent speed and natural hunting instincts and will range and hunt within a comfortable shooting distance from the hunter. They work well with other dogs in the field and should point and honor instinctively. They’re very versatile and probably the most popular choice for the serious upland hunting enthusiast. In warm to moderate temperatures they’ll hunt enthusiastically on both land and water although they’re not particularly fond of very cold water in the coldest weather.

How They Behave

The German Shorthair is normally energetic, smart and eager to please. With a natural prey drive and a strong desire to hunt they still tend to be very social. They’re very loyal and make excellent family and hunting companions provided they’re kept active.

What To Feed

Hunting GSPs are more likely to struggle to maintain weight than become overweight. We generally recommend starting on the Power 30K formula and possibly switching to the Ultra 32K formula if your dog really struggles to maintain weight during heavy training, hunting or competition.

Kinetic Power 30K performance dog food