Between the ages of eight to 11 months, you can begin to take your pup with you on short hunting expeditions. Still using your check-cord, retrievers should be able to bring back game or bumpers at least most of the way back, pointers should point pretty reliably, and field dogs should be able to pattern back and forth. This time is spent refining all of your puppy’s skills until you feel confident in his abilities and your bond.
From age one year and on, your puppy’s obedience lessons should be second nature. Training a hunting dog is a lifelong commitment and can always be improved. For the best results, we recommend asking friends and family members for trainer recommendations in your area. While most hunters train their own dogs, having a professional assist with some of the more challenging aspects of training a hunting dog, like teaching the forced retrieve, can make a big difference.
We hope that we’ve helped you better understand what your hunting dog will need from you in his first year. We wish you all the best with your new hunting companion. Happy hunting!