In the words of George Allen, “What you do in the off season determines what you do in the regular season.”
This quote is important to remember while keeping our hunting dogs active during the off-season. A lack of activity in the off-season often results in an increased risk of injuries that can cause setbacks. It is essential your dog maintains (or even improves) his stamina and training abilities in the off-season so he’s prepared for the hunting season’s return. Luckily, there are easy practices you can do to keep your hunting retrievers active during the off-season.
A sharp mind is just as important as a healthy body when it comes to hunting retrievers. As you are training your dog in the off-season, make sure to work on commands. This includes working on the basics such as sit, stay, and heel as well as whistle commands. Remember, repetition is key in this area and the more you do it, the more keen your dog’s mind will be when hunting season arrives. Commands remind your dog who is in charge when you’re out in the field.
Keep Them Familiar with the Gunfire
You want to prevent your dog from becoming gun-shy in the off-season. Find a local dog-friendly shooting range and take your hunting dog for a field trip. By keeping them familiar with gunfire, you can avoid having to retrain your sidekick when hunting season rolls back around. Also reward your dog during the process so they become accustomed to staying by your side and not scaring off during the hunt.
Keep Them Socialized
Similar to humans, socialization is a good practice to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We suggest having a meetup with your hunting buddies and their dogs to keep your hunting dogs socialized. Keeping your dog socialized will prepare your dog to meet new hunting dogs next season. This will establish positive behavior from your dog and will prevent aggressive behavior that might disrupt the hunt.
We hope this list helps keep your hunting retriever active during the off-season. We also hope your dog stays safe during the off-season so that he’s prepared for when the hunting season returns. For more ideas on how we can customize the perfect dog box for you, contact us at [email protected] and visit our website.