Training Goal: Teach the "sit" command and achieve maximum steadiness in the gundog while on the shooting field.

Training Goal

Teach the 'Sit' command and achieve maximum steadiness in your gundog

Equipment Needed:

  • Rewards (e.g., food, toys)

  • A long lead

  • Dummy or retrieving object

  • Whistle (optional)

Step 1: Establish Basic Obedience

Before focusing on steadiness, ensure your gundog understands basic obedience commands like "sit," "stay," and "come." If these commands are not yet mastered, work on them in controlled environments like your home or a quiet training area.

Step 2: Lead Training

  • Attach a long leash to your dog's collar or harness.

  • With your dog on the leash, give the "sit" command.

  • Gently pull upward on the leash while saying "sit." Be patient; wait for your dog to comply.

  • As soon as your dog sits, reward with a treat and praise.

  • Repeat this process, gradually increasing the distance between you and your dog.

Step 3: Adding Distractions

  • Practice the "sit" command in different environments with increasing distractions. Start in a quiet location and gradually move to busier places.

  • Continue rewarding and praising your dog when they sit on command, even with distractions.

Step 4: Dummy Retrieval With Sit

  • Introduce a dummy or retrieving object.

  • Use the long leash to guide your dog to the dummy.

  • Command "sit" before releasing the dog to retrieve.

  • If the dog doesn't sit immediately, gently guide them back and repeat the "sit" command.

  • Once the dog is sitting reliably, release them to retrieve the dummy.

  • Praise and reward upon successful retrieval.

Step 5: Steadiness During Retrieval 

  • Continue practicing dummy retrieves but introduce waiting before sending your dog.

  • Command "sit" and make your dog hold the sit position for a few seconds before releasing them to retrieve.

  • Gradually increase the waiting time, ensuring your dog remains steady.

  • Reward and praise for steadiness.

Step 6: Introduce Whistle Commands

  • Introduce whistle signals alongside verbal commands. Assign a specific whistle sound for the "sit" command.

  • Use the whistle in conjunction with the verbal "sit" command during dummy retrieves.

  • Over time, your dog should respond to both verbal and whistle cues.

Step 7: Realistic Field Practice

  • Take your gundog to a shooting field or an area with shooting-like distractions.

  • Continue practicing "sit" and steadiness in the presence of gunshots or other hunting-related noises.

  • Gradually introduce more realistic hunting scenarios.

Step 8 Consistent Reinforcement

Continue reinforcing the "sit" command and steadiness regularly during training sessions. Use a variety of hunting scenarios to ensure your gundog remains reliable in the field.

Step 9: Field Trials and Hunt Tests (Optional)

Step 9 Field Trials and Hunt Tests (Optional)

Participating in gundog field trials and hunt tests can be a valuable way to assess your dog's steadiness and obedience in realistic hunting situations. Seek out opportunities to test your gundog's skills.

Remember that gundog training requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. Adjust the training plan to suit your dog's individual needs and progress. It's essential to prioritize safety, both for your dog and others, during training and fieldwork.