Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How Hunting with Dogs Works

Training Hunting Dogs

Dogs are a rare breed of animal in the sense that they choose to ­serve humans -- they're known for loyal and unconditional affection for humans, which most other animals don't have. This instinct to do what we tell them to makes dogs some of the easiest animals to train.

Here are some on the most common training methods for hunting dogs:

  • Conventional: This is very basic training for obedience commands and usually isn't sufficient enough for a practicing hunting dog. It serves as a foundation, but more intensive training should follow.
  • E-Collars: Electric shock collars punish dogs for disobeying commands. Timing is important for this method to work correctly, though, so an experienced trainer should execute the shocks.
  • Positive reinforcement: Rewarding good behavior teaches dogs to associate it with positive results. This is a method that relies on the dog's ability to learn.
  • "Dog whispering": Dogs evolved from wolves, right? So it's natural to take a wolf-pack approach to training them. If you establish yourself -- the trainer -- as the leader of the pack, the dog will instinctively follow your lead and become submissive [source: The Hunting Dog].

Keep in mind that any of these methods can be combined to achieve specific results. And the manner in which you train your dog is important, too. You should always be flexible, consistent, fair and positive [source: The Hunting Dog]. These qualities will help the dog succeed.

You're well versed in the methods of training a dog, so now read on to discover why some believe dogs are a great addition to hunting while others do not.