Dogs are man’s best friends in almost everything, and hunting holds no exception! These loyal and furry animals are one of the best companions to take along with during the hunting season, as they have the impeccable sense to look out for predators and the potential game you can capture.
Squirrel dogs, in particular, are great types of dogs to bring along with. But how can you make sure that they are well-trained to handle the hunt? It’s not too early to begin training your furry friend! So read on as I show you a helpful guide on how to train a squirrel dog.
How To Train A Squirrel Dog
Besides hunting for deer, squirrels are also fun to capture, especially with a confident and skilled dog! Here are the top six tips you should follow to have a successful training with your squirrel dog:
1. Selecting A Good Pup
Before you begin training a squirrel dog, you will first need to select the best dog who will be able to hunt. I recommend that you do NOT purchase any cheap puppy you first see, but to do your research. You may even want to hunt with a puppy’s parents to see how they act because their puppy will surely be the same as he grows older. Make sure that you get a puppy with great squirrel-hunting parents who have the obedience for willingness to train, the speed, and energy to hunt.
2. Socializing And Gaining Trust
When you now bring your squirrel-hunting puppy home, build his trust and start to play a lot with him. Allow him to play around the fields, with your kids, or by yourself. Just make sure that he has a dog collar to easily find and identify him if ever he goes too far.
I also suggest that you create a lot of noise for your puppy to get used to guns. Even banging your food dishes will help.
3. Tease With Tails and Live Squirrels
When the puppy is now about four to five months old, it’s time to start training. To start, attach any squirrel hide or tail to a string (one foot long), and attach it to a stick (eight foot long). Hold the stick in the air, letting your puppy bark and chase the hide and tail. Ensure that you hold it high enough, as it needs to be up in the air when you train the puppy. Do this weekly and coax him to bark and chase it.
After the stick and string, have your puppy chase after live squirrels. Put a squirrel in a cage and let it lose. Your puppy may be afraid at first, but after a few times, he will learn how to chase it until the squirrel goes up the nearest tree.
4. Taking Your Dog To The Woods
Take your dog in the woods with you, allowing him to be the hunter. Let your dog look for and tree squirrels. Yes, it will take a bit of time until your dog is able to do this consistently, but be patient! When your dog trees a squirrel, tie your dog before shooting at it to avoid scaring him away. Repeat this and your dog will get used to the sound of gunshots, even enjoying retrieving the squirrel to give to you.
Dog jumping on tree chasing squirrel
5. Kill Whatever Your Dog Trees
When your dog trees a squirrel, make sure that you kill whatever he trees and avoid killing squirrels he doesn’t tree. Do not help your dog when finding the squirrel to avoid losing his efficiency and skill. Rely on your dog’s instincts so he can learn how to hunt on its own.
6. Keep Him Caged
Lastly, it’s best to keep your dog inside your home or caged while way at home. Dogs who tree squirrels without it being shot at will lose interest in hunting, as it isn’t as “fun” anymore. You can also invest in a training pen to let them loose and learn to tree, provided that you’re in the area.
Wrapping It Up
While dogs have the skills to become a hunter, they won’t be able to become one without the proper training! It is only through the effective exercises and lessons that will have your furry friend used to the fields, capturing squirrels or detecting game to have a successful hunt. And training doesn’t need to be so vigorous or difficult with a good squirrel dog. Of course, if you’re finding it difficult online, there’s no harm to consulting professional dog trainers.
I hope that this article on how to train a squirrel dog helped you become more knowledgeable about what you should do for your dog to become a skilled hunter. So don’t wait any longer and plan out your training sessions with your squirrel dog today.
If you have any questions or would like to share your tips and experiences on how to train a squirrel dog, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.