As we just discussed, your dog’s temperament plays an essential role when it comes to the success of using it as a gaming dog. It is a good idea to look for a dog that does not naturally shy away and does not appear to be too overly aggressive. However, sometimes you may not have a full control over the temperament for the dog you choose. This is why Socialization is possibly the most important step towards ensuring you will have a successful hunting companion. Without being fully socialized, you will have difficulty completing all of the hunting dog training steps and it may even be impossible.
If your dog does not begin the process of socialization early enough, the affect may be irreversible. Your dog may simply end up being suited for being a family pet, rather than a working companion because the lack of proper socialization can affect your dog for its entire life. The goal is to get your dog as comfortable as possible in unfamiliar environments, people, animals, smells, sounds, etc. The easiest way to do this is to consistently expose your dog to new situations, people, and other dogs. Some people tend to worry that this will take up too much of their time or don’t know where they can go to ensure their dog gets well socialized. Fortunately, socializing your dog is an easy process that requires little effort. These are some ways in which you can easily socialize your dog.
- Take your dog on frequent walks in public areas
- Take your dog to the dog park where it can learn how to interact with other dogs in an appropriate manner
- Utilize trips to the vet as socialization time
- Take your dog with you to work or a friend’s house
- Introduce your dog to people of all ages and appearances
- Make sure to introduce your dog to people coming over to your home
- Make sure your dog is familiar and comfortable around smaller domestic animals, so as to prevent confusion over what animals to pursue in the future
- Take your dog anywhere where he might encounter new people or situations
- Work on socializing your pup as much as possible!
Aside from socialization with other dogs and people, it is equally important to prepare your hunting dog to be easily adaptable to new situations, and to eliminate as much fear as possible. For example, you may want to slowly expose your dog to startling noises early on, while using positive reinforcement. However, it is important not to terrify your dog in the process. If your dog is terrified every time you accidentally drop something, a car backfires, or there is a thunder storm, you may never be able to train it to be a successful gaming dog. Overall, you want your dog to be comfortable and easily adaptable to an array of situations.