Hunting Dog Training; Hitting a Wall

Now, not every pup is perfect or easy to train. So, what do you do when you have a dog that hits a wall? What I mean by that is, at some point during training you might have a dog who stalls, hesitates, or refuses to complete the drill you’re trying to train. When this occurs, we take a step back. Remember, we always want to end a session on a good note. Some of these young pups can get overloaded sometimes and that is when you start to see them shut down. They express it by walking instead of running, not going when sent on a retrieve, or coming “HERE” when being called.

In this video, you can see the example of a dog not going when being sent and eventually walking back instead of running with excitement. At this point, we did end on a good note because the dog returned to us, so we quit. Now some could say, well that dog just doesn’t have what it takes, and that is true. But before we make that assumption, we have a small trick up our sleeve. We give the dog 4-5 days off just to be a puppy. We will let the dog out of the kennel several times a day one on one and play with them, or simply sit and love on them. This can act as a reset button for some and in a week can be right back into training with no problems. If the dog continues to show the same lack of drive or motivation, it is at that point we either contact the client and discuss, or if it is one of ours, we simply sale the pup as a family pet. I know what you’re thinking, but this is our family pet! That’s fine, keep the dog as a family pet and go get another hunting dog. I am a firm believer that you can make a family pet out of hunting dog, but you can’t make a family dog hunt. It does not make since in having a hunting dog that only wants to hunt when he/she wants too.

Every dog at some stage of training is going to have a hang up, or stumble on a drill for a few days in a row. Knowing when they have hit a wall and seeing the signs is key to helping them get over the hump or understanding they don’t have what it takes.

Bear, the last pup we had for sale this year has sold. He will enjoy the Hill Country life and be able to roam and play with the other family pets. We are currently waiting for one of our females to come into heat. She should be coming in soon, and we will have a repeat breeding. If all goes well, we will be looking to have a February 2023 litter. The pups would be ready to go home in April, and any of the hunting dogs we hold back for training will be trained to a Started Dog in time for the 2023/24 bird season.

Capt. Nathan Beabout


N&M Sportsman’s Adventures

AB Kennels/M2 Breeding

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Captain Nathan Beabout has guided fishing trips and duck hunting trips on the Middle Texas ​Coast since 2007. He has fine tuned his fishing and hunting skills, and adapted to all skill levels of customers for a successful trip. Spending many days on the water every year, his knowledge and skills of fishing from San Antonio Bay to Cedar Bayou and Port Mansfield areas, has developed and can lead you to a memorable trip. Call Capt. Nathan at (210) 452-9680

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