A drill for great pheasant hunting
Hunt it up is a command we use to teach dogs to upland hunt. Having a retriever that can mark and run to where a downed pheasant or grouse lies is incredibly valuable. But having a dog that can hunt up a crippled bird or find the birds that are really buried in, now that is money in the bank! Here is how to teach hunt-it-up.
How to teach the HUNT IT UP command
You can start teaching the HUNT IT UP command inside your home.
Steps to teach HUNT IT UP
- Start by picking up all dog toys on the floor in your home.
- Next, place your dog on a SIT command in the middle of the floor.
- Place (not throw) one of his toys on the floor away from him but where he can see it.
- Release your dog from the SIT command and say HUNT IT UP.
When you begin doing this, it is important that you sound enthusiastic and excited, allowing the dog to feed off your energy and making the command sound fun.
- Once your dog finds the item and picks it up, lavish him with praise.
- Repeat the exercise, gradually increasing the distance of the item from the dog.
If you work on this often, it won’t be long before you can make a game of it by hiding the item in your house and having your dog search your house for the item once hearing the HUNT IT UP command.
Moving the game outside
If weather allows, you can also work on this command outside.
Start on short grass, placing out a bumper or dead bird some distance away from where your dog is sitting. Command HUNT IT UP and encourage your dog to find the item you set out.
Once your dog understands this game/training, you can put the item in deeper cover and then quarter your dog in the area until he/she finds the bumper or bird. You can even put out multiple objects along a line of cover.
Most retrievers love playing this game. They get to run around a lot and are rewarded for finding the bumpers or birds.
Final thoughts on teaching HUNT IT UP
This drill is perfect for teaching your retriever to quarter and hunt up birds. Doing this drill often will help your dog understand what is expected of him/her when you get to a field and start upland hunting.
Remember, if you really want your retriever to grow and progress in his/her hunting this year but doing the training yourself sounds overwhelming or maybe your schedule is just too busy to get it done, I’m here to help! You can email me (email@example.com) or just give me a call (651-303-6459). I would be happy to discuss your goals for your retriever and tell you about the programs I offer.
Until next time happy retrieving.