(Dogs must be at least 5 months old.) Welcome to the North American Shed Hunting Dog Association (NASHDA), website. The Pudelpointer originates with the Pointer and the Poodle. It’s inexpensive (Scott says you can get everything you need to train a dog for around $100), it gets you out of the house during a time when not much is happening in the hunting world, you get a better idea what bucks in your area might have made it through the season, and it’s fun for both you and your dog. Accept that your dog won’t learn how to find antlers overnight, so learn to enjoy the training process. From indoor training to finding sheds on their own, dog training requires patience. Schedule your dog’s feedings. “I use onX Hunt to look at the property before we start hunting,” Natalie says. Start your shed dog training indoors. “You’ll want a dog with good retrieving instincts that will naturally want to pick something up and bring it back to you,” Dokken said. Reward retrieves with praise and treats, and your dog will soon bring back everything you throw. It is a vital step if you want to train a dog to shed hunt. After a few successful finds, your dog will associate the smell with a shed. How to Train a Dog to Shed Hunt. Training sessions with your dog shouldn’t last more than 15 minutes per day and three times per week. Filled with training techniques to help develop your shed dog. Photo Credit: John Hafner. It’s more important to find a dog that fits with what you like to do the rest of the year than it is to pick one based on whether or not you think they will make a champion shed dog. “While people often think in broad terms, from A straight to Z, dogs think in a more deliberate manner, A to B to C to D and so on,” he says. Deer antlers have recognizable shapes that easily differentiate them from other objects. After a few successful finds, your dog will associate the smell with a shed. “The thing you want to look for in a pup is the drive to hunt. Like Moore, their first shed dog was a 9-year-old dog that had been a waterfowler all his life. It is also a good idea to train your dog on basic commands, such as sit, stay and come. “U.K. I like a dog that is well-rounded, has a good temperament, and is eager to please its owner.”. Any dog that is capable of retrieving a bone at home during a game of fetch will likely be able to come back with a shed when in the woods. Here is the advice to follow: Choose an appropriate toy for your dog to fetch – it should not be too big, or it can discourage your pup. This game teaches your dog to find an object and bring it back to you. Reward retrieves with praise and treats, and your dog will soon bring back everything you throw. Buck Rubs: The What, Why, How of Deer Signs, Antlers: The Crowning Glory of White-Tailed Deer, Bowhunting How-To: 9 Tips for Postseason Scouting. They will spend the bulk of their time in a very small area, often bedding as close as 60 to 80 yards from the food source. We just brought home our yellow lab puppy Toby. how to train a dog to shed hunt Can you take an 8 week old puppy for a walk? I called Booner over, gave him the command and he started searching. There was a time when shed antlers were an afterthought. Knowing that basic obedience was a must before serious shed training could begin, they placed their new pup with a trainer for a few weeks to work on the basics. This video shows a little bit of how I introduced him to the shed antlers. Field Trials are based more on hunting and on thinking, and dogs from those lines tend to do well with shed hunting and family life,” he says. The antler thing can be taught, but the drive has to be there first.”. Move this process outside eventually, and then start hiding the soft antler in your backyard or a dog park. With each repetition, the dog builds memories they can fall back on. Shed hunting with your German Shepherd is a fun activity to do in the spring and summer and can be quite prosperous, depending on the price of antlers each year. Without it, future training will be frustrating to both the dog and the handler. If ignoring the barking doesn't stop the behavior after several minutes, then try to distract your dog from the behavior. What’s better than exercising all day by walking miles of beautiful country and finding a few shed antlers along the way? Learn how to turn your dog into a successful shed hunter.Jerry Thoms (Field Here is a handy, basic guide on how to train your dog to find and recover antler sheds in the field, a great sport in the off season and provides exercise for dog … Both Moore and the Spaldings agree that, for dogs to be successful at finding antlers, they have to be looking where there are antlers. The world of shed antler hunting with dogs has exploded in the last few years, and many of those same handlers are also looking to increase their odds of locating mortally-wounded whitetails. Check out more stories, videos and educational how-to's on deer hunting. This is when your pup is old enough to understand and retain the meaning of commands. While any breed can be taught to find shed antlers, Moore is fond of retrievers because they are natural hunters and instinctually want to bring things to their owner, which eliminates one aspect required when training other breeds. First, your dog must know how to retrieve. As long as you know how to train a dog properly and use your own shed hunting strategies, you can take home shed antlers and enjoy your finds on the field. Finding the shed is all business. Shed Dog Training Shed Introduction is 2 weeks long. Luckily, this describes most dogs–so regardless of breed, your dog is likely to be successful in shed hunting with proper training. The key to successful shed hunting dog training is to take it slowly and be patient. The Spaldings agree. If you’re looking for a puppy, Scott recommends concentrating on dogs from good hunting stock rather than specific shed dog lines. You definitely don’t want to confuse or try to trick your dog by, for example, going shed hunting in the morning and then going to a pheasant farm that afternoon. Benefits of Using a Dog To Find Antlers. The combination of these breeds joined intelligence, retrieving instinct, easy trainability, and a huge willingness to please. This breed can be stubborn and difficult… “Cool mornings let the dogs work without getting overheated, and scent conditions are optimal. The more fetch you play, the more you reinforce the behavior. Teach your dog to identify the smell by using a bottle of antler scent bought from a local archery shop. Once they started concentrating on late-season deer hangouts, their success increased quickly. In fact, training an older dog to find sheds can sometimes be a little easier than training a pup. “I like to start all my dog training with a basic obedience foundation. When you send your dog to search, use the command, “Find the shed!” By consistently using this command, you help your dog understand what it’s seeking. Shed hunt training can take anywhere from six to eight months. how to train a dog to shed hunt Distract your dog. There are good recipes for that, but this requires careful planning, and will usually cost more. By easily recognizing these shapes and the antler’s harmless nature, your dog will progress as a shed-antler hunter. The hallway eliminates distractions and keeps your dog focused on the shed. That usually is between eight and 12 weeks of age for a puppy. 2. According to experts the training of your dog should begin the moment you bring it home. 29 pages, booklet, color photos and illustrations Though many dog owners may not know this, most all breeds of canines from little Poodles to massive Great Danes can be taught to hunt for shed deer antlers. You must have a positive attitude throughout the process. Whether you get a new dedicated shed hunting pup or work with your existing couch potato, give training for shed hunting a try. “Dogs often get into the bad habit of wanting to pick something up and run with it instead of bringing it back to the handler,” he says. Progress slowly on training steps, and don’t be afraid to go back and work on a previous step if the dog seems to be having trouble grasping a new task. Answer: Doing all that with your favorite four-legged companion! The hallway eliminates distractions and keeps your dog focused on the shed. Train your pup only about twenty minutes a couple of days a … The scent mimics the scent of a shed antler’s pedicle, and it teaches dogs to use both sight and smell when searching heavy cover. To start you could use expert training tips and techniques, including a step by step guide for training dogs to find sheds. Start with a ball, favorite toy or rolled-up towel, and play fetch. But you don’t have to go out and buy a puppy. Hunting breeds usually are $9.95. “I still like to start antler training just like I do with pups, but the progression often moves along a bit quicker with older dogs because they already understand what we want when it comes to handling.”. Keep the seasons completely separate is my advice. The first thing I do is get a shed antler, maybe a small side from a little basket-rack for a puppy or a little larger one for an older dog, and coat it with a product like Dokken’s Rack Wax to give it a fresh smell. In discussions with experienced shed hunting dog trainer Roger Sigler, he repeatedly returned to the Labrador Retriever as the breed with the qualities needed in a shed hunting dog. “Get a shed antler and start out with some fun tosses around the house. “This can confuse the dogs and will work against training for the real thing.”, Moore says one of the most important aspects of training a dog for any type of hunting is to understand how a dog thinks. Photo Credit: John Hafner. “You lose the pedicle scent with cut offs, and that scent is replaced by a burnt odor left from the sawing process,” he says. Though many people think of shed hunting dogs as bird dogs, Ggerman Shepherds are actually very well suited for this job because they have great stamina and are good at tracking. You must have a positive attitude throughout the process. But don’t discount evening shed hunts, either. Your dog’s nose is its primary antler-finding asset. Once you have progressed through an array of objects on the floor, table, and counter, and the dog will reliably respond to the "" cue even with high value items, repeat the process using food. But one of the best things about shed hunting might be the opportunity it provides to spend more time with your dog, and to give her a new job to do. Photo Credit: John Hafner. One bad bounce can poke the dog and make it fear sheds. Also, as I mentioned in my earlier article, use “Find … With pups, Moore prefers to start with a balled-up sock in an indoor hallway. Often older dogs have that foundation already,” Moore says. “Starting out in a hallway with the doors closed only gives the dog one option, to come back to the handler.”. Who knows? That training starts out simply. That means concentrating on food sources and bedding cover used by late-season deer. Traditional Italian Lasagna with Ground Elk Meat Sauce, Spinach, Mushroom, and Italian Sausage Stuffed Elk Heart, 12 Reasons Why Your Venison Tastes Like Hell, Three Giant Bucks in One Incredible Season, 6 Killer Strategies for Late-Season Deer Hunting, Help a Brother Out: Story of a Mega Ohio 9-Pointer. While the pup was at the trainer, they decided to use what they had learned from shed training DVDs and from noted trainer Tom Dokken to work with their older dog. That’s the easy part. With the right training you can turn any canine athlete into a shed hunting partner. February 20, 2019 | Brow Tines and Backstrap. Numerous breeds of dogs can become fine shed hunters, but typically hunting breeds with a strong desire to work — and with powerful noses — are the best. These … “Peak shed hunting is, at best, a month or two long each year. The goal is to help the dog get a feel for real antlers, and learn that they’ll never be chew toys. If you're interested in training your dog to find antlers, continue reading and I'll tell you how you can train them to become your new favorite shed hunting buddy. It will reflect your attitude in its efforts. Photo Credit: John Hafner. Move this process outside eventually, and then start hiding the soft antler in your backyard or a dog park. For shed hunting, “retrieving and trainability are the most valuable traits in dogs. Let your dog watch you hide the antler at first, but gradually make the process more difficult. I just say, ‘Find the bone.’” When your dog is ready for the ultimate test, head to your favorite hunting spot on a warm late-winter day after the snow begins thawing. If you’re looking for a puppy, Scott recommends concentrating on dogs from good hunting stock rather than specific shed dog lines. To get your dog excited about shed hunting, you need to get him excited about the scent of sheds. Once the dog is ready, Moore switches over to the Dogbone antler dummy. Let your dog watch you hide the antler at first, but gradually make the process more difficult. For those of you passionate about shed hunting and dogs, this is your website. This concentrates the shed antlers in a small area, and that’s where we want the dog searching.”, Like Moore, the Spaldings prefer to shed hunt on crop land and other food sources in the late season. Site by Gray Loon. By easily recognizing these shapes and the antler’s harmless nature, your dog will progress as a shed-antler hunter. P “I find the likely food sources, look for heavy bedding cover nearby, then look at the wind direction so that we can hunt into the breeze, increasing the dog’s chance of scenting a nearby shed.”. ©2021 Jordan Outdoor Enterprises, Ltd. All rights reserved. Photo Credit: John Hafner. In fact, training an older dog to find sheds can sometimes be a little easier than training a pup. It is easier to train your pooch when they are young and you can start this from as young as eight weeks old. The more fetch you play, the more you reinforce the behavior. “We sometimes shed hunt near roadways or around sinkholes or other dangers, and the collar gives me a little more peace of mind that I can get my dogs’ attention and quickly stop them.”. When the couple decided to start shed hunting, they purchased another Lab pup. Bucks, especially northern bucks in cold climates, can’t afford to expend a lot of energy in late winter as they recuperate from the rut. No matter your dog’s age or breed, you can train it to be a shed-hunting machine. Specifically, he likes dogs from United Kingdom field-trial stock. “American field-trial stock can be a bit high-strung for my tastes.”. On this trip, I did find a shed myself and the best thing to do in this case I believe is wait to pick up the shed, and instead call your dog over. But how do you train a dog to find antlers? Shed hunting isn't as intimidating as one thinks, and you gain more success with the help of a good hunting dog by your side! Scott adds that while adding scent to the practice antler is important, some trainers make the mistake of using an antler sawed off a buck’s skull. Begin with small tasks in a controlled environment to increase your dog’s confidence. That’s how they learn.”. Don’t add too much to any training … While he actually ran over the snow covered shed a couple times, he eventually sniffed it out and picked it up excitedly. Not anymore. Reward your dog for successful recoveries, and you’ll soon have a well-schooled shed-hunting companion. The idea here is to eliminate distractions and get your dog to focus on the task at hand. Here you will find all the latest information on NASHDA events and shed dog training information, training products, events, as well as techniques on how to train your own shed dog. Get your dog on scheduled feedings: Your veterinarian can help you determine the appropriate amount of food your dog needs and the number of feedings per day. Train with excitement and reward your dog for proper behavior. Wear rubber gloves to avoid contaminating the shed with human scent, and then coat the antler’s base in the artificial scent and hide it. Not long ago, the bird dog was looked at largely as a tool, left in the barn, backyard or garage until it was time to hunt.Today's dog is still a hunter, but often a family pet too. Imprint the scent. Eating all day = pooping all day! Owning a shed dog can also extend your time in the field and help you inventory which bucks made it through the season. Once your dog knows how to retrieve, introduce it to a soft shed antler. Your dog will also learn to search with the wind in its face, which is important when hunting sheds in thick bedding areas or dense CRP fields. “I start at food sources and work back to bedding cover. Reward your dog for successful recoveries, and you’ll soon have a well-schooled shed-hunting companion. If you’re getting into shed hunting for the first time, chances are you don’t have a trained dog – yet. Scott and Natalie Spalding are owners of two North American Shed Dog Association titled Labs, and they enjoy both training them and working them in the field. Naturally, some breeds have more innate hunting instincts that will adapt even more quickly to training, like Retrievers , Labs, Spaniels, Setters, and Pointers. Few sights are more rewarding than seeing your dog pick up its first shed. Your dog will also learn to search with the wind in its face, which is important when hunting sheds in thick bedding areas or dense CRP fields. A dog's sense of smell is far superior to that of a humans. Don’t take chances with real antlers just yet. The sinking thermals sometimes hold the scent close to the ground, making it easier for the dogs to pick up,” Natalie says. Moore’s first shed dog was an 8-year-old Lab that was already his main bird dog. Shed dog training starts with small steps. We take the idea of bowhunting and make it accessible and [real, amazing, peaceful, inspiring, exhilarating]. Booklet features renown trainer Tom Dokken. how to train a dog to shed hunt Which dog has the highest IQ? Let your dog chew on a real antler for a few minutes, but no longer. Deer antlers have recognizable shapes that easily differentiate them from other objects. Position your dog downwind of the hidden antler, and give the “Find the shed!” command. “The dogs use the same techniques shed hunting that they would use for upland or waterfowl hunting,” he says. You might even come to enjoy searching for sheds even more than you do hunting the bucks that dropped them. Sheds, especially those freshly dropped, have an odor your dog can detect long before it sees the prize. Accept that your dog won’t learn how to find antlers overnight, so learn to enjoy the training process. By starting with a soft replica, you’ll eliminate the possibility of your dog hurting itself by getting poked by a real antler. Work in some voice commands — words that don’t sound like other commands the dog may know. In year two of training my dog to shed hunt I have worked on repeated positive reinforcement when Boone finds and delivers sheds, and have then consistently practiced a “shed hunting obstacle” course with multiple antlers, simulating a real shed hunting experience as … “We were looking in the places where we had traditionally seen deer while hunting, but that wasn’t the area they were in during the late season when they dropped their antlers.”. Always feed by schedule, rather than free feeding. You picked them up on the edge of a cornfield on a late-season bird hunt, or out of a honeysuckle thicket on a spring turkey hunt. Thoms: Training Your Dog to Hunt for Shed Deer Antlers. “The thing you … “The dogs use the same techniques shed hunting that they would use for upland or waterfowl hunting,” he says. 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