Training a pointing Lab, or any hunting dog, is much like training any other dog, adapting them to future situations so they will respond in the way you want them to. Here’s what you’ll want to get them used to early and often.
Simply training your puppy to be unafraid of gunfire is not enough. Every shot should be a signal for retrieval, exciting a puppy and sending them in the direction of the target.
While the excitement of gunfire should be matched by excitement for retrieval, you don’t want your dog to be too overzealous when it comes to tracking prey. He should bring the downed game back without biting or mangling it, a behavior that requires careful and patient training. Start with a dead bird to make sure your dog doesn’t develop timid habits, but keep an eye on violent tendencies.
Every hunting dog should begin getting used to his future grounds when training as a puppy. While exercise and exploration is healthy for any dog, it’s absolutely necessary for a fearless hunter. Open fields, covered woods and marshy swamps should all be given attention
Crate training is another common technique beneficial for hunting dogs. A well-trained puppy will enter their crate without resistance, going wherever and whenever they’re needed. They must be ready to sit still and quiet, but spring forth vigorously when called upon.
Finally, the most important characteristic to instill in your hunting puppy is loyalty to their human companion. They should listen and communicate well with a spirit of cooperation. Training your puppy should begin a lifetime of attachment and hard work for mutual enjoyment and satisfaction.