The Retrieve with Bags and Shadow: Building a Gun Dog Training Kit
By: Michael Baggetta
Gun Dog training tools can get expensive and may add up quickly. However trainingthem for hunt tests, field trials and hunting can be a great investment. The time and effort will strengthen the value of your dog. Note- you don’t need to purchase everything all at once. When we got Shadow, my first goal for her was to give her the tools to be a successful hunting dog. It wasn’t until we decided to not to get her spayed, we chose to have her run in an AKC Hunt Test to help improve her value for breeding. This article isn’t about driving your dog’s value up, but rather to help you find the training tools to that will allow you and your dog to be successful.
There are a few very important items you will need to get started. I want to help youmanage the expenses. The best way to manage your budget with the training tools is to purchase each item as needed. At the end of this, I will give you a few resources and links you can useto find the best products at the best prices. There are plenty of puppy training kits out there, but they can get expensive and some of the tools in the kit you may not utilize. It can be more cost effective to make your own training kit.
- Whistle – There are many different types, any type will do
- Choker Chain or Pinch Collar
- 24” Trainers Leed
- 6’ Lead/lead
- 26’ to 30’ Floating Rope style check cord
- 2 – puppy sized canvas bumpers
- 6- 2” Rubber Training Bumpers (Assorted Colors)
- 1- 3” Jumbo Rubber Bumper
- 1- Duck Training Bird Bumper
- Bird Wings
- Dog Platform/Stand
- 2- 12” 2×4 Pieces of Wood
While I personally find myself using all these items on a consistent basis, the most important item you will need to get started are a Whistle, 6’ lead/leash, Check Cord, Puppy sized bumpers, Bird Wings and a Dog Stand/Platform. I have included a few links for each item, but remember you can shop around and find the best items for your budget. As for the dog stand, it will be the most expensive piece. Note- you will also utilize this while hunting. If you don’t wish to get the stand early on in the puppy’s training, you can be creative and get a doormat or a 2’x2’ piece of plywood.
While shopping around there are many options and resources out there. I find myself using Amazon, Gun Dog Supplies, Walmart and anywhere I can find Avery Sport Dog Equipment at the most affordable prices. I like ASD the best for a lot of their training items but mostly for their bumpers. They use a softer rubber that doesn’t hurt a young pup’s mouth. The reason you want a bumper that doesn’t hurt your dog is because you want to make sure every part of the early training process is positive.
Here are a few pre made Gun Dog Training Kits:
Until next time – Keep the retrieve alive!