Many breeds of dogs in the world are destined for different activities. Some may be herding, search, rescue, police, or hunting dog.
Hunting dogs have been widely used for hundreds of years until today, and it is a great tradition for many hunters to use this type of animal.
There are many breeds of hunting dogs, and each one has excellent characteristics. One of the best known is the Vizsla. This canine is not only characterized by extraordinary hunting skills but also has a high level of physical activity. That makes this animal require exercise every day.
The Vizsla has many advantages that allow it to be an excellent hunting dog. The most important is its golden-reddish fur, which helps it to camouflage itself in different types of terrain. In the same way, the color of its nose and eyes also combines with the color of the coat, allowing it to go unnoticed by small animals.
When acquiring a dog of this type, it is essential to know everything you need to train it for hunting.
Training Vizsla to Hunt
Vizslas are considered to be excellent pointer dogs. That means they are able to detect the presence of other animals through their excellent sense of smell and point their muzzle at them. That way, the hunter will know where to point his gun.
This breed of dog has a natural prey instinct, so it can be dangerous if you acquire it as a pet having other small animals in the home. However, they are highly intelligent dogs that can be trained to learn to get along with young children and other smaller animals.
That natural hunting instinct allows it to be an extraordinary hunting dog in different terrains. Vizslas especially excel at hunting small game, chasing birds, and other small animals as well. In addition, they can easily adapt to the sound of the shots as long as they receive the respective training to do so.
This breed of dog can be trained to hunt a particular animal. Everything will depend on the type of prey that the hunter usually hunts.
Tips to Keep in Mind When Training a Vizsla to Hunt
Before teaching your Vizsla how to hunt, it is essential to know certain aspects that can improve this process:
You should absolutely always use positive reinforcement on these dogs regardless of the type of training. That is because Vizslas are very sensitive animals that need to feel the love of their owners. Therefore, any violent or aggressive method that you can use will be counterproductive for your pet.
If we want our Vizsla to successfully complete the training, we must reward it every time it does an action correctly. We can give it its favorite treats to let it know that it is doing a good job. Verbal praise will also help.
Patience and Consistency
In this type of training, it is important that we have patience since the duration of the learning process could be extensive, depending on the canine’s ability.
Similarly, it is vital that we be consistent. We have to clarify this as there are many people who stop training their canines when they notice that there has been no progress during training. The key is patience and training your Vizsla every day until it develops its skills.
Vocal orders are an important part of any training, especially related to hunting. Through positive reinforcement, we can teach our Vizsla any command that facilitates its obedience during hunting sessions.
If we want our Vizsla to learn to hunt effectively through the training we provide, we have to use various tools and objects that will be of great help in this process. Toys or some things are good to practice certain commands with your canine. Leashes and collars are also essential items.
Vizsla Hunting Training Process
There are different ways that we can use to teach our Vizsla to hunt. It is normal to use a specific animal in any training method depending on the prey that the hunter wants to catch.
Some effective hunting methods are:
Scent Recognition Method
We already know that Vizslas have an excellent sense of smell. This method intensifies that ability and allows the Vizsla to recognize a specific animal by smelling it.
The first thing you can do is give your canine a previously hunted bird with the intention that it becomes familiar not only with its smell but also with its appearance.
Due to its natural hunting instinct, your Vizsla will want to find and chase that animal. The most advisable thing is to drag the prey along the ground so that your canine follows the scent trail.
Later, hide the prey in a place where it is easy to find. That is, in that place, there should be no obstacles or strange smells. Practice this exercise several times with your Vizsla until it is able to find it easily.
After that, you can increase the difficulty by using other places with more obstacles. Remember that you must reward your pet every time it finds the prey.
Since your dog has become accustomed to searching and finding prey inside the house, it is time to increase the difficulty even more. This time we will carry out this exercise outside the home using live animals. In this case, it is important that you keep your Vizsla on the leash while it searches for live prey.
You must repeat the process as many times as necessary until your dog is completely used to it.
Like the previous method, we have to further develop our Vizsla’s sense of smell. We can use dead animals or their skins. At this point, we must place the prey on the ground until our Vizsla points its snout towards it. When your dog does that, it is essential that you reward it so that it knows that this is what you want it to do.
An essential point of this training is that you should only reward your Vizsla when it points its muzzle towards the prey while remaining static. The main idea is that your dog does not chase the target.
Increase the difficulty of the training by taking your Vizsla out of the house somewhere with more distractions. At first, the distractions should be few, but you can increase the difficulty as your Vizsla progresses.
The best way for your Vizsla to practice everything it has learned is by taking it hunting. Hunting will allow it to consolidate its skills even more.