There are many breeds of dogs that are used for hunting. One of the most interesting and known to many people is the Vizsla.
These canines are characterized by having a high level of physical activity and excellent hunting skills. They are perfect companions for hunters, especially if they are their owners. They love to train and learn new things every day to satisfy their loved ones. Vizslas need a lot of daily exercise to stay fit and to be able to carry out their hunting activities effectively.
The hunting nature of this breed comes back to its origin. However, it is essential to note that they need to develop every facet of these skills through training.
Generally, hunting activities are carried out using guns. This situation can be negative for many dogs since the sound they make can scare the canine. Fortunately, Vizslas are able to overcome their fear of those sounds through training.
Vizsla Dog Gun Training
The goal of such training is to remove any shyness or fear that your Vizsla may feel towards guns before it is too late. Many hunters make the mistake of taking their canines to a shooting range to get used to loud sounds, but that is a mistake since they will only traumatize the animal.
Before presenting the steps you should follow for proper training, you need to know what to avoid.
As we have said before, it is not advisable to take a dog, especially if it is a puppy, to a shooting range. It would also not be appropriate to fire a gun near a young Vizsla without first being trained to do so. The latter is also important to avoid while the animal is eating.
Avoid exposing your dog to fireworks as they could potentially trauma it. Thunder or electrical storms can also affect our Vizsla, causing fear, so it is advisable to bring it into the house.
Remember that dogs have feelings and emotions, and any external factor or bad experience could make them shy. That is why it is important that as owners of a Vizsla, we make sure to avoid any type of situation inside and outside of our control.
Important Things to Consider for Vizsla Dog Gun Training
Meet Your Vizsla
That may sound silly, but it is important. We have already said that a canine’s personality, regardless of its breed, is similar to that of a human being. That means that any external situation can positively or negatively affect the way of being of the dog.
Human beings need certain situations that make them feel confident in themselves and everyone around them. The same goes for the Vizslas. As long as it is carried out through positive reinforcement, any type of training will help in the maturity process of your canine, thus increasing its confidence. That way, it will be prepared to receive this type of training.
Confidence is vital when training our Vizsla for hunting. If a dog of this type is confident in each of the basic tasks, as time passes, you will be able to train it in the different facets of hunting.
Training to get your Vizsla used to guns can take time and be difficult. For that reason, you shouldn’t rush through the process. Take it easy!
You can start by introducing dead birds for training. Be sure to use the carcass so that your Vizsla will keep track of its scent as well as learn to familiarize itself with its appearance. An important point to keep in mind is a positive reinforcement every time your canine does well. That will let it know that it is doing a good job, and its learning process will be faster.
A dead bird is a good stimulant during the early stages of gun conditioning. During this process, the bird’s carcass could be disgusting or undesirable to your Vizsla, so you’ll need to re-cheer it up by praising it or giving it a treat.
Introduce Live Birds
Once your Vizsla has adjusted to its dead bird training sessions, be sure to assess its conditions and confidence to move on to the next step. For this training, you will have to use live birds but with clipped wings so that they can still fly but ineffectively. The Vizsla hunting instinct will arise, and it will try to chase the bird, which is likely to escape.
Repeat these sessions as many times as possible until your canine reaches a high level of intensity and confidence during its chase.
It’s Time to Introduce the Guns
At this point, your canine will be ready to hear the shots. Bear in mind that you cannot start training using a very loud gun. The most advisable thing is to use a silent pistol so as not to cause a great negative impact on our Vizsla the first time.
During this training, you will need the help of an assistant. That way, one person will be able to let the bird go for the Vizsla to chase it while the other is placed 10 meters away behind, and their objective will be to shoot in the opposite direction to the canine. The purpose of this is to make a negligible sound to the Vizsla’s ears.
As you practice this for several days, your assistant (or the shooter in this case) will be able to get closer to the dog as long as they keep the impact and sound of the shot to a minimum.
The confidence of the Vizsla is essential to advance in training. A dog with these characteristics will be able to adapt to guns quickly. Once the animal has gotten used to it, you can introduce other training exercises to teach it other skills related to this facet.
This training type requires a lot of patience, especially if your Vizsla does not acquire the full confidence it needs. For that reason, you must go step by step every day until your canine can adapt to guns.