(Photo courtesy of bowhunter.com)
Check out how you can make your canine companion your shed hunting helper:
- STEP ONE: Start indoors. Plant antlers in the house, and command the dog to fetch them–be sure to use a different command than when he/she is out looking for birds or anything else. Remember that consistency is key and positive reinforcement!
- STEP TWO: After a couple of days of working with your dog, hide the antlers throughout the house, and use the command to get your dog to find and retrieve them. Once your dog masters every single hiding place you choose, it’s time to move outside!
- STEP THREE: Reinforce what you started out teaching your dog indoors, outdoors. Start out by placing the sheds in “plain sight”, using the command you chose for your dog to retrieve them. Keep increasing distance as your dog satisfactorily retrieves the sheds on cue. Eventually, your dog will be able to retrieve, on cue, antlers that you hide throughout the yard, and then, it is time to move the training to the woods!
- STEP FOUR: Leave your pooch in your vehicle while you head out and hide antlers throughout the area in random places. When you let your dog out, use the command to have your dog find and retrieve the antlers.
- STEP FIVE: When looking for sheds, the best places to look are fence crossings, orchards, bedding and feeding areas and heavily-used game trails. Keep an antler in your pack or pocket, as if your search is lagging, randomly hide the antler and use the command to keep your dog on point with your search.
Good luck to all of the shed hunters out there, and be sure to let us know how training your dog to shed hunt goes!