The dog’s workdays are over for this season! Now what?

It’s been a long season working hard, and your furry friend deserves a break. But how do you tell them that the shooting season is over now?

We asked our experts, Emma Stevens of Cunningshot Dog Training and Abbie Reid of Riverlily Dogs , to give us some tips on transitioning your dog from a busy work schedule to a more relaxed lifestyle.

We’ve also asked them how we use the offseason to train our gundog further.

Where To Start

First of all, it’s important to remember that just because your dog is taking a break from work doesn’t mean they don’t still need exercise. Dogs need daily exercise, but it can be at a lower intensity than when they’re working. A good 30-minute walk will do.

So, how do you know when your dog is ready to return to training mode? “The biggest indicator that a dog is ready to go back to work is their enthusiasm for it,” Abbie says. “If they’re still as eager to work and learn, they’re ready to get back in the game.”

However, please don’t push your dog too hard during their offseason. “If you’re trying to train a young dog during the offseason, remember that they still need time to rest and recover,” Abbie says. “You don’t want to overdo it and risk injury.”

Fixing Obedience Issues

Both Emma and Abbie recommend using the offseason to work on obedience training. “Obedience training is important for all dogs, but it’s especially important for hunting dogs,” Emma says. “It allows you to build a strong relationship with your dog and gives you a way to communicate with them when they’re out in the field.”

Abbie agrees, adding that obedience training can also help keep your dog out of trouble while they’re not working. “It’s important to have a well-trained dog that knows how to behave in different situations,” she says. “Training can help prevent them from getting into mischief when they’re not working.”

Make A List Of Problems Your Dog Picked Up Whist Working

Now is also a good time to list any problems that your dog picked up while working. “If there are any issues that you noticed while your dog was working, make a note of them and start working on fixing them during the offseason,” Emma says. “This will help set them up for success when they return to work.”

So, those are our tips for transitioning your dog from a busy work schedule to a more relaxed lifestyle. We hope you find them helpful!

Back To Basics Regardless Of Your Dogs Age Or Experience

Regardless of a dog’s age, you start back with the basics. If a dog has been working since it was a pup, make sure you are still taking the time to reinforce basic gundog commands such as sit, stay, recall, and heel.

“No matter how long your dog has been working, it’s important to keep reinforcing the basics” Abbie Reid

Preparing Your Dog For The Upcoming Season

While you’re working on transitioning your dog to offseason mode, don’t forget to start preparing them for the upcoming season. “Start gradually introducing them to what they’ll be doing during the season,” Emma says. “This will help get them excited and prepared for coming.”

Abbie agrees, adding that it’s important to remind them of all the basics and get them back into training to remind them of what they knew before the last season.

Make sure you spend time working on steadiness and self-control with the dog so they’re prepared to sit patiently and wait for birds. Making sure these skills are solid is important. You don’t want an excited dog running all over the place when they’re out in the field.

Your 3D’s

You can also start working on specific skills that will be useful during the season, such as retrieving. “If you’re working on retrieving, start with easy retrieves,” Emma says. “You can gradually make it more difficult by adding distractions and working on longer distances and durations.”

Abbie recommends using the offseason to work on whatever needs improvement from the previous season. “If there are any skills that need work, now is the time to work on them,” she says. “This will help your dog prepare for the upcoming season.”

Consolidate Old Skills Before Adding New Skills

Once you’ve worked on fixing any problems and refreshing your dog’s obedience training, you can start adding new skills. “Start with simple behaviours and work your way up,” Abbie says. “Don’t try to do too much at once, or you’ll overwhelm your dog.”

Abbie agrees, adding that it’s important to take things slowly and consolidate old skills before moving on to new ones. “One of the biggest mistakes people make is trying to teach their dog too many things at once,” she says. “You want your dog to be successful, so it’s important to take things slowly and focus on one skill at a time.”

Rebuilding Your Relationship For The Forthcoming Season

“The offseason is a great time to rebuild your relationship with your dog,” Emma says. “Spend time bonding with them and doing things that they enjoy. This will help create a strong bond between you and your dog that will be beneficial when you start working together again.”

“The biggest thing is just to keep things fun,” Abbie says. “If your dog is having fun, they’ll be more likely to work hard and perform well when the season comes around.”

Training Your Dog Leads To Trust

“One of the most important things to remember is that training your dog leads to trust,” Emma says. “The more trust you have with your dog, the better they’ll perform in the field.”

“The bottom line is that if you take the time to train your dog properly, you’ll create a bond of trust between you and your dog that will be beneficial in the field,” Abbie says. ” Training your dog is an investment that will pay off when you’re out in the field working together.”

So those are our tips for transitioning your dog from a busy work schedule to a more relaxed lifestyle.

This podcast episode was about transitioning your dog from a busy work schedule to a more relaxed lifestyle. Emma Stevens and Abbie Reid, experts from the LWDG Group, shared their tips for making this transition successfully. They recommend using the offseason to work on obedience training, fixing any problems that arose during the last season, and gradually introducing your dog to the things they’ll be doing during the upcoming season. By taking things slowly and consolidating old skills before moving on to new ones, you’ll help your dog be successful in the next season. Thanks for listening!

We hope you found these tips helpful! If you have any questions, please reach out to us at the Ladies Working Dog Group.

Join Our Online Community!

Jump on our email list for free tips and insights delivered to your inbox monthly. No spam - just quick bites of value.