Hunting season will be here before you know it. You may be asking “how do I communicate with my hunting dog?” That is what training is all about. Training your hunting dog is a serious commitment. It can take months for a dog to become ready to go out on a hunt. Let’s take a look at different ways that communication with your hunting dog can be effective.
Why Do I Need to Communicate With My Hunting Dog?
Let’s take a step back. You may wonder, “why do I need to communicate with my hunting dog? Doesn’t a dog naturally know how to hunt?” The answer is yes and no. A dog does have instincts that will help the dog to find food if that is necessary, but hunting with a human is a different thing all together. There are weapons such as shotguns or bows and arrows involved in human hunting. Also, humans want their prey returned to them as unscathed as possible.
Hunting dogs are highly trained dogs that know how to work together with their human partner to hunt. For safety reasons, they are trained to obey their human partner confidently. A dog may also be trained to help the human hunter to find prey, corner prey, or retrieve prey.
Signals and Commands That Actually Work
Verbal commands can be tricky. In a hunting scenario, your dog may be several yards away from you. You could damage your voice shouting commands loudly at your dog for the length of an entire hunting trip. So now you may be wondering “how can I communicate with my hunting dog effectively?”
Research has found that it is easier for a dog to learn commands when both sound and a visual element are combined (source). There are a couple of tricks that hunters use to communicating with a dog easier for both themselves and the dog.
- Hand Signals
These are motions of the hands or body to tell a dog what you want them to do. Hunters often use hand signals when they are helping their dog to retrieve fallen prey. They will tell the hunting dog to move to the left, move to the right, or go farther back. These are not small movements, but large sweeping movements that can be seen by the dog from far away.
Frequently, hunters will use whistles (much like a referee in a sporting event) to communicate with a hunting dog. Variations in the sound of the whistle, such as a long blast versus three short blasts, can tell the dog to stop, come back to the hunter, or confirm that they are in the correct position.
Hand signals and whistles may be used simultaneously. It is up to the hunter training the dog which hand signals and which whistle blasts will mean which command. Verbal commands may also be used when the whistle is not being used.
Protecting A Hunting Dogs Hearing
An important consideration in training a hunting dog is the impact the shotgun blasts will have on your dog’s ability to hear. Over time, exposure to loud percussive noises, like shotgun blasts, can harm your dog’s hearing. When a hunting dog loses their hearing, they will no longer respond to whistles or verbal commands, making it very difficult, if not impossible for them to hunt with you safely.
Coming in early 2023, CrittEar Hunt dog earplugs will be able to buffer the loud noise of the shotgun and help to protect your hunting dog’s precious hearing. You may be wondering “will I still be able to communicate with my hunting dog?” The answer is yes! They will buffer noise down, but not remove it completely.
CrittEar Hunt will have electronic components that make them work like noise cancelling earbuds. They will dampen down the loud sounds of the shotgun so they don’t harm your hunting dog’s hearing but will amplify quiet sounds that your dog needs to hear to do their work. That means sounds like prey rustling in the bush will be heard more clearly while the shotgun will be muffled.
This may raise the question “will I be able to communicate with my hunting dog who needs to swim in the water with CrittEar Hunt?” Once again, the answer is yes! CrittEar Hunt will be waterproof.
Preparing For Your Next Hunting Trip
Get your shopping list prepared for your next hunting trip! A final thing you may be wondering is “what do I need to communicate with my hunting dog?” Just your hands, your whistle, and a pair of CrittEar Hunt dog earplugs.
Can’t wait until next year to try dog earplugs? Try CrittEar Calm dog earplugs. These dog earplugs are made from a super soft, medical grade memory foam and have a Noise Reduction Rating of 31 dB. They will buffer down loud sounds and they are great for training your dog to use dog earplugs. Using CrittEar Calm dog earplugs will make for a seamless transition to CrittEar Hunt when they become available. Happy hunting and we hope your dog can hear well for many years to come!