There is a wide variety of sport dog trainers available today, and choosing the best product depends on its intended use. Are you hunting upland game, such as pheasants, grouse or quail? Do you want to train your retriever to help you hunt geese, ducks and other waterfowl? Or will you be doing woodland hunting, for rabbit, raccoons and other forest creatures?
Sport Dog Trainers, Launchers, Backers and Trackers
The basic training device for all sport dogs is a electronic collar. This device corrects your dog’s unwanted behaviors with a sonic tone or an electric shock. If used for retrievers, be certain the collar you have chosen is completely waterproof, and if you are running more than one dog, choose a system that allows you to program separate tones.
Beepers and trackers are sport dog trainers used primarily for woodland hunting, where your dog ranges further than a retriever, and are intended not to influence the dog’s behavior but to help you keep track of his location and actions. As opposed to the two or three hundred yard range on retriever collars, these can have a range as great as seven miles. Some trackers have a tree feature, which lets you know when your dog is looking straight up. A backlit display is very useful for night hunting.
Launchers are sport dog trainers for bird dogs, and are intended to simulate the flush of wild birds. Be sure the system you buy will launch the birds high enough so your dog can’t catch them. And finally, a backer is basically a pop-up cutout of a dog on point. Its purpose is to teach bird dogs to honor another dog’s point.