10 Essential Teaching Aids for a Gun Dog Puppy

The gear you need to train your new hunting buddy.

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Now is the perfect time to get that puppy you've always wanted and train him to be your new hunting buddy for the fall season—and many more to come. Here is a list of ten key teaching aids, but be sure to also check out our full guide on how to train a pup to be your new hunting buddy.

1. Dowel

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A 1-inch dowel makes a good first “dummy” and is useful for training a dog to fetch and give.

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You’ll go through lots of them. Get something puppy-bite-size.

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When the puppy graduates from the dowel, move to a puppy-size bumper or dummy.

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Essential for house-training and safe travel, it should be just big enough for the dog to turn around in. Obviously your puppy will grow, so you’ll have to guess at what will be the right size.

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Not just a good idea, it’s the law in a lot of cities—and a useful training aid, too.

6. Bird Wings

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Save some from birds you shoot in fall. Attach them to dummies with a rubber band or use as is for play retrieves.

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Get a stout cord with a slip-lead end for teaching whoa and heel.

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Puppies have needle teeth. You will want a heavy glove for the hand you put in the pup’s mouth when you start fetch training.

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A low, one-step step stool makes a good aid for teaching place. Put a square of carpet on top that you can later use when you’re out hunting.

10. Training Table (not shown)

Buy one or make it yourself. It should be about 8 feet long, 2 feet high, and 2 feet wide with ramps at either end for Pup to get up and down.

Puppy photograph by Ralph Smith. Gear photographs courtesy of gundogsupply.com