Safety Techniques for Hunting with a Dog


Hunting with a partner always requires special caution, and hunting with a four-legged companion is no exception. The successful triad of a dog, firearm, and hunter will always remain the most preferred method among all other hunting techniques. Such hunting is exciting and productive, which contributes to its popularity among hunters worldwide. Observing safety rules should be an axiom for every hunting dog owner.

Mandatory vaccinations for hunting dogs:

The first crucial step in preparing a dog for hunting is ensuring it has received two essential vaccinations: against ticks and rabies.

The importance of this vaccination is ignored, as contact between a dog and a fox or other wild animals in the field or forest is quite probable, and the consequences for the dog and its owner can be lethal.

Equally important is vaccination against ticks, which become active and carry the agents of various dangerous diseases with the arrival of spring. The treatment process should begin no later than 3 days before the hunt, with monthly repetitions. Treating the dog during the hunt is not advisable due to the possible loss of effectiveness when exposed to water. There is a wide range of products available for tick prevention, from sprays to spot-on preparations, each with its advantages and disadvantages.

Selection of equipment for hunting dogs:

The first critical piece of equipment is a leash with the option to be slung over the hunter’s shoulder, allowing for full freedom of movement. Releasing the dog into the woods is not mandatory; in fact, it is not recommended, as even the most trained dog can flush out unintended game. Moving through dense forest with a long leash in hand is not very convenient; it tends to get caught on objects and tangle at every step. Such movement, full of twists and turns, is unlikely to be enjoyable for both the hunter and the dog.

A short leash with the ability to sling it over the shoulder will be much more comfortable for both hunters and will help them focus on the primary activity for which they came to the woods. It is advisable to practice certain aspects of this connection in advance, such as quick leash release after firing a shot.

Another simple but proven effective measure to prevent losing a dog is to use a collar with an ID tag. Standard information such as the dog’s name and the owner’s contact details have often helped locate a lost dog during hunting trips.

The standard set of equipment should include:

Comfortable leash

Collar with an ID tag

Water container

First aid kit

Whistle (if effective)

It is essential to provide primary instruction on safety techniques and gun handling during the hunt, which remains as relevant as ever for hunting with a four-legged companion. Remember, a dog is always a dog, and a gun always fires to kill, so it is crucial not to let your guard down even during a break. According to safety protocols, always keep the gun unloaded and the ammunition in metal holders.

Rules for preparing the dog for hunting – source

Initial training: Teach the dog to retrieve the game and follow the hunter around with the game in its mouth until the hunter reaches the spot.

This skill is crucial for safety. A dog that brings the game to the hunter and feet or doesn’t give it up at all can create a hazardous situation (falling with a loaded gun in hand).

After firing a shot, direct the muzzle of the gun away from any living target, including the dog. Properly reload the weapon with the muzzle directed away—this is the primary rule in every hunter’s safety code.

Properly overcome natural obstacles such as rivers, swamps, ditches, and ravines.

Another dangerous encounter can be with snakes, where all breeds of dogs may play with the slithering reptile. In case of a snakebite, it’s essential to identify the snake and immediately seek veterinary care.

The best way to do this is by using a whistle, which will restrain the dog’s excitement during the chase.

The potential use of a hunting dog on almost any hunt is limitless and aesthetically pleasing.

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