Guest blog: Chris Gezella Alpha Dog Nutrition
Hunting Dog Leash/Quick Release Dog Leash
it comes to duck hunting or upland hunting having the proper equipment and gear is important. It's not uncommon these days to have five hundred dollar jackets, hundred dollar gloves, or even fifty dollar neck gaiters. However, when it comes to our dogs it seems like we tend to neglect to have quality equipment and gear for them. There has been some started increase in demand for higher quality products for our dogs. However, they usually focus on nutrition and kennels. Few companies have started to look into higher quality hunting dog leash products and ones that are designed for gun dog training and hunting.
Thankfully there are some designs and models that are designed to make hunting with dogs easier and much safer. Keep reading to find out about the latest hunting dog leash that can help improve your next hunt.
Dog Training & Steadiness -
For most hunters watching their dog hunt whether it's pheasants or ducks is one of the most rewarding parts of the hunt. Watching a pointer or a retriever work birds and master what's in their blood is amazing to watch. Among the most important aspects of a quality hunting dog is for them to be steady during a shot and drop of a dead bird. This is most prevalent for waterfowl hunters. Whether you're field hunting geese from layout blinds or pond shooting ducks from a boat. Having a steady dog that is controlled, and trained to resist breaking is one of the most important parts of safely hunting with a dog.
However, dogs are still animals at heart and the excitement and drop of dead birds can make even the most experienced retriever break during a hunt. When training puppies and young dogs the process and technique of teaching a dog to keep steady and not break are very important. It can take months of conditioning and drills to teach a puppy that they have to wait until their handler gives the signal to retrieve.
Steadiness is also one of the first fundamentals that a dog seems to forget as they go between hunting seasons and grow into their adulthood. Dog's are eager creatures of habit. Even us waterfowl hunters will make the mistake of calling a shot too early. It's not uncommon early season for that one guy on the end of the line who can't keep his composure and bust out shooting too early. It happens, however, when it comes to dogs there are safety concerns to understand. Preventing a breaking dog could help ensure a safer hunt.
Risks Of A Dog Breaking -
There are a few risks and factors that can occur when your dog breaks. Therefore, to break things down and explain them we've put them into two categories. First and foremost is Safety, second is the factors that can affect a hunt or day.
When it comes to steadiness, a steady dog is a safe dog. It's essential for a hunt when you consider shotguns and conditions waterfowl hunters typically encounter. For example, most handlers train their dogs to sit in a dog hide of some kind when field hunting. In most cases, they are the size of a small kennel that you can conceal easily. This hide becomes the safe place for your gun dog. Handlers and trainers can spend hours teaching them they need to stay still during a hunt. However, when the sound of whistling wings and honks or quacks are overhead. A well-trained dog can lose all training knowledge and bust out of their hide.
The safety concern is that with multiple hunters in layout blinds on the ground. A dog jumping or running after a goose or duck trying to decoy is a bad scenario. Every year the unfortunate event of a gun dog getting shot happens because of this. Therefore, hunters have been using stakeout chains and hunting dog leash products to help restrain their dogs in the event of a break. The biggest caveat to a stakeout chain is that it's hard to release your dog while you are laying down in a blind. Therefore a quick release hunting dog leash is one of the best tools for a hunting dog. The benefits of this style of hunting dog leash is a game changer for waterfowl hunting with young and excited dogs. Learn more about the benefits in this article below.
Hunting Success -
The second factor to a dog that isn't steady and has the tendency to break is, hunting success. Every season I hunt with numerous people and numerous dogs. Some better than others, however, I always enjoy hunting with dogs and their owners. It's fun to watch a dog proudly deliver a duck or goose to their owner's hand. However, every hunting season a dog gets too excited watching a flock work into the decoys and breaks, busting our concealment. It easy to get upset at the dog or the owner, however, for me, I'd rather have a dog that hunts with us and shares in the experience than not. Nonetheless, a dog is going to break at some point in their hunting career or season and ruin a perfect decoying flock. However, with proper hunting dog leash restraints, you can prevent the inevitable.
Hunting Dog Leash Restraints -
There are a few types of hunting dog leash restraints that help to teach and prevent a gun dog from breaking. However, there is only one that offers the ability to release your dog without having to leave your hunting blind.
GunDog Outdoors Quick Release Hunting Dog Leash - Quick Release Safety System -
With a focus on safety and comfort for hunting dogs. GunDog Outdoors has dedicated their company to not only focusing on the hunters but the gun dogs. Our gun dogs spend countless hours with us in the blind every season. GunDog Outdoors has a mission to provide a safer hunting environment for both your dog and yourself.
The Quick Release Safety System is a patent-pending training restraint to help prevent and keep your dog from breaking. It also helps to prevent your dog from spooking decoying birds or running into gunfire. The quick release hunting dog leash has so much versatility when it comes to hunting and training situations. From young dogs, all the way to adult gun dogs, the quick release hunting dog leash can be used.
What's Included -
- 1 - Quick Release Shackle
- 1 - Pull Cord
- 2 - Titanium 8" Stakes
- 1 - 3'-6' Dog Lead, which can be used as a hunting Dog Leash
- 1 - Carrying Case
Inside the kit, you get everything you need to properly secure your dog to the ground when waterfowl hunting. The Hunting dog leash is adjustable to a 3' or 6' length, that can be anchored to essentially anything. If you're hunting from a permanent wood blind an eye hook that can be found at any hardware store works perfectly to anchor too. However, if you're in a field hunting from the ground. Included is a set of Titanium 8" stakes that can be pushed into the ground to anchor the leash to. The benefit of the hunting dog leash is that it can be used with or without a collar on most medium to large sized dogs. Stitched into the webbing of the leash are D-rings that allow the two swivel eye snaps to attach to.
Also included in the system is a quick release shackle that is the essential part of the entire system. There is nothing else on the market that works quite like the GunDog Outdoors system. In the following section, we get into how it works and the difference it makes in safety for your gun dog. The last thing included in the kit is a carrying case to make it easier going from the truck to the blind.
How It Works -
The GunDog Outdoors Quick Release Hunting Dog Leash is very simple to use. For example, if you're hunting a field with your dog. You set up as normal with your dog alongside you in their blind. Next, you take the two Titanium stakes that are attached to each other and secure them into the ground alongside your dog. Place these close to their blind so that you can attach one end of the included leash to the stakes and the other to their collar. However, before you attach the leash's swivel snap to their collar snap the included Quick Release shackle to their collar. Therefore, the secure end of the Quick Release shackle will be attached to the leash and the quick pin side will be attached to your dog's collar. Then finally run the release cord to your blind.
Once you are all set up, you can lay in your blind as usual. However, now your dog is secured to the ground and can't break into gunfire. The release cord near your blind gives you the freedom to release your dog when you want them to be released. Watch the following video to see the quick release hunting dog leash in action as well as the ability to attach it to a duck blind.
Benefits of Gun Dog Quick Release Hunting Dog Leash -
When it comes to a stakeout system that not only secures your dog but also gives you the freedom to release your dog. There is nothing else on the market out there. The shackle is marine grade and is designed to warrant the tough conditions waterfowl hunters endure. The leash is offered in a medium brown color or black depending on your preferences. Plus nothing is designed or colored to glare or cause a reflection in your spread. Preventing the unwanted flaring of geese or ducks.
Additionally, if that isn't enough, GunDog Outdoors offers a one year warranty on the system. Therefore, giving you the peace of mind knowing the product is backed by a guarantee.
Using The Quick Release Safety System -
When it comes to uses with the Quick Release system, they are endless. However, we've decided to share with you some drills and situations where it comes in handy.
It makes only sense to start with training first before we get into the hunting situations. As every great hunting dog first has to be trained before they could hunt well. Therefore, the two most popular training situations are for young adult dogs that have started to break during hunting. The second situation is teaching a young puppy to be steady while hunting.
Puppy Training -
The first situation is teaching your new gun dog how to be steady with the Quick Release system. At first, you want to get your pup to master the sit command so that they can sit at heel alongside you. Next, you will introduce them to the quick release system and attach them to it. Then, run a single bumper toss and ensure that your dog stays at heel alongside you. In the event, your puppy breaks, place them back at your side using a sit and stay command. Then re-run the drill, until your dog stays at your side and waits for their name to be released.
When you do give their release command this is when you can also pull the quick release. Be sure to only pull the release when they are steady and have been commanded to do so. Therefore, you won't create any poor habits of breaking.
As your puppy begins to learn to be steady and remain at heel. You can then begin to introduce distractions and more realistic hunting situations. For example introducing gunfire, layout blinds, dog blinds, and decoys. The key to introduction is slow and steady, don't throw too much at your young puppy at one time.
Adult Training -
In the situation that your dog is already older and started to learn the bad habit of breaking. The GunDog Quick Release system is going to help training and ensure your dog remains safe while hunting. Similar to puppy training make sure you start training your dog with the start simple and work your way up. Don't just assume your dog isn't going to break again. Instead, hook your gun dog up to the system and run some drills in your yard. If you have the space to introduce gunfire and more realistic scenarios this will help build your dog's steadiness.
Again, make sure you correct your dog if they do break, and only release the system in the event they are steady. Repetition is the key to any dog training, so be sure to run drills every other day to help your dog learn the skills you desire from them.
When it comes to hunting with the Quick Release system, it's designed to be that safety net from a breaking dog. Whether you are field hunting, hunting from a boat, or hunting a permanent blind. The system can be used to help ensure your dog stays safe and doesn't disrupt the hunt. I recommend using this always because you never know when your dog is going to get overly excited. However, some of the best situations are first hunts of the year. Another great opportunity to use the Quick Release system when your hunting in new situation or setting.
About The Author -
Chris Gezella is an avid outdoorsman and hunter. Growing up he was always out shooting trap and chasing pheasants, but his true passion resides in waterfowl hunting. As the owner of Alpha Dog Nutrition he has a passion for bird dogs, and as a hobby, he also helps operate The Upland Hunter, The Waterfowl Hunter & Guns Cleaner.