LANSING, Minn. – Dogs are known to be man’s best friend but that holds particularly true for hunters. As part of the 2019 Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener, KIMT News 3 is taking a closer look at how to train these canine companions.
“I’ve been training dogs for over 30 years – mostly my own,” said Dave Thorpe. “I started out with my first dog and every dog you get, you learn more.”
Thorpe is a duck and pheasant hunter and says hunting without a dog is not nearly as much fun. He says the number one key to a good hunting dog is obedience.
“If you don’t have obedience right here next to you, you’re not going to have it out there in the field.”
Once the dog is obedient, it becomes a vital tool to a hunt and can even alert the hunter that a bird is near.
“If he gets on a bird he’ll start wagging his tail, he’ll get more active, you’ll see him in the grass trying to find that bird and you just know to get ready,” Thorpe said.
He also says with the bird population declining in southeastern Minnesota, having a trustworthy do speeds things up but is ultimately what makes pheasant hunting so much fun for him.
“Having a dog out there – something to train and you’ve worked with and have him love so much, and love it as much as you do if not more, that’s everything right there.”