Commands Your Sporting Breed Dog Should Know

Even If They Are a Companion Animal

There are many sporting dog breeds that people choose to keep more as companion pets than working dogs. In fact, breeds like the Labrador and golden retriever have been popular breeds in the US for decades and kept simply as family pets.

Sporting dogs carry within them an innate urge to hunt, which means these dogs constantly have their noses to the ground and can be known to wander. Though hunting dogs can make excellent companions, there are certain commands your dog should know so they’re easier to manage and so they are ultimately happier members of your household.


Since hunting dogs are prone to running off a scent or may flee when they see another creature moving (depending on whether they are sighthounds or scent hounds), your dog needs to know a very basic command that can make them easier to control: “Stay” or “Wait.”

These commands are useful when you take your dog outside to use the restroom or when you take them for a walk. Have your dog trainer assist you in teaching your dog how to obey these basic commands so you can be in control when your dog’s natural instincts kick in.

To assist in feeding your dog’s natural hunting urges in healthy ways, take your dog for long walks daily. Exercise allows your dog to experience new sounds, smells, and sights, and it satisfies their curiosity and eager nature.

Always keep your dog on a leash when walking outdoors, as a leash gives you greater control over your animal and helps protect your dog against accidental injury from vehicles or other dogs.


Teaching your sporting dog to come to you when you call them immediately can be tricky, but it’s a command that you must teach them well in order to fully manage your canine companion.

Your dog may be prone to sudden bolting when they come across a scent, or they may have so much energy they can simply play or run for hours on end. A dog can become so engrossed in their activity that they are unable to hear you calling for them.

Your dog trainer will show you how to sternly and confidently get your dog return to you by saying “Here” or “Come.” This command is often taught by reinforcing positive behavior with lots of praise or treats so your dog will learn to return to you because the reward is well worth it.

Leave/Drop It

Dogs with hunting in their blood may become challenging by “hunting” small animals in your neighborhood: cats, other smaller dogs, squirrels and other rodents. To prevent injury to other animals and to protect your dog against transferable diseases from wild animals, you should be able to command your dog to immediately drop and release what is in their mouth, even if their instincts tell them otherwise.

Another benefit to the “leave it” or “drop it” command is that it can also be used for items around the house that dogs enjoy chewing on, such as socks and shoes. This command can benefit all your dogs in the home, and it is particularly useful for training a hunting dog to be a better companion.

You love your hunting dog, and you want to enjoy its unique personality as much as possible. Dedication to training and teaching your dog commands that will make them more comfortable in your home and easier to manage can help you build a strong bond with your canine friend.

Remember training your dog is best done with the help of an expert. With your dedication to the task and your dog’s willingness to please, you can see great improvements in your hunting dog. Contact our experts at Elite Dogs Training and Boarding for a custom training program for your dog.
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