How To Train A Squirrel Dog

t can be challenging to teach your puppy how to properly tree a squirrel, especially if you do not have any expertise with dog training. What’s the fun in buying a dog that’s been appropriately trained or paying for someone to train your puppy? You may begin the procedure practically as soon as your puppy arrives home, and the sooner you start, the better. Go no further if you’re looking for information on the most extraordinary squirrel dogs. (Check for information on house training a dog, best dog training, good dog training, dog training guide and free dog training.)

What Is A Squirrel Dog

A squirrel dog is a dog that is trained to hunt squirrels and is capable of doing so. This is a popular sport in areas of the United States that requires a trained dog with a natural ability to flush out smaller animals. Squirrel dogs are small dog breeds that are bred to chase small prey like squirrels and other small animals. They are born with an inherited trait that causes them to track squirrels and chase them up into trees using their acute sense of smell. There is a distinction to be made between chasing squirrels and being adequately trained to hunt them. Although some dog breeds are natural hunters, they must be adequately trained to be effective in the field when hunting squirrels.

Why Do You Need to Choose And Train A Squirrel Dog

While any dog with a prey drive can be trained to chase squirrels, some types are better than others. Squirrel hunting dogs that track are helpful, but those that naturally “wind” squirrels are the best. Some dogs have an instinct that allows them to detect the scent of a squirrel in the area and determine whether it has passed through or is still around. This isn’t something a dog can learn. Either it does, or it does not. If you can find one who does, he will make a better squirrel dog than those who don’t.

A ready attitude and a drive to get out and chase squirrels are also essential characteristics. Some dogs are more interested in other dogs than others. That’s a lot when you have a dog who adores the excitement of the chase and is constantly ready to go. Some of these are hit-or-miss. Look for a dog with a high-energy temperament who enjoys squirrel hunting and treeing. The best squirrel dogs are intelligent and agile, swerving to locate and flush out their prey.

How To Train A Squirrel Dog

How To Really Train Your Dog To Train A Squirrel Dog

  • Find The Best Breed

Curs, terriers, coonhounds, and elkhounds are some of the most preferred squirrel hunting dog breeds. Again, the breed is less significant than the work you intend to accomplish with them, so pick a dog breed that suits your hunting technique. Some blended mutts have even proven to be excellent squirrel hunters. Feisty and cur breed dogs are preferred by most squirrel hunters over other acceptable breeds because they have the strongest instincts for twisting and treeing squirrels.

  1. A feist is a little dog that is lively, smart, and good at hunting. It also wants to please its owners. This makes them perfect because they have natural predatory instincts and, when properly trained, they learn fast. Several breeds can be classified as aggressive. Examples are Thornburg feist, Denmark feist, Mullins feist, or a smooth fox terrier. Mixed-breed mutts make up some of the feists.
  2. A treeing cur is an intermediate dog explicitly bred for hunting. Above-average intelligence, agility, and speed are among the traits. These dogs have extremely quick reflexes. They are simple to train and have a strong desire to please their masters. To create pups, breeders primarily focus on mating the best-hunting dogs.
  3. Rat Terriers are small dogs bred primarily to catch squirrels and rats. They were once called ratters, and they were employed to control the rat population on sailing ships and family farms. When hunting its prey, the rat terrier is an agile dog breed that would venture deep into the bush or crawl into a cave. He is tenacious and will not give up until he has completed his assignment.
  4. Bingley terriers and Waterside terriers are other names for Airedale terriers. The breed was developed in England and is prized for its hunting abilities. In the terrier classification, this is one of the giant breeds. It’s a large, intelligent dog with a natural predisposition for treeing its prey. They produce some of the best squirrel-hunting dogs in the world. Airedale terriers are easy to teach and enjoy the excitement of hunting.
  5. Hound dogs and foxhounds were crossed to create black and tan coonhounds. The outcome is a black and tan coat with long ears and the ability to locate, tree, and hunt all sizes of animals. This breed is recognized for having a good sense of smell and the ability to track a scent through challenging terrain.
  6. Big Blu is another name for American Blue Gascon hounds. Squirrels and raccoons are the most popular prey animals for this breed. It is prized for its hunting prowess and loud baying after catching its victim in the trees. The breed’s loyalty and protectiveness towards its human family are also featured.
  7. The Finnish Spitz is a hunting dog with a lot of energy. It has a reddish-brown coat and resembles a fox. It’s prized for its hunting prowess and ability to communicate with its owner when it’s caught a squirrel. This breed hunts both large and small game species.
  8. The mountain cur is a canine breed that has its origins in Europe. It is one of the most versatile and talented breeds and was brought to America as a hunting dog. This dog is fantastic at hunting small game, especially squirrels in the trees. They have a loud bay and are vociferous when the game has been successfully treed, which alerts hunters. The dog was intended to hunt wild mammals, but they are also excellent at hunting fowl and are water dogs.
How To Train A Squirrel Dog
  • Socialization

First, the best way to train a dog is to make a connection with your puppy. Begin this step as soon as you get your puppy home. Pet and groom them on a daily basis to acclimate them to physical touch. To develop their allegiance to you, use activities like fetch and hide-and-seek. This will come in handy while giving them hunting orders. Their hunting skills will also improve as a result of the games.

Dog training in positive interactions will aid in the formation of a solid bond between you and your puppy. When learning commands, give lots of praise and play together a lot to create trust. Even if you’re trying to provide basic dog training, hitting or shouting at your puppy will harm your relationship.

Allow them to socialize with others. If you go squirrel hunting with other canines, this is crucial. If your puppy hasn’t had all of his immunizations yet, make sure the other dogs are adequately vaccinated and heartworm-free. Treats should be given to your dog to help him create positive associations with these events.

Encourage people to interact with one another. If you go hunting with friends, even if it’s only once in a while, your dog should be well with other people. Invite your hunting mates over or visit them with your pet. Begin this practice before your child turns 12 weeks old.

Practice being obedient. Begin dog obedience training when your child is between the ages of 8 and 12. Begin with the most basic orders, such as “Come,” “Sit,” and “Stay.” Start with simple commands like “Squirrel” and “Tree” and work your way up to more complex ones like “Squirrel” and “Tree.” Begin by taking your leashed dog to a tree and assertively saying, “Tree.” Squirrels can be identified by pointing to them and saying, “Squirrel.” Please make this a fun experience for kids by rewarding them with snacks. From birth to roughly 20 weeks, puppies have an extremely short attention span. Don’t expect your orders to work for more than a minute or two during this period.

  • Tracking Instincts

Disperse the snacks. Although dogs are endowed with great scent-tracking abilities, hunting dogs must continually rely on them. Begin by leaving a trail of dog goodies in the house or in the yard before the dog reaches the age of 12 weeks. Hide rewards behind furniture or beneath rocks to hone the dog’s skills. This will aid in the development of their sense of smell. When trying dog training at home, use tiny amounts of dog training treats. It’s possible that an entire handful of delicacies will make your puppy sick. Other types of dog training include using some of your puppy’s usual food, especially if they are food-driven.

Take your dog out in the woods. Start taking your puppy on brief walks through the woods at the age of 12 to 14 weeks. Allow 10 to 30 minutes for each trip. This allows the puppy to become accustomed to the woods’ many sights, sounds, and smells. Keep your pooch on a leash to stop it from becoming disoriented in an unusual environment. Working off-leash is only recommended if your dog is exceptionally dependable with the “come” command.

Raw meat can be used as a type of many dog training tools. Drag a piece of meat around the yard tied to a line or leash. The dog will be able to follow a scent trail as a result of this. Begin by walking short distances in a straight path. Create more enormous stretches of curved routes to raise the complexity gradually. Take your dog’s dog obedience exercises into the woods when it has mastered it. Leave a few snacks on the way as a reward for your dog. To avoid bacterial poisoning, do not let your dog consume the meat.

Long before you take your squirrel dog out into the woods, it will be familiar with squirrels. Drag an elderly squirrel’s tail around the yard by tying it to a pole. This will teach your dog to trust their instincts and hunt for prey, as well as familiarize them with the scent of squirrels. Finally, the dog can use this as a visual training tool. Unlike hounds and bird dogs, which hunt almost solely with their noses, a competent squirrel dog must learn to hunt with both eyes and noses.

Keep the positive reinforcement dog training brief and straightforward during these initial sessions. Allow the dog to chase the tail visually throughout the yard. End the puppy training session when the dog loses interest and reschedule it for later. Do not overdo it if you want to keep them as interested and engaged as possible.

How To Train A Squirrel Dog
  • Preparing for the Hunt

Allow the pup to be accustomed to the scent of squirrels. Start training the puppy with squirrel tails, hides, or dead squirrels at the age of three to six months. Use the time to teach your dog to check up trees for the decoy and warn you when found. Reward it with treats when it begins to bark.

Use a squirrel in a cage. If you have just a short time to get the puppy into a squirrel-infested region, this step will come in handy. Capture a live squirrel and place it in a cage. Place the caged squirrel on a raised surface, such as a stump, picnic table, or brush. Walk your dog around where the caged squirrel is kept. As the pup’s interest grows, they’ll approach in closer to investigate. Pet and encourage them whenever they start barking.

You can also do this with a rope linked to the cage of the caged squirrel. You may use the rope to raise the squirrel up a tree and get the puppy barking. Continue to the next stage once the dog constantly barks at a caged squirrel. Make sure you don’t overdo it with the caged squirrel. It’s fine to do it once or twice. At this moment, you’ll let the squirrel go. If the puppy already barks at a wild squirrel, you can skip this stage.

As one piece of dog training tips, play a game of catch-and-release. Allow a caged squirrel to run free in an area with a restricted number of trees. Get the dog to chase the squirrel. Reward the dog with food and praise even if they don’t tree. A caged squirrel should never be released more than a handful of times.

When you learn to be a dog trainer, prepare your dog for gunshots. Begin incorporating occasional gunfire into outside activities when your puppy is around 14 weeks old. First, have a friend fire a low-volume pistol filled with blanks from a safe distance. Treats can teach your dog to anticipate the sound. Reduce the length gradually while shooting the cannon into the air. Replace the blanks with actual bullets or shells in the end. Take your pet for a walk to train your dog in 15 minutes. By the age of a few months, your puppy should be ready to go hunting. Begin with a few brief workouts each week. Gradually increase the length of your sessions. Always follow up with food and praise for your dog. Also, don’t hesitate to seek help. Feel free to find some dog training videos, online dog training, and dog training coursesthat can help. There are some good online dog training courses and dog training information out there.


Starting as a puppy, you must keep your squirrel dogs in the woods. A squirrel dog requires a lot of walking to try out some dog training tricks. It would help if you began when they are puppies, allowing them to see and smell the squirrels. Then start teaching them the way to song the squirrel. Dog training necessitates using rewards; they thrive on human reward. The most important thing to teach a squirrel dog is how to stay on a tree, which is usually done by introducing them to the tree after they find a squirrel. Please put them in the woods, get them started early, and don’t give up. Some are more time-consuming than others. They’re going to do what they’ve been bred to do. Also, remember patience is an important quality for you to become a dog trainer.

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