Tony J. Peterson



3 Bird Dog Training Mistakes to Avoid

There are an infinite number of ways you can screw up a puppy. Common mistakes tend to result in dogs that are just situationally annoying throughout their lives. Examples include the Lab that jumps up on every person it meets or the German shorthair that decides you aren’t being serious when you...


The ‘Shake’ Command Every Hunting Dog Should Learn

Allow me to brag a little. When I’m working my Lab anywhere that folks might walk by, she usually draws some attention. Luna is rock-solid and people seem to marvel at a dog that will wait for as long as necessary to be sent on a retrieve. But it’s another trick she does that really seems to amaze...


3 Drills Every Duck Dog Should Master

For waterfowl hunters it almost never fails: Your high hopes are dashed on the first hunt of the year when your retriever shows you his or her actual skillset. A seemingly rock-solid backyard gun dog can let you down as soon as the first woodies circle and the shotguns come up. This can be partly...


How to Train Your Dog to Retrieve 100% of Crippled Ducks

Most waterfowl dog training advice addresses good behavior in a boat or blind. This might involve steadiness, marking downed birds, or returning on command. That’s all well and good, but a major hole in a lot of dogs’ game shows up when a duck that still has plenty of life hits the water. A good...


Underrated Bird Dog Breeds You Should Consider

Check out the American Kennel Club’s rankings for the most popular dog breeds from year to year and you’ll see what you probably already knew: Labrador retrievers dominate. Going on nearly three decades now, the Lab has proven to be the most registered AKC breed out there. Golden retrievers and...


Why Your Bird Dog Should Learn Hand Signals

One of the most common mistakes amateur dog trainers make is wanting to communicate with their dogs like they communicate with people—by talking. Verbal commands are a must with dogs, but just because your pup learns to plant its butt on the ground when you say “sit” doesn’t mean that approach will...


Why Socializing a Bird Dog is Crucial

Some dogs are specialists, like the Chesie that only hunts big water ducks, or the English pointer that spends an entire fall pointing woodcock and grouse. Other dogs might be asked to retrieve everything from mallards to pheasants to shed antlers. While all these dogs share the common bond of...


The Real Difference Between American and British Labs

The hunting dog world is full of stereotypes and generalizations—none more entrenched in the bird hunters’ zeitgeist than the perceived differences between British and American Labrador retrievers. It’s commonly believed that British (or English) Labs are smaller, stockier, quieter, more easily...


How to Introduce Your Puppy to Gunfire

The good thing about gun dogs is that they will forgive you for most of your training mistakes. You can flub your way through handling duties and eventually use a few  mulligans to do things the right way—except when it comes to gunfire introduction. If you screw up this step, the odds are not in...