We are obsessed with our bird dogs. Think about it: How many articles, books and online forums did you pore over before deciding on what breed of dog to get next? How much research did, and do, you do to figure out everything from nutrition and exercise, to training and hunting? If you’re anything like me, it’s borderline unhealthy.

But between you, me and the fencepost, our dogs are worth it. They provide years of loyal companionship and are the cornerstone to making days afield memorable. It’s why we do obsess over them, and why we deserve to have some of the best equipment available to train them.

Sure, equipment alone doesn’t make the dog—genetics, you know—but having the right gear to get the job done sure can make the process a heck of a lot more successful. And fun!

DOKKEN’S DEADFOWL TRAINERS

The Dokken Deadfowl Trainer, with its hard floppy head and hard plastic feet, encourages dogs to pick it up by the soft middle. The design has been integral in helping me train proper hold during force fetch. The hard head keeps dogs from shaking, and the true-to-life weight of the dense foam body makes the process a lot more lifelike — made even more so by injecting liquid scent, if you’re so inclined.
$25 (start); deadfowltrainer.com

Dokkens-deadfowl-trainers

Dokken Deadfowl Trainer

GARMIN SPORT PRO

The Garmin Sport PRO is an economical way to effectively control up to three dogs with one system. The intuitive remote is laid out to issue commands exactly where and when you need them, regardless of the dog type of hunting style. Choose the stimulation level based on the chosen dog, and decide on continuous stimulation, momentary stimulation, vibration or tone. When training is done, the collar’s built-in BarkLimiter has settable levels so you can customize exactly what your dogs need to keep from after hours rowdiness.
$250 | garmin.com

Garmin-Sport-PRO

Garmin Sport PRO

GARMIN FENIX 5 WATCH

Smart watches aren’t necessarily a new technology, but Garmin’s Fenix 5 is the original smart watch geared for the outdoorsman and hunter. Paired with other Garmin equipment, such as the Astro or Alpha remote trainers, the Fenix 5 goes far beyond just counting steps. It allows you to track dogs from your wrist or while showing the way during hikes. And if you’re into fitness, you can track your heart rate, which comes in handy if you’re curious about how many beats per minute you hit after flushing a bird over point.
$600 | garmin.com

Garmin-Fenix-5-Watch

Garmin Fenix 5

DOGTRA Arc Handsfree

The new ARC Handsfree collar has a range of 3/4-mile. The Handsfree Remote Controller can be strapped to your wrist, to your shotgun, or anywhere you want, which allows for instant correction and the usage of both of your hands (plus you don’t have it swinging from your neck the whole day). For training and certain styles of hunting, this fully waterproof collar (built with two-hour rapid charge batteries) is a true game-changer.
$250 | dogtra.com

Dogtra-ARC-Handsfree-Collar

DOGTRA Arc Handsfree Collar

D.T. SYSTEMS CANINE COACH 360

Sometimes new dog handlers can feel a bit overwhelmed by training equipment with high price tags. If you’re interested in being a bit more frugal without sacrificing functionality, the Canine Coach is a nice entry-level option. A unit that works at home or on a hunt, it’s equipped with 16 levels of stimulation, a beep option, and a quick charge of about two hours. Perfect for the weekend warrior or everyday diehard.
$200 | dtsystems.com

D.T.Systems-Canine-Coach-360

D.T. Systems Canine Coach 360

D.T. SYSTEMS BL LAUNCHER

As a trainer of pointers who lives and dies by reliable launchers, I’ve made the BL series from D.T. Systems a permanent home in my training arsenal. Whether flinging chukars, pigeons or roosters, BL launchers are versatile tools for introducing a new retriever to its feathered quarry, or sharpening a veteran bird dog with some off-season field work. A special side-loading door allows the trap to be locked before a bird is placed—a great safety feature—and 16 launchers can by synced to a single remote.
$350 | dtsystems.com

D.T.Systems-BL-Launcher

D.T. Systems BL Launcher

SPORTDOG CONTAIN + TRAIN

Unfortunately, hunting season is a pretty small percentage of your dog’s life in a year. The vast majority of time, he’s a pet, which is why the SportDOG Contain + Train was built specifically for this unique dichotomy. Combining the usefulness of the company’s In-Ground Fence System with proven training capabilities of the FieldTrainer 425, it allows security at home and in the field. While in containment, it keeps your dog in the yard. And for training, it has a range of 500 yards, and is fully customizable for stimulation, vibration and tone.
$405 | sportdog.com

Sportdog-contain-and-train

Sportdog Contain + Train

LAELAPS

A new dog on the block, Laelaps is a GPS tracking collar that uses your smartphone or tablet to track you and the dog’s location. No proprietary handheld device and no cellular signal needed; Laelaps uses a combination of GPS, VHF radio and Bluetooth. This means no data- or battery-sucking usage on your phone. Laelaps transmits your dog’s location to a Long-Range Transceiver, clipped to your vest or belt, using a VHF radio signal. Connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth, you can easily track your dog’s position with a smartphone app.
$399 | laelapsgps.com

Laelaps

Laelaps GPS Tracking Collar

DOGWATCH BIGLEASH S-15

The Bigleash S-15 has 15 levels of electronic stimulation in both nick and continuous. Thanks to the receiver’s FireFly nightlight feature—four remote-activated LEDs that turn on with the push of a button—low light no longer means quitting time for dog work. And especially handy if hunting in the thick stuff, the exclusive In-Touch Two Way Communication displays signal strength on the transmitter’s LCD screen to indicate if a dog is in range.
$230 | dogwatchtrainingproducts.com

Dogwatch-Bigleasg-S15

Dogwatch Bigleash S-15

Zinger Winger Remote Hunt Tester G5

Zinger Winger made the G5 lighter and shorter for easier transportation. It features heavy-duty hinges and rubber tubing, three sets of anchor hooks for multiple settings, plus a Multi-Shot Sound release mechanism that fires various-caliber blanks as soon as it’s launched. Pair the G5 with a remote trainer for convenient one-person training sessions, then fling any fowl or bumper you want to prepare your dog for tests, trials or next hunting season.
$475 | zingerwinger.com

Zinger-Winger-Remote-Hunt-Tester-G5

Zinger Winger Remote Hunt Tester G5

CONQUEST SCENT STICKS

Sometimes finding training birds isn’t so easy, which is where Conquest Scent Sticks makes a suitable substitute. Duplicate the scent of the real thing while utilizing a simple bumper to lay a tracking drill or real-world retrieving scenario. Water, saliva and weather resistant, these convenient sticks are an easy way to add scent without mess. Choose from popular gamebird species, as well as rabbit, raccoon, antler and blood trail.
$13-$20 | conquestscents.com

Conquest-Scent-Sticks

Conquest Scent Sticks

GUN DOG SUPPLY COMPANY

Finding your hunting and dog training gear is easy at GDS. If you’re a dog guy like myself, this is your version of Amazon.com. Owner Steve Snell provides articles, videos and feedback on gear choices, and you can do some quality assurance by seeing what other purchasers say. Whether you’re looking for a leash or the newest high-tech GPS tracking collar, Gun Dog Supply should have a home on your web browser favorites bar.
gundogsupply.com

Gun-Dog-Supply-Company

Gun Dog Supply Company

COLLAR CLINIC

There are few things more painful than losing a remote or transmitter—but breaking one comes close. Fret not, because Collar Clinic is an answer to your prayers. In business since 1988, they can make your gear good as new again, no matter how “classic” that collar. Or if you’re considering an improved model, trade your old gear for an upgrade or try one of their budget-friendly reconditioned units.
collarclinic.com

Collar-Clinic

Collar Clinic

LCS BIRD DOG TRAINER SYSTEM

When you’re knee deep in training gear, there’s something to be said about simplicity. Case-in-point: the Bird Dog Trainer. Not only is it a rugged, flexible collar for any hunting dog, it also operates the Remote Backing Dog and Bird Launchers. It’s a great system for getting a pointer to honor. Pop the backing dog, handle your pointer to honor, then launch the pigeon to simulate a flush.
$180 (e-collar) | lcsupply.com

LCS-Bird-Dog-Trainer-System

LCS Bird Dog Trainer System

REAL DUCK TRAINING DUMMIES

My dogs absolutely destroy dummies if left to their own devices. And lots of training means bumpers take a beating. That’s why I’ve gradually begun adding Real Duck dummies to my bumper bag. They construct their training dummies out of a super durable poly firehose case. Practically indestructible, they also float thanks to a granulated cork core and hold scent.
$12-$21 | realduck.com

Real-Duck-Training-Dummies

Real Duck Training Dummies

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