Dogster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How Long Will It Take to Train a Duck Dog? Expert Tips & FAQ

Written by: Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Last Updated on April 9, 2024 by Dogster Team

black retriever hunting duck

How Long Will It Take to Train a Duck Dog? Expert Tips & FAQ

Training a duck dog is a great way to enhance your hunting efforts and get better results. Retrievers are typically the best at duck hunting because that’s what they were bred for. However, many breeds can be trained as duck dogs, including Water Spaniels, Poodles, and Pointers. Whatever breed of dog you have, training should always be a priority if you want them to function as a duck dog. But how long will it take to train a duck dog? Generally, it will take up to two years to complete the training. Here’s what you should know.

divider-pawIt Can Take a Couple of Years to Fully Train a Duck Dog

Training a duck dog is not a short or easy process. While your dog can be ready to retrieve ducks or at least help you track them down within about 6 months, it can take more than 18 months to completely train your dog and turn them into a reliable hunting companion that never lets you down. Some dogs catch on quicker than others, and some dogs take a little longer than the average to take to their training. Therefore, there is no way to know exactly how long it will take you to fully train a duck dog.

When Should Duck Dog Training Begin?

You should start training your dog to hunt ducks as soon as you bring them home for the first time or as soon as possible thereafter. It’s never too late to start training, but the earlier you begin, the better results you’re bound to get. Training starts with socialization. Your dog needs to know how to react to different people, places, and noises. They should learn how to maintain their focus and to immediately follow commands no matter what is going on around them.

The idea is to socialize your pup until they are confident in any situation that they find themselves in. This confidence will be necessary when it’s time to start training in water and on hunting grounds. Obedience training must also take place before duck hunting training. Sitting, staying, fetching, and healing are all important commands that your dog should know well before you even consider duck dog training.

dog training outdoor
Image By: Rolf Klebsattel, Shutterstock

Tips for Training a Duck Dog

It is possible to train your dog as a duck dog on your own, but unless you’ve been professionally trained to do so, it is a good idea to seek guidance along the way. We suggest investing in professional training and sending yourself and your dog to “school,” at least in the beginning, to ensure that you’re both on the right track. If that isn’t possible, take your time and make sure you’re confident in the training techniques that you’ll be utilizing before doing so.

You can use online training guides like the one offered by Ducks Unlimited to get started. You can also enroll in online courses through organizations like the Cornerstone Gundog Academy for detailed instruction if you feel that you need it. Websites like Gun Dog Supply sell a variety of different training DVDs and resources to help lead to a successful training experience.


Training a gun or duck dog is a great deal of work, but it’s usually well worth it. A reliable duck dog can help ensure success whenever you head out on hunting trips. Your duck dog is sure to become a loving and confident companion that you enjoy spending time with even when you aren’t out hunting!

See Also: 

Featured Image Credit: PxFuel

Get Dogster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Dogster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.