All right, you’ve got that Cur puppy, but what do you do now? Here are some basic dog training tips for getting that puppy started out right from two of the top breeders of Cur dogs in the country, Carl Smith and Allen Franklin.

BUILD THE BOND: This is important for any hunting dog, but Allen Franklin reminded me that this is especially important with Cur dogs. “They have to be your friend to do well,” Allen said. “The thing that makes a Cur dog so great is that he wants to please his owner.”

MASTER THE BASICS: Both Carl Smith and Allen Franklin emphasized the importance of yard work. That is, making sure that you get all the basic commands out of the way. Whatever you use to call the dog to you is the most important. It could save his life. After that, loading in the truck and walking on a leash are also essential. No dog of any breed is any use to you if he does not “handle.” The dog needs to hunt with you and for you, not just get a ride to the woods with you so he can do what he wants.

RELATED: Train Your Dog To Avoid Deadly Snakes

HUNT TRAINING: Don’t put the cart before the horse. According to Carl Smith, “Too many people concentrate on treeing first.” He continued, “We all want our dogs to tree game, but the dog has got to find the game before he can tree the game. Let your young dog learn to hunt and find game before you emphasize treeing too much.”

GET ’EM OUT THERE: I’ve heard this one my whole life, “A dog can’t learn to hunt sitting in the kennel.” There is no magic bullet to take the place of this. Take your dog to the woods, and often. Allen Franklin clarified this by saying, take your dog to the woods where there is game. Add plenty of patience and perseverance along the way and before you know it you will have a tree dog.

RELATED: The Original Mountain Cur: A Classic American Hunting Dog

This article originally published in AMERICAN FRONTIERSMAN®  Issue #191. Print and Digital Subscriptions to AMERICAN FRONTIERSMAN®  magazine are available here.