Training a dog is a personal choice as always but there are some methods that work much better with Hamiltonstovare than others. I have trained my guys mainly at home but I do work in a formalized way with them from time to time. The first key component of any well trained dog is socialization. Take your dog everywhere and as often as possible from as early an age as possible. A good breeder should start that process for you, they should easily be able to tell you where they take their dogs and how often. If they can't do that, run away as fast as you can. True, Hamiltonstovare aren't an at risk breed for aggression but a breeder should try their best to better the temperament as often as possible.
The first thing you should do when bringing your new puppy home at 10-14 weeks, any earlier is a huge no-no, is enroll them in a puppy manners class that focuses on crate training, socialization, manners, and some introduction to obedience. The puppy manners class should focus on letting the puppy make good choices and enforcing those positive choices. After the puppy manners class, they should start a basic obedience class that puts emphasis on sit, stay, come, down, heel, and using those skills at will. Hamiltonstovare that are trained well from a good trainer should never need a prong choke collar or a gentle leader. Gentle leaders have become very popular as a training tool recently and almost every single person I have seen use them, use them incorrectly. Gentle leaders are designed for one purpose, to discourage pulling on the leash as a last resort. It is not a training tool to be kept on during a training exercise, a hike, or anything after the dog is properly trained. Gentle Leaders are only to be used on adult dogs that are done maturing, for Hamiltonstovare that is over 2 years of age. If you have trained your dog properly then you should NEVER need to use one. Hamiltonstovare have long necks and the possibility for injury using a Gentle Leader is great. Gentle Leaders can cause neck injuries, muzzle phobia issues, and if put on incorrectly permanent nerve and spinal damage.
Training a Hamiltonstovare is actually remarkably easy if you have one key component, food. Hamiltonstovare are highly food motivated and will do practically anything for food. I have trained 2 dogs to a CGC and one to a CGCA using food. At home I train tasks 100% off leash using food. Alice is my trickster and she knows several tricks that we all taught while having her wait for dinner. Alice knows sit, down, wait, speak, roll over, sit-up, shake, wave, high five, back-up, and touch. Rolo is learning but he knows sit, down, wait, speak, say his name (he goes Ro Ro), sit-up, back-up and touch. Rolo is in training for agility and is progressing very well with that training thanks to food and an item called a Lotus Ball.
With Raven and Selene, we are doing things much earlier and the results have been incredible. Raven has started some Rally-O training recently and she is loving it. Raven is being trained using the clicker. Clicker training has really helped her understand the importance of good choices, immediately. Selene is highly toy driven, the most toy driven dog I have ever seen, and she has started some agility training. She adores it.
The main key to training a Hamiltonstovare is finding the thing that motivates them and exploiting it to do things that you want them to do. Hamiltonstovare, like most scent hounds, respond horribly to negative reinforcement. Anything from yelling, prong collars, gentle leaders, some types of choke chains; can actually do more harm than good. Trust is key with Hamiltonstovare, they respond best to an owner that allows them to work and progress at their own pace.
Here are some key Do's when training Hamiltonstovare:
Work with them daily using positive reinforcement
Challenge their brain on a regular basis, Hamiltons are very bright, use it to your advantage
Use food as a reinforcement
Take them everywhere possible
Try anything with them from weight pull, lure coursing, rally, agility, etc.
Find a trainer that understands how to train a hound
Here are some key Don't's when training Hamiltonstovare:
Use a gentle leader on a dog under 2 years of age
Yell, hit, or any form of negative reinforcement
Make them do something they they don't want to do
Expect more out of them than what is realistically possible
Use a prong collar or gentle leader unless it is an absolute last resort for the dog's safety
The most important thing to remember when training Hamiltonstovare is to have fun. If you are having fun then that will travel down the leash to them and they will have fun. Hamiltonstovare are incredibly versatile and have the ability to excel in agility, dock diving, lure coursing, weight pull, rally-o, obedience, fly ball, trick training, service dog work, therapy dog work and pretty much anything you can think of, they can do it.