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 Post subject: Question on tracking
 Post Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:57 pm 
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i'm new to this whole blood tracking scene and very interested in my dogs excelling at this as well as myself. I wanted to know where can I find the resources to help with training? Blood, liver, heart etc.... I live in the city(Dallas) and I don't exactly have the resources stored away in a freezer. I've got 160 acres in Cooper off of the river but lately I've only been able to go down on the weekends. Is it all about who you know and what you can get from other hunters and stock up until next season? Because so far that is the only way I've been going about it. I've got the taxidermist and a few other friends that are going to help me out but right now I'm just waiting. Any help would be greatly appreciated it! Also any suggestions on a good place for a sturdy/comfortable harness?

Another question. What is the best way to go about introducing your dog to gun fire? I got Shelby right around hunting season last year so she was around gun fire on pretty much a daily basis and is not gun shy at all, also had introduced her to deer and tracking around that time. However, Roush has never been around gun fire and he is a few months older then when I had introduced Shelby to gun fire. He also got introduced to blood tracking a few weeks ago down in Bay City and seemed to show some interest. So any suggestions on warming him up to the idea? Shelby was started out around 30.06. I've been told I should probably start the pup out around .22 or something with a light load and gradually move up to something more heavy.

Thanks in advance!


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 Post subject: Re: Question on tracking
 Post Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:05 pm 
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Here is my method for working a new gun dog. it is a good idea to start with a starter pistol using 209 primer, gradually increase distance and shot/load…. When first starting I always shoot from a distance of 50 yds if using primer or 100 yds if using 12 or 20 gauge go further out depending on the dog. if you have someone that can help; put the dog on leash at 50 or 100 yds and whoever is holding the leash have them try to guide the dog your way but not to force him; use food reward, praise or whatever you use to reward good behavior. Shoot often but pay close attention to the dogs reaction every shot don't let the dog become spooked or stressed… If the dog shows any resistance slow down or completely stop for a while or for the day. If you use food rewards and the dog does not take the food that he would normally take for good behavior, the dog is probably stressed and you should stop for the day.

Let the dog slowly work his way back to the gun it is important to let the dog work towards the shooter not vice versa. Any signs that the sound is bothering him/her back dog up or stop.

Important: I can't stress this enough, work slowly and do not force it really depends on the dog how quickly they get use to the shot they may move right in or some dogs may only move 10 yd increments each day but let them decide. One thing I can promise you is that if the dog becomes stressed and fearful of the shot just once it could be the end of his being a gun dog and it will be almost impossible to break this fear. If you are having problems try switching places and you hold the leash so the dog becomes a little more comfortable. Never force the dog closer and after the dog becomes use to the noise don’t overdo it especially in close range because the shot does bother their ears. I would train this way for a few weeks and at the start of any long hiatuses between hunts/shoots and at the start of hunting seasons until he is completely use to the bang. If you are shooting a lot of close quarters (like duck or Geese) use ear muffs on the dog


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 Post subject: Re: Question on tracking
 Post Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:57 pm 
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Great info JMC !! :-BD Thanks

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 Post subject: Re: Question on tracking
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:47 am 
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Great information and thank you!!!!! I've started taking Roush to the gun range every day this week since I only live 5 minutes away and you can already hear gunshots from the yard. I did as somebody else has informed me, first day we just went to the range and parked and sat there for a while listening to music and relaxing. Second day we went and stuck to the same routine just no music playing. Third day I went and cracked the windows a little bit. Yesterday we went and I let the windows all the way down and he was a bit more skeptical then usual but showed no signs of being scared or stressed. Today after work I plan on taking him and we'll get out and walk around for a while and see how he does. Mind you EACH time we've gone I have fed him his dinner in the car before we left each night. Been trying to get him to realize where there is gun fire there is food :))

Plan on taking Roush out this weekend and putting some work in blood trailing but also plan on bringing the .22 out and seeing how he'll react to the gunfire.

I've also got myself a tin jar filled half way with pennies that I've been banging together and shaking up each meal. They don't seem to mind much at all now, at first all it was doing was made them think I was going to take their food so they would just swallow it and not chew.


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 Post subject: Re: Question on tracking
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:05 pm 
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I like it......no wasted ammo! :))

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 Post subject: Question on tracking
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:46 pm 
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Hey if you track off lead you do not want the dog to associate food with gun fire . If he runs to gun shots off lead it is very possible that some one could shoot him . JMO I prefer my tracking dog not like the sound of guns.


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 Post subject: Re: Question on tracking
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:04 pm 
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I'll keep that in mind. As of right now I've got Shelby a harness that she associates with "tracking" as soon as I pull that harness out she is ready to do some work. I do keep my dogs off lead though. They won't range out too far, especially Roush. For what it's worth these dogs are all around dogs..... Only thing these dogs won't be doing is screwing with any cattle.

Which reminds me.... Does anybody know where I can get some good looking leather harnesses?


Lol! Robby that was the first thing I said as well!


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 Post subject: Re: Question on tracking
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:23 pm 
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Hey here is a pretty good place to get a leather harness there stuff is pricey .
http://www.fordogtrainers.com/

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 Post subject: Re: Question on tracking
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:17 am 
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Good to hear .... Sounds like you monerndized gun shot training...LOL

I agree with Camo that making them associate food to shot can make them go toward unwanted shots. If you reward wanted and good behavior with food that's one thing but if they associate shot with feedup that could be asking for trouble. I have read articles that actually gun train in this manner and they suggest the trainer shoot a starter pistel to call the dogs at feedup and also shoot while the dogs are eating. I never agreed with this method because I believe dogs can get use to the noise but IMO I don't think any dog particulary likes the bang. Some dogs adjust better to the noise but some are always timid and the training just teaches them to work and accept it. I'm not a doctor but I have lots of opinions on everything :-@ ... LOL and imo I think training by shooting while eating can have a negative effect and make the dog fearful at feeding that could cause under-eating or future digestive problems ect... And of course as Camo said it could cause death if they are headed toward unknown gunfire


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 Post subject: Re: Question on tracking
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:21 am 
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He is probably already over the initial hump with the shooting range.
I'd also let Shellby help. if she stays calm it will ease his tension. Play time is also a good time to introduce it. If he has a toy he is crazy about playing with. Just be sure you start with a very light report. No 30-06. It's hard to back up once you've overdone it.

I can see where using food as a reward could cause a problem possibly. I have introduced many many pups to gun fire over a tasty can of Alpo. My dad started his bird dog pups the same way. The food was used as a highly desirable activity rather than a reward though. Personally, I've never had one that developed any eating disorders other than gluttony. lol I do start them out much lighter with a red rider(Yep I still got one..lol) and advance from there.

I like the ear muff idea. lol. I've had several dogs go deaf in their latter years. I've always accepted it as a sign of a good dog. I figure if they have listened to me that well for that long, they deserve a little peace. My 14 year old J.R. is laying at my feet now snoring. He obviously doesn't hear a bit of it. hehe


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 Post subject: Re: Question on tracking
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:57 pm 
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Yeh a lot of the guys that goose and duck out of sitting blinds use the ear muffs, until they send the dog to retreive, it seems to help but It's the same as gun training they need to be trained so they become use to wearing them. I have also seen cotton used and I beleive there is now a plug on the market.
As far as gun training with food , like i said I have read that it is used as a training method and theres probably nothing wrong with it but I agree with Camo it could be a negative or dangerous if a dog associated a shot with eating. The shooting range was a good idea and I am sure working a dog with feedup is good. I just prefer training at a distance and closing the gap over time until the dog is next to the shooter? just a preference,i have been successsful with this method so it's what I use, which is probably the same reason you use the food method. I think we both understand the most importanat aspect is assuring it's done slowly with both shot load and distance and that it's hard to uncreate fear


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 Post subject: Re: Question on tracking
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:50 pm 
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Well I introduced Roush to gunfire over the weekend and he was a little skeptical but got over it, bothers him just a little now. Planned on bow hunting in the morning and as I was getting ready I heard Roush barking like crazy. Went out the backdoor and saw Roush had a good half dozen hogs out at the feeder behind the house so I grabbed the seventeen and called Roush back up to the house and fired off one round from about 200 yards. That hog took about 5 steps and dropped, got it right in the back of the head. I was surprised it dropped with that low caliber! I managed to shoot the only one I could see in the dark, lmao as you can see the hog was solid white and about 150 lbs little over. So I guess Roush got his first hog at 5 months.

So I decided I would wait and hunt later that evening and try and work with the pups a little. Tied the hog to the back of the ranger and drug it pretty good and far over 500 yards, I even looped completely back around to try and throw them off but it didn't work at all. I brought both of the pups out to where the hog dropped and I let Shelby get a good smell then released her but she didn't seem interested at all. I had just got done bragging about Shelby to my pops and it was his first time seeing the dogs work so that got me a little frustrated she showed no interest. So I put Shelby away and brought Roush out, I let him get a good smell and off he went with his nose stuck to the ground! He only let up once and with minimal correction he was back on it and never stopped until he found the prize at the end of the track. I was very proud of Roush considering I was just bragging to my dad before I got there about the dogs and Shelby had let me down! Roush picked up the slack though, that was his 3rd time tracking. I've been letting him just be a puppy and working with Shelby mostly. I even heard him bragging about my pup to a friend later that day, that put a big smile on my face!

Image

Sorry about the crappy photo! Camera got dropped in the water.

Also, why do you think Shelby showed no interest in the hog track? I've worked her with nothing but deer and this would have been her first hog to trail. I figure that is the reason but I'm not positive. Also I had just got done feeding the dogs.....

I let the track sit for 4 hours then put the dogs on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Question on tracking
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:57 pm 
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Actually, Shelby was vital to Roush getting over the gunfire! It was good for him to look over to Shelby and see she could care less. I'm curious, where are these plugs you speak of?


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