Friday, January 15, 2010

The Deer Season Comes To An End

Leading a group of six month old pups down a fresh blood trail on their first training exercise.

As deer hunting season comes to an end, I am getting a lot of calls from people realizing that they want an experienced blood trail dog ready for next year.

Also got several calls from hunters who have Blood Hounds and are considering a Catahoula because the Blood Hounds are too big to handle in the brush. I prefer a smaller dog for blood trailing because they are not as demanding at feeding time(year round) and are easy to load on an ATV or mule.

One of the most important things that people who use blood trail dogs must consider in handling a trailing dog is the dogs diet. And on that note, I recommend feeding raw meat as much as possible, because it is a canines natural diet and helps the dog develop an appetite for the treat that awaits them at the trails end.

Here is a tip many people don't seem to understand about handling a blood trail dog during hunting season: always restrict the dogs diet slightly during hunting season to increase the dogs motivation and interest in finding the meat at the end of the trail, and never feed a dog the day before you hunt.

Also; remember to advise everyone in the camp NOT to feed the dog the day you hunt.

I have heard repeated complaints about dogs that did not seem to be interested in trailing and later they found out someone felt sorry for the dog and fed it when no one was looking.

One more thing: always allow the dog to hang around while the game is being skinned out, and especially reward him throughout the process of dressing out the deer with verbal praise and pieces of organ meat and bones to chew on.

Good idea to invite him to the bar-b-que too, and continue to heap the praise and head rubbing to reward them for being the hero who made the feast possible!

Periodically throughout the summer, it is a good idea to refresh your dogs interest in trailing by laying out a new trail in a different area or new direction than the last exercise you worked them on.

Always have some kind of treat, canned dog food, or sliced liver and at the very least use dry dog food at trails end.

If you would like to talk to me about buying or training a dog you already own, call me at 337 298 2630

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