Let's go back to nature.
In the wild a dog's natural diet is raw meat from a fresh kill or aged meat from a scavenged find.
Either way, a dog does not hunt unless it is hungry!
So if you are feeding your dog right before you need them to hunt for you, they are not motivated by natural insticts, which goes back to the wolf.
Furthermore if you are feeding your dog the dried store bought crap most of us are led to believe is dog food, your dog may not know what real dog food is.
Here is Little Ray, double glass eyes, yellow leopard, three years old, notice his lean athletic physique, he was born on my property, and has been eating raw meat all his life. He is a natural when it comes to finding dead or wounded deer or hogs. He will also catch if the deer if it tries to get up and run. Lil Ray handles very well, is house broke, loves to ride in the truck or boat and does not range out very far without checking back when not on a leash. Although I reccommend using a tracking collar on all blood dogs, I don't feel like you really need one on Lil Ray.
This is Bud, he is not my blood line, but in spite of not having any spots or blue eyes he is all Catahoula. Bud was only a year old when the deer season rolled around last year so I haven't worked him as much as some of the older more seasoned dogs. He is silent on the track and works well off or on leash, but can at times pull hard. He has a very good appetite, and if you keep him lean during the hunting season he is very motivated to hunt for you, knowing he gets to feast on raw venison when he finds your lost deer and id the honored guest back at the camp. He may not be the best dog for a lady or child not familiar with handling a strong puller.
Here is Jesse's nose it is at least 10,000 times more powerful than your own.
Here at de la Houssaye's Catahoulas we live as close to nature as possible.
Here is a block of frozen meaty bones that I got from the meat market. These are government inspected raw meaty beef bones.
Here is Jesse in the photo below with a box of frozen, government inspected raw meaty bones thawing out on my driveway.
Here is Jesse unable to wait for the meat to thaw, and pulling off chunks of frozen meat-sicles.
Raw meat is a dogs natural diet. When a dog eats a natural diet it improves the immune system, stamina, and overall health. It also improves the dogs sense of smell, and well being. Many times after people start their dogs on raw meat, they tell me their dogs have never been happier or healthier. My daughter noticed that her dog smell better, after I keep Beauty here for a few weeks, because the dogs coat does not have the same smell as it does after eating the dried crap her mother feeds. Many times people advise me that my dogs do not smell like "a dog". Meaning: they don't stink.
I don't know what animal by products is, but it is the main ingredient in many commercial dog foods, and I don't like the way it smells when it comes out the back end of my dog.
When I feed my dogs raw meat, it doesn't stink like "normal" dog feces.
Here is Lulu, enjoying her first taste of venison on a doe that was located the day after it died.
Unfortunately we can't always find a deer in time to save the meat for human consumption, but it can be salvaged into the dogs and puppies diet to reinforce their appreciation and motivation for being blood trail dogs.
My pupppies begin eating raw meat as soon as they are eating solid food.
Many people apparently fail to realize that the raw meat diet is a dog's natural diet and not only that. It is essential in my opinion to easily start and a train a puppy to be a blood trail dog if it grows up eating raw meat from the beginning. By eating raw meat all thier life, my dogs know that the smell of blood leads to food, because they have been nutritionally satisfied eating raw meat since before they were weaned.
Do not feed raw meat exclusively, it can and should be the major percentage of the dogs diet if you can get it, but always give some dried dog food or whole wheat bread in addition to meat.
At five months old, these started pups have been eating raw beef and venison all their life. I have a friend who de-bones deer during the hunting season and mixes the meat with beef and pork to make custom order smoked sausage for deer hunters.
Guess who gets the deer bone carcasses to feed to his puppies? Yah me. And if you are a member of a hunting club, freeze the deer bones for treats in the off season, the tarsal glands, and some strips of deer hide for pull toys with your puppies year round.
As I research and study the information being presented about blood dogs I am in awe how much misconception and misinformation is in circulation.
Here is a link to a site with a list of hunter mistakes and misconceptions:
I am looking for issues which are not being presented that I believe are important and one the biggest points being left out is the diet of a blood dog in training and handling.
Two things to consider here:
Raw meat is a dog's natural diet and a hungry dog is motivated to hunt.