Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Many people are calling me wanting to buy blood trail dogs that are fully trained or "finished" as we say in the working dog business. They want a dog trained by "me" to do what "they" want, when they want, how they want, and ohhh, it better not do anything they don't want! They so they want to invest money in a dog, and not time.

The reality is the dog trained by me knows "my program" and is fully capable of doing its job, and knowing right from wrong. But that dog no matter how "finished" it is, is operating in relation to me, my yard, my way of hunting, and it cannot transfer all of its training and obedience to another person without an adjustment period of at the very least a few days or perhaps weeks. Now perhaps the time frame can be shortened with someone like me who has a way with animals. But, the dogs ability to know right from wrong comes from investing time in a relation to the new surroundings and getting to know the new person that now "owns" them and that means it takes time for a dog to figuire out what you want and don't want! Blood trailing is teamwork between a man and a dog.

They want to "buy" love, devotion, loyalty, servitude, and relationship.

It seems to me that we are a consumer driven society who want instant gratification. If we buy a tool, game or a toy, we want it to work the day we buy it and when we turn it on any time there after. But a dog, however well bred, well raised, experienced, and well trained, is still a social creature and requires socialization, adaptation, and training within the context of a new location and a new relationship with a new owner.

I had a very serious buyer in Ohio, call this week, wanting a dog that could be trusted not to kill fawns on a deer farm where they have newborn fawns in a pen.

Sounds to me like I need to train them and not the dog! Although it is possible for me to train a dog to respect the boundary of that fence, it would require me and the dog to travel to Ohio where the fence is and train the dog there at the farm.

I cannot train a dog in my yards to respect a fence in Ohio unless I take the dog to Ohio and train it there.

It all comes down to my potential customer failing to understand a fundamental concept of relationship. These people perhaps have had some of the German Shepards they own, killing fawns in the past and now they want a trained dog that will trail deer blood, but not harm a newborn in a pen. And that is a perfectly resonable expectation, but not of a dog that was raised by someone else and in another state.

That is possible to accomplish, but consider that a newborn fawn wreaks the smell of blood for sometime after birth, and that smell may drive a dog crazy if the dog is not raised there as a puppy on the farm and understands harming a newborn is forbidden.

Now this is common sense to me, but it appears that many people calling me do not have experience with training dogs or Catahoulas and fail to understand how sensitive a Catahoula is about pleasing its master.

If you have a good relationship with a Catahoula, they will live and die to please you.

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