Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Darkside of the HSUS - Part 1

Friday, February 24, 2012

Consumer Alert from HumaneWatch

HSUS raises over $130 million from the public annually, yet gives only 1 percent of that to pet shelters. It doesn’t run any pet shelters. And the animals it does rescue, it dumps off at local shelters?

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.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Running Hot Deer

I am from The South, and I have what we call "a handle" on my dogs, so I prefer to work off leash. My handle is a verbal one, and it amazes everyone.

But... I am leaning toward advising everyone to start, train and track on leash because if the dog eventually can work off leash, then they can in the end, go either way, but for training purposes, at least in the beginning, you must use a leash at least some of the time. Another thing is, most people have legal restrictions regarding leash laws and most, do not have a verbal handle like I do.

When it comes to trashing breaking or running hot deer, a leash is a must because I can control the dogs range and focus, when they are leashed. And here is one of my pet peeves when I am tracking: I do not like to raise my voice in the woods.

And NO! I don't want my dogs to run hot deer, but if they are not on a leash, and they have a fun dash for a couple hundred meters after jumping a deer,

and then check back with me, I can't fault the dogs, and hold it against them, because I allowed it to happen by not leashing to start with.

My best dogs have always been the ones who have had a lot of time, freedom and space to just go be a dog, on their own off-time, but when I put them on a leash, it means business.

Because a blood dog should almost always be on a leash for most people, I don't advise "training" on hot deer.

Another possible factor is breeding: never, ever let a large hound start running hot deer if you want him to track blood. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER! Or you will be sorry! Now are there exceptions to the rule? Yes, and the size of breed such as Daschund or beagle could be exceptions,

and one other exception may be to ignite a puppy's prey drive in their first year.

On the other hand a cur(which is short range breed)may not be adversely affected by running hot deer for fun time training.

It really depends on the dog, the logistics, and the legalities. MY STRONGEST WORD OF CAUTION: If your dog is interested in running hot deer, and you don't want them to do that, just keep them leashed, and try not to harshly discipline the dog in any way around deer.

I confess: I am a recovering control freak, and I do not like the idea of my working dogs doing anything but what I want them doing.

But with balance in mind, what is more important than training, is for the dog to have freedom, time, space, and just be a dog sometimes.

In that; there will always be the occasional jump and dash on hot deer, but I don't want to make it a negative or positive focus on MY part and influence it one way or the other.

Because I am in training to work off leash, I prefer to not react too quick and wait to see if the dog will correct them self.

Dogs have a huge capacity to store data about the world they smell, and they smell the world in the same way we see the world: It is their primary sensory input. What that means is they analyse and memorize the world via scent data.

I believe being free and off leash as much as possible in the off season is very important, because if dogs are exploring new smells all during the off season, they are familiar with those smells come hunting season, and are thus not distracted. I also believe that a dog needs to train them self in the woods, and learn to control them self as much as possible.

A high prey drive dog is an excellent tracker and it is a challenge to teach them not to chase everything.

But once they are desensitized in the off season to all the smells that they will encounter, then they learn to focus on the one and only track blood.

Sometimes for the sake of balance we actually have to put a blood dog on a healthy deer for an advanced training exercise in the off season. And the point of allowing your dog to run a healthy deer is to allow the dog the opportunity to experience the scent of a running deer in contrast to the scent of a wounded deer. One more thing: the dog also experiences the fact there is no reward for tracking running deer.

The dog can tell if it is a hot, healthy deer or a wounded one by the scent of the track because the inter digital gland produces a different scent in a wounded deer. When tracking blood, I get the feeling the dog knows if it's a mortal wound or not within the first 10-15 minutes, but even if it is not, they press on with that individual track because we are asking them to follow blood, and not track scent.

Given enough time and experience in the off season, blood dogs not only become accustomed to scent, but logistics and equipment too.

As you can see in these photos, where I hunt we have a lot of water. So here in south Louisiana, a blood dog needs to get accustomed to swimming and being in boats.

Because of the short hair and so much water, I found a blaze orange, neoprene, insulated vest with extra floatation for Jessie this past summer.
This was not the first vest he has worn. He also wears a cut vest for hog hunting which is heavier, and also stiffer.

When I first started fitting him with the neoprene, he didn't like the feel of it. The neoprene was snug and it fit him like a latex glove, so it took about 5 or 6 fittings before he settled into it.

The point I want to make here is that owning a top blood trail dog requires year round, off season exercises that should include all of the equipment and logistics of an actual blood trail during hunting season. Some of these drills need to be repeated again and again to get the dog acclamated to the program.

And one thing they will have to deal with during hunting season is live, hot, healthy, running deer. Best if you work out any issues about running deer during the off season if possible. And it is an issue you may need to test again and again, year after year. Sometimes it takes a few years for a dog to realize there is no reward in running deer. It may require 3-4 years before a dog just stands there, off leash and watches a deer run off without giving chase.

If you had hoped to train and ultimately work your dog off leash, you will be dealing with this, one way or the other, sooner or later. The final decision may be that your dog cannot be trusted off leash, and you make the adjustment come hunting season and work him on a leash, until such time that he can be trusted. What most people are going to have difficulty accepting is that purposely running hot deer in the off season, could actually be useful as a training exercise for puppies.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dog Stolen 1/28/2012 In Grosbec, Texas

I hope we find Blue, he is not just a bay pen dog, he is John's daughters' pet!
If you have any information call John (417) 489-3015

This is a puppy photo, the dog is now much larger.

DOG THIEF!!!! We(Marmon Catahoulas) had an 8 month old male Catahoula pup stolen from Skipper Dotsons baying Saturday night while we were baying our older male in the one dog. The theft occurred in Grosbeck, Tx. Please call John Marmon with any info 417-489-3015 Thank you

There is a $ 700.00 reward for the recovery of this dog !

It was taken 2 weeks ago out of Grosbeck Texas.

Notice the patches around the eyes. One goes up, one goes down, and he also has a white patch on the black part of his nose . This dog should be very easy to identify and is presently about 8 months old.

The reward will be paid upon revovery of the dog . He could be as far as Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, or Mississippi, or still be in Texas.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Too Much Handle?

I am copying and pasting this from a Facebook post by Bridgitte G. Knapp:

Some people in the Catahoula world have said to me that I have too much handle on my dogs or have told others that I have too much handle on my dogs.. I say "screw you" I am sorry to be ugly but I really do not care what these people think any more.

My dogs are the way they are because I spend more time with them then I do my family... I Love My Dogs!!!

I leave my house at 7:20am 5 mornings per week and I get home between 5:30 and 7:00 pm 5 nights a weeks. As soon as I get home, I change clothes and it is out with the dogs. Weekends it is the same thing.. I play, love, feed and clean kennels 7 days a week. I do not care how tired I am because it is not their fault and I always feel better after I came in from being with all of them...

My dogs listen to me and love me and respect me because WE ARE A TEAM and NO OTHER REASON.. Do I scold them and discipline them? You are darn right I do, but for every scold they get for not doing what was asked of them there is way more positive for doing a good job... My dogs get out of their kennels everyday and have free time with me.. Not just every once in a while but EVERYDAY!!!

So again for those who say too much handle... it is love and respect for me that gets the job done. They want to do good for me and I am proud of every dog I have.....