Well it is that time of the year where I defrost the freezer and pull out all the huge roasts of last season and as a roast defrosts it releases deer blood, and that goes right into the puppy training program.
Now as far as I am concerned, when it comes to retraining or tuning up an experienced dog as they say, the rubber meets the road during the deer season, when we have a dead or wounded deer and fresh blood on the ground.
Therefore, when it comes to experienced dogs, stop worrying about your dogs ability to perform when you need them unless... you have failed to build on the relationship, and spent time "quality time" with that dog during the "off season".
Let's define quality time: It is time spent fishing, hiking, camping, birthday parties, family BBQ's, visiting the hunting lease, the hunting camp, the beach, etc.
I think you get the picture, that the dog needs to be a regular part of the hunting club, or a part your summertime fishing trips, etc., or an active member of the family outings as much as possible, AND released from the chain, or allowed to run around the yard OUTSIDE the kennel ideally every day, or as much as possible.
And that my friends is the biggest mistake you can make as a deer hunter who wants a tracking dog and think you can park that dog in a kennel or on a chain for 7 months a year and then have a top notch blood tracking expert to help you find lost, dead or wounded deer when you really need it.