As much as possible, I have always advised everyone to get a puppy or started dog because it is easier to get that going than it is to 'make' a finished dog hunt for a new 'owner'.
All that being said, I have also come to the realization that 95% of the calls I get is for finished dogs. Because of that, I have made adjustments in my breeding and training methods to accomodate the 'finished dog market'.
One of the things I have done is to socialize my dogs as much as possible to facilitate a smooth transfer from me to you, the finished dog customer. None the less important to consider is the fact that a finished dog will not be a gaurantee that you are buying a dog that will work for you.
And if you buy a finished dog that was trained by me and spent years with me, your chances of getting that dog to hunt is increased or deminished by whether or not I can train you to the dog.
And I can sum that up in 2 words, RAW MEAT, and secondly, a hungry dog hunts.
Meaning you should use road kill as much as possible in the off season...
Above you can see Jesse guarding a frozen block of raw meaty bones which is fed to my dogs year round. I am the owner and operator of a blood trail dog training facility, and I feed my dogs as much as 60-80% raw beef, goat, sheep, and deer meat year round.
And if you take a finished dog to a kill site and allow them to eat some of the spoils of a deer kill, I promise you, that dog wants to go and do it again. Soon you got a 'best friend' who knows you got his back, and he will get out there and help you put meat on the table. 'A worker is worthy of his wages.'
Above is 3 eggs, 3 deer steaks, grits, cheese, all smothered in garlic, onion, bell pepper, and celery gravy, and topped with fresh jalapeno curly q's, which is how I cook breakfast during hunting season, and some of that is for the dog who took it on the head yesterday stopping a very motivated and slightly wounded buck, as seen below.
In fact here is a photo of that buck that injured the dog above, which was only slightly wounded and standing up on his hind legs to slam the dogs with his antlers... Notice the deer broke off his antlers on the right side!
Another thing I can not impress enough on finished dog buyers is: you better plan on making your finished dog a 'pet' when it ain't hunting season, and I mean let the kids play with him, turn 'em loose as much as possible, and he or she sleep in the house on cold or bad weather nights year round.
Do not kennel or tie them up 24/7 in theeoff season and expect for that dog to work for you come hunting season!
And if you feel you need to do training exercises in the off season, be sure to make it fun and don't blame the dog if he is not interested in playing games! Training exercises should be more geared to obedience and training the dog to be easy to handle than actually trying to 'teach' the dog to track wounded deer. The actual blood trail dog training occurs during deer season when you have lost track of dead or wounded deer on your own and need to bring in the special canine forces in to help.
For instance in the photo above is a track taken in the bayou below, why would a deer use a dry bayou as an escape route after being shot?
Because in that dry bayou, the deer was low and hidden from the sight of the surrounding area, and most importantly, he could haul ass and put a lot of distance between himself and the hunter.
You will never make training tracks as complicated and difficult as a wounded deer in survival mode.
A mature buck with some motivation behind him will swim rivers, cross swamps, go through thickets, climb moutains, cross roads, and do the unthinkable when wounded, and you will never duplicate that in training.
Do work those man made training tracks if you want, but I have come to learn it is far better for me to drop a finished dog with 2 or 3 started dogs at a hunting club or game preserve for the hunting season to give the dogs real life experience and allow them to 'learn from hunting' rather than learn from me by creating man made fresh blood tracks in my blood trail dog training facility.
Hey, my name is Marcus de la Houssaye, I am a breeder of Louisiana Catahoulas and I can be reached at 337 298 2630 by cell phone. I live in Lafayette, Louisiana, and I am here if you need training or more info about a finished, or started dog for Blood Trail Dog work..
Next post, I want to talk about why training for the interdigitary gland alone is too limited.