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Thread: what do you put at the end of a trail in the absence of bambi?

  1. #1

    what do you put at the end of a trail in the absence of bambi?

    I am getting on well training my pup and have started her on waidwerk in the absence of real blood. This works well ( so far). She has followed the trails I have left for her, although relatively short (up to 50 metres), perfectly. They have not been observed by her as I setthe trail and I have even left the last one for 20 mins before taking her to the start point.
    Although it is early doors I am curious what people place at the end of a trail in the absence of a deer carcass or part of, do you:

    1. Use a treat, acting as a reward or will this lead the dog into false lessons/expectations? I am sure when I put her near a carcass she will be super excited, and be reward enough.

    2. Use her favourite toy, again rewarding and keeps the dog excited. Also could get her thinking its play time not work time.

    3. Just praise her (lots) hoping this will be enough, coupled with her enjoyment from following a trail.

    I am keen to avoid training errors producing bad habits, I also dont want her on an easter egg hunt without any eggs at the end, if I do my bit right she will be an absolute cracker.

    Thanks in advance for your advice?

  2. #2
    In the absence of carcass bits I've used food before now. Raw meat or something else equally tasty and special, you want the dog motivated so don't make it something she can have any time. A little bit of hide works well too, as it smells right. Mostly now with mine I use one of the hooves I've used for laying the trail, she gets to carry it back to the car and have a play, then I take it off her and give her a treat.

    Edit: forgot to say, I wouldn't want.to use just praise as the dog needs to find something so that she knows the trail is finished. Later if she loses a trail you'll want her to hunt around and pick it up again to find her prize, which she won't do if she's not expecting to find anything, as she won't know she hasn't finished.
    Last edited by SimpleSimon; 15-08-2015 at 19:25.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleSimon View Post
    In the absence of carcass bits I've used food before now. Raw meat or something else equally tasty and special, you want the dog motivated so don't make it something she can have any time. A little bit of hide works well too, as it smells right. Mostly now with mine I use one of the hooves I've used for laying the trail, she gets to carry it back to the car and have a play, then I take it off her and give her a treat.
    Simon, thanks for the quick response. I used some cooked chicken last time but was keen to avoid her believing chicken grows in the woods.Can you talk me through how you lay your trails with a hoof? Are you using blood or just the scent of the hoof?Many thanksslots

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by fresh slots View Post
    Simon, thanks for the quick response. I used some cooked chicken last time but was keen to avoid her believing chicken grows in the woods.Can you talk me through how you lay your trails with a hoof? Are you using blood or just the scent of the hoof?Many thanksslots
    This is just my way of doing things and there are uundoubtedly others. I started her off on only blood, same as you. When she was confident I added in the hoof scent, I don't have scent shoes or anything fancy, I just hold the hoof and stoop around! I'm now at the stage where I'm phasing out the blood, using a drop every few paces and maybe an extra squirt where the trail changes direction, the plan being eventually that she'll be able to track just the hoof scent. I build up distance at the same time, and different terrains wwith direction changes. Every time I make it harder in terms of terrain I'll make it easier by using more blood. The dog needs to succeed as far as possible, and if she loses a track and can't regain the trail then next time I'll make it easier again to build her confidence.
    I've no doubt that if I'd been more consistent with her early training she'd have already achieved that standard, but at 18 months old she's still young enough and thankfully I did get her obedience and basics sorted first.
    See my blog for - My kindly sponsored DSC1 course and chart my progress from deer virgin to stalking veteran
    AND my new puppy progress DIARY
    Blog

  5. #5
    I just have the hoof that i laid the trail with tied at the end of the track. When the dog find the hoof i give loads of praise and we have a tug of war with the hoof for a short while then i give the command, dead and the track is over. Happy me and happy dog.

  6. #6
    fresh slots you don't say how old the pup is or what type, are you using scent shoe or just dropping blood on the floor every so often, It would be good to here more of what you are doing and want to achieve, firstly the dog needs success every time.
    Work the dog hungry this will give drive to the hound and also focus the mind.
    At the end that dog needs so much praise and time with the handler play with the pup, rag a skin around build confidence use a head or skin and drag it away from the pup this will encourage the dog to chase and play, dont confront the dog with a head and rush the pup it will only make it back off and put negativity into the pup. Play and have fun then feed the dog, fill it up and come away on a high, dogs spend ages mulling their experiences over and next time the dog will remember and have such drive to succeed. keep doing this and build on experience. Never go too fast and too far, you will only go backwards which is bad, dont keep working the same thing again the dog will get bored again making you and the hound go backwards.
    I would not put food down on the track this is a bad habit and will result in your dog eating what it finds.
    get scent shoes and have others lay the trail marking properly so you know your dog is working it. the dog will very quickly learn to follow you not the trail and also learn markers, giving you false sence of achievements. use the larger species of deer to lay tracks roe is not good on a young dog and you will end up struggling in real situations using roe.
    Anyone else who wants to do tracking needs to use shoes it is the best method for laying a trail, the dog knows the difference between false and real but its the following of that track you get someone to lay that is important.
    This is why food and playtime give the drive for the dog to succeed, please do give us more info on you and your dog and we can build on this, atb wayne.
    Last edited by mereside; 16-08-2015 at 13:07.

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  7. #7
    Not wishing to butt in, but I am the start of tracking trying. When laying slots how does the dog distinguish between a wounded and unwonted deer. And is it ok to use a park type area to lay trails - lots of other smells but not deer and it's two minutes away, whereas deer areas are a good 40 minutes (we live in town). And should you track on a leash, or just let then find their own way.

    I have trained gun dogs but not deer dogs before.

  8. #8
    Wayne,
    Thanks for the response. The pup has just reached 1 yr, i may be slightly behind the power curve but work has had me abroad for a significant period.
    She is a wire haired viszla pointer x.(see picture)
    I have been using waidwerk and just the shaking it from a bottle at arms length and intermittently so it is not one long line, making it too easy.
    I currently do not have scent shoes but will look at making some up ( not justifying buying them to the wife).
    I am intent on her stalking with me she points well at deer already and improves everytime i take her near them. I also want her to be able to track shot animals, her nose is significantly better than mine.
    In the absence of a hide or a hoof I was considering using 1 specific toy, pre scented withthe blood to keep it interesting. I like th idea of feeding her after she has worked hard.
    Thanks for the advice and any more you have is appreciated.

    Rgds

    Slots
    Quote Originally Posted by mereside View Post
    fresh slots you don't say how old the pup is or what type, are you using scent shoe or just dropping blood on the floor every so often, It would be good to here more of what you are doing and want to achieve, firstly the dog needs success every time.
    Work the dog hungry this will give drive to the hound and also focus the mind.
    At the end that dog needs so much praise and time with the handler play with the pup, rag a skin around build confidence use a head or skin and drag it away from the pup this will encourage the dog to chase and play, dont confront the dog with a head and rush the pup it will only make it back off and put negativity into the pup. Play and have fun then feed the dog, fill it up and come away on a high, dogs spend ages mulling their experiences over and next time the dog will remember and have such drive to succeed. keep doing this and build on experience. Never go too fast and too far, you will only go backwards which is bad, dont keep working the same thing again the dog will get bored again making you and the hound go backwards.
    I would not put food down on the track this is a bad habit and will result in your dog eating what it finds.
    get scent shoes and have others lay the trail marking properly so you know your dog is working it. the dog will very quickly learn to follow you not the trail and also learn markers, giving you false sence of achievements. use the larger species of deer to lay tracks roe is not good on a young dog and you will end up struggling in real situations using roe.
    Anyone else who wants to do tracking needs to use shoes it is the best method for laying a trail, the dog knows the difference between false and real but its the following of that track you get someone to lay that is important.
    This is why food and playtime give the drive for the dog to succeed, please do give us more info on you and your dog and we can build on this, atb wayne.

  9. #9

  10. #10
    Slots, great stuff, firstly you need to make trails as close to the real thing, you started your dog off with false blood which has got the hound to work now you need to step it up and start laying proper tracks, at the beginning if you are using blood put a small amount to replicate shot site then use red or similar cleave to lay simple tracks 4 hrs plus so the air scent has dissipated and the dog works nose down on scent alone focus the dogs nose. And build on this slowly.
    See how you get on.
    Heym sorry only just seen your post, there are many ways a dog distinguishes the differences between injured and none injured deer, training in real situations, bacteria in the ground and cleave scent to particles being left from the deer all give off a distinct signature. Just training a dog to follow a track is only part of the puzzle. Start off laying simple tracks in areas without much distraction and then when you both have it nailed make it harder when you are then confident your dog will succeed build again on difficulty, always giving success and not going too far too fast. Always work the dog on a long leash to be able to keep in control Atv Wayne.
    Last edited by mereside; 17-08-2015 at 21:36.

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