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Thread: Keeping in contact with the dog??

  1. #1

    Keeping in contact with the dog??

    Apart from the obvious answer: Buy a specialist dog and start training again! I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on this little problem.
    I have two spaniels, great working dogs and have used them for rough shooting, beating and picking up for two seasons now. I am interested in training one as a deer tracking dog as I realise the necessity for having a good deer dog for possible follow up. I took one of them (the best one!) to a BDS dogs for deer day and she performed very well but was reluctant to hunt on a lead and harness and would only do her usual quartering. This was fine on the day but I feel I would lose her in thick cover if she was hot on sent.
    After some work with her I have decided to keep her as my rough shooting dog, and work with the other spaniel. She has a better nose and is more out-going, but I have the same problem, put a lead on her and she just wants to walk to heal and will not go out.
    Do you have any other suggestions apart from a lead and harness that will keep me in contact with the dog through thick cover, i.e. conifer woodland?

  2. #2
    When she finds the carcass will she stop at it?
    There is a place on this planet for all of God's creatures, right next to my tatties and gravy!!!

  3. #3
    Yes she'll stop, sniff and hang around for a while. Any training I've done with skin/feet she has retrieved to me, until I started pegging them down!!

  4. #4
    Scott, you say in your post ...was reluctant to hunt on a lead and harness...., I think that you could have hit onto the problem here. Tracking deer is not about hunting its about following a trail. When she was on the lead, was she on a pre-laid trail? If I were you, I would persevere with a collar rather than a harness and use a nylon horse lunge lead. Nylon is best as it slips through the cover and tangle less. People will argue til the cows come home about whether or not deer tracking should be done on a long lead but my view is that I would rather be in able to stop my dog and shoot the beast again than let the dog get injured, run over, lost etc. JC

  5. #5

    I agree with JC275. Lighten everything up. Washing line is another alternative that can be smooth and light weight. Start working the dog on 3'-6' and then let the line run when necessay. Start slowly with high hopes and low expectations.

  6. #6
    Cheers gents,

    I never thought of trying a lighter lead etc. I shall give it a go. I was thinking the dog should be out in front searching but I suppose if she's on the sent it doesn't matter if she's 20 feet ahead or by my side we'll still get there.

    I don't know if this warrants another thread or not but I've been looking at deer dog training books and there are a few about, any recommendations??

  7. #7
    Easy one that Scott, Working with dogs for deer, Niels Sondergaard, all you need to know. Having said this, nothing beats getting out with someone and doing a training session or even just chatting around the subject. Some may disagree but I thing basic deer dog work is pretty straightforward so don't overcomplicate matters. One of the biggest decisions you have to make when starting out is: Do you want your dog to stalk with you or just wait in the wings until needed. If its going to stalk then concetrate on steadyness and building your relationship. JC

  8. #8
    Training a dog to track is not rocket science. I've never read Sondergaards book but I'm sure it tells you all you want to know about training a dog for deer. There's no reason why you should not have a dog as a stalking companion and have it trained to track on a long lead as well.

    I wonder what it is about books on training dogs. There are so many good books on training all types of hunting dogs. What is hard to understand in these books? I've used Moxons book on training spaniels as my Bible for over 30 years and managed to turn out some reasonable working spaniels. I have a a couple of very good Swedish books on training tracking dogs. I read, learn and follow what they say and hej presto you end up with a reasonable tracking dog.
    JC275 is right as well, do a dog for deer course and talk to people.

  9. #9
    personally i don't think you hav given enough time and persistence to this
    try another method which i now use for my spaniels when trying to convert them to deer work
    i use a quick release collar as you can get from pets at home and a 10-15m long lead or just washing line at the mo will suffice
    set out a 20m blood trail , at the end of this leave a treat for the dog such as a leg or bit of liver something along those lines
    and leave for about an hour
    take the dog to the start of the trail and put the collar on
    leaving the leash dragging on the floor whilst thumbing it loosely through your fingers encourage the dog up the blood trail
    it may take quite a few trails for the spangle to actually pull ahead and realise it is actually doing something else than just heel work
    spaniels are not the brainest of dogs when it comes to change, so they may need time to adjust
    as you are teaching it now to go against what you hav trained it to do
    as you both progress then so will the lengths of the tracks

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