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Thread: cocker for tracking deer ????

  1. #1

    cocker for tracking deer ????

    I've got a 5 month old cocker bitch which I'm currently training as a gundog .Can I train her for deer as well or will it spoil her as a gundog ?
    What's the best age to start training her at if it is possible ? I have no experience with deer dogs do they help spotting deer or are they soley used for tracking ?
    Can anyone recommend a good book to buy ?

  2. #2
    IMO all of the gundog breeds have sufficient nose for the job of tracking wounded deer but some lend themselves to the job more than others. For centuries spaniels have been used to hunt, flush and retrieve game. In training your cocker you will spend many hours perfecting a controlled quartering hunt action within range of shot. Depending on many things you may find this a bit of a challenge especially with a cocker. Having achieved a quartering action would you really wish to then allow the young dog to learn to track deer in a straightish line. Maybe for some but I must admit that I would not go there.

    I can see a much older dog who is a veteran of rough shooting being adapted to track deer but my honest opinion is that you more than likely bought your cocker as a gundog, stick with that and if needed get another dog for deer.

  3. #3
    Have got a cocker dog myself and he's trained virtually soley for game, i.e pheasant partridge. I've taken him stalking a few times but he's a very energetic dog (as are 99% of cockers) and just isn't used to staying at heal for so long. I've had him on a couple of blood trails to try him out and he worked a treat so I leave him at home when stalking, safe in the knowledge if I need a track he's upto the job.


  4. #4
    My cocker would track and does track game, excellent nose. As yet untried on deer but have no doubt she would follow a blood scent as a matter of course. She does love venison. However you create a problem when they follow a scent to the exclusion of all other things. A problem with many half trained gundogs. 30 yards out and they throw a deaffy. Many a drive has been ruined by the dog at the endof the the wood. Settle the dog first in its chosen profession. Then let it follow a shot as it gets older. It is similar then to a runner retrieve,

  5. #5
    If you know IanF, maybe drop him a line? He has a Sprocker and a Cocker for the purpose - and in your neck of the woods. How good or bad, I don't know, but something Ian may be able to help with.
    Good luck.
    "There comes in the dead of night a hand of cold steel that plucks the German sentries from their posts"
    WSC 1942

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