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Thread: guidance please

  1. #1

    guidance please

    Just been out with the dog , laid a trail about 3 hours before putting the dog on it about 250yds with 1 change of direction used blood and a head
    the dog found it OK (lost the trail once but found it again) my question is everything I have read or heard leads me to believe the dog should follow the trail in a straight line .
    Jess my lab quarters the line up to 3 mtrs either side , this may be the training for game shooting coming out, is it a fault and if so how is it rectified

  2. #2
    your dog has just taught you a valuable lesson
    don't believe everything you read as gospel
    if you hav any wind swirl at all the dog will follow the stronger scent in the wind
    even a dog trained for game shooting or fowling, will follow a trail in a straight line if that is the stronger scent
    time to take note and trust your dog a little ,
    if it had led you up a merry path then i would be concerned
    untill then keep the team work going
    the more trailing my lab does the better she seems to get

  3. #3
    spot on stone , my bitch has made a fool of me more than once ,the sent on a frosty morning with a rising sun is hard for a dog to follow at times .i would never push a dog onto a trail you think is right ,if the dog loses the trail go back to a point you seen blood or know and slowly start again .

  4. #4
    Don'T you just love what dogs can teach us i have seen my dog walking with head on the line but like said some times the dog can be quartering picking bits of sent head in air were the sent has risen lots of different stuff .But what is a certainty is the dog knows a lot better than us how to find dead or wounded game.
    Hope your haveing fun BRNO

  5. #5
    Interesting thread, there are sure a lot of variables in training a tracking dog. The few books available can be quite narrow in their content, not for any other reason that the authors simply cannot write everything they have experienced down.

    I have run competetive gundogs and followed hounds for 25 years and firmly believe there is a lot to learn for deer dogs within these fields.

    With my gundogs I throw a cold bird onto grass for a young dog then turn it away while someone pulls it into cover. The dog at first cannot believe its nose and insists on searching the fall area despite the scent leading away. They feather and quarter and not until they are convinced it is not there will they take the line, even then quartering down it. They seem to believe that they have found thier prize with each peice of scent, only an experienced dog takes the line cleanly until they actually find the animal.

    My old teckel was so preoccupied with scent that he would track straight past the carcas if there was a strong crosswind and scent was drifting past the carcas, showing he believed his nose not his eyes.

    If you can spare the time go to watch foxhounds hunting (sorry trailling) there is a whole apprenticeship on scent and how to hunt it there. Hounds will roar on grass only to completely baulk on plough. Funny to watch them hunt frosty ground, struggling in the shadows and flying on the bits that have the sun on them.

  6. #6
    I was Trainng the Kopov a few days ago. He did the same going from side to side on the trail. Not 3 mtrs i must say. There was a breeze blowing from the side. Training a dog to track is as much about training yourself and reading the dog as teaching the dog to track . Its hard for us to grasp whats going on at ground level under a dogs nose. Thats what i enjoy about it is reading and trusting the dog.

  7. #7
    A few years back I was stalking down through a woods when I spotted a group of Fallow coming up the bank towards me. They spotted me at the same time that I saw them but I managed to lower myself down into the long grass and they couldn't make out what they had seen. They stood and looked in my direction for a few minutes but were still unsure of what they had seen, obviously the wind was in my favour. There was a high seat about 10 yards in front of me which is what I was heading for when I saw them. I managed to crawl forward and climbed into the high seat without being seen as the ladder was on my side of the tree. The fallow were still on alert but hadn,t been spooked any further. I observed them through the binos and selected a doe that was positioned favourably, the shot was taken (about 70 to 80 yards) and the group burst away to the right.
    I was certain in my mind that the shot was good but couldn't see the doe on the ground. After a few minutes I climbed down from the high seat and advanced to the spot where the doe had been standing, no sign. No sign of the doe whatsoever, no paint, no pins, only scuffed earth and hundreds of hoof prints mostly going right. I simply couldn't believe that I had missed. I searched the area for a radius of about 20 yards, still nothing. I then started to doubt the rifle, perhaps I had knocked the scope but it had always been so reliable in the past. I decided to check the scope by placing a small log in the position that I thought the doe had been standing and shot at it from the high seat. The shot hit the log exactly where I aimed, so it probably wasn't the scope. That's it back to fetch the dog.
    I walked my GWP back into the woods and as usual he walked ahead of me telling me exactly where I had walked previously that morning, and where deer had crossed the route at some time previously. At the spot where I first saw the deer I cast him out and in typical pointer fashion he galloped forward covering about 20 yards either side of me with his head in the air sniffing airborne scent. I have always had labradors in the past and it amazes me how the two breeds track entirely differently. Labradors always have their noses pressed to the ground, whereas pointers will often just sniff the air with their heads held high. When he reached the point where the deer had stood he immediately went left not right the direction that the rest of the herd had departed. My first thought was "He's taking the mick, I'm going to kick his arse". But the dog knew best and ran straight to the doe about 50 yards away lying dead in a small stream bed. Needless to say the dog had the liver as a reward. The shot had been good but for some reason had not left any obvious signs, well not to us mere humans anyway.
    You have to learn to trust the dog and understand what he is saying, because they can communicate with you. It's really a matter of time and giving him the opportunity to learn. I also believe that the dog has to have it in him, you can't train a dog that hasn't got the right instincts.

  8. #8

    Good account, dont you just feel a lemon afterwards for doubting the dog, i still do it now every now and kick myself each time when the dog proves me wrong.

    I reckon your right about the dog having the right instincts, I was picking up a couple of seasons ago and saw a strong hen runner take to the lake and swim more that 50 yds across to the far bank. The picker up over the hill had sent her dog and by the time it came over the rise the hen was long gone. She took the line down to the bank made two casts and simply took the line across the water, hit the mark bang on, the far bank and had the hen within 25 yds. i was so impressed I bought a pup as they say, best decision i have made as the youngster i have is showing the same sort of brains.

  9. #9

    You were right to get your dog from good stock. The last labrador I bought was from a keeper in Mid Wales after seeing a sign on the side of the road. We were passing through saw the sign and followed a lane about a mile and a half up into the hills. All the way up the lane I kept saying I wouldn't buy a yellow dog only a black one. When we got to the kennels we saw the dam and a few other dogs that they worked and were impressed, but what really sealed it for me was when the lady said " it's not a show dog, we won't have show dogs only working dogs".
    I came away with a little yellow pup. Turned out to be a good one too, would never give up and always found what he was looking for.

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