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Thread: Proving Ability In Your Deer Dog

  1. #1

    Proving Ability In Your Deer Dog

    There have been a few posts making comment on the use of deer dogs and testing to show they are of a standard.

    Some of the comments have been lost in other threads, hence the reason for this fresh one.

    A lot of us obviously have differing opinions on the subject, as well on how a dog should be trained and then worked in this country.

    Training a dog for yourself is no-ones business except your own with regards to ability, but when that service is offered to others should it be shown that the dog is in fact proved to be of a standard and not just on the owners say so?

    A side issue to this discussion may well be that the future will see a compulsory access to a trained dog as in other countries. Could we head of misguided or ill-informed legislation by having a structure already in place? Just a thought...

    Anyway, to start it off I have copied some of the comments made on other threads onto this one.

    As said previously, this is not a criticism of folk already offering the service, and in some respects compulsory testing is not something I would necessarily be in favour of.

  2. #2
    Originally Posted by 6pointer
    Baron compulsory testing for me is a no no but like the DMQ2 The voluntary option is the way i would go. There would be a standard and i am sure as dogs are proven to reach that standard they will be the ones used . I am sure the FC and SNH will not be long before they ask any of there field staff to have a trained dog they already need one for night shooting. Lease holders will need one if they are to have an option to use the night shooting part of a lease. Keep it voluntary but make sure that there is a voluntary standard start it at a low level at first get as many on board as possible then move the goal posts and get an increase in standards.



    (Barons Comments) I am not so much thinking about compulsion by the state for approved tracking dogs but compulsion to have passed a test before you can be put on a tracking register.
    Totally agree with a DMQ2 type of test. But it needs a large organisation to handle it. too big for an individual or even a swmall group.

  3. #3
    Originally Posted by barongcw
    I am not so much thinking about compulsion by the state for approved tracking dogs but compulsion to have passed a test before you can be put on a tracking register.
    Totally agree with a DMQ2 type of test. But it needs a large organisation to handle it. too big for an individual or even a swmall group.



    (Cookingfats Comments) As you know i have approched two of larger organistions only to be told it did'nt work 20+ years ago and it wont work now, I also know that one of the larger organistions top training people do not beleave that laying trails for dogs is the way to train deer dogs.

    what chance do deer dogs and handlers have....!!!!

    maybe a smaller group is the way forward at first.

  4. #4
    Originally Posted by cookingfat
    As you know i have approched two of larger organistions only to be told it did'nt work 20+ years ago and it wont work now, I also know that one of the larger organistions top training people do not beleave that laying trails for dogs is the way to train deer dogs.

    what chance do deer dogs and handlers have....!!!!

    maybe a smaller group is the way forward at first.



    That's interesting. Because I would like to know how many stalkers actually used trained deer dogs 20-25 years ago. There will have been a few but I would like to know how much it has increased by to the present day.

    I know quite a few stalkers, some with many years experience and I know that some of them still don't own their own trained deer dog. In this country I think it is a relatively new concept compared to other countries. I have been stalking for 25 years but only got a dog specifically for deer 9 years ago. Prior to that it was the pack of spaniels and labs let loose to (hopefully) find any deer.

    This is not a dig at anyone, in fact it is quite commendable that folk offer their services because any dog is better than none, as has been said already. But, if there is no form of testing, and someone is called out and relied upon to find a wounded beast, and that search is unsuccessful, all parties go home satisfied. Well who is to say that a tried and tested dog would not have found it?

  5. #5
    (Wolverines Comments) Absolutely correct along with a handler who knows what to look for at shot site
    What about a double tier system for the UK,eg within the register dogs and handlers who are confident on hot tracks,eg less than 6 hours old and dogs and handlers who have also done colder tracks,tried and tested
    Jamross and I have discussed this and think for the UK this is very applicable
    Eg beast wounded at last light,normally over 6hours old,wounded at daybreak less than 6hours old
    An interesting concept so people can get into said register,any other ideas/options?

  6. #6
    Originally Posted by Wolverine
    Absolutely correct along with a handler who knows what to look for at shot site
    What about a double tier system for the UK,eg within the register dogs and handlers who are confident on hot tracks,eg less than 6 hours old and dogs and handlers who have also done colder tracks,tried and tested
    Jamross and I have discussed this and think for the UK this is very applicable
    Eg beast wounded at last light,normally over 6hours old,wounded at daybreak less than 6hours old
    An interesting concept so people can get into said register,any other ideas/options?



    Well you know my thoughts on it...

    I do think that a form of register listing available dogs is not a bad thing, but I am also conscious of introducing more compulsory training/testing for anything else in this world TBH!!!

    If nothing else it will get a few dog enthusiasts together every so often for a good argument, I mean discussion!!!

    I think that perhaps we do have to acknowledge that things are done a bit different here than elsewhere in Europe in respect of stalking and the eventual tracking, but that does not mean that the basic and advanced training should be so different. It's application thereafter may vary somewhat depending on ground, species, handlers availability and so on but any properly trained deer dog should cope with that regardless of the challenge...

    Many dog owners, including myself get a lot of enjoyment in watching their dogs work and will gladly offer their services to others. I do it all winter with my labs and spaniels. Then both benefit, the handler/dog in the practice and the stalker without a dog in getting his beast found. And we have to accept that not all stalkers can keep a dog.

    Well, anyone can say they have a great deer-dog and folk who are desprately needing one will use it.

    Keeping a dog for your own use is fine. If you are happy with performance who cares what anyone else thinks. But offering that sevice to someone who is relying on getting the best chance of finding his wounded deer should perhaps mean an element of proof being provided that the dog can do it in the first place.

    This is just an observation for discussion so I would be interested in hearing from those offering the service already on how they explain the dogs ability to someone needing their assistance. None of my opinion is a meant as a criticism so do not take it that way.

    I do not offer my current dog on the register as even for an 8 year old I do not think she has had to prove herself enough to be 100% confident that someone else will get the best service that is perhaps available from another handler and their dog.
    Last edited by jamross65; 03-04-2012 at 10:36.

  7. #7

  8. #8
    I joined SD last year and one of the first things I asked was advice on starting a dog on deer tracking and was offered lots of advice. From this I brought a book and was also sent some via e mail. Now having read it a couple times and watched a fair bit on YouTube I am goin to use my current working GSD when he retired next year to b my "deer dog". As the principles of track laying for person and a deer are similar to an extent.

    At the moment he has to complete a license evey year to work the streets and to keep him up to speed doesn't actually require that much time and effort as the foundation stones were layed well. Now. The standard my dog has to achieve is set out as a national thing and as long as dog and me are assessed by an indipendant accredited person dog get hi ok and new lisence. Now to do this for every deer or any other tracking or game searching dog IMO would be un workable and too costly. But it would be a good scale to work to.

    Now if it was voluntary I think if it was not a uniform time, distance and Species you get no uniform standard. You could have basic, intermediate or advanced levels though.

  9. #9
    interesting topic just because your a Kepper or a stalker dosent mean your dogs are going to be better than other lads belive me I've gifted pups for exchange for permission to a few and they have been far travelled if you travel to different parts of the country then you can really judge a dog on different sources of deer for instance a teckel would be no good at arkinglas in the nee deap Heather and the bigger dog would be of no use in tight cover of woodland I no a few lads that are that well off the hunt for a hobby and honestly put more gear to bed than any Kepper doing a free pest control service be it rabbit to red they can become pests when not controlled we all have different opinions on a dog capabilitys just some don't have lower standerds atb

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Steyer 6.5 View Post
    Now if it was voluntary I think if it was not a uniform time, distance and Species you get no uniform standard. You could have basic, intermediate or advanced levels though.
    This is the interesting bit and something that has been discussed by a few of us already.

    I think there does have to be definite structure to the test but adaptable.

    But you also agree with one or two of us who think in this country perhaps 2 standards of testing would be an idea. Basic and advanced. Basic as George has already mentioned could cover a dog capable of tracking warm scent, say up to 5hrs. Now that will likely (but not always) perhaps be after a morning stalk when the beast has been lost and someone can be called to attend within this time scale and whilst there is plenty of daylight hours left. There are an awful lot of dogs out there that may be available and could cope with this easily.

    But what about the winters afternoon stalk when the beast cannot now be followed until say 12-14hrs later (cold scent) when it is light again? Is it possible to adapt a test to allow those who only ever want to work their dogs on what the majority of our tracks are in this country, i.e. relatively hot, but still leave scope for testing dogs on what would be considered a harder track? Things have to be kept realistic for here and our style of 'stalking'.

    It is important that no-one feels there is an elitist attitude to this and that there is scope for anyone to be involved. I have been a steward and also shot at some gundog trials in the borders and attended by several of the big names. There is (or was) a feeling that it would be very, very difficult to break into that circuit. We don't want to put folk off before it even gets off the ground.

    It will be interesting to hear what some of the members who currently undergo tests in their countries have to say on this...
    Last edited by jamross65; 03-04-2012 at 12:18.

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