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Thread: Did I make it too easy??

  1. #1

    Did I make it too easy??

    Hi all, I recently laid a trail for my GWP to follow. I used half a (red) deer skin, tied to a lead and dragged behind me as I walked. I covered about 300 metres through some young hardwoods over a couple of ditches and onto a clear fell site. I had at least three 90 degree turns in it and 'jumped' the skin over the ditches. I used no blood apart from what may have been on the skin (I can't be arsed to wash a skin). I did cut the bag that the skin had been in open and smear it about to create a 'shot site'

    I returned about 3 hours (I wanted to wait four, but it would have been dark) later with the dog and showed her the 'shot site', she had her collar on with a 20m ish check cord attached. I didn't really know what to do with the lead so ended up dropping it and letting her drag it.
    she put her nose down and followed the trail exactly all the way to the deer skin without moving more than 50cm maybe from where I'd been.

    This was the first time she has ever followed a trail (she's never been needed to find a dead deer either, so really her first ever anything to do with them) and I wasn't really expecting that. Does a deer skin give off too much scent? I'm assuming that scent shoes would leave less scent but can't justify the money for them.

    Do I have a really good dog or should a terrier be able to do that?? If that's impressive, then I might go all out and train her properly.

  2. #2
    Scent overload. You just have a ordinary dog that needs proper training. Start by cutting the tracking lead down to 10 mtrs. Plenty of tips on this site on how to train a dog for deer.

  3. #3
    Dammit! I knew it was too good to be true! Thanks.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Shabz View Post
    Hi all, I recently laid a trail for my GWP to follow. I used half a (red) deer skin, tied to a lead and dragged behind me as I walked. I covered about 300 metres through some young hardwoods over a couple of ditches and onto a clear fell site. I had at least three 90 degree turns in it and 'jumped' the skin over the ditches. I used no blood apart from what may have been on the skin (I can't be arsed to wash a skin). I did cut the bag that the skin had been in open and smear it about to create a 'shot site'

    I returned about 3 hours (I wanted to wait four, but it would have been dark) later with the dog and showed her the 'shot site', she had her collar on with a 20m ish check cord attached. I didn't really know what to do with the lead so ended up dropping it and letting her drag it.
    she put her nose down and followed the trail exactly all the way to the deer skin without moving more than 50cm maybe from where I'd been.

    This was the first time she has ever followed a trail (she's never been needed to find a dead deer either, so really her first ever anything to do with them) and I wasn't really expecting that. Does a deer skin give off too much scent? I'm assuming that scent shoes would leave less scent but can't justify the money for them.

    Do I have a really good dog or should a terrier be able to do that?? If that's impressive, then I might go all out and train her properly.
    Think Jagare is a bit harsh. How old is the dog?

    I liked you describing that the noose was firmly on the trail, that is very good news.

    If you have no scent shoes you might try to drag a hoof on a kind of fishing rod in such a way that the dog does not get the smell of your boots. Use the odd bit of blood. If he/she can manage that straight away you got a good hound.

  5. #5
    shabz i had a pair of scent shoes made for me by a local welder for 35 , would that still be too much of an expence? ill send you a pic of them if you want to see if you can get some made
    when you stop learning you stop being challenged

  6. #6
    I hadn't thought about having some made. That sounds like a plan.

    Thanks baron, the dog isn't young, she's 3 1/2 years old. She's only ever worked birds though. her nose was so close to the ground that i found two ticks on it the next day! I think I'll probably get some shoes and try your fishing rod idea in the meantime. That's the same method I use for training gun dogs to pick up runners.

    Dirtdigger, I'll send you my email address via pm so you can send me that photo, thanks!

  7. #7
    Georges, me harsh? Nah. Direct? possible. If Shabz had done the same trail useing just a hoof then he would have had a promising dog.
    Dragging half a red deer skin, a funktionshindrade hund ( google traslate that) could have followed that mass of scent.

    Must rush. I'm off out to hunt roe with the teckle. Little frost on the ground and a clear day. No ***** secondhand rain from the UK today.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jagare View Post
    Georges, me harsh? Nah. Direct? possible. If Shabz had done the same trail useing just a hoof then he would have had a promising dog.
    Dragging half a red deer skin, a funktionshindrade hund ( google traslate that) could have followed that mass of scent.

    Must rush. I'm off out to hunt roe with the teckle. Little frost on the ground and a clear day. No ***** secondhand rain from the UK today.
    thats not second hand rain its scottish dog pish blowing across on the wind (billy connoly)
    when you stop learning you stop being challenged

  9. #9
    Shabz, for a first time on a laid trail your dog did fantastic!

    If anything, you ask any person training deer dogs and they will tell you the trail was in fact quite complex!

    What I am finding is short trails, stay of it yourself as much as possible, mark the beginning and as you go along as it is so easy to forget the exact route and when the dog reaches the end don't pack up and go straight home as your pup will begin associate the end of the trail with home time which is counterproductive.

    Picture an experienced dog along with a completely inexperienced dog.......coming close to the start of the trail you yourself begin to get excited and get down to the dogs level pointing to the ground. You are now visibly telling the dog there is something here......I find this has worked wonders with my training programme. I use the words hunt em up! Hunt em up! In the snow I have also been able to lay my trails over fox pads.......which the bitch ignores completely.

    With blood I have found watering it way way down still works the ticket and I mean 1 parts to 15parts water is still unbelievably strong and my bitch is only 3 months old.

    There must always be something at the end.....l lick or rag or be thrown such as a deer leg to mark the end of the trail and as the visual reward.......tons of praise and excitement goes a long way.

    On the topic of air scenting, my pup will run frantically to the deer hide on the last 10 feet nose high in the air. In my eyes she found the deer and that is good enough for me.

    There is one thing I do in the house though....a game we play were I hold antlers and chase her 2 or 3 steps and then retreat, until she starts barking. I give her a ton of praise every time barks, because if she is ever in a situation where she has a deer at bay and has managed to be off the leash I want to know exactly where she is so I can get there as quickly as possible.

    Every man is different, but I will say, ignore the negative criticism you may get on this site or others, if your gut instinct tells you it works then go with it. But most of all enjoy the experience, as there will be nothing more rewarding than the day all the training pays off.
    Last edited by Ronan; 25-01-2013 at 16:26.

  10. #10
    Ronan

    This is meant to be constructive do please take it this way and not as a criticism.

    I know what you are saying about gut instinct but you could end up doing something continually because it appears as early success, only to be faced with problems in the future. Think about chucking dozens of dummies for a gundog and how pleased some folk get at him retreiving every one straight to hand. Then cannot understand why the dog runs in during its first season and grabs every bird than bounces in sight of it.

    It is important that the foundations are laid before building on them. Only today I was speaking to a friend of mine who received a Diploma Of Merit in this years Spaniel championships, and funnily enough that was Anthony's exact words about folk who have wild or poor gundogs.

    Jagare is correct. You want the dog to succeed but you also want it to be intrigued with what it is doing to build its confidence and hopefully continued interest and this track was too much in scent and not needed. We have to remember that what we think may be a difficult scent to follow is in reality probably pretty easy for the pup. Half a red skin is way too big. I used half or quarter of a roe to start with and reduced it very quickly to cleave scent alone in scent shoes. Mine still has not had a track laid for her with blood. Ideally you could start with a decent sized piece of skin but gradually reduce it until it is only 6'' across. Then you can start lengthening the time the track is left for before allowing the dog to follow it.

    As for not justifying the expense for scent shoes. Best investment you will make in training a dog for tracking deer. I read on another forum a conversation between a couple of experts saying how stupid and ridiculous they are. Really???

    They are not used for training a dog for a year and then forgotten about till the next pup comes along. They are a training aid for use all year round.

    Only other thing I would ask Shabz is why are you using blood mixed with water?

    I am a novice when it comes to training a proper tracking dog but over the last year or so have managed I hope to do things right with guidance from very experienced friends. The above is basically their advice...

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