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Blood Tracking Progression

Old 02-06-2015, 06:41 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Default Blood Tracking Progression

Duker's (Duke) blood tracking training is coming along well, but Im a little curious as to what step I should take next with his training.

To start with, I am not training him to only track deer and he will never be put in competitions or trials. I want him to track whatever I tell him to "Find" when I give him the command, and he is still in his early stages of training(as am I). Because of this, I am using multiple different food drags since he has a crazy high food drive. The drags are usually a liver slice from a calf, a chicken liver drag, a hot dog drag, or something with a strong scent that is fairly easy to follow. I pull the item pretty quickly across the ground so that its not saturating the ground, or at least not that I can tell, and give it some time to dry out before starting. He is able to follow a scent trail pretty easily now and will keep his nose to the ground without ever wavering, but I worry that he is only associating his tracking training with food and that once we go to search for a downed pig or deer that he wont be as focused or really dig in to get the job done if it doesn't smell like food. I don't have readily available containers of blood, but I do have readily available hides. However, I heard that hide drags are not recommended since they leave such a heavy scent and it makes it to easy for the dog.

So, I guess my question is:
I am ready to move past the food based drag lines, but I don't know what to drag. Should I get a deer leg or hog leg, rub the livers or hot dogs all over it and then drag the leg to get him to associate the food with an animal scent? Just leave some pieces of his favorite food on the leg at the end of the drag? Maybe I should bypass food altogether and see if he will simply follow an animal limb that has been hopped/bumped across the field? What are y'alls suggestions? Any help is greatly appreciated.

Also, its awesome to see the dog enjoy his work. I've had catch dogs in the past and it was fun to watch them work a hog, but watching this dog use his sense of smell and seeing him work things out in his head is truly a blast. Nothing better than watching a dog truly be a dog, just as God intended him to be.
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Old 05-18-2015, 06:21 AM
Join Date: May 2015
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Gangly...I realize this is maybe bit old, but I'm from another Forum & I also hunt long yrs already, awa nowadays together with my dog, a long-legged Parsons Jack Russel bitch..@ present she is approx. 18-20mths old..

Pl inform what kind of dog do u have ?...& age of dog ?

More or less/generally, how I went about her training: firstly I read a few manuals on dog-training on the I/net..& then, as we were walking in the veld with my rifle, I had her on the black-leash & the latter attached to a black-harness around her chest(not her neck) at all times..to me it is just to dangerous to leave her loose & to her own devices in tht veld/bush with all those Hogs & sharp teeth, &/or antelope-bulls with their dangerous horns..
These animals can(& will) kill her in an instant !..& somehow she realizes this ?

I also taught her to be silent, & seemingly she realized the seriousness of the hunt quite quickly as she would sometimes wait for me in silence, especially during the stalk...& she also became very loyal to me & attentive..watching me all the time..a real one-man-dog..

When we come upon some animals/buck I reign her in, & tell her/show her to be quiet, & still keeping her close to me...I'd check the direction of the wind, & after my shot I'll immediately order her to go(into the wind)) & to find the animal...(HER WORK ONLY STARTS AFTER MY SHOT)..& the wind providing her with tht bl-smell towards her..SHE VERY MUCH DEPEND ON / WORKing WITH HER NOSE INTO THE WIND..if the wind is not right I see tht she gets under the wind asap, & usually, as soon as tht happens she picks up tht death-smell / bloodtrail quickly & she disappears into the veld/bush searching to&fro, up&down, round&round,& loose from the leash..she does not bark when finding the animal, which is good in my view, but she does claim the carcass by bite-ing off/onto some or other part of the body, ie, tail, ear, nose, etc...so, to find her I work my way into her general direction after she left me to go forward/searching, & until I see her / find her, or until she runs up to me, but usually finding her standing very proudly on the animal & waiting for me..she is black&white so can be easily spotted by me..but to train her to be silent really took some energy,& in the end I think she let my body-language dictate to her in this regard..
I would then butcher the animal some-what & reward her with a small piece of liver/meat, or what ever..

When the wind is from the side or from behind for some/whatever reason, I'd immediately show her to work INTO the wind,& she'll run a few very wide circles before starting to search for tht bl-smell/deathsmell, then quickly find the animals direction, picking-up tht bl-scent, & then disappear in the animals direction with nose to the ground..
SO BEAUTIFUL to experience..

If yo dog is still fairly young, just don't become to much in a haste or impatient.. BE PATIENT AT ALL TIMES..LOVINGLY PATIENT, & try to rather win & reward it's trust/confidence, even if u's must spend more time on tracking at first..remember the dog is the one who is in the bigger learning-curve, but also u-yoself to some extent..

If it is a young dog the best is yet to come..be sure of tht, as long as u, the Boss, perseveres with patience/affection..just keep at it all the time there in the veld, the dog will definitely pick-up the hunting/tracking vibes from u (mostly),iow, from his master..

From my own body-language my dog has been able to pick-up tht I am veeeery cat-foot regarding hogs especially, & naturally so as they have BIG DANGEROUS tusks/teeth which can kill a dog in an instant, & she has now learnt not to challenge hogs as before but rather to silently wait for me..& when I tell her to stay close to/with me rather, she obeys without hesitation..SO, tht tells me tht she trusts me properly/completely...
On the other hand, it may of course simply be those very big tusks/teeth tht makes her so cat-foot, as she & me were fortunate one-day to witness 2 boars tackling & fighting each other, not far away..& we sat & we watched, for approx. 15 minutues..she shaking heavily from nerves/excitement..
She's also extremely cautious re Jacall/Lynx, she doesn't trust them at all..she is a very perceptive little dog, with a lot of guts/intelligence..the trick for me is to harness these properly & with affection, to enhance her hunting-abilities..
On another occasion, she also rather quickly reversed back towards me, away from a large Eland-bull(some 40m away), who was breaking some branches with his horns, in her direction..
We had no permission to take tht Bull..so we rather moved on to other game..

The only reward she ever gets is/was some piece/part of the downed animal..right there in the veld where she found it,..& of course LOTS, & LOTS, & LOTS of praise from me...when I arrive mostly she would be chewing on it's tail already, & I'll freely allow it, as it also is her prize, not so ?
So don't worry to much about what exactly yo dog should be taught to drag/not to drag,..once u've taken tht dog on some real hunts he would learn so much there, I cant even tell u how much, ul'l see.. !!! Tht's why I put mine on a leash at first(& still sometimes),nl to exert control, to discipline, to teach & to keep the dog near me to be able to read my body-language, etc, etc..

Something tht I also noticed..when myself & the dog slowly stalks an animal, the latter will become so obsessed/aggressive towards the dog, completely forgetting to RUN AWAY..even full well seeing me as well..iow, it pays so much attention to the dog tht it completely forgets/ignores the danger attached to me as hunter..??

But the beauty of this little hunting-dog really shows when some other hunter hunts, but fails to kill the animal & it starts running away.. THEN, she is worth her weight IN GOLD...definitely...I just take her to that place where the animal stood, &once she finds tht animals spoor/bl-spoor, she then chases after it until she finds it, dead or alive , & of course, to my utter pride & joy...& amazement

Let me know what your dog-situation is...perhaps I can further advise u..

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Old 05-18-2015, 06:58 AM
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You would probably have a better chance of getting an answer in the correct dog forum, the OP posted in the classifides and I suspect that is why he has had no responses.
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:48 PM
Nontypical Buck
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The way I train mine is with Beef blood. I start out laying a trail (blood mixed with water) and as the dog progresses the drops of blood get farther apart. With a treat at the end of blood trail, I use Cheese.

Some of it is natural instinct, certain animals excite them more than others and it can be a little different dog to dog.

I use a piece of hide to excite them, Pig, Fox whatever, tug of war, fetch whatever. They've already learned to follow a blood trail, making the leap from Beef blood to Hog or whatever you are tracking easy. They already have learned to be excited by certain scents from the hide, they make the association between play time and different blood scent easy.

I was told to avoid using game blood by an oldtimer, he said the scent overpowers the dog, which makes sense. He said a good dog can smell a single turd in a cesspool, their noses are that good.

Like App said a lot of it is being able to communicate with your dog, most want to please and if you can communicate what you want they will try to oblige.

Something else I figured out is most every dog has it's strong points and it's weak points, if you figure out what they are you can train to their strengths. I'm not a big fan of cookie cutter robot dogs.

I have three now and all have their talents. One is all nose and will follow a trail until he drops, if he gets away from you had better be prepared for a long walk. One is a flusher she will get into the brush and check out every nook and cranny. One is an earth dog, she lives to go down burrows and holes, loves it down there.

I had a dog that could follow a tiny drop of blood every 20-30 feet at a full run. That dog hated Fox and Jackals (Coyote) and would tear them to shreds if I let him. If he saw a Fox while driving he'd try to break through the windshield to get at it. He was just born that way, nothing I trained him to do. Hog blood would also send him wild, but not s bad as Fox or Yote blood. He was a bit conflicted with Deer, I taught him young not to run Deer and he was a bit unsure when following a Deer trail. He'd stop and hesitate and look back at me a lot to make sure he was doing the right thing.

Scent tracking is some different than blood tracking. It can take a long time before they stay on one trail and don't get crossed up or sidetracked by new trails and old trails crossing each other.
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