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Squirrel Dog questions

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Old 07-06-2018, 05:28 PM
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Default Squirrel Dog questions

Hello everyone I'm interested in getting a dog that I can maybe get into some more extensive squirrel hunting and wanted to get some info on what makes a good squirrel dog. I know that the feists and curs seem to run the game but I have been looking at some of the other terriers and even some mixed breeds. I am really interested in the wheaten terriers, Welsh terriers, Irish terriers, and really like the idea of a whoodle (wheaten/poodle mix). If anyone has any knowledge on weather or not I'm wasting my time looking at these breeds or if maybe they would be decent candidates I would really appreciate the help.
Thanks, Caleb
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Old 07-06-2018, 11:28 PM
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Just some thoughts, Show Dog lines may or may not have the desired traits. Even dogs of a particular breed often have the same tendencies, but may vary noticeably from individual Dogs and/or lines. There is a difference between a breed and a line. Example, car, Chevrolet, Camero, now the next question is, what does it have under the hood? They may all look the same, but the differences can be major.

Two schools of thought. One is to get a smart Dog and train it to hunt what you want it to hunt. Or get a Dog with a strong prey drive and try to coax it to hunt what you want.

Many of the show Dog types that you mentioned have been bred for appearance, more than hunting prowess.

Some Dogs you may not associate with Squirrel hunting may be really good at it. The best Squirrel Dog I ever had was a full blooded German Sheppard. He hated Squirrels and I could control him.

The one with the most potential was a Plummer Terrier. But it's prey drive was almost too strong, They are often strong willed and hard to control. They can take prolonged training and a lot of patience, even then the results may be iffy. My Plummers can be like an unguided missile. You may want to hunt Squirrels, they may want to hunt Rabbits, Ground Hogs, Fox or whatever. And once they get a prey in their sites (eyes or nose), good luck getting them to change direction. Even Dogs from the same litter can have different strengths and weaknesses. I have one Plummer that loves tight places and will head underground as a preference. And another that doesn't mind tight places, but is more inclined to find something to kill, anything, anywhere, anytime. He'll tear a Squirrel to bites faster than you can say stop. My earth Dog is more likely to latch on and hold on rather than tear whatever to pieces. Same Breed, same litter, two personalities.
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Old 07-09-2018, 05:23 AM
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Curs, and Fiest are the go to dogs for sure. Laika's are getting more popular. If you had one of the breeds you mentioned I'd suggest introducing it to treeing and see how it went. But if you want a dog for squirrel hunting getting a squirrel dog is the smartest move. By the way, if you would pick an Irish Terrier you'll have no trouble getting along with a Fiest or a cur.

Good luck whatever you choose to do!
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:14 AM
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I understand what squirrel dogs are designed to do. Why is there a need for a dog? In Illinois, all you have to do is sit still in a squirrel populated area and wait. Within 15 - 20 minutes, they will go back to business and the hunter can make a stalk.
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:42 AM
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A dog will tree the squirrels. With a dog on one side of the tree barking and a a hunter can get on the side of the tree the squirrel is on for a shot. Some folks do want to sit and wait. The dog will hunt for squirrels, then bark when it finds one and trees it, the hunter can then go to the tree. When I was a lot younger and really hunted squirrels, I always hunted with another hunter for the same reason, one on each side of the tree. We did not bark treed though.

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Old 07-13-2018, 09:48 AM
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Simple enough. My squirrel hunting experience tells me the hunter needs to be quiet and stealthy. Most if not all squirrels that noticed me either hopped from tree to tree or found a hole to escape. Maybe a barking dog does not trigger their flight response. I'd be willing to try. Hunting over well trained dogs no matter what the quarry is always fascinating to me.
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by rogerstv View Post
Simple enough. My squirrel hunting experience tells me the hunter needs to be quiet and stealthy. Most if not all squirrels that noticed me either hopped from tree to tree or found a hole to escape. Maybe a barking dog does not trigger their flight response. I'd be willing to try. Hunting over well trained dogs no matter what the quarry is always fascinating to me.
Truly, everything is better with a good dog. Half the fun is watching the dog and the squirrel interact. Those Fox Squirrels do like to torment a dog it seems.
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