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How to train a deer-tracking dog

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How to train a deer-tracking dog

Old 11-21-2010, 09:41 AM
Fork Horn
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Location: Iowa
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Default How to train a deer-tracking dog

I have a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy which are supposed to be very good tracking dogs, and also good "drafting" dogs, meaning they can pull a cart, etc. After watching my fiance lose two deer when the blood trails tapered off, I want to start training my puppy to help us track deer, and possibly help us drag them out. Please tell me if you have ever trained a dog to track a wounded animal and what is the best way to do it. As for pulling, right now I've just been tying things to him (such as boots, cardboard boxes) and having him pull them around the yard and house. He doesn't mind it and he's very strong. He's only about 15 and a half weeks old right now. I can tell he has a good nose because he is constantly sniffing stuff out like lost treats, MY SOCKS, etc. If there is a sock anywhere in the house, he will find it. He also sticks pretty close by when out in the woods and loves to follow deer trails. His name is Reggie

Last edited by tsaxybabe; 11-21-2010 at 09:57 AM. Reason: add pics
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Old 11-21-2010, 10:51 AM
Fork Horn
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He's adorable!
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:23 PM
Join Date: May 2007
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first off that's a real good looking pup. the very first thing i would do is buy a book called tracking dogs for wounded deer by john jeanney and read it. it's extremely helpful.

I started my tracker by dragging a piece of beef liver on an old coyote snare. any stick or string will do. once he works a couple drags, stop doing drags and start leaving drops of blood. the first drags should be really simple. like thirty feet in a mostly straight line and not aged much. your trails can get more complicated, longer, and older as you go. that's pretty basic, but the book will tell you more.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:15 AM
Fork Horn
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Thanks, I will look for the book.
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Old 11-23-2010, 12:47 PM
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Is it even legal to use a pink bow to shoot a deer?:-)

I start my pups at 6 weeks laying pretty clear blood trails leading to the food bowls. I do this twice a week at 6, 7 and 8 weeks until the pups go to their homes.

This is a good way to get the pup focused on the blood as a means of getting to something special. There are a bunch of books on the topic. Here are a couple websites that should point you in the right direction:



Good luck
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