!!! The Ultimate Bobcat Dog...Part 1.5 !!!

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!!! The Ultimate Bobcat Dog...Part 1.5 !!!

Postby Dan McDonough » Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:53 pm

Here we go! In part 1 I left off with an idea to continue on with the lurcher experiment on my way to producing a hyper-smart, hyper-alert dog for bobcats that had the speed to shorten the distance between dog and cat fast enough to take certain advantages away from a tricky cat. In my first cross lurchers I ended up short on tree but the other factors were there and it encouraged me to develop the lurchers a little farther. This is in anticipation of one day crossing them with the right kind of hound but there's no reason to be hasty until I have this side of the equation built right.

For the record, Tommy and Vicki (the first cross stag x border collie lurchers) from UBD Part 1 are starting to tree a little but it's a learned thing and did not spill out as a matter of natural instinct. I believe that if I would have taught them to bark treed when they were young I could just stop here and pair them with a hound. I have done as much and had good success with the teams.

I think that if someone is interested in adding a lurcher to their pack you would only need one. I would suggest that they trained it up as an obiedience dog and keep it on lead until you want the cat caught out of a circle or some other tight spot. You can littereally train them to go and catch what you tell them you want them to catch. It's really nothing more complicated than asking them to go to your living room and fetch a certain toy. I'm not suggesting that they will catch every cat or that it will always be easy for them but it is easier than you would think. As always, the training will take time and a fair bit of work but it's all there. For this type of dog I would suggest looking for the pup that looks most like the sighthound and thinks most like the B.C. Of course, not many of the pups will have this combonation but the ones that do can really shine.

So, back to Part 1.5. I've crossed Duce and Vicki and there pups are squirming in the box as I write. I decided to keep two of their pups and take off from there. I'll take this thread through what I'm doing from day 21 of the pups lives on to whatever level they live to.

Here is the first picture of the litter. Let's get this journey started.

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Re: !!! The Ultimate Bobcat Dog...Part 1.5 !!!

Postby Dan McDonough » Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:09 pm

Sire: Duce (Stag with a drop of bulldog somewhere in there)
Dame: Vicki (Stag x Border Collie)
DOB: 3-7-16
Start date: 3-28-16

As some of you know already, dogs can learn nothing until they are 21 days old. There is a time line for dog development that lays out the stages and what pups learn during those timeframes. I will be following that timeline and I think that a lot of folks would like the chance to see someone work with their pups based on that timeline. It's been passed around here on the BGH and I'm sure some have used it to make better pups but there's always some younger folks that would like to see it done. I know I would have eaten this up when I first got into training dogs so I'm going to include it here. Might as well because there's not much in the way of excitement between day 21 and the first introduction to game aside from some cute pictures of pups.
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Re: !!! The Ultimate Bobcat Dog...Part 1.5 !!!

Postby Dan McDonough » Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:46 pm

Here is a copy of the information on puppy development:

Dr. Scott proved more than helpful. In his studies he had uncovered a whole series of critical periods in the life of a puppy which directly affect the way he will behave as an adult. These critical periods apply to all breeds of dogs and fall into five categories:
1) Birth to the 21st day: During this period it is impossible to teach a puppy anything. His brain is like an electrical circuit without power. The puppy's only needs are food, warmth and his mother. Says Pfaffenberger, "This was basic knowledge about dogs which had not even been suspected through the thousands of years in which men and dogs have lived together."
First glimmer
2) The 21st to the 28th day: Abruptly on the 21st day the brain begins to function, and a puppy not only becomes capable of learning but will start to learn whether or not he is taught. During this fourth week a puppy must continue to have the absolute security of his mother; for at no other time in his life will emotional or social upsets (being left alone, frightened by loud noises, moved to a strange place) have as harmful or lasting effect.
3) The 28th to the 49th day: This is the time when a puppy starts to venture from his mother to investigate the world around him. Now he can learn to recognize his master, to respond to voices, to other animals and toys. The end of this period is the best time for a puppy to be weaned and taken to a new owner. Under no circumstances, however, should the puppy be weaned and then left in the kennel with his mother to wonder why he is not feeding as he did before.
4) The 49th to 84th day: At 7 weeks, although the pup is still physically immature, his brain has attained adult form. He can be taught to obey simple commands like sit, come, heel and fetch. But any training at this stage must be informal. The instruction periods must be brief, and there should be no punishment if the puppy fails to respond to a given command. For, during this period, what the puppy learns is not as important as the fact that he learns how to learn. This is also the time when the puppy begins forming his permanent attitudes toward people—those who feed, play with, teach or reprimand him. The kind of relationships he forms will affect his later acceptance of direction and education.
5) The 84th to 112th day: This is the final critical period, the time when the puppy is ready to declare his independence and man and dog decide who is boss. Informal play training must end here and serious adult training begin. However, the advanced training will be fully successful only if simple, informal training occurred earlier.
"Regardless of the inherited differences between breeds," says Dr. Scott, "all dogs, when given proper socialization from 3 weeks to 16 weeks of age, will reach a satisfactory level of behavior."
With Scott's critical periods as a foundation, Pfaffenberger set up a system of testing and training at Guide Dogs for the Blind. Although his program, described in technical detail in a recent booklet published by the American Kennel Club, has been worked out specifically for lead dogs, its broad outlines can easily be applied to all dogs.
Here is the Pfaffenberger formula: •From birth until 5 weeks of age—or during the first two critical periods plus an extra buffer week—a litter should remain with its mother in a small puppy room.
•At 5 weeks of age the pups are moved with their mother to a kennel, where they have access to an enclosed run. From the run they see other puppies and mothers, but until the 7th week contact with human beings is limited to the few kennel workers who clean the runs and bring food.
First training
•At 8 weeks the pups have their first extensive contact with people. One day a week each puppy is given 30 minutes of informal training. He is walked on a leash and shown how to sit, heel and come when called. Most important, he is taught to fetch a rubber ball rolled on the ground. This exercise, Pfaffenberger discovered, is particularly significant because it reveals much about a puppy's willingness to please. After the fetch test the dog is introduced to a succession of new people, new noises and new animals (such as cats), which he may meet in later life. Throughout this phase of training two observers rate each pup on his responses, scoring him from zero to five according to how quickly he learns, how playful or shy he may be and how well he reacts to each new situation he meets.
•At the end of the 12th week the pup gets his final exam, scored by a board of eight experts, who decide whether or not to keep the dog for lead training. For the exam, the pup is taken out on a simulated city block, complete with sidewalks, curbs and fire hydrant. He is walked on a leash along the street, past strolling people, past the hydrant and a tricycle or some other object deliberately left in his way. A potentially trainable dog will show definite interest in each of these situations and will not be frightened or bewildered by any of them. The ultimate test the puppy faces is to be confronted by a hand cart being pushed directly toward him. The cart comes right up to the puppy, passes by him, and stops. Then the puppy-is led back to the cart. This, like the earlier fetch test, is particularly important because it is almost certain to bring out any basic shyness, instability or indecisiveness in the dog.
After two years of testing and relating the test scores to success in later adult training, Pfaffenberger found that he was able to predict with reasonable accuracy which 12-week-old puppies had guide-dog potential and which did not. But still there was trouble. A large number of the puppies either failed the tests or passed with such low scores that they could not be kept for training. This meant either that the tests were too hard or that the average puppy being born at the Guide Dog kennels was simply not good enough to be trained for lead work.
Pfaffenberger talked to Scott and his colleagues again, and together they decided that it was probably the dogs which were at fault.
Since these dogs were among the finest of their breed anywhere in the world, the only way to improve them was to develop better strains within the existing stock—that is, to breed dogs which produced high-scoring puppies, and then breed only those puppies which rated highest on the tests. Because the high scorers frequently were in the same family this meant inbreeding and line-breeding—where brother is mated to sister, father to daughter, mother to son, etc.—a practice on which no two dog breeders have ever agreed. The scientists believed such breeding would concentrate and intensify desirable genes to produce superdogs—not canine Jukeses.
They were right. Beginning with a magnificent German shepherd named Frankie of Ledge Acres, and working along breeding lines set up by Frankie's owner, William F. Johns, executive director of Guide Dogs, the organization began producing a higher and higher percentage of trainable dogs. Although Frankie died two years ago, through a complex and carefully controlled system of line-breeding (worked out by Johns), his genes still make up [8/16], or 50% (see chart), of the inheritance of the majority of German shepherd litters born at the Guide Dog kennels.
Beyond these discoveries in training and breeding, the program at Guide Dogs for the Blind revealed one more significant factor in dog development. That is, no matter how carefully a dog is bred or how high he scores in puppy tests, he may turn out to be worthless for adult training if he is not made part of a family environment in close contact with people by the time he is 12 to 13 weeks old.
It is hard to believe," says Pfaffenberger, "that the potential of a superior puppy can be so reduced, but there is no question that many fine dogs of all types have been ruined by remaining too long in the isolation of a kennel."
Today 90% of the puppies bred at Guide Dogs for the Blind complete adult training and become lead dogs. Compared with an original 20% to 25% success ratio, such results mark an achievement without precedent. "Our results indicate that we often produce much better puppies than we ever realize," says Pfaffenberger. "There is no reason why comparable testing and breeding programs could not be applied with equal success to the improvement of all dogs, no matter what the purpose for which they are intended."
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Re: !!! The Ultimate Bobcat Dog...Part 1.5 !!!

Postby merlo_105 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:38 pm

That's just kinda common since. Poor guy who did the testing really thought he was on to something hahaha. Anyway's what is your expectations or what's the purpose for this cross now where do these dog's fit in at. Are they going to be more of a power house on a jump? Fill us in Dan. Why or what kind of person would or could benefit from one of these lurchers or the other funny thing? What would they bring to the table vs a Cat dog? I do pretty well with hounds of Mutt breeding with a sprinkle of super mutt. So what would be the big picture. I like what your doing it's pretty neat hope it all works out for you, Glad there is a 1.5 these guys have been getting pretty bored around here
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Re: !!! The Ultimate Bobcat Dog...Part 1.5 !!!

Postby Dan McDonough » Wed Mar 09, 2016 5:29 pm

The BGH bobcat page is as good as it gets but it's pretty well covered. Something new is in order. Like I had said back on the Part 1 thread, it's all spurred on by something David said in his book Bobcat Dog. No one has made a dog for bobcats the way they have made a dog for pheasants or grouse or ducks. I just figured he was right so I'm working on it. There's no argument from me in response to the folks that say they have a dog or dogs that are fantastic for catching bobcats. I've even had a couple myself. The problem is that there isn't a breed that is producing bobcat dogs one after another like there is for birds or coon or squirrels. There's a pretty good chance that I won't finish the work as I'm already 45 years old but I have enough time to get it started anyhow.

The lurchers by themselves won't fit the bill but they have extreme talents and that's what the final product will take to be successful. It's just the first stage of exploration.

For me it's going to go the same way I got started in game dogs. I looked around me and I saw my friends with walkers and curs of all sorts and I asked myself what I would like to get to join in. I figured they didn't need another hound or another curdog so I got a pair of Jagdterriers and figured out I could take care of the holes when it was needed. It was the missing portion of their effort. They already had all of the tools to catch cats abov ground.

How this project is similar is that many people can get a cat jumped and trail it well enough to make it circle but the hard part is getting it caught. I'm starting from the angle that needs the most work. The lurchers have the tools to get anything caught faster...a lot faster! If you haven't had any experience with them I would highly suggest getting out with a sighthound and a hunting border collie and from there you'll have to use your imagination because there are only a few dozen first cross lurchers in the USA. There are a few people on the BGH that have already had experience with them but it's pretty limited in most cases. Until you've seen them go and what they are capable of there's just no way to explain it escept for generalities. The speed at which their legs and brains operate is levels beyond other dogs. The border collies seem to be able to work (in their head) at that speed but the secret ingredient comes from the soghthound. In order for them to be able to run as fast as they do their brain has to process what is happening at that rate. The problem they have is that they aren't smart enough on their own. The border collie is just the natural choice in a cross to take advantage of that quick thinking. The extra speed is what gets the dog to the cat faster (when not considering the brain power). The toughness of the collie helps the sighthound side take the knocks of hunting that fast in the woods, swamps and rocks.

As far as the other angles, you could really get away with not having them if you had to and still catch a lot of cats but I'm not looking to catch a lot, I'm looking to catch all .of them. :) You could just use your GPS to follow them on the track and to the tree if you wanted to train them to stay by the tree until you got there but that's not going to be the most efficient way either. I don't think a reliance on electronics makes a dog good at what it does.

At some point, the right hound is going to have to be a part of the final product. I have some great leopards but it's been proven time and again that they are not for everybody and can't take a strong hand, generally speaking. It's going to have to be something a little more resilient under dissapline. Some of the tree hound/running hound crosses seem to me to be the obvious choice. I've seen some crosses that kept the running dog pace but still treed well.

As an extra piece of information, I have a stag x july that trees fairly well that may be the ticket all by himself but he is young. I'll talk about him along the way as I see more hunting with him. It sure would be nice to be able to make this kind of dog in one cross but getting them to reproduce themselves isn't likely to be all that easy...or as easy, which ever way makes the most sense. I could start a whole thread on him but I have a lot of reservations about him being a "one off" though his sister (more sighthound than july) does pretty well, she just doesn't open unless she's just about on a crotter's butt. She does not get out hunting nearly as much as mine and mine could use more hunting so...

I've got at least one more year of staying at home with the kids so that keeps me from hunting 6 days a week like I had previously but it's getting a little bit easier as my youngest gets her legs.
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Re: !!! The Ultimate Bobcat Dog...Part 1.5 !!!

Postby Nolte » Wed Mar 09, 2016 6:46 pm

Dan
I'm not sure I believe that pups don't learn until day 21. Maybe learn isn't the right word, but I remember reading about a procedure that was done to pups in the first few weeks that exposed them to mild stimuli. This supposedly helped with physical and mental development later on, plus a resistance to diseases and medical issues. I believe the military developed the process.

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Re: !!! The Ultimate Bobcat Dog...Part 1.5 !!!

Postby pegleg » Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:00 pm

I agree handling pups sure helps them attach to people I've had pups with very little early handling be more skittish then pups from the same breeding that were handled more. But learning might be a strong word maybe association.
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Re: !!! The Ultimate Bobcat Dog...Part 1.5 !!!

Postby Dan McDonough » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:29 pm

Nolte- My buddy did that military method with a litter of whippet x APBT's two years ago. It seemed to have, at the very least, not hurt anything. His pups are older now and are doing really well. I'll ask him for some specifics.

I don't handle pups until they are about almost near weaning age and have never had a problem with getting a bunch of spooks. I do when I nip the dew claws or if one is acting odd but that's about all.
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Re: !!! The Ultimate Bobcat Dog...Part 1.5 !!!

Postby dwalton » Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:30 am

Dan I not sure I follow why you are going to sight dogs for bobcat. Most bobcat live in heavy cover areas, very seldom will a dog be able to sight run them. Here in the Northwest the ability to move a cold track is the key to catching bobcats. If a hound can trail a cold track fast he will have no problem getting up under a cat to make it tree or catch it on the ground. Some of the top bobcat dogs I have owned were not bless with speed but did not make looses or miss corners when a bobcats dodged. I seldom miss a bobcat that I get jumped, if I do it is because the cat has been educated to roads or bluffs because of being ran by slow hounds that give it time to go where it wants to go. I assume that you guys hunt snow? If the snow is crusted where the cat runs on top and the dog falls through it is almost impossible to tree that cat. A lot of people hunt bobcats and catch them but I feel very few people have really seen a top bobcat dog or pack work a bobcat, they just don't miss many. Any breed of dog can have a dog in it that can be a fast track dog on a cold track but the running dogs are the most consistent but somewhere you need to get the tree in them. Adding any dogs together to get what one wants may work in an individual dog but will it breed true? I think that mixing breeds to get what we want and it not being able to bred true is the only reason that there has not been a breed bred that can be call a breed of bobcat dogs. Good luck let us know how it works out. Dewey
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Re: !!! The Ultimate Bobcat Dog...Part 1.5 !!!

Postby Dan McDonough » Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:43 am

Dewey- It's just one of those things you'll have to see. I had a whippet here named Mikey that was deadly in the bush. I raised him running rabbits in a tight balsam stand and black berry thicket. How he ran rabbits in that stuff without putting an eye out is beyond me but he pushed them hard enough to drive them out and make them leave the bush and then kill them in the yard. You want to see something that can work the tight stuff faster than a cat, that's it. I had 6 whippets here and he was the only one that could do it...but he did it. Vikci is a little bigger than Mikey but is the same type of dog in the bush. Neither dog looses rabbits very often except when they go in a hole or log pile. Tommy and Bandit can't do that like Mikey and Vicki. All of these dogs have plenty of nose and sense to run track and make quick work of it but their not cold trailers. They have something the hounds don't and it's poisonous to cats. The closest thing I could think of for you to see it is a guy that has a really excellent whippet. It would be one of the best examples you could possibly see to boot. His dog has treed bobcats and he trees awefully well for a sighthound. If you wouldn't mind taking him out you might get a real kick out of it. You know how fun it is to actually see something new and how often something like that actually happens anymore. I'll talk to him about it. You might just get yourself an awesome little mini vaction out of this. If you get in a decent situation I gauratntee you'll see something new and it's likely you'll know just what I'm doing afterwards.
Last edited by Dan McDonough on Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: !!! The Ultimate Bobcat Dog...Part 1.5 !!!

Postby Dan McDonough » Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:17 pm

I talked to my friend and he said that his dogs aren't in good enough shape right now. He asked if he could have a month to get them in good form as he doesn't like to try and make a show of things unless the dogs are tight and right. He's only a couple of hours from you so it should be pretty doable. He'll do his very best to put on a show if you can get him in some cats.
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Re: !!! The Ultimate Bobcat Dog...Part 1.5 !!!

Postby Goose » Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:56 pm

It seems the hog hunting community isn't the only one seeing the lurcher dogs creep onto the scene, im curious to see as well, one thing I've noticed about the idea in both disciplines of dogs is that the game has to be up and going or a pretty hot track to be able to use such a type of dog, I can see where your coming from as far as the athleticism these dogs being to the table and the brain to body coordination, but I believe just as I do in the hog dog game that breeding the "ultimate" dog can't be done, yes dogs can be bred to produce game in different geographical locations but not be the very best everywhere they go, there's just to many variable that have to be played out perfectly to create the ultimate dog for any game, good luck and I look forward to following this project, I have something similar in mind but not dare going to say the "ultimate" anything.!
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Re: !!! The Ultimate Bobcat Dog...Part 1.5 !!!

Postby Dan McDonough » Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:37 pm

Keep in mind that it's not my intention to say that a lurcher is going to be the final product. They are just a stepping stone. They just bring to the table a set of talents that are operating at a higher level than nearly all hounds, but only on one end of the spectrum. The final product will need to include something else to get there. I'm just convinced that a sighthound and a border collie will be in the final ingredients list.
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Re: !!! The Ultimate Bobcat Dog...Part 1.5 !!!

Postby Goose » Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:29 pm

I understand and in a way doing the same thing myself, how do the parents of the pups above run a track?
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Re: !!! The Ultimate Bobcat Dog...Part 1.5 !!!

Postby Dan McDonough » Fri Mar 11, 2016 1:36 am

If it's a warm enough track they are as fast as I've seen. It's just an all out dash to the critter. They swing out well and recover a loss and even when they are swinging wide to get the wind they do it so fast its just about irrelevant. They don't catch everything but they catch a lot and they do it very fast. That's their greatest advantage. Everything happens fast. There is so much less time for an animal to do anything but crouch down or climb and they better get up there quick because the first 10 feet are not safe at all. It's all very exciting if you can get in there to see it.

Keep in mind, I've weeded out the dummies already. The few that I have are the best of what I've gone through.
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