Best Dogs...

A Place to talk about hunting Bobcats, Lynx.
1bludawg
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Re: Best Dogs...

Postby 1bludawg » Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:28 am

I've mentioned on here before that Rock and Ranger were the 2 best dogs I've ever owned .Rock was bluetick ,black&tan and trigg while Ranger was bluetick,walker and shepherd.Both were cold nosed,extra fast and sure nuff tree dogs .They treed bobcat alone!
I've been fortunate to observe several cat dogs over the years from puppies to finish cat dog.The very best ones seemed to be a little slower starting...........that is compared to their littermates.
The littermates would start out like gangbusters and ole Catcher would look poor compared to them but he would show a little improvement each time out,his siblings would eventually reach a plateau,level out and were done. Ole Catcher would just keep on coming,getting better and better until he surpassed his littermates and made the best dog in the litter,usually around 2 1/2 years old.
That's been my experience anyway.
david
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Re: Best Dogs...

Postby david » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:06 pm

ONE_TON wrote:So I have a question. When you're starting a young dog do the early starters that show real well and at a year old are starting to catch their own game, do they tend to make that "best dog", or is it that young dog that progresses nicely year by year and by 3 there your lead dog?
I have been told that "all" those top shelf, or "best dogs" all started early, and I have been told it’s the slower starting ones that by 3 have what it takes to make a top dog? I know there are a lot of variables to this. I know now that I have culled a young dog earlier than I should have, and also given others longer than I should.
So out of every ones "best dog" how did they start? Were they the eiarly starters, or the late bloomers?


i think the answer to the question of early starting might be different for bear, lion, coon or combination dogs that have been used for bobcat than the answer of certain straight bobcat hunters I have known of. So I have thought a lot about why that is through the years.

My best bobcat dog was a very mixed bred dog that seemed like she was going to start early, then turned off, and came back eventually.

It kind of depends on what you mean by "start" also. Started going with the other dogs? Started trailing on their own? started actively locating? Started barking treed? Started doing all that alone, and catching their own game?

My first dogs started extremely early and were doing it all, (alone on wild coon) at least by six months, and most earlier. I remember feeling so confused by folks that would call a ten or eleven month old full grown looking dog a "pup". But not very many of mine, if any, ever became what I would call a "top bobcat dog".
Some thought they were great bear dogs, and they were great coon hounds, did perfect on a lot of lions, but bobcat? No, not really.

And as I studied top bobcat hunters and top bobcat hounds, I found a lot of patience for young dogs to develop certain skills slowly.

The way I dealt with it in my own mind is that those dogs early in my life were completely instinctive hunters. They didn't need to learn and maybe even were not capable of much actual cognitive learning.

Most people agree that intelligence is important in bobcat dogs in most regions. Why? Well I think it is because there is not a breed for which bobcat hunting can possibly be 100% instinctive. The instincts of every dog I have known will not always serve them well in certain bobcat situations. When they blindly follow their instinct, it becomes a mistake at times.

I think the greatest bobcat dogs have been able to learn from their mistakes. It might even take months of making the same mistake, like not locating correctly. But eventually something clicks and they learn from their mistake; and their intelligence is able to overcome their instinct, which has failed them.
Then when that instinct tells them to do something, (or not do something else) they ignore the instinct, and do what cognitive process shows them will work better than instinct.

The earliest starting and most amazing pups in my life were the ones whose instincts were so strong, their brain could never overcome them.

If you put the same equation in human terms, our prisons have many folks whose cognitive thought processes could not overcome their instincts.

In humans, they say the critical thinking part of the brain is not fully developed till around age 24. Unfortunately a lot of us have already made major life decisions before we have that ability fully in place. I have no idea really how this might translate to a dog brain. But I have to guess that certain problem solving parts of the dog brain continue to develop. Going by the 7 to 1 ratio, a dog would be older than three before his best thinking gets done.

It is just a guess, One Ton, but my guess is that those who told you all the greatest dogs started early either; a) might have a loose definition of "started", or b) were hunting combination dogs also used for lion and/or bear, and/or coon.

So early starting or not, I think the best bobcat dogs I have known of had the ability to keep on learning from their experiences and mistakes for years; eventually predicting or expecting certain bobcat behaviors; and anticipating or responding to those behaviors by habits developed from instinct when it is appropriate, or experience and problem solving where instinct has failed them.
mark
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Re: Best Dogs...

Postby mark » Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:08 pm

I hear dogs labled as lead dogs on here alot. What does that mean? Is it a dog that is always ahead of the others if hunted with others,is it a dog that is hunted alone,is it a dog that trees first or starts the tracks first,is it the dog that slipped out and caught a cat by itself one time and is forever imbedded in our heads? The list could go on but what determines a dog being labled the lead dog? You see dogs for sale from 2 1/2 to 5 years old that they say will make a lead dog for someone if hunted some more. Is it possible to have multible lead dogs or can only one dog get that lable? Its been raining nonstop for 3 days and im bored i guess.
Twopipe
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Re: Best Dogs...

Postby Twopipe » Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:59 pm

"If you put the same equation in human terms, our prisons have many folks whose cognitive thought processes could not overcome their instincts."
That statement has cleared up the reason that some "slow" starters come on strong at a few years old. Thanks david for that perspective!!
A good dog hunts wherever he's set down.
dhostetler
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Re: Best Dogs...

Postby dhostetler » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:18 am

Mark,
Most hunters I have hunted with have 1 dog they use to start all there tracks or start all there strikes. I always assumed that was there lead dog. I mix it up a lot more with my dogs. Having multiple lead dogs may be how I have heard of one guy having a price for pick of the litter then hearing that multiple pups in the litter are pick of the litter.
mark
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Re: Best Dogs...

Postby mark » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:44 am

So then the first dog on the ground is the lead dog, i guess i was reading to much into the term lol Them boys that road 6-10 dogs at once to start their tracks sure have a lot of lead dogs. Thanks for helping me figure out what was meant by the term. Maybe somone from other parts of the country have different definitions ?????????
merlo_105
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Re: Best Dogs...

Postby merlo_105 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:47 am

Dang that makes me feel better about my bunch of Culls. All mine road all mine ride the box free and all mine get dumped out of the box on a snow track. Price just went up on these bone heads there all lead dogs. Never understood letting one dog rig or one dog start tracks
dhostetler
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Re: Best Dogs...

Postby dhostetler » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:53 am

Well I always thought lead meant best or #1. Pick of the litter meant the #1 pup. I am always striving to have no #1 dogs I want them all to be awesome game catchers. I will let you all know when I get there. LOL
Bon Plott
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Re: Best Dogs...

Postby Bon Plott » Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:32 pm

I think Dhostetler covered it . Alot of guys have a dog they drop to check baits and start before feeding less experienced or multiple specie dogs. I like to dump the box when hunting alone (bears) depending on the age of your pack I expect them all to be able to start and finish. I will be starting 4 1year olds this year so a "lead" or "start" dog will be used to get things rolling. Once the youngsters figure out a few trees and the target game I will put them down to determine their ability.
Our dogs in new York don't get as much exposure as many areas in the country. Coyotes are the longest season and most plentiful so many young dogs will get thier track time on them. Without rambling too much, in my experience early starters make up the dogs I feed. The slow starters usually finish out average, decent hounds but I don't prefer average


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