Strike dog

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Bluedog88
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Strike dog

Postby Bluedog88 » Sun Sep 02, 2018 2:14 am

Anyone train a strike dog with scent? Think I'm missing out just hunting the snow. Put together a strike hood and was thinking about trying this. I have one good hot nosed dog and a year old pup that seems more cold.
david
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Re: Strike dog

Postby david » Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:35 am

A lot of dogs will not open on training scent.

If you have snow, good; or if you can drag a dusty or sandy road to check it for tracks later, that can work also. But you need to drive them over real live cat scent somehow. If you are a trapper, when season opens, make your sets near the road, in favor of prevailing winds. Put your dogs up when you near the set. And watch them. It might be a good opportunity to discourage them if you catch a coyote also. (It is safest to do any breaking when they are on the ground; or some sensitive dogs could get discouraged from ever opening on the rig)

Having your dogs on the hood is ideal because you will be able to see their body language, even if they do not bark. (You could use scent, I suppose, just for the opportunity to study their reaction to it, if any.) But you will be able to see when they smell an animal.

If you know some good cat crossings, just go hunting. Rig them by the crossings. If nothing, then go back and let them run down the road at the crossings. If they show cat while on the ground, catch them up and rig them over that spot and watch carefully.

When I was trying to train a solo cur dog many years ago, I let her ride in the passenger seat with her head out the window (so I could study her). She did not bark, but it was easy to read her when she smelled game. Eventually she started whining a little and finally, with some training, she would bark on the box in back. She was anything but a natural rig dog. But all dogs can smell game. And if you put them where you can study them, you can start game with them because their body language is loud and clear.

Some dogs are automatic rig dogs and all you need to do is rig them across game scent and they will naturally open. (These are the dogs that used to always be punished for barking inside the box; and you can break a dog from rigging by this, so think about the temperament of the individual dog and act accordingly).

Other dogs have to be trained to bark. One thing that can help with that is not letting them off the rig until they open, and immediately letting them off when they do. With two dogs, it will be easier for you to get the other one to bark by watching it’s buddy hunt the road. If the dog on the road shows cat, the dog on the hood will be tortured by the body language (and voice possibly) of it’s buddy/competitor. Then wait for it to open and let it down.

It is not hard to teach a dog to speak on command around home. They speak, then they get a treat. You can use that command when you see them showing scent recognition on the hood. But it will help them learn to bark if you refuse to let the dog down until it opens. That becomes the treat for “speaking”.
Bluedog88
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Re: Strike dog

Postby Bluedog88 » Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:50 pm

Thanks a lot! I usually just use pursuit season to road but That's not very productive around here. I know my pup comes from a long line of bear strike dogs.
david
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Re: Strike dog

Postby david » Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:59 pm

You have a problem you should be aware of going forward:

Your broke dog is hot nosed, and your puppy is colder nosed and from a line of good rig dogs.

The problem is you won’t know when your puppy is striking off game or good game. It may strike a cat that your older dog will not open on, and you might assume the pup is hitting on off game. This can be a very frustrating situation, and it will be very easy for you to be wrong about what is actually happening.

You will need to focus on getting your puppy broke from off game: COMPLETELY APART FROM THE RIG. you need to get him broke as if you were someone who never rigs. It is a touchy situation. You can inadvertently break a dog from hunting at all while on the rig, or you can break him from barking on the rig.

And this happens to a lot of experienced hunters and they don’t know it: you can break a dog from barking on cat scent if there is off-game in sight or heavy off-game scent in the area.

This is because when their handler sees a bunch of deer and the dog strikes, the handler assumes the dog is striking deer, and reacts accordingly.

Bobcats walk where deer walk. And, of course, lions walk where deer walk and stalk them. If your dog is over broke on the sight of deer, he might not bark on cat scent around the time you have seen deer or if your dog perceives that you know deer are in the area. (In other words, dogs loose trust in their handler, so they might learn to shut up when they smell cat in these situations.)

You can avoid this by doing your correcting on the ground/ apart from the rig.

I am just telling you these things so that you will be careful. Some dogs can overcome a lot of our mistakes. Some can not.

In my experience, in general, bear bred dogs can overcome a lot more handler error than bobcat bred dogs can. So you might have that in your favor with your bear bred pup.

Often times you see the “best rig dogs” are the outgoing happy go lucky types that never let anything bother them.

A lot of the sensitive dogs can smell just as good and might have been as good or better, but they may have been ruined for rigging by the way they were handled; and even by the way other dogs are handled, because they can shut down when other dogs are doing wrong or are being corrected. This is one of the many reasons some cat hunters will not hunt with other peoples dogs.

(An example: all the dogs in or on the box, or hunting close together CAN HEAR THAT TONE from the Garmin they are NOT wearing. For some dogs this is no big deal, for some dogs it might shut them down).
Bluedog88
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Re: Strike dog

Postby Bluedog88 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:30 pm

Thanks the original reasoning behind building a strike hood was my pup last year started striking on gut piles @4 months from the back of a SUV with the windows down. Though she had to empty out. Ran a couple hundred yards out and started chowing down. Well obedience trained now and needs broke and some real hunting.
david
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Re: Strike dog

Postby david » Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:52 pm

That is cool. You have a natural rig dog. You will have a ton of fun. Just get the dog to where he lives, dreams and breathes cats, and get it slowed down on off game. You can add the rigging part at any time. It sounds like it will be natural for the dog to let you know about it from the hood.

Bobcat scent can be very subtle compared to a gut pile or a bear, but if the dog is cat crazy, it will begin to notice.

Have fun and let us know how things are going.

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