UKC Forum Member
Registered: Aug 2008
Location: SE Ohio, Glouster
When to compete
Well I'm gonna take a little different approach to your question, by asking you a question.
How special is this dog to you?? Ask yourself this question.
Am I willing to risk all the hard work I have put into this pup to get it where it is for a cast win?
If the answer is yes, then the above answer is good advice.
But if you would hate to see all your efforts and hard work "possibly" go down the tube just for the sake of your first cast win, may I offer you an option?
For me, I never put a young dog into a comp hunt until it has mentally matured just a bit. Some pups have so much more NATURAL ability than maybe the do physical/mental maturity.
Pups like that are a real joy to own, but you can really set back a pup loaded full of natural ability, but maybe lacking some physical/mental maturity by turning them loose in a cast with a 3-4 year old NATURAL ALLIGATOR that chews on them real bad before anyone can get to the tree and stop whats going on. That can really mess with a YOUNG dogs mental ability to hang treed from that point on with a physically rough tree dog. It doesn't ruin them all, but it will ruin some, and you must then decide when the reward is worth the risk.
For me, I like to hold off till my young dog is 20 months old or more before subjecting them to that potential danger but that is just me, as I have NO desire to hunt the money hunts where dogs are hunted by age groups.
Enjoy your hound, and enjoy the hunts, no matter what you decide to do. At least you have a couple perspectives to consider before jumping in. Good Luck!!
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