UKC Forum Member
Registered: Jul 2019
It has been a couple weeks since I have posted anything. All 4 puppies are doing fine according to reports from my buddies. The male puppy at my house has been named LUCKY. We haven’t done a lot of intense training over the last 10 days or so. We have been somewhat sidetracked with work and working on the farm. The shorter days are challenging the system. Last wknd, we took Lucky with us to a friends cabin for the youth deer hunt. My 7 year old bagged her first deer! Exciting times. Lucky behaved like a gentleman the entire wknd. Stayed in the cabin with us in his kennel during sleeping hours and mostly on the couch when everyone wasn’t hunting. I guess you could say he was getting a little spoiled. Just feel like the more time he spends right beside me(or anyone), the quicker he will learn proper manners. He was very laid back and mature acting for the most part. Every day when I get home from work I get him out of his kennel and let him tag along for the farm chores to be done. He normally runs behind the 4 wheeler checking cows and gets a ton of exercise. Yesterday evening I worked with Lucky on a drag. Used some coon scent on an old rag and attached a hot dog to it. My hope is that as he plays with the drag and gets to nibble at the hot dog he associates that scent with fun and reward. I realize the coon scent I use might not be ‘accurate’ or as good as a real coon, but it is more about him getting associated with that scent. As I train him, and as I progress into turning a couple coons loose for him, I will actually apply that same coon scent to those turned loose coons. He did show some ability to find the ‘track’ and run the track for a little way. I basically put him in a dog box and use my rag drag and drag a straight line for about 10 yds and then hang the drag cloth up off ground where he can barely reach it. Yesterday on the first run I hung it on a cattle corral panel and the second run I hung it on an electrical pole. I wetted the cloth and then applied coon scent and tied the hot dog to the drag as well. I remember exactly where I started the drag. I took Lucky out of the box and Went to the area where I started the drag(within 10 ft) and I started talking to Lucky. I suppose everyone can use different language for this part but I always say “look for him Lucky, coons in here, look for him”. I won’t ever say that to Lucky except for when I wang him to look for a coon or when I know there is a coon track close by. I am simply trying to use that as a ‘trigger’ for him to find the coon track. Lucky didn’t have any trouble finding the start of the either drag track yesterday. I honestly think he was winding the scent before he ever actually got to the track. As far as I am concerned both runs were fine and they both turned out basically the same. Lucky found the track, followed the track, over ran the track....and here is the important part, circled back to see if he could find it again. He didn’t just quit it and go on to something else. He actually circled back and tried to find the track again. Neither of the runs resulted in a drag that got treed or not even so much as a glance in the upward direction. That’s all fine with me. I saw what I was looking for. Find the track, follow the track, lose the track, have enough interest to find track again. I praised him all I could whenever I saw chances on this. And as a reward I got the drag down and just toyed with him for about 5 minutes. I swung it around, bouncing it off the ground and letting him chase it and try to grab the hot dog. I basically stuck with it until he has swiped the entire link. Then I petted him up god and showered him with praise and put him back in his pen and put him back in his kennel for the night.
Our rifle gun deer season opened today and I Took a little time after lunch to mess with Lucky. With the help of a neighbor, who gifted me with a trapped coon, and my old grnitech After Hours Badger, we introduced Lucky to his first real live raccoon. I wanted to utilize Badger to let Lucky try to ‘pack’ with the older dog. I felt like Badger going nuts over the coon would help give Lucky the confidence to bark a little at the coon. Also felt like it would help Lucky understand that the real live raccoon is what we are after. I fully expected for Lucky to run around behind Badger trying to play and not really have a lot of interest in the coon. I was surprised. He went right in to barking and carrying on like he had done the routine before. I think Badger being there, really helped Lucky want to get into the act. Will try to post pics/videos tomorrow.
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