UKC Forum Member
Registered: Nov 2011
Originally posted by 5thgearwide
This is a deep topic that I thoroughly enjoy. It provokes deep thought and multiple theories. Iíve always heard that if 1/4 of a litter turns out to be good dogs, then it was a good cross, though Iíve never bought into that. I believe we should be aiming for a higher average than that.
If the entire litter is raised in the same environment, same temps, same socialization, exposed to the same obstacles, given the same opportunities and so on, I feel that we would see a better percentage turning out.. You can take it one step further knowing what to expect in the 8-10 week and 5-6 month time frames where you would now expect the pups to be a little on the cautious side this is where you would be inspiring confidence, instead of testing the dogs grit. I think the main problem with ď1/4 of a litter turning outĒ is they are rarely all treated the same, and given the same opportunity, if not abused or neglected by some also
Iíve been exactly where you were in your second example. My question is this, do you think if the particular pup hadnít been exposed in that time frame, would it have still developed the fear later on? I kept 1/2 of the last 2 litters I raised. The earlier of the two litters I had my eye on the ugliest boldest pup in the bunch. I kept 2 others totaling 3 out of the 6. At 6 months one of the others was trailing and making bear trees with the big dogs, at 10 months the second pup (not my pick of the litter) started to make trees and click. At almost 16 months my pick had had the same amount of exposure to game, same truck time, same wood time, same trail time, seen nearly as many bear as the other 2, yet she kept getting more and more shy. I finally threw in the towel and called it quits when I saw that 4 of the 5 that were currently being hunted, were going above and beyond for their age.
After reading your post I now wonder if there was something I did without noticing in the 8-10 week or 5-6 month window to cause her setbacks, or was it bred into her.
5thgearwide, good post...
In my opinion the 10 week and 6 month fear factor is good information to have so when the handlers are socializing the pups that they are making sure the tasks for the pups are those that instills confidence and not create shyness or fear...we can instill too much confidence in the pup during during sessions to where they think they can handle most any game even in the 6 month time frame...l made that mistake many years ago and I did it on purpose...I had my pups thinking they could stretch out any pig...they were loaded with confidence and the first time they encountered a big boar in the woods they took a beating before they realized they bit off more than they could chew, luckily they survived the incident...I still work them the same and then at a later date I have them bay a larger pig so they can learn to respect a bigger hog before they go to the woods...
I agree with you on the 25 percent of the pups making it is a low number...I believe itís low for other reasons as well...pups should be tested for natural inclinations for winding, finding, how they find etc...for me it serves three purposes I can think of right now but there are other reasons when done right...
1. working on imprinting...which is a form of training and socializing
2. so we can see how they work and think...this will be a part of who they are
3. I am looking for the natural winders, finders and hunterís etc...etc...
It is my opinion that to consistently breed top hunting dogs one must breed from a family of hunting dogs and they must be excellent hunting dogs from at least 3 generations ...I once had a line of dogs of this type and I had a quite a few good pups from each litter...
I also believe when we breed to top dogs that arenít related you will get some good dogs but the consistency wonít be there and sprinkle in a few dogs that donít have what it takes and then the pups that make it is less than 25 percent...have had some of these too and have culled whole litters...not because they were all that bad but I didnít like them for one reason or another...the hardest thing in the hog dog world is finding a great line of dogs...
I also wonít work a dog very long...it doesnít take long to find out if they are going to have it or not...just remember...the effort we put into the dogs to make hunting dogs out of them will gravitate towards the following generations...we must hold ourselves to a higher standard...
Training dogs is not so much about quantity, it's more about timing, and the right situations...After that it's up to the dog....A hunting dog is born...
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