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How to train a dog to scent trail?

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How to train a dog to scent trail?

Postby LazyGhost » Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:10 pm

Got a new dog now and was wanting to make her good at tracking down the deer that we kill. Since im hunting at home I can shoot one and whether it runs 10 yards or 200 I can easily go back to the house and get her and work her on every kill we make. Just needing some idea's on how to train and work her since I have no experience.
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Re: How to train a dog to scent trail?

Postby terry08 » Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:26 am

LazyGhost,

Smacko gave an answer to this during hunting season but, I can't find where it was posted. PM smacko and he can tell you how he trained his labs.
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Re: How to train a dog to scent trail?

Postby terry08 » Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:24 pm

Midnight won't trail nothing but a Rib Eye Steak and likes it Medium Rare.
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Re: How to train a dog to scent trail?

Postby meat hunter » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:09 pm

I used to start my young pups with a piece of bologna, hot dog, meat scrap what ever. First let them watch you drag it on the ground and leave it at the end of the trail. Then drag it around a corner and leave it. Then drag it where they can't see you at all and leave it.

Eventually they will start putting their nose to the ground and trailing the goodies.

Keep making the trails more and more complicated as you go.

Then start by dragging whatever you want them to chase with the treat. Leave the treat at the end of the trail. Then gradually phase out the treat except as a reward at the end of the trail.

There are probably another dozen ways to do the same thing. And as many variations on this method. But this has worked well for me on beagles and tree dogs.

I would advise against treat rewards with bird dogs. Having a retriever trained to gobble down what they are trailing is not a good thing.

As with any other dog training you are better off with short daily sessions than one long session once a week. And praise praise praise when they get the smallest thing right.
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Re: How to train a dog to scent trail?

Postby FC » Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:28 pm

My paw in law was a big bird huntin man and even thou he lived to be a healthy 85 years old, I never did get to share a bird hunt with him and his dogs ... I truly regret that.

Good luck with your training and fill us in on any progress ...
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Re: How to train a dog to scent trail?

Postby glenn » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:44 pm

Meat Hunter gave you pretty much what I did to train my lab. The only things I did different was, as much as I could, I used deer blood and scraps for the treat at the end. Any time we cook deer meat I will take the blood and any scraps we cut off prior to cooking and lay out a trail leaving the scraps at the end of the trail.

Another thing I do is use a bell. The only time I pull it out is when there is a blood trail to follow. He goes nuts when he hears the bell jingle and knows fun time is here.

Like you said, get him on every deer you can, no matter how easy. Even the ones that fall in their tracks. I go out and try to stop 100 or so yards down wind if possible and stand there telling him to find the deer. I will gradually move closer until he catches wind of it. They learn more from that than anything else. He always gets to stay under the deer as much as he wants, lick blood and eat scraps while it's cleaned.

Good luck!
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Re: How to train a dog to scent trail?

Postby FC » Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:53 pm

Another thing I do is use a bell. The only time I pull it out is when there is a blood trail to follow. He goes nuts when he hears the bell jingle and knows fun time is here.


tells you how excited he is to find your deer also ... great idea Glenn !
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Re: How to train a dog to scent trail?

Postby LazyGhost » Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:20 pm

Yea, the bell is a great idea, for several reasons.
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Re: How to train a dog to scent trail?

Postby meat hunter » Wed May 05, 2010 4:02 pm

I use a bell on my bird dogs, too. They get really fired up when they hear it.

I was cleaning out some hunting stuff last spring and did not realize they could hear the bell, they we raising nine manner of *&^% trying to get out of the pen - it was HUNTING TIME.
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