Scent directions


A young dog started on the right animal is less apt to run undesirable game. To use the musk squeeze a bead three sides of a drag. Tie a piece of string in the end and grag through fields or woods. Start with an easy trail and work toward more diffucult ones. Keep training sessins short and happy. Be enthusiastic and praise the dog.

After your dog shows interest in running these musk trails, have him run natural trails so a kill can be made at the end. This is necessary to finish the training of the dog.

It is always worthwhile practice to run an inexperienced dog with a well trained dog as one of the finishing steps in his training.



To teach your dog to trail, scent the dummy and attach a rope or string to it. Drag it through cover just high enough to hide it at the end of the trail. Keep the first trail short, 15 yards or so, depending on your dog. Gradually lengthen it as the dog improves. Bring your dog to within 20 yards of the trail and give him a command you use to have him find the bird. Talk excitedly and gradually walk toward the trail. Once he is on the trail, let him run it to the end.
Should he lose the trail or become distracted get his attention by telling him to "finf the bird".

When he locates the dummy, blow the "come" command and move away from him. When he reaches you, praise him, letting him hold on to the dummy, then give him the release command. Each session, gradually lengthen the trail. Hide the dummy in "birdy" places, hedgerows.



If you are training for retrieving only, graduallly lengthen the distance and the type of ground cover that you employ. Eventually, you will probably need a helper to stand about 100 yards or more from you. Have him use a blank pistol or yell "bang" and throw the dummy. Wait until the dummy hits the ground, then send your dog on the command. (Fetch, find it, etc.) The whistle is also employed here. Let him hunt the dummy. When he locates it blow "come" command on the whistle. Try to vary the cover you use. Have him get used to going from one type of cover to another to get the dummy. Use the same technique in the water. Vary open water and cover retrieves. Minimize any errors and be lavish with your praise. Use the whistle as it carries better than the human voice, especially in dry, tall cover and in the water.

For pointers with some previous traning, of for most other dogs, you can "plant" the dummy in a field without dragging a trail first. Do not let the dog see where the dummy is planted, however. (In laying trails or hiding dummies always remember where the trail or dummy is. Mark it off existing objects in the field or use tape or fluorescent spray paint to mark them. A dog is colorbling and cannot see fluorescent colors.) You might wish to plant several dummies in an area so he gets used to finding multiples. Always praise him when he points or retrieves one.

Remember that dogs take scent form the wind. It is wise to check the wind direction prior to setting up your sessions. A dog finds it easier to run at an angle to the wind rather than having it come directly at him of from the behind.

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