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Old August 8, 2012, 07:31 PM   #1
tchunter
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has anyone trained a dog to track blood?

I've got a weimeraner with a crazy good nose. Been thinking about training her to track blood, or atleast track a deer that has been shot. Any tips would be great. If I'm crazy just say so
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Old August 8, 2012, 10:04 PM   #2
grubbylabs
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No you are not crazy, go over to the Versatile dog forum and there will be a few who can help you out. Should not be a problem teaching your dog to track blood.
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Old August 9, 2012, 01:46 AM   #3
bamaranger
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me too!

I've recently got a big yellow lab that I'm going to do the same thing with.

I bowhunt whitetails, alot, and have always threatened to start one. This lab is absolutely nuts to retrieve anything....somehow I'm going to twist that into deer at the end of a blood trail.

Some online searching, none of it intense, has yielded many leads.
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Old August 9, 2012, 07:03 AM   #4
Saltydog235
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Never trained one but have had quite a few GSP's that would just do it if you took them to the initial point. My favorite dog ever, Abby, was a stocky big boned stout shorthair, and all you had to do was put her in the vicinity and tell her to "hunt dead", she'd find it before you could say anything else to her. Hunt em up was the phrase for live hunting. I sure miss that ole girl, never have another one like her.
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Old August 9, 2012, 07:14 AM   #5
Husqvarna
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done it with all my dogs, we are kinda required by law to have access to a dog that can track wounded animals, my dad does it for the police department.

we had a gs/labrador mix that was out of this world. he would "catch" and kill them to.

start small and when they are comfortable increase the difficulty,

after a while in training you can substitute the blood for water that have had deer(or animal of your choosing) hairs soaked in it, boil the water with the ahirs in it.

be sure to have a hoof or small bone of the animal at the end of the track because that is the reward for the dog.

and if you have an already dead animal let the young dogs "find" it and tug at it abit, creates an interest.

sadly this practise is dying over here because the wolf is coming back big time, we don't really dare let our dogs loose anymore in many places
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Old August 9, 2012, 08:00 AM   #6
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Bama, I once had a big lab that I easily trained to track a deer. Figured that since labs don't bark on trail I'd hook a rope to his collar and keep up with him. Bad idea as I realized that he was going to drag me thru every briar patch and thicket in the woods--I'd have to call 911 for myself before we ever went into the woods. GW
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Old August 9, 2012, 04:41 PM   #7
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Well all of my shorthairs will track blood it is bred into them.

Years ago I had a hunting pit bull, got him from NC farm. He would sneak right up on a deer, I would make a noise, deer jumps up gets shot, pit grabs deer no tracking needed on blood shorthairs will bay when they come to the end of the trail too.
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Old August 9, 2012, 04:59 PM   #8
Jack O'Conner
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Yes, I trained our Airdale to track deer. It was fairly easy and the dog really enjoyed herself. Start out with a short but heavy blood trail and go from there. Patience and praise go a long way with most dogs.

Jack
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Old August 9, 2012, 10:08 PM   #9
big al hunter
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Check state laws, it is illegal to use dogs in Washington for hunting big game. Not sure if we can track wounded big game because you are still hunting until you tag it.
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Old August 10, 2012, 03:46 AM   #10
bamaranger
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Hey Whiskers,

Yeah I thought about that, and it is thick in most places I hunt. One of the sites suggested a long lead and a harness, much like the the K9 drug dogs work. My Lab would pull like a mule and that lead would get hung in everything.

What I think I will do is put a bell on him. He will hear the bell and, hopefully, think .."this is work, not play, we are searching for blood/deer".
And I will hear the bell as he works. In daylight he can probably work loose. Maybe, I'll be learning too.
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Old August 10, 2012, 06:15 AM   #11
buck460XVR
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Here we can use a dog to blood trail deer as long as they remain on a leash. If they are not on a leash you are considered to be using the dog to hunt deer, which is illegal.
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Old August 10, 2012, 03:57 PM   #12
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Have dogs been interbred so much that they are too stupid to trail blood? When I was a kid my neighbor hunted pheasants with a German Shepard that pointed and did it naturally. I had a boxer mix that trailed downed pheasants with ease. What is this world coming to?
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Old August 10, 2012, 04:29 PM   #13
Hansam
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I've been thinking about this thread a lot and have finally decided to post something because prior to now I just wasn't sure what I would say. So here goes.

1. Any dog that has any real prey drive can be trained to track blood. Blood is actually rather smelly and easy to track for a dog - much easier than say finding a pheasant in the midst of a field. So long as the dog has any prey drive at all the training isn't too difficult. Some dogs (like mastiffs) have almost no prey drive and as such training them to track is next to impossible. That's not to say you won't find exceptions to that rule but they are rare.

2. Depending on your area you may be illegal if you track a wounded deer with a dog. In Wisconsin so long as you maintain control of your dog(s) with either a leash or they are in audio AND visual range and are controllable by commands you can track a wounded deer with the caveat that all of your hunting weapons MUST remain back at camp/vehicle. I was told by one warden that if you had a side-arm on you he wouldn't ticket you for hunting illegally and I was told by another warden that he would ticket you if you had a side-arm on you. They were both wardens in the same county. I guess it just comes down to interpretation of the law by the warden at that point in time. If you intend to track wounded deer with a dog make sure you know the laws and how your local warden will interpret that law. I'd rather lose a deer than end up with a ticket for hunting illegally.

3. Typically within the circles of bird hunters they work hard to break their dogs from tracking and chasing anything but birds. As a trainer I can say that if a dog is trained in hunting other types of animals it makes it more difficult to hunt a particular species effectively because the dog will chase after any scent he/she has been trained to hunt. That means if you're out bird hunting your dog might pick up the scent of a rabbit and go after that while you follow it thinking you'll have a bird to shoot. Worse if its pheasant season and your dog decides to start tracking a deer that he/she might have caught scent of. I've talked with people who do a lot of coon hunting and some bear hunters who hunt with dogs. Both groups say that their dogs are trained specifically for what they hunt ie. ONLY coons or ONLY bear. The reason is the same as before - you don't want your dog going off chasing a different species than what you want. Its a good idea that if you're going to have a dog that tracks wounded deer you should limit it to that and don't try to hunt other animals with it. On the bright side a dog that's trained to track wounded deer could also easily be trained to find and retrieve sheds too! Then in the off season you could go out with the dog and find whatever sheds might be in the area and have some antlers to make decorations out of.

4. Breeding is a big issue - or I should say bad breeding is a big issue in the world of dogs today. There is far too much breeding simply for cosmetic reasons and not enough breeding for actual physical abilities and prowess. True there are still breeders that breed dogs specifically for their particular abilities - the breeders that I get puppies from breed labs specifically for their hunting ability and intelligence. Police departments typically buy dogs from trainers and those trainers buy puppies ONLY from breeders that breed for those dogs' specific abilities ie. bloodhounds with better noses and a better recognition of different scents or GSD with a certain temperament that makes them trainable, brave and have enough heart to actually bite a human being on command(something many breeds don't have because its been bred out of them).

5. I don't know of any professional or semi-professional trainers that train dogs to track wounded deer in this area of the country. I've hunted with people who have trained their dogs to track and bay wounded deer on their own and they've done so to good effect. There were a few deer that we'd have completely lost after being shot were it not for the dogs.
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Old August 10, 2012, 04:48 PM   #14
markj
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Quote:
I don't know of any professional or semi-professional trainers that train dogs to track wounded deer in this area of the country.
You have some nahvda folks up there and some DKV folks that do train and test blood tracking. You might want to look into thier methods.

Quote:
NAVHDA chapters sponsor four kinds of tests:


The Natural Ability Test which is designed to evaluate the inherent natural abilities of young dogs and gain insight into their possible usefulness as versatile gun dogs. It rates seven important inherited abilities: nose, search, tracking, pointing, water, desire and cooperation.
http://www.navhda.org/tests.html

A good dog ca n do it all, track blood, hunt wild birds, hogs etc.
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Old August 10, 2012, 09:11 PM   #15
Hansam
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To my knowledge the NAVHDA works primarily with bird dogs. I've run into a handful of people who train and compete within that arena and frankly its not for me. I actually haven't seen many of their dogs that were trained to both hunt birds and land game. I've heard claims as such but have yet to actually see it. Perhaps I haven't seen enough of a selection of their dogs but of what I've seen when they talk about a versatile hunting dog they're talking about a dog that will hunt different species of birds in varying environments.

Well I train my dogs to hunt duck, pheasant and grouse. They're also trained to retrieve any bird I shoot be it duck, pheasant, grouse, doves/pigeons, crow etc. Basically if I've shot it and it fell my dogs will find it and retrieve it on command. I guess that makes them pretty versatile according to the NAVHDA's competition requirements right? I mean the only difference is that my dogs are trained to flush and trust me they don't just "bump" the birds which is bad according to the NAVHDA. I can tell when they're on a bird and just by watching the dog I can also tell when they're about to flush one. I've also found that the level of obedience and training that I hold my dogs to (and that most hunt triallers in the Flushing/Retrieving arena AKC or UKC) is of a higher level than what I've seen from NAVHDA.

Here is a production video clip of some sort that highlights the NAVHDA. Looking at some of the examples shown in the clip I can tell you that aside from pointing (which dogs in my arena aren't trained to do) the behavior of many of these dogs would result in loss of scoring points. I won't elaborate here because we are already diverging from the original purpose of the OP. If you're interested let me know and I'll either PM or start a new thread per the Mods' feelings on this as it is only semi-pertinent to firearms.

The NAVHDA's tests all center around game birds - ducks, pheasants and chukars. They do mention that historically dogs were bred to hunt all sorts of game, on land, in water and in air. Nowadays though the dogs in the NAVHDA only test on birds. The one big problem with the NAVHDA (and why I don't play with them) is that they fail to recognize many popular sporting breeds as valid hunting dog breeds. Most spaniel breeds, the Labrador, the Golden Retriever, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, the Flat Coated Retriever etc. Instead they only recognize "European" breeds of sporting dogs and for that matter they center primarily on pointing breeds. This puts me out of the game with them because the breeds I prefer to work with aren't even eligible for competition within their arena.

As for DKV - I honestly haven't got a clue what you're talking about. I've never heard of any group, organization or training program in the Midwest called DKV. Can you elaborate on what exactly DKV is?
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Old August 11, 2012, 04:00 PM   #16
Husqvarna
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Hey Hansam I had one of those mastiff exceptions

he was a bullmastiff/boxer mix and worked fine, abit slow but I said he was thourough instead, I trusted him more than my fathers spitz because the spitz would go after the closest moose

My mastiff probably saved my and my fathers life when we were tracking a bear that had been hit by a car. we let the spitz go loose and I had the mastiff on a leash, we heard the spitz starting to bay and we start moving up but my mastiff starts to growl and isn't moving, then I see it in the corner of my eye about 20 meters into the woods on the side of the path we were walking.

luckily she wasn't charging, the spitz was treeing one of her cubs
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Old August 11, 2012, 09:46 PM   #17
Hansam
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Husqvarna,

I knew a guy who had a mastiff that I swore was half labrador. She was a smaller dog for a mastiff and was extremely athletic. That dog absolutely LOVED playing fetch and was an awesome tracker. She readily tracked and bayed deer and was one of the few dogs I'd had the pleasure of watching track a wounded deer.

That was the ONLY mastiff that I knew of though that was like that and she was a purebred. Most purebred mastiffs are not gamey at all and have no real desire to track any animals. They're quite content to lay there and watch the game animals run across their field of view.

Your mastiff was a mastiff/boxer mix you say? That explains the prey drive. Boxers have an extremely high prey drive and are natural hunters. They aren't normally used to hunt birds because of their tendency to eat the game they track too but they're still a very high prey drive dog. Mix that with a mastiff and you just might get a mastiff mix that loves to hunt.
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Old August 12, 2012, 10:08 AM   #18
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The whole reason I got the breed of dog I did was because of the tight breeding standards and high expectations of the pups and dogs. It is quite common for a Deutsch Drahthaar with minimal training to be able to do it all.
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Old August 12, 2012, 10:20 AM   #19
buck460XVR
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Most any dog with the sense of smell can blood trail a deer. The hard part is to train them to differentiate between trailing a wounded deer when you want them to and them trailing any deer when you're hunting something else.
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Old August 12, 2012, 12:57 PM   #20
thallub
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Quote:
Most any dog with the sense of smell can blood trail a deer.
Very true.
i track wounded deer and elk for other hunters. The dog is a wire haired dachshund that belongs to another person. The dog is kept on a long leash.

http://born-to-track.com/
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Old August 12, 2012, 06:33 PM   #21
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Great stuff guys! Now a little background on me and my dog. She is a rescue dog that I got when she was about 6 months old. More loyal than you can imagine. I hunt in south west michigan. Our property is very thick in most places with some wetlands and two creeks running through it. My family is obssesed with bow hunting. As everybody knows it is inevitable that you will have to track deer for long distances now and then. For instance last year my brother shot a buck just before it was too dark to shoot.decent shot but didn't take the deer down quickly. We marked the trail after a lengthy track and went back in the morning. The deer was 40 yards from where we stopped, completely stripped to the bone by coyotes. A dog would have found the deer with ease. My dog is not trained to hunt anything but you can she she has the drive while catching gophers and squirels. When I take her to the woods her nose is in overdrive. So, by the sounds of it, if I ease her into it I believe it will result in more recovered deer. Thank you for the input guys.
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Old August 13, 2012, 07:20 AM   #22
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Quote:
The whole reason I got the breed of dog I did was because of the tight breeding standards and high expectations of the pups and dogs. It is quite common for a Deutsch Drahthaar with minimal training to be able to do it all.
Sure am glad that royalty is going to be so great. Get off the high and mighty man, I've had quite a number of continentals that just picked up everything or automatically just knew what you wanted them to do. Be it on a dove field, tracking a blood trail, sitting in a duck blind or hunting upland.

In fact the best all around hunting dog that I have ever seen was a Blue Heeler drop mutt an old farmer had. That dog in no specific order would herd cattle, bay pigs, tree coons, run with the beagles on rabbits, run deer, retrieve doves, and went every morning and got the old farmer's paper. When the old farmer died they would find that dog besides his headstone 5 miles away on a weekly basis.
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Old August 13, 2012, 01:52 PM   #23
grubbylabs
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In fact the best all around hunting dog that I have ever seen was a Blue Heeler drop mutt an old farmer had. That dog in no specific order would herd cattle, bay pigs, tree coons, run with the beagles on rabbits, run deer, retrieve doves, and went every morning and got the old farmer's paper. When the old farmer died they would find that dog besides his headstone 5 miles away on a weekly basis.
Well good for you.
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Old August 13, 2012, 04:53 PM   #24
markj
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I guess that makes them pretty versatile according to the NAVHDA's competition requirements right?
Um well NAVHDA does do a blood track, for DKV here is a link, it is the German way of testing

http://www.nadkc.org/

they do blood track, also german dogs dont hunt many birds, they mostly go after troublesome stuff, hares, hogs etc.

My shorthairs will hunt whatever I turn em loose on. Birds are only one thing I hunt.
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Old August 13, 2012, 05:52 PM   #25
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Markj,

I understand now what you mean by DKV - however you're talking about a breed specific club and that's rather narrow. I have had no previous experience with them nor have I even heard of them till now because I don't foresee myself ever actually working with GSP, GWP etc. They're pointers and I didn't specialize in flushing dogs to work with pointers.

I do admit though that because of this I know absolutely nothing about the DKV tests you're referring to and visiting the link you posted doesn't say much regarding the actual testing - just rough overviews as to what each test (names being in German) means.

As for the NAVHDA I've been to a couple of their events and haven't seen any blood tracking - just birds and I have to say that honestly I'm not impressed. I appreciate their desire to further dogs and hunting sports and I'm also aware that what they train for is sufficient for most hunters but I look for a higher level of training in my dogs and dogs of other trainers in my arena of play.

Oh and just so its settled, a GSP is a GSP; a GWP is a GWP etc. It doesn't matter if its called that in German or in English its still the same breed. Calling ones dog a Duetsch Kurzhaar or Drathaar doesn't make it any more special than a GSP or GWP. It just means you spent more money importing it from Germany right? I may not play in the pointer arena but I've seen many champion and master pointer hunters who were were born and raised in America. Many of those were GSP or GWP. There's really good bloodlines in America too - you just have to look for it. Just because it came from another country doesn't necessarily make it better.
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