Success with my Girl, AT LAST!

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  • Success with my Girl, AT LAST!

    I left on Friday to meet up with a bunch of hound hunter mates of mine. After last week’s episode (standing on a brown snakes head) I was a little perplexed as to whether I should take my dog with me or not. I figured it would be our last hunt for the season with the weather heating up and snake sightings on the increase.

    I've been training my girl from the day she was put in my hands (8 Weeks old) to hunt by my side. She is now 15 months of age and has excelled in hunting Rabbits and retrieving, scenting foxes and killing them, retrieving ducks. BUT, as of the early part of this year (April/May) I started working her over her toughest target of all, Sambar Deer. I've read just about every article, I have taken peoples advice, some good, some bad. I've tried over and over again, she failed sometimes, I failed sometimes. I've had a very small amount of successful Deer hunts this year due to the amount of time and dedication I have thrown into my Dog. It was worth every second of effort and nothing in the world made me prouder or could of brought me closer to my dog than the moment she stood over her first Sambar.

    This was literally the last chance this season for us to get one together and although it was due to the efforts of the hound dogs, she was right by my side and she was the reason I spotted the Deer seconds before it received a .270WIN between the eyes. Her tail went up, her chest puffed out, one front leg raised off the ground and her ears lifted. I knew we had company and this time we both had a win. My phone unfortunately died not long after the shot so I only managed a photo of the deer half cut up through another mates camera. Due to this, the best I can offer is the following footage. You will notice she was leashed for her own protection but, close by to the edge of a small gully. She licked up the brains of the Deer the boys came to help hike the meat out. We both slept very well that night.

    It was one of the very greatest experiences of my life and I am an extremely proud man.

    (Video and Photo to come shortly.............)

  • #2
    Great work. By the sounds of it, it will be the first of many successful trips.

    As she gets older and if you keep up with positive training you should make a terrific team. They really do form a great bond and are worth the (initial) effort. No doubt the more time you put into them the better the outcome. As with shooting I find you are always learning with dogs, they are so varied and there are numerous ways to train and handle them. What works for someone and their dog/s may not work as well for you. Though the basic principles remain the same.

    Snakes and dogs are a bad mix, certain breeds cant help themselves and many hunting dogs cant resist them. Good idea to stay away for a while. You could train her to keep away from them, will be a bit of work but really could be worth it in the long run. You could start training with a fake snake but would ultimately need to find a someone with a real snake (non venomous of course), have your dog tethered so she cant actually harm the snake. There are several ways to do it and does depend a bit on your dog as to how best go about it.

    Still a little risky as she accidently tread on one but at least if she sees one she will avoid it. If trained you should be able to continue to hunt with her in the warmer months with reasonable confidence.


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      Having trouble getting these damn photo's and video's off my iPhone and on here....I will try when I get home from work.

      I have used a pet snake in the backyard with her since she was a puppy. It might sound cruel but, I did used to torment her with it at times It sits in the backyard and gets moved around from time to time, much to the missus disgust haha! She's great with avoiding it nowadays but, honestly I spend hours with her every single day just working and training. It's that very reason things are starting to pay off.

      Unfortunately it was myself that stood on the snakes head, she was not with me on that hunt fortunately.

      I will get the pics up soon

  • #3
    Big apology for the video (Apology for the sound quality, didn't know how to lift it), I realize it isn't full of content but, I'm working on being more diligent whilst out hunting towards filming. I just tend to forget so often. The end result was a young Spiker and not a Hind like I first mentioned in the video. The dog was leashed due to the sheer number of snakes out and about. We saw 5 snakes that day including 3 Browns and 2 Red Bellys.

    I promise to do a better job of filming next time.




    • #4
      Nice Video mate


      • #5
        Good vid. Shes seems to be getting it, well done.

        We track with 10m/30ft long light weight soft cotton or nylon leads (nylon better in wet). You can also get a light weight tracking harness where the lead is clipped on under the chest (lead goes between legs underneath). It works very well, below image is my boy tracking in an IPO Nationals event (scored 97 out of 100). I really like tracking on long lead, it gives you complete control of the dog and still allows them a lot of movement. If you see them going off scent, starting to track in wrong direction/getting put off by foreign objects, warrens etc you can give a slight tug and verbal correction to get them back on track. Obviously not always easy to see them going off track/distracted but as you work more with them you get to pick up on their cues. Also good as they cant run off and chase something unexpected. The best trained dogs still can do unpredictable things. Just an idea.

        Lightweight is good as it gives little resistance. I tend to have slight tension on the lead, no resistance just enough really to take up the slack. If the dog pulls into it I gently pull back, not a correction just enough to get the dog to ease up. If it becomes a jerk the dog gets confused thinking its a correction (can look back). We track for 100% focus/concentration (dont always get it but thats the goal). Theres a hell of a lot to tracking as no doubt you have already seen. Looks like your nailing so far.

        The other good thing about having a specific 'tracking harness' is the dog instantly know what youre about to do. If you only use the harness for tracking she will start getting excited when its put on her (even when she sees you holding it). She prob will begin seriously sniffing as soon as you get her out of the car.


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          Cheers mate!

          The main reason I kept her on the lead is due to the sheer number of snakes about in the high country at the moment. 5 in one day was a little too many for my liking. I normally let her off the lead and she stays within 10m of me at all times and generally holds up, turns her head and waits for me. Not sure if it's a separation thing but, she's been doing it from day one.

          Now that it's warming up I wont be working her over Deer anymore this year. I will take her up to the farm on rabbits and foxes all the same.

          I could write an essay on the types and methods of training I have been performing with her but, to be honest i'm just not in the mood to type that much. All I can say is that if anyone wants a word of advice or reference I am happy to help out in anyway I can.

          My biggest regret is not letting the camera roll and capturing all of the footage

          Next time.