How much can we expect from our versatile dogs?

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Re: How much can we expect from our versatile dogs?

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:49 pm

Your trapline idea sound like a good approach. I think a calm demeanor does not translate well in terms of predicting how a dog will react around prey. It does predict a dog which may do better while hunting waterfowl and doves which requires alot of sitting and waiting quietly often while wary waterfowl circles many times inspecting the decoy spread and layout before committing.

The hardness test in the DD breeding certification program yields dogs that on average are very keen to engage fur in a lethal manner. Good training can channel it but you will be working against the dog's natural inclinations on the decoy/lure vs full on engagement part of your overall plan.
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Re: How much can we expect from our versatile dogs?

Postby joecool7296 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:28 pm

That's good to know. If my dog could sit quietly for a couple hours then I might be able to bring him as company on my deer hunts. Those keen senses may even be able to key me in on some deer that I might have missed!

Is the quiet reserved pup usually a first pick of the litter? Also, I want to thank everyone, especially averageguy, for taking so much time to answer my questions!
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Re: How much can we expect from our versatile dogs?

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:14 am

Getting the right puppy begins with the most critical which is picking the right litter from the right breeder. I have made 5 pick of the litters. I look for the most confident and independent dog in the litter, with no obvious conformation issues, decent or better coat. The boldest dog in the litter is not the right choice for everyone and most all puppies in a well bred litter can be developed into a very nice dog. Not all will be breeding quality dogs and it may well be none of them are, but that is a different matter. Attending VDD and NAVHDA training days and Tests is a great way to get your eyes on some dogs working. Asking a prospective breeder if you can watch whenever they might be doing some work with their adult dogs and puppies is another great opportunity. The more dogs you observe the more you will learn and build a basis for comparison and judgement.

That includes seeing other breeds which then provide excellent and far more independent information than just staying within a single breed pool. Until you have seen a high powered dog ripping up a bird field and slamming a stylish point, a slow plodder with a lack luster pointing style might impress you simply due to the productivity of the dog found a bird. A dog doing a duck search with obvious intent of never stopping unless the handler calls it in or it catches the duck is telling. How the dog behaves while staked out waiting its turn to work and while leading around is good information. Do the puppies immediately put their noses down and work a track or do they run around head up over the track repeatedly is a telling observation on the genetics for tracking. Degree of exposure of course enters into that but the best tracking dogs I have had were complete naturals and showed it at their very first opportunities on. You can give a dog opportunities to track but unlike pointing and retrieving, no one can force a dog to track. DDs are generally quite strong in this area but despite the propaganda of the VDD there are variances of quality and dogs to be avoided in that breed (as there are in all others as well.)

Across the Versatile dog breeds, I rate the DDs as perhaps at the top for a calm demeanor and confident mental capabilities. Make sure the parents are the type of dog you want in your most critical criteria areas and then your odds of success go way up immediately no matter which puppy you pick.
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Re: How much can we expect from our versatile dogs?

Postby Dmog » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:26 am

I haven't done it much but when attempting to lure coyotes with a bait dog using a tone on the ecollar appeared to be what made the yotes that were baiting disappear...not sure as there could have been other factors.
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Re: How much can we expect from our versatile dogs?

Postby joecool7296 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:40 am

That's all great info to have - thank you again for such thorough replies! I have a few more questions that arose from the last post if ya'll don't mind.

Why confident and independent over bold or reserved? I don't really know anything about picking a puppy, so maybe this is a basic question, but it might be enlightening to understand peoples thought process on this.

And you say that the best trackers you have seen had an innate ability. Does that suggest that when you picked a puppy you laid down a scent trail and observed the puppies when they encountered it?

Many of my questions in this thread have been on tracking and fur... Hunting birds is equally important to me, however, it seems that hunting birds may be easier to train for, and an inherently more innate skill in DD's... so for my set of goals, would it be better to focus on parents that are known for tracking/fur work (is this why mike was suggested?), knowing that I will most likely be able to get any DD trained to effectively hunt birds?
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Re: How much can we expect from our versatile dogs?

Postby joecool7296 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:44 am

Dmog wrote:I haven't done it much but when attempting to lure coyotes with a bait dog using a tone on the ecollar appeared to be what made the yotes that were baiting disappear...not sure as there could have been other factors.


hmm that's interesting.. I'll have to do more reconnaissance work on that topic!
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Re: How much can we expect from our versatile dogs?

Postby JONOV » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:40 am

The thing I'd be most concerned about from what you're asking is pursuing far and metering your expectations of hound music. Some bark and bay more than others, the VDD does measure sight and scent loudness, but it seems to be a bit of a question mark.
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Re: How much can we expect from our versatile dogs?

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:51 am

joecool7296 wrote:
Dmog wrote:I haven't done it much but when attempting to lure coyotes with a bait dog using a tone on the ecollar appeared to be what made the yotes that were baiting disappear...not sure as there could have been other factors.


hmm that's interesting.. I'll have to do more reconnaissance work on that topic!


Not sure what the best approach is. I train recall to the tone for silent range control in all situations. The tone on my Garmin is not loud and the dog and coyote would have to be close to each other for the yote to hear it, but they have excellent hearing so might be a problem. If it is a problem I expect a Human Voice or a dog whistle would be even worse. Could train the use of a low level nick on the ecollar as a que but that would be tricky to make sure the dog does not mis-interrupt that que as discipline to leave the coyote entirely alone ...

Edit: another option that might work well is the vibrate on the ecollar. Especially if you used it only in this area of work.

I took this photo while hunting with my dog in Canada. A pro trapper had taken 700 coyotes out a large area which included where I took the photo. That left the best of the best remaining and this Alpha Male and his mate were crazy bold. They stood at the edge of shotgun range and barked challenges at my GWP in an obvious attempt to lure him out so they could gang up on him. Training and ecollar kept him from taking up their challenge as he really wanted to do. My Brother and I stood in plain sight, waving our arms and yelling at the yotes to clear out and you see in the photo what their reaction was. Prairie storm moved them along after that. In that instance I doubt an ecollar tone would have mattered but I am sure it might in some other situation ...

Image

You asked about why a bold confident pup. I find them wonderfully easy in every phase of training. Each new experience goes easy as well as they are compelled to see what is over the next hill and find game while doing. Confident dogs most often get along really well with other dogs and people. Confident and bold does not mean the dog may not also be calm. When observing a litter I find it very doable to see which ones are bold, confident and independent, but not sure I can predict which ones is going be calm necessarily. I quietly observe the pups when turned out to explore and am not trying to interact with them at all while I do. I look for the pup that consistently goes off exploring using its nose as it goes. All hunting benefits tremendously from a dog being compelled to use its nose and search for game, but probably none more than when upland bird hunting and I do that the most, so that factors into my preferences. But a bold confident mental makeup runs through everything the dog will do in a positive way in my experience. You certainly can lay a track for the pups but I would first and foremost focus on what are the genetics for tracking in the Sire/Dam of the litter and any related dogs and prior litters.
I think the Sire/Dam are again the best predictors as to whether a pup will be calm.

Mike's dogs are the total package. Fur, Feathers and Fowl. I also know of a litter coming up very shortly from a Bitch that I have hunted with as well as I watched her VJP test. That bitch has top notch natural tracking skills, is scent loud and sight loud, and is a bold bird dog and retriever as well. I am not first hand knowledgeable about the Sire of the litter but know the Breeder is. Might be the pups are all sold already but if you interested send me a PM and I will get you some contact info.
Last edited by AverageGuy on Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:45 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: How much can we expect from our versatile dogs?

Postby mastercaster » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:14 pm

AG, on a different note,,,,could you have popped those coyotes that were out of shot gun range with a rifle if you would have had one with you? Up here in BC you could have.

When I read the original post what I thought the poster was saying in order to attract a coyote using a collar was to use a distress call on it like a crying or injured noise. Coyotes usually converge on that kind of noise. As you mentioned, a beeper or a tone noise would likely send them in the other direction.
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Re: How much can we expect from our versatile dogs?

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:25 pm

MC, I could have popped those coyotes with a shotgun and a buckshot load they was so close, but I had no idea what the licensing requirements to do so was and no 4 buck on me. I only knew I was properly licensed for Waterfowl and Upland Birds which were the focus of my trip. Those Canadian yotes are the biggest and best furred I have seen anywhere. I used to predator call alot back when it was easy and took a male which weighed 46lbs and a female at 41lbs. These were larger and that beautiful western pale color. I would love to have a case skinned hide hanging on my wall.
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Re: How much can we expect from our versatile dogs?

Postby joecool7296 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:17 pm

Thanks for the offer on the upcoming litter. I'm actually planning a little over a year and a half out since I had read that a pup from a good litter should be reserved several months in advance, and timing wise I was hoping to get one at the tail end of winter/early spring. I thought that way a lot of the obedience and basic training will be well underway by the time any of the hunting seasons open in the fall. That should give the dog some exposure in its first year so its ready to hit the ground running on its second season. That plan technically leaves this winter/spring open, however, this fall /winter won't be a great time for me since I am planning a move to start my PhD.
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Re: How much can we expect from our versatile dogs?

Postby woodboro » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:43 pm

AverageGuy wrote:Woodboro,

If by "tangled" you mean have any of my GWPs grabbed a healthy adult bobcat before it was shot, no they have all been smarter than that. But they put the heat on em enough to make em tree or hold them at bay. My current GWP treed a game killing feral cat here on my farm twice a few weeks ago and took some claws to the ear. No big deal but the risk of infection from those nasty claws sure is. Good fur dogs are not necessarily good kill dogs and vice versa. Many attributes rank way higher than being a good kill dog in the track and tree arena. I had hounds before I had GWPs. Love a good bawl mouth hound.


Sorry AVERAGEGUY I thought you owned DD's .
IN any case you can do all you want with your GWP , but let us know when your dog eventually tangles with a Bobcat , and make sure you let us know the out come.
My DD's I will keep away from bobcat , coyotes and wolves.
good luck with all that
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Re: How much can we expect from our versatile dogs?

Postby joecool7296 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:12 pm

woodboro wrote:
AverageGuy wrote:Woodboro,

If by "tangled" you mean have any of my GWPs grabbed a healthy adult bobcat before it was shot, no they have all been smarter than that. But they put the heat on em enough to make em tree or hold them at bay. My current GWP treed a game killing feral cat here on my farm twice a few weeks ago and took some claws to the ear. No big deal but the risk of infection from those nasty claws sure is. Good fur dogs are not necessarily good kill dogs and vice versa. Many attributes rank way higher than being a good kill dog in the track and tree arena. I had hounds before I had GWPs. Love a good bawl mouth hound.


Sorry AVERAGEGUY I thought you owned DD's .
IN any case you can do all you want with your GWP , but let us know when your dog eventually tangles with a Bobcat , and make sure you let us know the out come.
My DD's I will keep away from bobcat , coyotes and wolves.
good luck with all that


I think a main difference between what you're perceiving and what averageguy talks about is the intent behind bobcat hunting. It seems that his have mainly been incidental and with low frequency. Any hound will get tore up at some point, it's just the law of averages. I originally mentioned bobcats in this thread because I think they are a cool animal, however, I live in a very low density area for bobcats, and if my dog saw more than 5 or 10 bobcats in his life, that would be a lot... on the other hand I've heard of hounds that have treed hundreds of bobcats.

Since your outcomes with bobcats seem to be a bit more negative than aveageguys, then maybe you'll have a better perspective on this - do you think a Kevlar vest and bite collar would help a dog that tangles with a bobcat? I have read that bobcats lay on their back to get the hounds on top of them, then grab the hounds neck and claw its stomach. Would our 21st century ingenuity level the playing field any? I know i'd certainly be safer in a knife fight if I had cut proof clothing... also, i know that one of your points is that you never know when your dog may run into a bobcat... But for arguments sake let's consider that we intentionally cut the track and can prepare the dog with the appropriate equipment.
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Re: How much can we expect from our versatile dogs?

Postby orhunter » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:14 pm

It's the dog's head and face that are in real danger. You want a blind dog? A vest and collar doesn't cover the important parts.
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Re: How much can we expect from our versatile dogs?

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:45 am

woodboro wrote:
AverageGuy wrote:Woodboro,

If by "tangled" you mean have any of my GWPs grabbed a healthy adult bobcat before it was shot, no they have all been smarter than that. But they put the heat on em enough to make em tree or hold them at bay. My current GWP treed a game killing feral cat here on my farm twice a few weeks ago and took some claws to the ear. No big deal but the risk of infection from those nasty claws sure is. Good fur dogs are not necessarily good kill dogs and vice versa. Many attributes rank way higher than being a good kill dog in the track and tree arena. I had hounds before I had GWPs. Love a good bawl mouth hound.


Sorry AVERAGEGUY I thought you owned DD's .
IN any case you can do all you want with your GWP , but let us know when your dog eventually tangles with a Bobcat , and make sure you let us know the out come.
My DD's I will keep away from bobcat , coyotes and wolves.
good luck with all that


Well thanks for the permission slip.

I have had 4 GWPs which treed bobcats with their life and limbs intact afterwards.

I took this photo of a 12 year hound owned by a Friend of mine in MT. The dog hunted Mountain Lion and Bobcats all its life. He put that lion in the tree in 22 below zero F actual temps after tracking it 3.6 miles, then another 1.6 miles when it jumped out of the tree. By both appearance and performance the dog seemed none the worse for the wear. Every dog in my Friends pack had all their ears and eyes. This guy I am referencing has treed over 60 lions in a single season.

Image

The notion that dogs cannot reasonably hunt, tree and bay bobcats is contrary to the actual practice of those of us who have done it.

Bayed up on another lion. That's how it is done. Over and Over.

Image

Of course there is risk of injury. A bird dog ducking under barb wire fences, ripping through cover, swimming in ice water strong river current has similar risk. Twice my GWPs have run sticks up their noses requiring expensive surgery to remove them, had a hound run through a fence resulting in a bunch of stitches, had his ear ripped in half by a coon (stapled and healed up fine), a Buddy's GSP opened up her back a good 10 inches going under a barb wire fence on opening day, twice a year part!, my current GWP gouged a divot out of his cornea (doctored with medicated drops and his eye healed up fine), a buddy had to rescue his lab a mile downstream when a retrieve in a flooded river went bad this past season, that GWP in the photo I posted was swept through a hole in a levee while pursuing a crippled green head while hunting a duck lake next to a running high flooded river, the dog disappeared into the swollen swift river running through flooded timber and I nearly drowned in the same incident (dog eventually showed up with the greenhead and here I am typing), another buddy had his lab nearly die from heat exhaustion and suffered seizures afterwards, I see we just had a post about another dog with heat exhaustion late yesterday, we have another thread on this board about dogs jumping off of cliffs and roofs, I stepped off into a boat lane a couple of years ago while wading out of public marsh in Iowa in the pitch dark wearing chest waders, if it had not been for my Brother grabbing me from behind it might have gone really bad, saw a GSP in our archery elk camp sick as heck for a week from a bad rattlesnake bite, two visits to the vet from porcupines last season one requiring anesthesia to hopefully remove all the quills ...

Its not a Walt Disney world out there when you turn a hard going hunting dog loose and we who do it accept the reasonable risks when we do.

Smart dogs know how to bay dangerous game. Ask anyone with actual experience in this area and they will tell you the same.

JoeCool,

The risk of overheating your dog with kevlar vests is far greater than the overblown risk from a Bobcat being posted in this thread is what I will tell you. The only time I see dogs wearing vests is catch dogs when hog hunting and those dogs do not perform the long distance pursuits and rather are dumped in after the running dogs have brought the hog to bay.

Nothing on your list is completely "safe" including very much blood tracking for deer when the deer that is supposed to be dead is not. Wonder if some are going to limit a DD's job duties to exclude that too?

Statistically most gut shot deer will be dead within 12 hours but my dog tracked to this buck on a 16 hour old track last season and things got very Western as the buck was still alive. The dog got the buck bayed up in thick cover going at it head to head. That buck with those big long tines lowered towards the dog charging at him repeatedly, the dog baying furiously darting in and out and around the buck keeping him completely at bay, putting on enough pressure to hold him while not getting run through with those antlers. I have had several other encounters which included my GWP of the day taking down and throating a wounded deer it was asked to recover which was not yet dead, flailing front hoofs ... Comes with the job duties.

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