Blood Tracking Puppy Training

JdGoodhart

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Hi All,
I am pondering the idea of getting a pup to track wounded/dead deer with in the very near future and wondered if anybody has any good advice for training or any breeds they recommend. I know the United Bloodtrackers of America has some good info but figured the more info I could get the better.

Thanks!
 

JLS

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I’m partial to Drahthaars. As far as training there are some good resources in the JGHV website. Lots of exposure and lots of patience. I’ll be hitting the blood tracks hard this summer.
 

Scott85

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Is blood trailing the only thing you are planning on using the dog for? If so you would be hard pressed to find a any breed better than German wirehaired dachshund. If you want to hunt upland birds, ducks and blood trail you would want a DD, WPG or something along the lines a versatile hunting breeds.
 

wyoelkfan15

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Somewhat off the topic of breed of dog but related to blood tracking. I heard Wyoming was trying to pass a bill this congressional session that would allow hunters to use one dog to track wounded animals. Has anyone heard anything about this?
 

JdGoodhart

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Is blood trailing the only thing you are planning on using the dog for? If so you would be hard pressed to find a any breed better than German wirehaired dachshund. If you want to hunt upland birds, ducks and blood trail you would want a DD, WPG or something along the lines a versatile hunting breeds.
Primarily blood tracking with a little bit of upland and ducks mixed in. I'm sure I wouldn't be the first guy to buy the dog and then get fully into bird hunting more than deer.
 

JLS

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Is blood trailing the only thing you are planning on using the dog for? If so you would be hard pressed to find a any breed better than German wirehaired dachshund. If you want to hunt upland birds, ducks and blood trail you would want a DD, WPG or something along the lines a versatile hunting breeds.
This is good advice.
 

JLS

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Somewhat off the topic of breed of dog but related to blood tracking. I heard Wyoming was trying to pass a bill this congressional session that would allow hunters to use one dog to track wounded animals. Has anyone heard anything about this?
Hadn't heard about Wyoming. North Dakota is working on this. Idaho allows it. Personally, I think banning blood tracking dogs for game recovery is one of the dumbest laws we have. I'm glad to see the push to legalize it across the West.

Good article on training:

 

wyoelkfan15

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Hadn't heard about Wyoming. North Dakota is working on this. Idaho allows it. Personally, I think banning blood tracking dogs for game recovery is one of the dumbest laws we have. I'm glad to see the push to legalize it across the West.

Good article on training:

Thanks!
 

JdGoodhart

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I live in PA but do most of my hunting in Maryland where it has been legal. PA legalized using dogs to blood track this past year. I think more states need to allow it... because at the end of the day the most important thing at least to me is the recovery of the animal.
 

Pagosa

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Most any breed can track a blood trail, especially hound, retriever, pointer, shepard, terrier, mutt, etc. I personally would not want a fast breed to blood trail, they can over run the track, the slower the better. That way you can follow along also,
 

np307

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I called a guy this past season who uses a Dachshund. I was amazed at how well he picked up the trail with no visible blood around the impact site. We ended up not being able to recover the deer, but not to any fault of the dog. Obviously that wouldn't be a great breed choice if you wanted the dog for birds, but I was very impressed by how quickly and accurately he ran the trail (and how driven he was to do so). I don't know how much truth there is to it, but the handler of the dog explained that Dachshunds are one of the better breeds for tracking because of how close to the ground they are. They supposedly don't get thrown off course by scent drifting because they only track based on ground scent. Larger breeds (some guys around here use their deer hounds to also blood track) can be thrown off track by the wind because their nose is up. I don't know enough to know whether it was just a line he was throwing, but it made a little sense to me.
 

Gonewest

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I had a daschshund for tracking. She was out of German bloodlines and bred to track. She did a great job. I would also look into a Bavarian Mountain Hound. They are great trackers. I would buy from a breeder that will support you though the training. Let me know if I can be any help.
 

JLS

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I called a guy this past season who uses a Dachshund. I was amazed at how well he picked up the trail with no visible blood around the impact site. We ended up not being able to recover the deer, but not to any fault of the dog. Obviously that wouldn't be a great breed choice if you wanted the dog for birds, but I was very impressed by how quickly and accurately he ran the trail (and how driven he was to do so). I don't know how much truth there is to it, but the handler of the dog explained that Dachshunds are one of the better breeds for tracking because of how close to the ground they are. They supposedly don't get thrown off course by scent drifting because they only track based on ground scent. Larger breeds (some guys around here use their deer hounds to also blood track) can be thrown off track by the wind because their nose is up. I don't know enough to know whether it was just a line he was throwing, but it made a little sense to me.
Probably largely a product of training. Versatile dogs certainly have a propensity to want to search with their head up, as that’s part of their DNA. However, one can mitigate this by running tracks with the wind at your back during training. Over time, they learn to differentiate between tracking and field searching.
 

T Bone

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This topic interests me.

I helped a friend try and blood track a poorly arrowed bull.

After a morning of failed tracking, we had lunch and took back his Jack Russel Terrier as a last ditch effort.

That little fart had the bull found in 15 minutes. The dog had never been on a blood trail before, but seemed to understand exactly what he was there for.
 

RockinU

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I've run blood tracking dogs for about 12 years now, and from my experience, what you are looking for in a dog depends a lot on where you're tracking, what you're tracking, and the rules governing the tracking.

It Texas, we are allowed to run up to 2 dogs off leash to recover wounded/lost game (excepting about 12 counties, where it is not permitted). Being able to run 2 dogs off leash means that we are able to not only recover lost game that has expired, but we can also run down and bay deer that are seriously crippled as well, including deer that have broken legs and such. Since we have that option, it doesn't benefit us as much to have small dogs, or the slower dogs that some have mentioned. I personally like a dog that will drift a track with his head up, and a mind towards covering country, but with enough sense to methodically work out a lose, and a dog with enough bay instinct and athleticism to keep a deer bayed until I can get there to dispatch it. For me, one of the various breeds of cur dogs works well, with my personal bias being towards the Black Mouth Cur.

Were I in a state that only allowed leashed tracking, I would select for a smaller dog who was more methodical, closely followed the track, showing me what its finding, and less capable of dragging me through brush at an unreasonable pace. I have had the pleasure of watching a dachshund work that was a truly gifted dog at finding dead deer. Wasn't much help on the live ones, but that wasn't really his forte.

As for starting puppies, I use lots of liver, and it works well. I start with drags that progressively get more complicated, and progress to very spotty tracks. I also use gut piles to work on my puppies being able to "wind" things, which is handy if I'm relatively certain a downed animal is in a certain area, and I can just take my dogs for a walk on a line downwind of that area...sometimes results in a quick and easy recovery.

Running blood dogs is a lot of fun, and can be very rewarding, if there is anything else I can do to help out, I'd be glad to if I can.
 
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