Life with Sweetie

JTHOMP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Messages
559
Location
Louisiana
JTHOMP, thank you for these posts. Like I said earlierI also am entering the world of training a hunting hound (beagle)and its nice to see another having the same struggle and success that I am experiences. I am definitely stealing the "patient and persistant" minset and feel that I need those 2 words tattooed on my inner eyelids sometimes. Please keep up the posts. Thanks again
Patience has to be the hardest part. Me and the dog have to learn. What you plan on doing with your beagle?

I do not have a GPS to track the dog. Just an e collar. I've put a bell on him at times, which works well.

I'm working with a pointing breed and generally don't let him range too terribly far. That said, here in IN when just loafing in the woods, there's been a few times I wish I had a GPS.
This week we have really been working on "come" and haven't had any issues. Saturday and Sunday she'll get to spend a lot of time in the woods. Prior to all this when she was in the woods I let her do her thing because I didn't want her to learn to stay at my feet. With her ranging out now, I'll try to get her to come a couple times so she knows that she can come and then continue hunting. For the time being I might just put a bell on her before dropping a few hundred one way or another.

One thing for sure is that she has her nightly routine figured out.
1.jpg
 
Last edited:

Bhill552

Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2016
Messages
78
Plan to chase rabbits with my beagle. Hopefully he has the same plan. Hes still young at only 11 weeks so only time will tell. I agree patience is the tough part.
 
Last edited:

JTHOMP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Messages
559
Location
Louisiana
Saturday morning was her first time in the woods since Tuesday. That pup was full of piss and vinegar. She ranged out well often just catching a glimpse of brown or white through the brush. I had kept forgetting to get more weed eater string this week so used trot line string instead. Worked OK, but she got tangled a couple times. But having that extra line helped when her drive overcame her obedience and hunger to come. Made sure to hunt her on an empty stomach. Gave her a treat every time I got her to me. Later in the morning she came when called.
Twice while she was out of eye sight I put a frozen squirrel around and up the tree. She has no problem finding and treeing on the scent when she finds it. While doing this Sunday evening she ran back to me before I tied it in the tree. I dropped it to the ground and tried to distract her to go elsewhere, but she found the scent. She was oblivious to the squirrel at her feet and paid more attention to the scent and barking at the tree. Great in a way, not so great in another, but I'm very please with her after only working for a couple weeks.

2.jpg

Saturday evening my brother and a friend of ours was with me and I broke the golden rule by bragging how well she had been doing. Friend took the squirrel and brother took a coon tail. Pretty much had to point out the squirrel for her. The coon tail sniffed all around it knowing something was there. She left the spot and continued to range out. Eventually she came back and found it by sight IMO. Brother made another walk out with it to hang it one more time. It was pretty much dark at this point. He then proceeded to go to fire to drink beer and cut up before telling me I could turn her loose. Of course she ran right to them and started barking. Kind of aggravated because while I wanted to cut up and have a good time, I was first there to work my dog.

I tried calling her back but I doubt she listened. Guess she eventually turned to the woods. My brother said the general area along an old fire line where he put it so I went looking for it to at least recover the tail. About 100yds down the ROW she opened up and was treeing on the tail. A fine ending that I am still happy with.



Sunday evening I took her to a small WMA with Ashley. To help save patience for her and myself I carried her the half mile back until we reached good squirrel woods. It was windy and I highly doubted squirrels would be out, but each trip to the woods is something new to learn. She did OK ranging out. Mostly stayed well within eye sight. Towards the end of the evening. I turned around to see a big cat squirrel going up the trunk of a large sweet gum tree. Sweetie was probably 5 feet from the tree nose to the ground as usual. I held my breath hoping for her to look up and catch the scent. She didn't and walked out of sight in a thick patch of sweetbay magnolias. She left in an eastern direction. Long story short I found her 20 minutes later coming to my calls. Not sure if she found something to chase after, or got a wild hair and ranged way out. I've decided that I can't drag me feet any longer on buying a tracking collar. It's just to convenient of a tool to not utilize. At least she came to me with ease and tail wagging. Gave her a good girl and a treat before the walk back to the truck.

3.jpg

But the day was not really over yet. That night Millie acted like she needed to use the bathroom so we let them outside, and they took off after a possum. The possum was quick to play dead instead of scrap. Millie did most of the work, but Sweetie got in there as well. Her first time on a live animal. She seemed to enjoy herself.
 
Last edited:

JTHOMP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Messages
559
Location
Louisiana
I wasn’t able to spend the weekend working Sweetie due to a prior commitment on a BHA group hunt. I would have loved to bring her just to let her get the extra work, but where I was staying wouldn’t allow dogs. If I had Sweetie before the lodging plans I would have made better arrangements to bring her.

Since I took off Friday before the weekend, I decided I’d spend time with her that morning rather than getting a head start on the weekend. Before I took her to the woods, I put out two squirrels. Squirrels are intact road kills that I keep in the freezer. When I brought her to the woods, piss and vinegar ran past the first squirrel, but she eventually worked her way back and found it. For the second one, when she started treeing I first questioned why she was treeing there. Then realized she was smarter than me, because I forgot where I hung it and she found it.
1.jpg

She and Millie stayed the weekend with Ashley’s dad and wife. To say “grandparents” spoiled the dog is an understatement. Sit is pretty rusty, she was bad about running out of the door as soon as it opened, and is now jumping on us and objects in the house. Prior to her being there she would only occasionally jump on objects when she smelled food. Patience and persistence.

But when I cut her loose in the woods Sunday evening, she knew where she belonged. The first squirrel she found much faster than I expected. This time I introduced her to a 20g and she never took her eyes off the tree. The video gets a little long winded, but I’m trying to keep her on the tree longer to make sure she learns to stay on the tree. When I dropped the squirrel she ran off with it before I could grab her and took off down the fire lane. Annoyed, I followed her and watched her turn and go back into the woods. To my surprise she actually dropped the squirrel on the fire lane, turned into the woods, and went back to hunting. I was proud of that dog!

Before this when I was hanging the squirrels I made an effort to spread my scent in the woods to see if she was trailing me. Brushed some trees as I walked past and bear hugged a couple. Between the first and second squirrel, Sweetie barked in an area on a tree I had bear hugged, and worked over the area. She is smelling me and then finding the squirrel. Glad to see she didn’t really tree though. I let her do her thing in that area and she moved off on her own. Later I gave her a “get ahead” and gestured out in front of me in the direction of the other squirrel. Not sure if it was coincidence or she really knows “get ahead” now, but she went from behind me to out in front. Eventually she found the squirrel. Really proud of this dog.

2.jpg

Moving forward I’m going to try to hunt her this weekend with another dog. I’m comfortable using a shotgun or .22 around her. Rather a shotgun just to help get some fur in her mouth. At the very least in future trainings I’ll do as Mr. Carlton advised and have someone else set the squirrels out so she doesn’t get use to finding my scent. I have 2 traps out for coons and a trap for squirrel. Hopefully I can get her on something live and not frozen and get her amped up to hunt.

3.jpg

 
Last edited:

JTHOMP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Messages
559
Location
Louisiana
SHE DID IT!!! I'm so proud of this dog.

Wednesday evening I checked traps and had a coon. I put the trap in the woods and got Sweetie. Turned her loose and let her find it on her own. Little nervous at first, but she was on fire and wanted it. I tied Sweetie to a tree and let the coon go. Waited about a minute or so before turning Sweetie loose. Let and go and we never found the coon. When I could tell she was starting to play out I put her back on the lead and went back to the truck. On the way back she picked up and was hot on scent. I held on to the lead and followed her through briars and vines. It was evident that we were on a coon trail going was eventually going back towards thr roads to a hog trap we have been baiting. The coon I caught lived in those woods. Not sure if that one made its escape on that trail or another route. But between the road, pasture, and cows, I didn't want to let her go so we went back to the house.

Thursday I had another coon in a different area, but brought it to the woods I've been training her in. This time I raised the trap with the coon in it off the ground. I wanted to get it high in a tree, but due to a few entanglements, it was head high. It took Sweetie a little while to find it. At one point she barked twice in the area near the coon and left. Only really got after it a few minutes later. Not sure what was going on there. Again I let her bay it and then tied her up before turning it loose.

She ranged out well, checked in with us once after we walked towards her, and after about 11 minutes in total she started barking. Ashley and I hurried towards the direction. When we caught up she was working over an area at our 2 oclock. She checked in with us "Where's he at! Get ahead Get ahead!" she ran out front and treed on a big ol wide and tall oak tree. With her paws up and mouth yapping I looked up the tree and saw eyes reflecting. It was an odd feeling. Felt like I had a duty to hurry up and kill it because she deserved it. I got closer to the tree and tied her to an adjacent smaller tree. She was close enough to still stay on the big oak. To keep her motivated and talking I occasionally gave her a "Shhhhhh! Watch Him!" when I found the coon it was trying to timber out and was near the edge of the drip line. His head was blocked, but I found a clean shot on the underside of the chest. The coon immediately folded and dropped. He was high enough I lifted my head from the scope to watch him fall. As he fell Sweetie's paws were still up on the tree, and hit the ground with a solid thud. Aside from the thud she had no idea it had fell until I walked her over to it, where she enjoyed a mouth full of fur. It was 210yds from where I had originally turned her and coon loose. After her supper last night she enjoyed a fine treat of bloody coon heart. She's 5.5 months old, and only been working for only a month. I'm so proud of this dog!

1.jpg

 
Last edited:

JTHOMP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Messages
559
Location
Louisiana
That's awesome. Nice work to the pup & the trainer!
Thanks Ben but I give the credit to the dog. I came to the conclusion weeks ago that she is bred for this. My roll in this is to facilitate whats in her blood to make it convenient for my hunting.
 

JTHOMP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Messages
559
Location
Louisiana
that phenomenal at 5 months. Good job on the training
I still can't believe she did it this young. It's going to be hard to top that accomplishment, but she will be hunting this weekend. At least a few short hunts. I'll likely get to hunt her Tuesday with by buddy's dogs so looking forward to that. Foresee this next step of actually hunting will be a big role for patience. She has all the pieces of the puzzle, just has to put them together.

Hope your beagle is doing well!
 

Bhill552

Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2016
Messages
78
I still can't believe she did it this young. It's going to be hard to top that accomplishment, but she will be hunting this weekend. At least a few short hunts. I'll likely get to hunt her Tuesday with by buddy's dogs so looking forward to that. Foresee this next step of actually hunting will be a big role for patience. She has all the pieces of the puzzle, just has to put them together.

Hope your beagle is doing well!

Hes being a complete a-hole. 3.5 months old and full of piss and vinegar. Constantly biting, chewing, and terrorizing the house. Its what I get for getting a very high drive dog and making him a indoor pet. Im hoping its just a stage and he grows out of it.
 

Hunting Wife

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Messages
1,423
Location
Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
Finally had time to read through this. Nice job! It feels really good when they finally start figuring it out. You’re just getting to the good part IMO. They start learning quick once they get to start chasing live game.

Looking forward to more updates. She’s a pretty pup.
 

JTHOMP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Messages
559
Location
Louisiana
Brief update on this morning’s hunt. Went to a new place I have permission to hunt. We got to the back of the property and started hunting. She went 50-100yds and was checking trees good. She was out of site and I was watching the GPS....150...175...200.....225... and I started after her trying to get her to come back with little indifference to her marathon.

By the time I caught up to her she was 800yds from were we started and almost back at the highway. Glad I don’t have to worry about her at my feet, but can’t have her running off that far without checking in.

Thankful the garmin had just come in on Friday so I could at least catch up to her. It has the electric shock and this afternoon I took mr carlton’s advice on worked it with her. I don’t feel it was as smooth as his suggestion, but hopefully it’ll keep her from running another sprint out of the property line. Going to a small WMA by the house this evening.
 

JTHOMP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Messages
559
Location
Louisiana
Glad to say our hunts Saturday evening and Sunday morning went much better. Partly because of her actions and partly thanks to the e collar.

Saturday Evening
When we cut her loose she ranged well. Largely behind us at first but we'll work on that. She got out front and we followed her as she worked. Keeping distance but letting her do her thing. She eventually worked a few trees good and she treeded. Maybe it's in her to get pissed off to bite while treed, or she saw me and Ashley shaking vines, but she will bite and pull on vines, sticks, or the tree itself. Amazing to watch.
Unfortunately shook vines but couldn't get anything to move. She was excited about it so I let her have at it for a little while before "in a hole lets go". Put her on the leads and walked about 50yds and her loose. She went right back to the tree and treed. "In a hole lets go" put her on the lead and went a little farther before cutting her loose. This time she got ahead. Watching the GPS I was walking hurriedly behind her to keep up. I believe she was running more than hunting, and possible following pig trails. Hard to say for sure. She crossed the other side of the pipeline and eventually stopped on the other side in the woods when she made it to a flooded slough. Shes not the biggest fan of water yet thankfully.

I put her back on the lead, went to the pipeline and cut her loose to send her back into the woods she blew through. She did much better checking trees. She made her way West. Ashley saw a couple squirrels, but I was more concerned about watching the GPS and Sweetie. Nearing the edge of the WMA boundary she was 75yds and out of sight when I heard her bark. It was her alarm bark. The property boundary wasn't well marked but judging from onX I knew we were close. Louisiana law allows you to retrieve dogs without landowner permission as long as you don't have a gun. Not knowing what was going to happen next, I gave Ashley gun and told her to stay there since I knew we were within the boundary, and proceeded to get Sweetie. Sweetie was on the other side of a low entanglement of briars and vines, when I heard the shuffling of feet and vegetation. Pigs were in the thicket. Blew the whistle and hit her with the ecollar. She didn't come directly to me. Went towards Ashley then to me. Gave her a good girl and treat before putting her on the lead and moving away from the boundary and pigs.

After that she hunted better. Some nose to the ground, some running. But I'm pleased with how she worked. She did tree again on the same tree as earlier. I don't doubt her nose a bit. She'll figure it out in time.

5.jpg


Sunday Morning
We hunted with a guy I recently met on a family friend's placed that coincidentally he is kin to and often hunts there. He had a dog and I was interested to see what Sweetie would do and if she could learn a bit from the other dog. Right off the bat and out in the open, the other dog treed and got our first squirrel. Sweetie barked at the falling squirrel and I thought after that she would hang around or even come to the other dog treeing. Surprisingly she hunted most of the time independently. Never paid attention to the other dog's barks or trees. The other dog seemed to cold nose and bark a lot until he settled on a tree, but he found all 3 squirrels that morning and did well. The second squirrel killed got hung up in the tree. While messing with it, Sweetie treed on her own 130yds away. Treed a big leafy magnolia. I hate those things. Never found the squirrel. Gave her a good girl, and treat, before putting her back on the lead "in a hole" and sent her back to hunting.

Later on she was in an area we were moving away. She ignored my calls to "come". I moved closer and continued to call and eventually she got closer, but decided not to and run off instead. Blew the whistle and hit the collar. She came right to my side. As usual she got a good girl and treat before moving on. So far the e collar seems fine and has not slowed her drive to hunt. The next area we went to she treed with no luck. And later when moving areas I couldn't get her to come, blew the whistle and she came without hitting the collar. She went on to tree one more time that morning, but again with no luck. She was wore out after that hunt, and spent most of the rest of the day sleeping. I let her sleep instead of hunting that evening. That was he longest hunt so far and she'll have time soon to make a 2-a-day hunt.

Saturday morning was rough, but overall I think she did well this weekend. If anyone was wondering how the home life is going I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. And yes I have become that person whose phone is nothing but dog photos.


6.jpg

4.jpg

7.jpg
 
Top