Monday, May 4, 2009

Awakening prey drive

Today, unfortunately, Elli caught a young rabbit. We took advantage of the bad situation and used it for puppy training.

One of the essential traits in a blood tracking dog is high prey drive. Prey drive is the instinctive behavior to pursue and catch prey. Blood tracking dogs must have high enough prey drive to keep them focused on the task of finding wounded game in spite of difficult conditions. Successful blood trackers should be able to search for long hours in the hope of claiming their prey.

First I worked individually with all P-puppies, who now are five weeks old. I let the pup sniff the rabbit and then dragged it in front of the pup. Puppies got quite excited about it and followed the scent trail and wanted to grab and eat the rabbit. Some were more game aggressive than others.

With Gilda's pups who are four weeks old, we worked them in two groups separated by gender. They showed good interest in following the rabbit too. We let them "catch" the rabbit and chew on it too.

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