It is about time to write more about what has been going on here for the last week or so. Having 12 dogs plus two litters of pups does not leave time for writing about them. The update is in order.
When we were in Germany ten years ago, we visited Manfred Siekmann who breeds wirehaired dachshunds for hunting under "von Rominten" kennel name. We spent probably a half day with him, and one of the things he showed us was his way of training pups and young dogs. Since pups usually like to lick blood off the grass, ground etc, he works them also on different kinds of scent lines. When we were there, he shot a pigeon and his daughter dragged the dead pigeon in the field. Then he worked his young dogs on the scent line.
Since our barn got invaded by pigeons, John shot two of them. We used them to lay scent lines for pups. This was done five days ago, when we had ten pups - five in each litter. The first five pics show Keena's pups, the other ones show the "G" litter". First we showed the dead pigeon to pups and we let them sniff it. Then we dragged the pigeon and then let the pups work the scent line. It was done in a group, off-leash. One pigeon per litter of pups. When pups followed the scent, found the dead pigeon, we let them go after it ...and we observed.
There were some surprises. It seems that Pushkin had a breakthrough and of the P-pups he was the most possessive of the pigeon. It is impossible to say whether the exercise with dragged pigeons really fired up Pushkin, but today we did some blood tracking with pups and Pushkin did really well. This was the first time he showed interest in following the deer blood (he is 12 weeks old), and he was very aggressive towards the deer hide at the end.
In the second group, there was no doubt that Gunther was the most possessive and he claimed the pigeon. No other pup was able to take it from him though they really tried.