Monday, August 24, 2009

Sam's progress in blood tracking training

Lincoln Anderson from Quebec writes:

Here are a couple of pictures taken when I was with Alain Ridel. I really enjoyed my encounter with Alain; he's a real nice guy and I learned a few things from him which should improve my tracking. Sam did a good job, but as I mentioned I have to talk a bit louder when I encourage Sam. Yesterday I did another blood trail he did very well. There was one spot where I had put the blood trail across a deep ditch, Sam had a little trouble but what I had noticed is that he always came back to his last point where he had scented the blood. That I found very interesting. I thought in a situation like that I would have to bring the dog back to the last sure point of blood. Anyway back to the ditch I helped Sam across and from there he went on his merry way to find the deer skin.

Next week I will be going to a camp which is about two hours from Quebec City and I will be doing another couple of blood trails with Sam. I'll try to get this on film if I can get my hands on a camera.

I also included a few pictures of Sam I took today. He's up to 17lbs in good health.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Update on Koa (Grock)

Chris Surtees writes about Koa (Grock):

Koa has adjusted very well. Our tracking sessions have been going good. He is very focused for the most part but does on occasion get side tracked on long tracks.

Our longest to date was 4 hour old and 500 meter with two turns. He was doing excellent on this track until some folks out for a walk seen us and got nosey. Koa broke from the trail when he heard them start calling "What a cute puppy". Once all the petting and questions were over we fiddled around for a minute or two so he could calm down. I then placed him back the trail about 20 meters from the first turn. He over shot it a bit but corrected himself very well. After that the trail went along without any other issues.

So far he has shown that he will track just about anything he is put on. We have worked with beef, and deer liver, squirrel, rabbit, and pigeon. We have a hunt coming up in South Carolina and hope he will get some work on deer and hogs.

We have also been working on cage training which is almost complete. He is for the most part house broken but does have an accident every now and then. Koa loves riding in the Jeep...both in and out of his crate.

He really enjoys playing with other dogs and kids. Overall I could not be happier with his temperament. Koa is very excited with his finds but is not so over possessive that I cannot take it away from him. He loves playing chase with his finds and really thrives on praise.

Our only big issue is his chewing. He has plenty of toys and chews but still insists on chewing just about anything he can find. He knows he is wrong but still does it. Hard headed is all I can say. He spends time in his crate when he is caught.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Breeders' satisfaction - P-pups at 4.5 months show a lot of talent

Yesterday Poppy left for a new home in northern Texas. Derek Harris is a wildlife biologist, and Poppy will have a lot of opportunities for blood tracking.

We are going to miss her -- she stayed here longer than other pups, and we got to like her a lot. She was not as precocious as some of her siblings but in the last few weeks she showed a great potential for tracking. Maybe it was just a coincidence but when Poppy found herself as a hunter, she started to stand up to Paika. A week ago two of them had a pretty bad fight. We don't know how it started but it did not end pretty. Neither of them was willing to submit, and we had to separate them. From that moment they became enemies. Even last night when Derek was leaving with Poppy and we let them loose in a room, there was a lot of tension, their tails were up and I had to pick up Paika as they were ready for another confrontation.
We wish Derek and Poppy well, and we are really happy to see young people becoming involved in blood tracking!

Today I got a phone call from Stanley Thrasher, who actually was planning to get Poppy but ended up taking Pushkin (Doc). Stan is an experienced dog man and he knows hunting hounds. It was great to hear how pleased he is with Doc, who became an important part of Stanley's family. In spite of hot summer weather in Alabama, Stanley manages to train Doc 2-3 times a week; he does it early in the morning and late in the evening. He called to report that the other day Doc did well on a ten-hour-old line laid in the morning and aged through the day, and today he tracked a quarter-mile-long line, which was pretty fresh. Initially Stanley had some problems with Doc's possessiveness of the deer tail that Stanley puts at the end of line. But now he got some really tasty treats from a vet, and Doc is ready to give up the tail in exchange for treats.
Stanley also came up with a good solution how to deal with fire ants getting on deer parts used as reward at the end of line:

"Just about everyone has a broken fishing rod around there house somewhere. Sharpen the end of the fishing rod so you can stick it in the ground. Take a piece of fishing line and tie it to the 2nd from the tip eyelet , then take the other end of fishing line and tie it to the 4th or 5th eyelet and tighten the line to make the fishing rod bow. Then take a piece of fishing line and tie it to the tip of the fishing rod and drop it down to make it face level with the puppy and tie a treat at the end of it. Then if your still having trouble with fire ants get just a little bit of insect spray and put some of it at ground level around the fishing pole. This should be enough to keep the fire ants off the pole and preserve the treat for the puppy. "

Recently we also heard from Lincoln Anderson who owns Sam (Petrus). He wrote: "Sam is doing very well. I laid a few more blood trails and he still has his concentration a 100% on the line. According to my knowledge on tracking and what I have read Sam is doing his job and more. This weekend I will meet Alain Ridel at Granby. He will bring down some moose blood and hide. Alain will set up a moose blood trail on Saturday and we will see how Sam makes out. I’m sure he will do ok, and this will also be a test for me to see if I’m reading my dog right and how I’m handling my end of the rope." (Alain Ridel owns Theo, a sire of P-litter.)

Well, so far we could not be happier with this litter. When we bred to Theo we took some chances as it was his first litter. Sometimes excellent individuals don't nick well, but the Theo/Keena combination looks really good!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Gertie's great trail

From Chris Barr in Indiana: "I laid a 200 yard track using 2 oz of blood and 1 scent tracking shoe.There were 5 turns through woods, on and off quad paths (or two-tracks as you all refer to them). I aged it 3 hours. I wish one of you could have seen her run it to tell me if it was as good as I think it was. She needed a little help at the turns but otherwise, I think she did great.She even corrected herself twice. I was really excited. It was by far her best one yet."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Update on G-puppies at 4 months

We got a nice update with pictures from Steve Hardee from North Carolina on Henry (Grizzly):

I thought that I would update you on Henry(Grizzly). He is doing fine and weighs 17.1 lbs now. He has had all his shots until next year. He is doing better with his house training, but still has some accidents. We have been training 3-4 times a week and Henry has been doing very well. I have been using the scent shoes for the past week or so. Henry has been running blood lines with the scent shoes for 200 -275 yd lines. He has an excellent nose. He sometimes will miss a turn but that might be my fault I think the 90 degree turns are too tight and I need to round them out slightly. Today and tomorrow will be 98 so its too hot to train for a day or two, we might only get 2 sessions this week anyhow thanks for the info you send it helps a lot.

Don Dickerson from Michigan wrote:
Gunther is doing very well. We have done several tracks and he is progressing quite nicely in my mind. Friday night I laid down a track of about 200 yards with 4 turns. I have been using a combination of beef liver drag with deer blood placed periodically along the trail, it has been working well. I think he is working the line a little fast right now, he tends to overshoot the turns a bit, but he corrects himself right away and goes back and picks up the line. It is so much fun watching him work, he concentrates very hard and is not easily distracted. Let's just say I am very very happy with him all the way around. He has become a member of the family and fits in very well. He and our 5 year old Min Yorkie play a lot and have become buddies. He also gives the girls kitten a good workout and lets her know her place, if you know what I mean ;).

I have some friends that farm and because of the huge deer population in our county the DNR issues them block permits to kill deer to control the population and reduce crop damage. Last night I received a call from one of them and was able to secure four fresh legs, blood, a liver and a hide off of a deer they had killed with a block permit. I have the word out that any of them have a fresh kill and they are sure it is down and know the location to call me so Gunther can track a sure find. Thus, Gunther will should be able to do some live tracks on downed deer before the season even starts! Keep you posted on any finds and will send pictures. I tried to attach some pictures this Morning but I am having problems with my computer and can't get them to attach. I will try again in the next email.

And Chris Barr from Indiana wrote about Gerti (Gwen):

Hey Jolanta, I thought I’d tell you that Gerti is spurlaut as well….but so far just on the cats. I took her out to the back yard over the weekend and one of our two un-suspecting cats was in the back yard as well. Gerti started chasing her and sounded as pretty as any beagle I’ve ever been around. We’ll see what she does on rabbits in January.

I took her on a long walk last night. We stopped at a creek with ripples and a shallow pool. She waded right in the water and into the pool to swim. This is only the second time she’s been in water deep enough to swim in. I’m surprised at how much she enjoys water when I can hardly get her to go outside to do her business if there’s the slightest dew on the grass.

This morning she got into trouble for grabbing a shoe. She got a swat on the fanny and a firm no. She went into the living room, sat in the middle of the floor and barked at me. Just what I need, another woman in my life that talks back Ha Ha.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Nipped by a musk turtle

I did not know that there are musk turtles around here or that they can nip a dog. But today during our walk Elli found one and she would just not leave it alone. Well, in return she got nipped on her nose. The little turtle was quite aggressive.

I moved it onto the other side of our enclosure, but the turtle left a surprisingly strong scent. Pups were in the same area two hours later and were fascinated by the scent. No wonder that the turtles are also called "stinkpot" turtles.

Puppies open on a rabbit for the first time - they are spurlaut!

Today we had another wet day. Yesterday Albany received 2.5 inches of rain, and July 2009 was the wettest July on record. Well, rain or no rain, puppies need exercise so today while we had a light drizzle, I took the two pups out. I did not expect that rabbits would be out, but at the end of our walk I noticed a small rabbit sitting on the edge of the path.

Paika picked up the rabbit scent quickly and opened on it. By then the rabbit was gone and she never saw it. Poppy followed and was opening too. This was like a music to my soul. Not all dachshunds open on rabbits so hearing pups voice at four months is a treat!

There are three articles on spurlaut in dachshunds posted on our website and they are worth reading - go to