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#5586082 - 02/06/15 09:22 AM Next Step in Blood Tracking
Gangly Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 10/14/13
Posts: 315
Duker's (Duke) blood tracking training is coming along well, but Im a little curious as to what step I should take next with his training.

To start with, I am not training him to only track deer. I want him to track whatever I tell him to "Find" when I give him the command, and he is still in his early stages of training(as am I). Because of this, I am using multiple different food drags since he has a crazy high food drive. The drags are usually a liver slice from a calf, a chicken liver drag, a hot dog drag, or something with a strong scent that is fairly easy to follow. I pull the item pretty quickly across the ground so that its not saturating the ground, or at least not that I can tell, and give it some time to dry out before starting. He is able to follow a scent trail pretty easily now and will keep his nose to the ground without ever wavering, but I worry that he is only associating his tracking training with food and that once we go to search for a downed pig or deer that he wont be as focused or really dig in to get the job done if it doesn't smell like food. I don't have readily available containers of blood, but I do have readily available hides. However, I heard that hide drags are not recommended since they leave such a heavy scent and it makes it to easy for the dog.

So, I guess my question is:
I am ready to move past the food based drag lines, but I don't know what to drag. Should I get a deer leg or hog leg, rub the livers or hot dogs all over it and then drag the leg to get him to associate the food with an animal scent? Just leave some pieces of his favorite food on the leg at the end of the drag? Maybe I should bypass food altogether and see if he will simply follow an animal limb that has been hopped/bumped across the field? What are y'alls suggestions? Any help is greatly appreciated.

Also, its awesome to see the dog enjoy his work. I've had catch dogs in the past and it was fun to watch them work a hog, but watching this dog use his sense of smell and seeing him work things out in his head is truly a blast. Nothing better than watching a dog truly be a dog, just as God intended him to be.

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#5586355 - 02/06/15 11:21 AM Re: Next Step in Blood Tracking [Re: Gangly]
JCB Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 02/06/07
Posts: 22838
Loc: M.I.A.
I have only trained one blood dog so far but I never went the food route. The smell of blood alone should be enough for the dog to want to follow the trail. At first I did give my dog bacon treats after she found the drag but I got away from that pretty quickly after I felt she had the hang of what she was suppose to do.

As far as them knowing if they should be tracking a pig or a deer I don't know that you could really teach them that. I have switched blood scents from hog to deer and even a few trails with some old Sika meat I had. I didn't see any difference in the way she handled the trail. Blood is blood to a dog.
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#5586890 - 02/06/15 05:29 PM Re: Next Step in Blood Tracking [Re: Gangly]
passthru Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/05/06
Posts: 10868
Loc: Saginaw, Tx
Maybe someone close by to you could get you some pig or deer blood.
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#5591289 - 02/09/15 05:31 PM Re: Next Step in Blood Tracking [Re: Gangly]
BluDiesel Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 09/02/14
Posts: 6
any local meat processor will usually give you blood if you take a bucket up there and leave it for a couple days.

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#5592126 - 02/10/15 08:37 AM Re: Next Step in Blood Tracking [Re: Gangly]
Fishercounty Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 338
Loc: Fisher,Jones,Stonewall.
Blood is blood, but blood that has come in contact with a particular animal has that animals scent and thus the dog can learn even after blood stops, to follow that animals scent. I use deer blood,hides, hooves and meat to lay a deer track, and all hog if I'm laying a hog track. Same for exotics.
Eventually you want to work up to the point that the dog knows this hit site is the animal we are after. Lots of work and different training involved in between but that's my main goal.
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#5592252 - 02/10/15 09:47 AM Re: Next Step in Blood Tracking [Re: Gangly]
BenBob Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 01/27/06
Posts: 5827
Loc: Undercover
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dog-Bone-Blood-T...=item43d5fdc53c

Don't know how good it works, but I found it on ebay.
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#5593667 - 02/11/15 07:45 AM Re: Next Step in Blood Tracking [Re: Gangly]
TDH09 Offline


Registered: 01/16/09
Posts: 324
Loc: Cedar Park, Tx
Asian Markets are a good source for blood.

If you want your dog to track anything, you need to start dragging everything. It sounds like you have a good foundation laid with your dog on food tracks. I would move to overlaying those tracks with blood. With each successful track I would reduce the food and work towards only having blood on the ground. Be sure to put some bends in your track to force the dog to have to make the turns. I use a 5 gallon bucket with a deer hide wrapped around it to leave at the end of my blood tracks. That gives the dog something to find and the bucket keeps the food reward clean of ants during the summers months of training.

For feather and fur drags. I start by pulling flight feathers or clumps of fur and leave them at my start spot. I turn the rabbit or duck loose in the woods and give them 20+ minutes to move around. Then bring the dog up to the fur/feather pile and start them on the track with your command. A live animal at the end helps connect the dots and really fires up the dog to want to get down the track. I only do this a couple times with live game and then switch to dead.

During your training, make sure you run all your tracks/drags down wind. This keeps your dogs nose to the ground. Run a track into the wind and your dogs head will raise and they'll cheat the track.
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vom Hügelland Drahthaars - Point..Track..Retrieve

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#5593940 - 02/11/15 10:10 AM Re: Next Step in Blood Tracking [Re: Gangly]
Gangly Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 10/14/13
Posts: 315
Thanks for all the great information guys, I greatly appreciate it.

There are two somewhat local butcher shops (within 10-15 miles)that I was able to get a hold of and I now have agreements with both. One is a pork butcher who sells his pig blood for $15 a gallon. The other is a beef butcher who said he will do $15 a gallon for cow blood. I dont like the $15 a gallon, but that's my only way to get blood between now and deer season so I can't really complain if I want to do this the right way. Between the two suppliers and several gallons of each, I think I should be able to get quite a few blood trails going and get Duke to the point of proficiency. For the time being, he is finally covering a complete trail with no treats on the line, only at the end, and he is enjoying it. It took me a while to figure out, but his favorite treat is hotdogs and once I started using those at the end, his tracking got noticeably more energetic.

Another question(s):
When you do tracking work with your dog in the woods going after a real wounded animal, do you carry the treats with you to instantly reward them when they find the animal? Is it ok to reward them 20 minutes later back at the truck, or do you reward them at all once they have reached that level of proficiency?

Thanks again for all the great information.



Edited by Gangly (02/11/15 10:11 AM)

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#5593984 - 02/11/15 10:31 AM Re: Next Step in Blood Tracking [Re: Gangly]
TDH09 Offline


Registered: 01/16/09
Posts: 324
Loc: Cedar Park, Tx
Originally Posted By: Gangly


Another question(s):
When you do tracking work with your dog in the woods going after a real wounded animal, do you carry the treats with you to instantly reward them when they find the animal? Is it ok to reward them 20 minutes later back at the truck, or do you reward them at all once they have reached that level of proficiency?

Thanks again for all the great information.



I leave my reward at the end of the blood track in my bucket and reward immediately upon finishing the track. Fur and feather drags, the reward is getting down the track and catching the duck/rabbit. Other than the blood track, I am not a fan of treats being used during any type of training. My praise is the dogs reward for completing a task correctly.

Now that your dog is doing blood tracks. Start aging them until you work up to overnight tracks. Also, when laying your tracks, every once in a while skip a section of the track and don't lay any blood, then after 20 yds or so start laying blood again. This helps the dog learn to stick with the track and work to find it and start tracking again. I also lay dead game upwind of my tracks. The purpose of this is to teach the dog to stay focused on the blood and ignore distractions.

Good luck and remember to keep it positive.

One more thing, you need to start having someone else lay your tracks for you. They tend to be more difficult to run than a track you laid yourself. This also teaches you how to read when your dogs is on or off the track.


Edited by TDH09 (02/11/15 11:07 AM)
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vom Hügelland Drahthaars - Point..Track..Retrieve

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#5595384 - 02/11/15 10:45 PM Re: Next Step in Blood Tracking [Re: Gangly]
TX Hntr Online   content
Woodsman

Registered: 01/14/12
Posts: 160
Loc: Lampasas
I trained mine(1/2 lab 1/2 Catahoula, solid black) with deer blood. Killed a doe with bow. Cut chest cavity open and filled an empty water bottle. Took that and put 1 ounce in 12 plastic bottles. Then froze them. For the first 5 evenings took 1 and filled with water. Made a small hole in the cap and dripped a trail. Longer and different direction each evening. Then went to every other day. Put a piece of dee hide with a treat at the end of trail. It worked. Killed another doe. Went and got him immediately. Took him to the point of impact. He got after it. Now we use him at the ranch for every deer. Even if we see it fall.

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#5601412 - 02/15/15 10:30 PM Re: Next Step in Blood Tracking [Re: Gangly]
Drahthaar Online   content
Woodsman

Registered: 08/27/13
Posts: 200
forget the meat drag. fur drag,take a dowel about36" long cut a piece of plywood 1 1/2" square screw it to the dowel. take a sponge rubber band it to the plywood get a small can and put blood in can. dip sponge into blood every step you take dab blood on the ground. with the wind to your back. leave hide at end of track. have been training blood trailing dogs since early 70's. Forrest

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