How to Train Dogs to Track Bloodby Tommy Charles
Hunting requires a potent weapon, a solid aim and a reliable way to track injured prey. Wounded animals leave a trail that is far too faint for us to track, yet it is considered bad form to allow these animals to languish in pain. A trained dog can track the blood of the trophy animal over considerable distances, thus allowing you to finish the task in as little time as possible.
Pour a small amount of deer blood onto the sponge. Place the sponge a few inches away from the dog's snout. When the dog investigates by sniffing the sponge reward it with a treat. Repeat this step for several days in a row.
Pour a line of blood 15 feet long and in a straight line. Place a small amount of deer hide at the end of the line. Place the leash on the dog and walk the line slowly, stopping each time the dog seems to lose interest in the scent of the blood. Once the dog reaches the end of the line give it a treat and allow it to chew the hide. Repeat this step for several days in a row.
Repeat step two, this time allowing the blood trail to age two hours before beginning. Repeat this step until the dog becomes proficient at following the aged blood trail.
Lay a 25-foot line of blood in a zigzag pattern with deer hide at the end. Use approximately half the amount of blood as before and allow this blood to age 10 hours. Walk this line with the dog as in the previous steps, only progressing when the dog becomes proficient at finding the deer hide.
Lay a 35-foot line of blood in a zigzag pattern with deer hide at the end. Use approximately half the amount of blood that you did in step four. Allow this blood to age 15 hours. As in the previous steps, walk this line with the dog until it becomes proficient.
Lay a 40-foot line in a zigzag pattern as you did in the previous steps. Use the liquid dropper to dispense small amounts of blood along the trail. Allow this blood to age 24 hours. Walk this trail with your dog every day until it becomes proficient in following it to the end.
Items You Will Need
- Deer blood
- Plastic storage bags
- Puppy treats
- Dog leash
- Deer hide
- Liquid dropper
- It is not necessary to measure the paths with a tape measure or other tools; using a one step per foot measurement will suffice.
- Reward your dog every time it makes it to the end of a trail with the deer hide and a treat. This positive reinforcement will motivate the dog to please you and complete the task.
- The earlier in a dog's life you start a training program the easier and more effective it will be.
- If possible use the blood of the animal that the dog will be tracking.
- The time to take the dog out on a real hunt is after it becomes proficient in following a long line with blood that you have allowed to age for 24 hours.
- Deer blood can be safely and cleanly stored in a freezer with the use of plastic freezer bags.
- Allow frozen blood to thaw naturally.
- When walking your artificial trail with your dog, you must stop when it appears to lose interest in the blood. If you continue to walk, the dog will not grasp the point of the exercise.
- Only allow the dog to have treats or deer hide when it completes a task. Otherwise you risk undermining the training program.
- basset hound image by Christophe Fouquin from Fotolia.com