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Hunting Dogs

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<SPAN name="C09"></SPAN> <h3>CHAPTER IX.<br> TRAINING &mdash; SPECIFIC THINGS TO TEACH.</h3> <p>To teach the dog to bark treed, it is best, of course, to take him out with an old dog, but if you have no old dog, you can train him without one. This can be done by catching a live ground hog, 'coon or opossum. Take the animal you have to some small tree, a dogwood for instance, and let it climb from the ground up. It would be better if you could lead it or even drag it a short distance &mdash; ten feet, say, at first, to a tree.</p> <p>Don't let your dog look on while doing this. After you have your animal treed, get your dog and bring him to the tree and give him the scent on the ground. If he is new at the business, he will not likely look up the tree, but will hunt for trail. If he finds where the animal is himself, try to get him to bark, but if he doesn't find it, then show him. Try to make him bark. That is one of the objects at this point as well as to find where the animal is.</p> <p>Have your gun along, and as soon as you get your dog to bark, shoot into the air and at the same time, pull the animal out of the tree by the string by which he is tied. But whatever you do, don't let the animal get the best of your young dog or you will have a spoiled dog. I always liked a possum for this work because they are easy to handle and don't fight your dog.</p> <SPAN name="pic090"></SPAN> <h5><ANTIMG src="images/090.jpg" alt="Good Friends Get Along Best."><br>Good Friends Get Along Best.</h5> <p>You must remember that, at this point, you are not training your dog to fight. The object is first to find where the animal goes and second to get your dog to "bark up." Continue this practice for some time; then put your animal in a larger tree out of sight but don't put in the same tree each time, After you have your dog trained so he will trail and bark up in the manner just described, the chances are that he will tree 'coon, if he gets a fresh trail. Of course, he will not be a good 'coon dog at once; that comes by experience.</p> <p>Next to a good dog in the 'coon hunting business, is a good gun and lantern. Don't try to hunt 'coon with a common open lantern. A good kind of lantern to find their eyes with is a dark or police lantern, as you don't have to put them on your head to find their eyes. But whatever kind you use, have one with a good bulls-eye and a reflector. Use a good shot gun. I generally use No. 2 shot.</p> <p>Having prepared ourselves with a good dog, gun and lantern, we are now ready for business. We will go out first on a cloudy night. We will go into the woods and walk slowly, giving the dog plenty of time to hunt and if we don't see him pretty soon, we will sit down on a log and wait a while.</p> <p>Don't go thru the woods as if some one were after you or as if you were in a hurry and then call your dog as soon as you get thru the woods. You will never have a good 'coon dog if you do so, especially if he is new at the business. If you want a dog that will stay by the trail, you want to stay with him. If you use your dog properly that is, if you hunt slow and sit down on a log or wait for your dog until he comes in and then move on as soon as he does come in, you will find that your dog will soon "catch on" to this and will always come in as soon as he has a woods or a portion of a woods hunted over, unless he "trees."</p> <p>Another brother offers the following suggestions: "Let me give you a few pointers in regard to breaking them to hunt 'coon. When the pup is five or six months old, teach him to speak or bark by holding up a piece of meat or bread, and when you get him so he will bark, take him into the woods where there are squirrels. Be sure and take your gun along and chase every squirrel or cat up a tree and shoot the squirrel. Be sure and make the dog help to chase the squirrel then skin the squirrel. Cut it up in small pieces and feed it to your dog. Do this as often as possible and you will be surprised how quickly he will learn. Commence early in the fall to hunt 'coon, and keep away as much as possible from the haunts of the rabbit with your dog, but if he gets after a rabbit, get him off as soon as possible and scold him. I wouldn't advise anyone to hunt rabbits with dog until thoroughly broken to hunt 'coon."</p> <p class="center">TEACHING THE DOG HOW TO SWIM.</p> <p>As for swimming, we are aware that all dogs when thrown in the water can swim, but the question is, will they swim right and take to water at once. I say no, they all need training before they will take to water when told, swim and float right and remain in the water for hours when necessary, and also return game from water when required whether it be for fur or feathers.</p> <p>To teach a dog to swim, take him often to a nice shore and let him play at the edge of the water and say nothing to him. After you have done this during three or four days, tie him and row about thirty yards from shore. Use a flat bottom boat or a good safe one and place him gently in the water, hold his head above the water till he floats, then row to the shore. He will follow and as soon as you land, get out of the boat and call him to the shore. This will teach him to land because should you stay in the boat, he will try to get in the boat with you.</p> <p>Now allow him to play for five or ten minutes, then repeat the same tactics but row a little further. After two or three days lessons such as these, the dog will take the water. To make him do this, row a few yards from the shore and call him. He will at once follow you. Row slowly away and the moment you see he is getting tired, pull him on board or row to shore. Never train your dog to swim during cold weather but when it is warm and sunny. A nice sunny morning is the best time to teach them to swim. Once he knows how to swim right, take him across a small river or lake and then come back and make him swim back. He will then never be afraid of water.</p> <p>To teach a hound to properly ride in a canoe, tie him and have a whip or a small switch and make him lie down. Always speak to him kindly. Mention the dog's name and say lie down. If he does not obey, whip but do so carefully. "Avoid whipping," because there has been many dogs that would have been good hunters that have been completely spoiled by the whip. Always speak to your dog, then give one single stroke; if he does not obey give another stroke and so on until he does so. As soon as he lies down, you can allow him to put up his head and look above the boat and row across the river or lake. Once on the other side, order him off and hold your rope which must be a long one. If he goes to jump, give him a good check and make him walk off easily. Once he is landed, hold him and pet him. Stay there five minutes or so, then get in the boat again, hold the boat and order your dog to get in the boat. I use the word "Board." Mention the dog's name and say "board" and to order him out, say "move."</p> <p>As soon as the dog gets in the boat say, "Lie down" or just "down" and if he does not obey, show him the whip and command him, then whip. As soon as he is down, get in and row a few hundred yards further and repeat the same a dozen of times. The moment the dog obeys, you must pet him so as to make him understand that what he does is right. If you will repeat the same tactics for three or four days, the dog will soon know how to balance himself and will be very steady &mdash; you will never have any bother with him. Thus a dog trained to water and canoe is a very handy thing for you as well as for the dog. Should you have no room in the canoe, he will swim. If you have room, just for him he will be as safe for you to take on board as a stone. A pair of hounds so trained will just balance your canoe right. It is a good thing to put some hay, straw or a bag in the bottom of the boat or canoe for the dog to lie down on. They will soon know their place to lay.</p> <p class="center">A QUICK METHOD.</p> <p>Having many years of experience in the breeding and training of hounds to hunt nearly all kind of game, a Canadian brother hunter tells how to train dogs for 'coon when he has no old dog to teach the young one.</p> <p>1st. Set a trap where you see 'coon signs as follows: Take the skin or part of a good sized green codfish, tie it to a string and drag it along the bank of a creek or place where you see their signs, to the place you wish to set your trap.</p> <p>2nd. Take a good sized stick about 4 feet long, drive it well on a nice flat piece of land, then tie what you have dragged to this stick about 20 inches from the ground. Have the bait well tied so that Mr. 'Coon will have a hard job to pull a piece off.</p> <p>3rd. Take three No. 1 1/2 or larger size steel traps, but not very stiff spring, set them 8 inches from the stick and arrange in such a way as to form a triangle. Have the chains well secured so that Mr. 'Coon will only be caught in one of the traps. Dig holes for four traps and cover chain and traps with dry grass or leaves. Be careful not to put anything to interfere with the jaws of your traps and make things look as natural as possible. Visit your traps the next morning and the chances will be that you will have one or two 'coons waiting you. I have often found three waiting me in one setting as above. When you have a coon or two, take one at a time to an open field about 400 yards from the bush, then tie a long clothes line to the ring of the chain in such a way that it will not slip off. At the other end of the line, tie something white, and allow Mr. 'Coon to make for the bush. Have a friend with you that will keep an eye on Mr. 'Coon. Then take your dog to the spot in the field where the coon started from, and make him take the scent, and once he has it in the right direction and commences to pull, turn him loose and follow him.</p> <p>If the hound comes from good stock, he will soon find Mr. 'Coon and will bark at him. Encourage him and have your friend pull on the line in order to make the 'coon move. The dog will then catch him; after the hound has pinched the 'coon a couple of times, throw the line over a branch of some good sized tree and help the 'coon to climb. Allow the dog to bark for a while. Shoot the coon, open him at once and blood your dog well by rubbing the blood on his front legs and over his body.</p> <p>If you have another coon, repeat the same with the second as you have done with the first, but in another direction of the field and bush. Always allow the 'coon to go far enough so that your dog will not see him. When you take him where the coon scent is, after the 'coon is dead and your dog well blooded, go home with your dog and 'coon. Chain your dog and put the 'coon near him for three or four hours before skinning and while doing this, have your dog near you. The next day, take your dog where 'coons are moving and he will soon have one for you. Repeat the blooding every time and you will soon have a No. 1 'coon dog.</p> <SPAN name="pic099"></SPAN> <h5><ANTIMG src="images/099.jpg" alt="Co-operation Between the Man and His Dogs Brings Results."><br>Co-operation Between the Man and His Dogs Brings Results.</h5> <hr>
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