Hunting Information Tips

Introduction

A well trained dog is the key to any successful hunt!! These tips from our expert training staff and well known trainers will help you and your dog as you prepare to head afield and during the course of the hunt.

E-Collar

Timing is important in giving the dog a correction in the field

Just the same as in training, try to coordinate stimulation quickly after the dog fails to follow a command. Give the correction quickly and repeat the command.

A dog that seems to almost cower at times when wearing the collar while hunting

The dog must be motivated to have a good hunt. You want him to like his job. Be sure to use lots of “fun bumpers” in training and lots of encouraging praise and “good dog” excited voice in both training and hunting. Remember the dog wants to work for and with you. Be calm and don’t yell. Be positive and don’t overdo. Concentrate on the dog’s behavior.

Using the e-collar in the water versus on Land

Do not go overboard or too heavily on corrections in the water. Go with a lighter nick and see if you get the desired result.

Not getting any response from a Golden Retriever when using the stim buttons

The collars come with short contact points installed from the factory. Replace the short points with the long points that are included in the package and make sure the collar is on tight enough so it will not move around the dog’s neck.

Collar tightness while hunting

The collar should not rotate on the dog’s neck. Two fingers (flat) should be able to go under/between the collar and the neck.

Using a collar while hunting

Remote training collars work well while hunting. However, be sure to teach the dog the commands before taking it hunting. Use the collar to enforce the command after the dog has been taught. Example: When training a dog to be steady, work the dog with a short check cord holding him back. The dog learns that he must wait until he is sent. After the dog understands he must wait, then we can use direct pressure to correct the dog if he moves before being sent. This is all done before the dog is taken into the field.

Hound

Dogs That Bark While Traveling (Or Other Times Too)

My very favorite and easiest tactic for controlling and humanely correcting these barking dogs is to use TRI-TRONICS’ Bark Limiter collars on them.  This wonderful tool automatically does all the work for you, whether you’re there or not.  When the dog barks, this magic gizmo lightly shocks.  It’s so easy and so effective.  Once again, do the proper preparation.  That preparing to succeed thing is of utmost importance so your dogs don’t get “collar-wise.”  Before you start, please see my October 2009 Tri-Tronics web article Stopping Bad Barking Behavior!

NO, before you ask the question you’re thinking about, NO.  I’ve never felt that stopping nuisance barking in the vehicle or anywhere else had any detrimental effect on my dogs’ performance or to their use of voices while trailing or treeing.  So don’t use that concern as a convenient excuse to not do the training you know you ought to do. 

Running the Wrong Game

In hunter lingo, it’s usually called running trash, or running junk, or chasing off-game.  Whatever you call it, the reality is that at least 90 percent of trailing dogs must be taught what they are not allowed to chase or tree.  Many beginners are surprised to learn that their Beagle or Coon dog is born with the urge to chase lots of other kinds of critters too.  By far the most sensible, easiest, gentlest, and most effective way to stop off-game pursuit or treeing is by carefully timed use of a TRI-TRONICS E-collar. Put the TRI-TRONICS on every dog every time you turn them loose.  When they’re messing up, simply buzz ’em and soon your dogs learn right from wrong.  To enjoy owning a truly straight dog is a process and it will take months and often years to be able to honestly make that claim.

When you are sure they’re not on game, give them a pretty good charge.  However, those times when you are 95 percent sure they’re wrong but have a smidgen of uncertainty, pop ’em at a much lower level and for only a split second.  Usually, if you give them a bigger and heftier dose when you’re 100 percent sure, they soon know they shouldn’t be doing that.  Therefore, a much lighter bump when you’re not positive will usually cause them to quit it if it’s wrong.  However, if they are chasing the desired game and doing a super-fine and extra-speedy job of it, then that usually means it’s a red-hot track, and their adrenaline will be pumping.  They might quit giving their trail barks for 20 to 30 seconds, but then they’ll resume and keep right on going.

Treeing Empty

There’s lots of talk these days about dogs making slick trees –– that’s bare trees, empty trees, nothing in them trees; wasted time trees for you and the hound. There are a lot of critters that stir around in the woods at night besides raccoons!!  Many of them climb up and down trees leaving scent for a dog that’s looking for some scent on a tree.  Many times these so-called empty coon trees aren’t coon trees.  They may be empty, or they may have some little varmint in them, but quite often raccoon wasn’t the game the dog smelled when it locked up on that tree. 

Either way, whether it’s an empty tree or the wrong critter in the tree, don’t hesitate to take corrective measures. Here’s what works best for me.  Always have your dogs wearing a trusty TRI-TRONICS E-collar.  My hounds are always wearing one when they’re turned out. If you have a dog that’s a problem on empty trees, or treeing off game, really bear down on them when the leaves are off.  During December through mid-May you can do a lot of good, because you can quickly see in those bare trees what the true story is. 

When you get to the tree, you want to very quickly determine if it’s a raccoon or a legitimate den.  If not, the result is the same.  It doesn’t matter if it’s off game or empty.  As quickly as you can possibly make the correct determination, spin on your heels and get the heck out of there.  When you’re about 300 feet from the tree, tickle your hound hard enough that it quits treeing and leaves.  REMEMBER – THE KEY WORD HERE IS TICKLE. Usually it’ll come find you, and then gradually go on hunting again.  Sometimes the hound will just leave the tree and go on hunting.                        

Avoid Making Your Dog Collar-Wise

We sure as heck don’t want our dogs to be collar-wise so how do we avoid it?  We calmly, carefully, and thoughtfully prepare our dogs for future success by gradually helping them become totally comfortable with the weight and feel of the E-collar strapped snugly behind their ears.

The first and second introductory sessions will see the collar a hole or two looser than will be required later for actual use.  We make positively sure to spend one whole week or more putting the collar on and off a dog and having it wear the collar for several hours at a time (BUT NEVER CONTINUOUSLY FOR DAYS) in the kennel, in the field, in the hauling box, in the house—whatever it may be doing—BEFORE WE EVER TURN THE MAGICAL GIZMO ON. During this getting acquainted stage, it’s much better for your dog to get away with a few things you plan to work on later.  Take your time, exercise your most extreme patience and self-discipline, and let your dog wear that collar until she’s as comfortable wearing it as she is her regular collar or eating feed from a shiny bowl.

Teach Your Dog To Stay Away From Roads

When you have a nice prospect that you’re starting to hunt, I’d suggest you spend one hour per week for about four weeks, day and night, tying the dog near the edge or shoulder of a lightly traveled country road.  Three to five vehicles per hour is just right.

During this hour, the well prepared dog is wearing your TRI-TRONICS’ remote trainer, and as far as she knows, you’ve left her all alone.  You’ll go at least a few hundred yards away and comfortably hide and carefully watch.  Every time a vehicle passes your dog, shock it lightly on level 2 or 3 for one or two seconds, depending on the sensitivity of each dog.

After a few sessions of this, most dogs easily learn that vehicles can reach out and hurt them.  At that point, but not before, hit ’em on level 4 about two seconds when the next vehicle passes them.  Let them calm down for ten minutes, then calmly pick them up and take ’em home to quietly absorb this life-saving lesson.

Upland

Helping your bird dog

Bird dogs are sometimes soft of attitude so an easy introduction to the e-collar is essential. Adjust the transmitter to the lowest level of stimulation for which a slight response is seen.

Refrain from using e-collar corrections while on point or during a retrieve so the dog does not associate the correction with the bird.

When teaching whistle commands and hand signals give the dog one chance to do it correctly. Then, if the correction is to be given make it correspond to the whistle (time and duration) using the continuous control on your transmitter. By using this method your bird dog will quickly associate the correction to the whistle and hand signal. Praise your dog after the task has been successfully completed. In this method the whistle makes the correction and never the trainer.

Stop your dog from chasing flushing birds into the next field

If the dog is collar conditioned; give the command “no! here!” and push the continuous button, holding it down until the dog breaks the undesired behavior and turns to come back. The transmitter should be set on a high enough level to make an impact on the dog’s behavior.

Waterfowl

Helping your bird dog

Bird dogs are sometimes soft of attitude so an easy introduction to the e-collar is essential. Adjust the transmitter to the lowest level of stimulation for which a slight response is seen.

Refrain from using e-collar corrections while on point or during a retrieve so the dog does not associate the correction with the bird.

When teaching whistle commands and hand signals give the dog one chance to do it correctly. Then, if the correction is to be given make it correspond to the whistle (time and duration) using the continuous control on your transmitter. By using this method your bird dog will quickly associate the correction to the whistle and hand signal. Praise your dog after the task has been successfully completed. In this method the whistle makes the correction and never the trainer.