Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Motivation and Relationship

I have an article linked in below. It is about peoples dogs sufferring the loss of their master.


There is much we have to learn about these wonderful companions. One thing I am realizing is although dog may be mans best friend, we are not always dogs best friend, because there is so much chaos in the world we humans have created here on earth, that that the violence and neglect of humanity has a profound effect on sensitive people, and especially dogs who live and work for us.

Most people who call me to buy a dog operate under the assumption that they can "buy" a dog and be hunting with it tonite. They believe if it is a "good" dog it will hunt for anyone. Wrong!

Dogs are social creatures, in the wild, a pack, but in the human context, a tribe. So although you may want them only for hunting, and don't "need" them for anything else, they are not a tool that you can use and hang up or tie out until the next time you need them. They have emotional components that require socialization, and contrary to this concept that hunting dogs should not be spoiled as pets, I believe a happy well socialized dog makes a better hunter, because they are not neglected most of the time and are always eager to please and serve, because they are healthier, physically and emotionally.

If you buy a dog that you did not raise as a puppy, there is almost always a warm up period, where that dog needs to get to know you and trust you before they get down to the business of hunting.

Whether they live in a pack of dogs or a tribe of people, they want to fit in and find their place of service to the common good of the social unit. Most dogs are adaptable, and make their best effort to fit in if we want them to be a pet only. But some dogs are hunters and need to get out and cover some ground periodically exploring the world around them even if their only service to you is as a pet and companionship.

They are connected in ways most of us are unaware of. It seems many people have a hard time believeing a dog has emotions or feelings. Are these people blind? A dog may not speak English, but their body language speaks volumes.

The best way to really get to know your dog is to bring them into a variety of situations and see how the dogs reacts. This also builds relationship between you and the dog. Not everyone can bring their dog fishing, or to the deer hunting camp during deer season. But the more you broaden your dogs horizons the better, in my opinion.

Of course there are limitations to the complications encountered during deer season such as your dog stressing and barking when you leave them behind to go take a stand.

If you are in a box stand and you can bring your dog up in there with you, you may be amazed how helpful it is to have him in there while you spend all that time hoping for a shot at some venison. Then when it is all said and done, your blood dog is already there with you if you need him.

When my friends first began advising me that they brought their Catahoula into the box stand during deer season my first reaction was; wouldn't it scare the deer?

They advised me actually the dog helped, because it heard the deer coming before they did. Made me wonder how many deer passed under my stand and I didn't know it.

When it comes to hog hunting, many dogs are written off as "no good" because they are trying to figuire out what the hell we are doing in the woods, and hanging around our feet trying to get into the game and don't understand why we are so unhappy with them, and don't have a clue what we really want of them. Thats where positive reinforcement experiences come in to motivate and cause a dog to hunt hogs for us.

Now how you give that dog the positive experience of hunting hogs, and then allowing you to reward him for hunting, is the key a lot of people fail to have. Unless you can unlock that desire to serve you and combine it with the natural instinct to hunt, and then be able to reward the dog for a job well done, you may never know how "good" your dog really is. Possibly hunting with someone who has dogs that hunt the way you want to hunt. Or bring your new or started dog where there is a nuisance hog and your dog doesn't have to hunt very far out to get on it.

Now it helps to have a dog that was bred to hunt in the first place.

Unfortunately too many people today, are breeding dogs for pets, and for show.

In the old days it didn't matter how much you liked the dog or how good they looked, if they did not serve a vital function and work for their keep, they didn't survive to reproduce.

Today, because so many people are getting dogs bred to hunt and are trying to make them into a pet, and it doesn't work out because the dogs natural hunting instincts get in the way of just being a pet, they don't survive to reproduce.

What is happening is called genetic selectivity, and when we breed for show or for easy going, fun pets, we lose the drive that makes these dogs sought after the world over for their hunting abilities.

I see it all the time, and I have people on the phone hang up on me because, I am trying to help them understand you can't take the hunt out of them if they are bred to hunt, and you can't make them hunt either, if they don't have it in them genetically to start with.

It is really starting to disturb me when I hear people claim they want to buy a puppy, and then train them to hunt hogs. Disturbs me, because they don't understand you don't have to train them to hunt, if they are bred to hunt. You have to train them to come, sit, stay, load up, not to mention the fine tunings of socializing with other dogs and people. And if you are hunting hogs, you need to train them to survive.

I have puppies that are 12-14 weeks old that are hammering down in a bay pen, and I am thinking I better teach them to survive or they won't live to be two. And more importantly, I need to teach people the importance of using only one or two dogs at a time if they are bred right. Because if they are bred right, they don't need help, they need space and no distractions when the bay gets going in the woods.

Dogs that get to a bay and have too much help, get catchy, cut up too much, or killed, before you can get there to throw and tie the hog.

Well it has been a long hot summer, and I am glad the days are shorter, the nights cooler,and we have dryer air making the days a little more tolerable.

As much as I had hoped to do more hunting in the grainfields this summer, the BP oilspill has minimised my income to the point, I couldn't fill up the gas guzzler and chase hogs as much as as I had hoped. But the tourists did pour in during the last month and we are getting out more with cooler temps, so nice to be out burning up some of the calories I have stored around my waistline these last few months, sitting in the central AC nearly everyday, and night.

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