Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Why Is It So Hard To Find Good Dogs?

It is hunting season, and I am getting a lot of calls.

What is very interesting is that most people who breed the top, elite performance dogs are NOT selling their dogs to hog hunters, especially the newbies.

I have stopped marketing my dogs to hog hunters, and the comment I got last night from a breeder pretty much summed it up: He said: "I stopped selling to hog hunters because almost all of them regard the dogs as 'expendable'. They claim it is 'just a dog', and if it gets killed, they will get another one."

Yesterday a young man wanted me to compare my hog dogs to other peoples dogs and then make a claim as to who had the better dogs. I hung up on him.

Since when do we need to brag on our dogs and put other people's dogs down?

That's not how I sell my dogs. And I can tell you I am always looking for people with better dogs than mine. When I find those dogs I get one and bring it home to breed into my bloodline. And my bloodline may have my name on it, but it was built upon the names of breeders who are all better breeders than me.

That's how I roll.

So many of the old timers have just quit breeding because they are fed up with the drama of dealing with the public.

And since when has hog hunting become a competitive sport?

I thought it was about putting meat on the table?

Here is the bottomline: We care more about our dogs than the people who don't care if the dogs get killed in order to brag about how great a hunter the dog owners are.

I hunt for meat, and I breed dogs who can survive and come home alive with the bacon.

Why Is It So Hard To Find Good Dogs?

Because we(the breeders) care more about our dogs than money or bragging rights.

I just sent a 5 year old son of Patch and Ruby to Arkansas a month ago. The man with Elijah is so impressed with the dogs natural working abilities, he can't believe the dog never found a hog in his life until last month. That's right; five years old and I never hunted him much because he has been a cow dog most of his life.

So without training or experience, Elijah is now the mans best strike dog. Imagine that!

And that's why we old timers are protective of our dogs and good dogs are hard to find: genetics.

We are preserving the best bloodlines from morons who think they can get a dog killed and just "get another one".


Below is a question from one of my readers:

I read on one of your blogs that you should spoil your catahoula for 2 years and then take him in the woods with you and see what he does. What did you mean by this. Is it good to spoil your dog or will he not hunt for you if you do this. I'm bringing home what I hope to be a future hunter next week, and would like to do things right, to end up with the best "do everything" dog I can.

My reply:

I spoil them, but I am also the boss. Because hog hunting is mortal warfare, I keep my dogs out of harms way for two years. I start them at a bay pen with a puppy pen attached to it. See photo below.

When they want to get 'em some, I lead them in to the hog. When they lose interest, I lead them out. Spend as much time with a puppy as possible for the first two years.

At about 6-8 months, I stop bringing them into a pen. And for about a year, they never EVER see a hog. Then when I bring them to the woods unless they hunt, they don't get to bay.(And they really want to bay a hog!) It doesn't take them long to figuire out that hunting leads to baying...

At two years old, they have a much higher survival rate than a puppy encountering a deadly hog for the first time.

I just sent a 1 year old to Arkansas, and they turned him loose thinking he needed to get accustomed to hunting. The first hog they got on, he rushed in and got killed.

Whoever came up with this stupid idea that a spoiled pet won't hunt, apparently has a lot of cult followers, but I am not a member. Most likely the problem arose from people trying to hunt dogs whose belly was packed with food. Pets are often overfed, and thus won't hunt! Hungry dogs hunt.

And another thing, if that dog wasn't bred to hunt, you can't "train" them to be a hog dog. And if they were bred to hunt the most important thing you need to train them is: to survive.

Stop trying to train and constantly evaluate your dog's hunting ability and just go enjoy life with your new best friend. Maybe he will teach you how to hunt hogs in a way you never thought of before.

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