Coon dogs have been the staple for raccoon hunting for many years. A good coon dog should be able to track and tree a coon, giving as many signals to the hunter as possible along the way. Whether you are training dogs for hunters or training a dog for your own use, training a coon dog can be a fun and rewarding experience for you as well as the dog.
When looking at dogs to train for raccoon hunting, look for specific breeds that work well in a hunting setting. The most common breeds for coon dogs are the English coonhound, black and tan coonhound, bluetick coonhound and the treeing walker coonhound. Coon hunting is often in the dog's bloodline, so choose a dog that has been specifically bred for the sport. However, other dogs can be trained to hunt a raccoon.
One of the most important things to get your dog acclimated to before training is the sound of a gunshot. Tips for Dog Training: Stop Your Dog's Behavior Problems! Who else wants their own dog to become well operated around people as well as other dogs? And also have them abide by all your residence policies... even though you just aren't about! Powerful dog training will not come naturally
. Regardless of your dog's bloodline, loud noises and dogs do not usually mix well unless the dogs have been trained around such sounds. Starting as young as he can be separated from his mother, take your dog somewhere where he can be close by as you shoot your gun. Make sure that he is protected from hurting himself on a collar, or from running away, as he will most likely try to do when he first hears the shot. Slowly he will become acclimated to the noise.
Your new coon dog also needs to be comfortable in a forest surrounding. Take your dog on frequent walks in the forest. Let her smell and explore everything that she can. In this way, she can know and separate the different smells of the forest from the smells of a raccoon.
Before you can train your dog to coon hunt, you will need to teach him basic obedience training. Simple things like "stay," "sit" and "lay down" are all important commands that you will use in the forest.
After a dog has reached about six to seven weeks of age, you can start introducing a coon scent to him. You can pick up coon scents from your local hunting or sports supply center. At 10 weeks, start wetting a washcloth with the coon scent and dragging it through your yard. Make sure that your dog gets a good smell of it beforehand. Then let your dog search through the yard to find the washcloth. Progress to doing this training in the forest. Give as many obstacles as you can, by winding around trees and bushes and backtracking through similar areas.
Once your dog has become used to hunting the rag, it's time to introduce her to the real thing. Set up a raccoon trap and catch a live raccoon. Let your dog sniff the raccoon while it is still in the cage and watch how the dog reacts. If the dog gets really excited, it's time to move to the next step. If the dog ignores the raccoon, return to using the scented washcloth and try again in a couple of weeks. If the dog does react to the raccoon, take the dog and the raccoon into the forest and release the animal. After a minute, release your dog and let her tree the raccoon.
Once your dog has successfully treed its first raccoon, the next best course of training is to allow your dog to hunt with other, more experienced coon dogs. Your dog will quickly pick up on much of the other dogs' behaviors, and will learn much just from watching and mimicking the other dogs.
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