Training Tips (Getting Started?)
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Author:  Hispanicpbh [ Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Training Tips (Getting Started?)

I have created this thread after reading many of the same questions over and over again. Everyone has their opinion when it comes to training coonhounds so while some may disagree I will attempt to share what has worked for me. The following are tips that are working and producing results for me!

Disclaimer : It is important to keep in mind that there is NOT a step by step formula to fix all problems or train a dog over night! As a matter of fact some problems are never solved and some dogs never make it! This is the risk you take.

1. Training takes time and effort.

Excited impatient coon hunters often want to see results too early. It would be nice to have the 'Coon Hunter's Download Kit' that you install into a dog's system for immediate hunting ability. However there is no such thing. It takes months of hard work and experience to make a coon dog.

2. The starting age varies from dog to dog.

Coon hounds get started as early as 6 months or less, but many times not before 12-18 months. Puppies are like babies in that learning to do what you don't want them to do comes early and natural, but they need time to learn to live up to your expectations. Remember puppies cannot read your mind and they have no idea what is expected out of them until after weeks and sometimes months of working with them. Some things come natural and will show up sooner or later depending on the specific dog.

Puppies are very playful and have a hard time staying focused. I don't know if it's the dog food or the water, but it seems that most pups have ADHD! Be patient and don't jump to conclusions too early.

3. Puppies need lots of attention early on.

The more time you spend with your pup the better success you will have in understanding each other during the training process. From the very beginning build your dog's confidence and trust with lots of love and communication. Don't leave your puppy in the pen, feed him/her once a day, and then get mad when they don't pay attention later on! BTW- they may not pay attention period.

4. Introduce the leash at 3 months of age.

This age is not a must, but is a good time to start getting him/her familiar with the lead. Get the pup out of the pen and let him/her run around (letting out some energy and excitement) then snap on the lead. A dog that has not been leashed generally slumps down and pulls backwards at first. When this happens get down and pet the pup and reassure him/her it will not hurt. Then, without putting tension on the lead call the dog to you repeating the reassurance process until he/she will follow behind you. When the dog begins to follow make turns pulling the lead in the direction you desire to go.

After introducing the lead you might tie him/her for a few minutes and walk away. This will tame the dog by itself! After the dog is familiar with the lead use ONE word commands like, "BACK" to control the dog's speed and obedience.

Note for later: When the dog is big enough to jump into the truck you can begin loading. Treats work well with loading. Frequent trips (hunting especially) in the truck work the best!

5. Introduce the coon tail at 3 months of age.

Allow the puppy to smell and chew on a coon tail periodically in the pen. Depending on the dog, after a few days of the coon tail you can put it on a string and tease the puppy. He/She will generally show interest and even sight tree the coon tail. This helps the puppy begin to understand your expectations of him/her.

6. Introduce fresh coon hide drags at 4-6 months.

When using a drag you don't want to over do it. I recently started using a drag and one particular pup didn't show much interest. I decided to tie him to a tree and then proceeded to drag the hide away from him in a straight line leaving his sight. I came back a different route with excitement and headed him toward the direction of the coon. He took off with his nose on the ground and found the track. I left the drag hanging low for his sight. He found the coon but didn't bark. So I tied him to the tree and walked off out of site. This got him excited and barking while looking for me and up at the coon (I yelled "speak to him" from a distance). When I came back I placed his feet on the tree with excitement repeating the words "speak to him". I then left the tree again and he started treeing the hide when I got out of his site. I came back to the tree, then took the coon down (he chewed on it a minute), gave him a treat for barking on the tree, and then drug the hide in another straight line away from the pup. I left him tied up and then came back (a different route) and turned him lose and he shot out with his nose on the ground and found the coon again.

Note: I believe leaving him tied not only excited him and got him barking at the hide, but also reassured him that I was coming to the tree. After the first two times I hid the drag high in the tree so that he couldn't find it with his eyes. I did this seven times (each time getting a little further out) and he never got tired of finding the coon.

I took this puppy hunting for the first time 2 nights later and he stayed with my pup trainer on the first track and was under the tree when I arrived after 45 minutes of trailing a decent track! I immediately tied him to the tree, praised him, shot the coon, and he has had a few coons in his mouth since then. This dog is still very young, but well on his way at 5 months old.

Important: Not all dogs show much interest before 6-8 months. Every dog is different so be patient!

7. Introduce the dog to the woods.

The sooner you introduce the pup to the woods the faster he/she becomes familiar. Day time or night will help get to pup used to water and smells. Taking him to the woods does not necessarily mean hunting.

Many start taking their pups with older experienced hounds at or a little before 6 months of age. I prefer this method in the early stages of training. 6 months old is a good time to start hunting a pup with a good straight dog.

8. Signs of a puppy will be evident in the early stages of training.

Pups will often bark at the other dogs while running a track. They will leave and come back. After they get tired they will stay under your feet. Time and experience will take care of this.

Things to remember in the early stages:

a. Always tie the pup to the tree when hunting with a puppy trainer or alone (older experienced straight dog).

b. Don't let the puppy 6 months or under get bit by a lively coon under the tree. Make good shots and turn the pup lose with the older dog to get that meat in his mouth!

c. They may not start barking treed when you first begin to tie them, but they will eventual realize that you want them barking on the tree and that you are coming to the tree every time!

d. When a young dog barks treed, get to the tree as fast as possible, especially if you are hunting him/her alone.

e. Always praise the pup at the tree and especially when the meat is in his mouth.

Coming soon:

9. Caged Coons

10. The E-Collar

11. Single the dog out as early as possible.

12. Age and experience in the woods helps curtail lots of problems.

Author:  boostedcivicb [ Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:17 pm ]
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nice post thanks

Author:  rebelchris40 [ Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:49 pm ]
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i agree with what you said but i believe you need to wait til 8 months to start training and then follow your steps

Author:  TylerDeLoach32 [ Fri Mar 07, 2008 3:50 pm ]
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I have a pup that is almost 5 months old and she trees a scent drag pretty good and has already seen a caged coon. I was thinking about running her with my 2 and 1/2 year old male that trees and track good do you think it would be a good idea?

Author:  rebelchris40 [ Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:02 pm ]
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not trying to bring you down on your pup or anything but when you start a dog before its mature enough you just set up problems in the will not be able reach to its full potential..some do but most don't....just let it grow up...most great pups are hard to beat and then for one reason or another they just blow up and look like crap night after night...the ones that come out of this slump usually take a couple of months to a year to come out of it....which is just alot of hassel

Author:  coonhunter_ny [ Sat Mar 08, 2008 11:43 am ]
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Thank you for putting up the post I think that alot of people will gain alot from it

Author:  Hispanicpbh [ Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:07 pm ]
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I personally don't think it will hurt to take a 5 month old pup out as long as your're not wearing them out. I'm taking my pups out about once every two weeks. However, I don't expect to start seeing much until their about 8 months old. Mainly its to get them used to the woods. Again, every dog is different.

Author:  TylerDeLoach32 [ Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:01 am ]
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Alright thanks for the help.

Author:  MOcoongitter [ Sun Mar 09, 2008 4:58 pm ]
Post subject:  s

thanks for the help! :wink:

Author:  mudbeaver [ Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:57 am ]
Post subject:  Thanks

I have got a question, Is it possible to train a coon dog to be a house dog at the same time?

Author:  Hispanicpbh [ Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:18 am ]
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Yes. There is a post in this section on this subject. There are many who have coondogs in the house. I personally don't and won't ever, but many do.

Author:  TylerDeLoach32 [ Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:45 pm ]
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I have a coondog that is kept inside she has become a good coon dog. I took her out when she was 1 and she wouldnt do anything so i didnt hunt her for awhile and now she gets coons everytime out.

Author:  bodine [ Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:07 pm ]
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thats all good stuff.....

Author:  high rollin hank [ Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:39 pm ]
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i took my 2 dogs out yesterday being bored my one is a squirrel dog but will tree the h*** out of a coon. and my 6 month old walker pup and when i was riding down the road there was a coon hit by a car still well alive. so i let my squirrel dog lose on it and he barked and barked and i went up to him with the pup still on the leash up to him and he was just happy didnt bark or anything he just wanted to play with me and my squirrel dog. but it treed and my coon dog seen it tree and didnt say anything still. but i circled around in the woods and messed around a while with the dogs (coon tracks everywhere) and i went to hook them up and my coon dog wanted to take off so i said the heck with it and let him go and he went to the tree and acted treed just didnt say anything. and that was with out my squirrel dog so im thinking that i shouldnt take the squirrel dog anymore and maybe even let the 6 month old lose on a live coon if i have a chance?

Author:  Hispanicpbh [ Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:04 pm ]
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Have you worked with him much? What does he do with fresh drags? When you get a puppy out of the box that isn't doing much yet, he will usually be very playful and unfocused.

Hunt him with another good coon hound (that isn't mean at the tree) if you can. Turning coons lose on a dog is good. There is something about the number 20 (coons shot out on a dog) that just makes them click. Keep hunting the dog and get his mind on coon. A lot of dog training has to do with his natural insticts, time, and maturity. He will bark as he matures.

He's still young!