Basset Hounds Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Thanks to Dean and Slingblade's encouragement my husband and I did take Belle and Gunther to the Labor Day Rabbit Run and I want to share that it was AMAZING!

First of all, Dean is very hot. But you guys probably know that already.

Second, I don't think I have ever been so scared -ever. I could barely comprehend what people were saying because my heart was beating 100 miles per minute and my face was getting numb from a small panic attack. This is particularly interesting to me because my personal hobby is bike racing and I have never, ever, ever, been scared like this - even though it's pretty easy to get injured or worse. Additionally, my husband used to race Formula cars ---- and I wasn't even scared then. But the thought of my little baby basset getting lost FREAKED ME OUT.

Dean and the whole group were great and made us feel very welcome - it is definitely a family affair and everyone was wonderful. Of course, I still felt like throwing up, but I managed not to.

Thank goodness we got to out right away - before I had a chance to high-tail it outta there. Dean loaned us radio tracking collars just in case. So, Belle and Gunther's necks were loaded down with their own collars, the club's radio collars and the regular club hunting collars. They look like rapper's wearing a lot of bling.

The way the whole thing works is way different than I thought it would be. There were kids and women and actual scary men hunters in our group - and everyone was very supportive. Our group was with our dogs the whole time. The fields were cut out like chess boards so even if they went into the brush you could walk a complete square around them until they came out. AND you are allowed to follow you dog, go get your dog, put your dog back on her leash and everyone in the group helps keep track of everyone. Plus, if one dog gets lost everyone stops to look for him.

Out of six dogs Belle, The Bun-i-nator, placed 2nd and Gunther, the Ambassador of Goodwill, placed 5th. Gunther is more of a sit-by-the-fire-with-a-hot-toddy kind of Basset.

We left early because I was exhausted from being so scared and it was a ton to take in. Plus Belle and Gunther were racked. They did not even move for about four hours after we got home - and these dogs get walked three times a day for about 45-minutes to an hour each time - so they are in good shape - I just think they were excited, working hard and overwhelmed. I don't think my jaw stopped clenching until about 5pm - and I am more tired then I have ever been even after a bike race. Fear certainly wrecks havoc.

I'm taking Belle back tomorrow for the State Championship - if I can force myself to get out of bed at 3:30am.

If you guys haven't done this and are thinking about it - it is a blast!

Susan O.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,494 Posts
Sounds lake a blast. Sure wish we had something around here like that. Bogie gets so excited when the wild bunnies hop through the neighborhood. I'm afraid Bogie isn't a pheasant retreiver, nor could he swim after downed geese or ducks, the big hunting sports in SD. Can't wait to hear more of your adventures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Bunny Hunting - Day Two

This is a whiney story so be prepared - I'm probably writing it more for me :)

Belle - The Bun-inator and I packed our car last night and set our alarm for 3am. The plan was to take Belle to Day Two - The State Championships and leave Gunther and Scott at home - Gunther was limping from his 30 minutes in the bunny starter pen - he is unfortunately a product of bad basset breeding and has lots of leg and back problems - nothing too serious but he gets very stiff and can't run like the other dogs for very long. Although he did go deep into a thicket and got himself out.

Anyway - car packed, all set - but some doubts:

1. Can I really drive at 3am? - I was totally trashed from the fear factor of Saturday - I literally exhausted myself (yes, I know the dogs are supposed to be the ones working).

2. It's a long, long time for Belle to be without Gunther. Although we are working with this in small increments - this would be an incredibly long time away for her. She is a completely different dog around Gunther. This has gotten much better since we've been working with her, but when I first brought her home the difference was tail jammed between legs, shaking and cowering, stressed out face versus tail straight up, happy face, running and playing all other. For some reason, when I met her for the first time, she decided that she would trust me and we are strongly bonded. In fact, she hid from or ran away from all the people that tried to take care of her before - but she let me snuggle and hold her from day one and I'm the only who can put on her harness or clean her ears or clip her nails. So anyway, I feel honored by her trust in me and I don't want to do anything to erode it AND I balance that with teaching her to have trust in other people too and not letting my ego get in the way. I was just feeling like this might be too long of leap for her and erode some of what we had built. I'm sure she would have been okay and next time we'll go alone, but two hard days and one without Gunther by her side seemed like it could have been too much.

3. I thought - well, I didn't lose her day one, should I risk a second day? Okay, I'm a chicken sxxt and let the combo of relief, exhaustion, worry, concern, over-protectedness and maybe I will give myself one point for a deep friendship with Belle and a desire to earn her trust and do right by her - cause me to stay home and take Belle and Gunther to the dog park instead. Actually, I have been known to not race my bike on day two if I had a good day on day one - hmmmm.....

So, now I feel guilty - in the "should've gone" phase AND I'm EXCITED ABOUT NEXT TIME and I'm so proud of Belle. She clearly loves bunnies and she is has the desire to do this. So now I just have to learn how to help her do it.

Next steps: find out when the next run is, find out more about training, find a place near my house where I can let her practice and she won't get lost, read the AHBA rule book, by a doggie GPS tracking system and perhaps a 3-mile leash.

Dean's club is really great and may be the closest to my house - so I have to also figure out how to join either that club or another.

Thanks again Dean and everyone for all your support through this - in all the sports I've ever done where people show up en masse from all over the country, this is BY FAR the nicest, funnest, most relaxed and welcoming group I've ever been with (bike and car racers tend to be stressed out and have lots of dirareaha in the porta-pots before races).

Dean does an amazing job bringing everyone together and you can tell when you talk to anyone there that they love him very much. He is the heart of the club.

Happy Bunny,
Susan O.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,196 Posts
Thanks for sharing your experiences with us, Susan! From what Dean had posted earlier I knew it would be a great day. I confess, I'm a bit envious....

Don't second guess yourself! You went and had a great time and you can go back and do it again. Today you can relax with your 4-leggers.

I can only imagine how most of mine would've loved it!

Congrats to all of you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Don't second guess yourself![/b]
Thank you - that's exactly what I needed to hear - and you are so right! I appreciate the support and I'm going to let go of the guilty part and start looking forward to next time.

Susan O.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,196 Posts
Since you'll be an "old pro" next time out you can take pics! Or put a collar cam on one of the hounds! That would be very interesting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
797 Posts
You have nothing to feel guilty about-- you managed to overcome initial concerns about the babies and gave it a try. I'm sure you were more wornout than the hounds. Next time will be much easier on your nerves . Perhaps bringing Gunther, but not entering him would work on the second day -- have you tried glucosamine -- worked wonders for my geriatric crowd's arthritis

I have already heard some comments about you being nominated for the "Nervous Mommy of the Year" award
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I am almost 100% certain that I should win that prize. Unless someone else actually did throw up or go completely unconscious. I hope it comes with a t-shirt or trophy!

Regarding Gunther, that's a great idea - and thanks for the glucosamine suggestion.

We do give him Glyco-Flex which is a glucosamine/chondroitan supplement, plus he gets EPA/DHA, Zeel and Traumeel (homeopathic remedies for sports injuries, inflammation and arthritis), coconut oil and he just finished six acupuncture sessions which seemed to make the biggest difference of everything we've done so far.

He is definitely fitter and less stiff than he was when we adopted him, but he is not as limber and pain free as I would like. If anyone has other suggestions I'd love to hear them.

What's interesting is that since that experience on Saturday we have gone hiking twice and both times Gunther went into the tall grasses and dense forest and just kept going - he must have learned something because he's always just stuck his nose in before and then continued on the path.

Scott asked if there was a leisure hunting class or perhaps a hunting class where the bassets just have to find big pieces of steak that appear right in front of them - Gunther would really like that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
797 Posts
Scott asked if there was a leisure hunting class or perhaps a hunting class where the bassets just have to find big pieces of steak that appear right in front of them - Gunther would really like that.

There is -- it's called the refrigerator
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,196 Posts
My hounds do great in the refrigerator class! Several of them have figured out how to open it, so they don't even have to wait for me!

But I still think they prefer chasing the bunnies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
939 Posts
Pinkwhip,i don't think i got the chance to meet you,sorry. if you would like to see another aspect of what you have seen at Dean's Hunt,there will be 2 AKC field trials in Shawsville,Maryland the last 2 weekends in Oct. your dogs should really know how to run a rabbit b/4 you enter them but after the trials on Saturday( which i usually go home Saturday)i will stay around and help you train your hounds with you and your husband if you like.if you are interested,i can send you the address or post it here.The grounds at the Maryland Beagle Club are loaded with rabbits and completely fenced in,plus they are a little more open so you can see more.if you like you can handle my dog Ike at the trial and get a feel for what it's like.don't worry about thinking of screwing up,poor Ike has to put up with me as his owner he can't get more screwed up than that!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Pinkwhip,i don't think i got the chance to meet you,sorry. if you would like to see another aspect of what you have seen at Dean's Hunt,there will be 2 AKC field trials in Shawsville,Maryland the last 2 weekends in Oct. your dogs should really know how to run a rabbit b/4 you enter them but after the trials on Saturday( which i usually go home Saturday)i will stay around and help you train your hounds with you and your husband if you like.if you are interested,i can send you the address or post it here.The grounds at the Maryland Beagle Club are loaded with rabbits and completely fenced in,plus they are a little more open so you can see more.if you like you can handle my dog Ike at the trial and get a feel for what it's like.don't worry about thinking of screwing up,poor Ike has to put up with me as his owner he can't get more screwed up than that!!![/b]

Pinehawk - okay, I'm confused. I thought we did meet, but maybe not. Aren't you tall and slim? AND were't you writing down dog names on the white board?

Anyway, I TOTALLY want to go! Can you post the address? (additionally, I'm about to ask a lot of annoying questions - and understand if you don't have time to answer them)

First, can you let me know what the entry requirements are - registration? In tact? Not in tact? Anything else I should be aware of of.

AND when you say, "Should really know how to run a rabbit before you enter" can you tell me what you mean exactly?

If I need to do some training ahead of time, are there any books you recommend -- Dean, and anyone else too?

I would be thrilled if you help me train after - and I would be honored to handle Ike. I would do my absolute best - which probably means letting him work and being supportive, right?

I do need to talk to you about The Bun-inator's issues - the ones that affect how she's trained - mainly how she is spoken too and how she is approached, touched, etc. Since I'm her protector and all :)

I don't think it will affect anything in terms of what you would be teaching us, but I want you to know beforehand.

For instance, I noticed at the Rabbit Run in PA that handlers encourage dogs to go into the brush by getting behind them and saying "Go get the bunny" in a pretty loud voice. If surprised from behind, Belle will do the opposite and pull out - she will think she's done something wrong. She loves going in there anyway - and probably needs to be encouraged quietly and at a distance if you know what I mean. It's almost like she's better and more confident without too much interference - I'm guessing there is a way to teach a cue that means "go in that bush and look" (I HOPE I'M NOT SCARING YOU WITH OUR BAGGAGE).

For what it's worth, she's very determined and never, never, never gives up. When we are moving away from bunny territory on walks, she plants her little feet in the ground and refuses to leave. If I let up, she starts tracking all over again. I think she'll be great at this.

Thanks for the support - I'll look forward to getting the address and doing some research.

I can't even tell you how ecstatic I am that it is fenced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
797 Posts
That wasn't Pinehawk -- the AKC events are for intact, registered bassets only ---- Maryland trials would be a great spot to spectate and go out with Pinehawk after the trial for training -- the grounds are much easier to get around than last week. lots of rabbits.

You can do anything to help your dog hunt at the beginning, sometimes, I point to a hole and tell houndie to get in there. That might work for Belle, but if she goes in on her own -- dont bother, just let her do her thing. You could try teaching her to go in at a hole on the command "bunnie".
Leaving Gunther at the car would probably work, because next time she will be concentrating on rabbits and won't miss him
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
939 Posts
tall and slim???? i like you!!! LOL.i really can't be confused as slim,hahahaha.i'll post the address after i get back from Batavia,NY this weekend for the start of the AKC trials this weekend,i'm off to bed 6-7 hour ride in the morning.talk to you when i get back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
939 Posts
here's the address 3257 Dry Branch Road,White Hall,Maryland. the town is Shawsville,but if you use yahoo maps you have to put in White Hall,also for GPS units. hope you can make it. i'm off to Batavia,NY. later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
I've been participating in AKC field trials with my girls for about 3 years now. I am still the newbie it seems but I've learned alot. I think the field trials are a little less nerve racking because the dogs generally don't get as far away from you as in the hunt trials that you are describing. There is an occasional naughty dog that will just go nuts and take a while to find but there is enough people around and judges etc. that I've never heard of a dog being lost and the grounds that we use here aren't even fenced in. Theres a river with a ravine and everything. If you can participate in field trials I highly recommend it since you generally get a better view of how your dog works the line. I cannot say from experience as I have never participated in the hunt trials they hold back east so I may be completely wrong. Happy hunting!

CTG
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top