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Discussion Starter #1
I have a question that maybe Dean knows the answer to but everyone is welcome to chime in!
Do you think the scent of rabbits is genetically programed in?
Back when Francis could see he was the scourge of the Boston bunnies, he'd catch sight of a rabbit and SEE YA!!! Off like a rocket.
I've noticed though that when a rabbit crosses our trail Franny gets sort of excited and tries to go into the bushes and I'm wondering if he smells a rabbit. He never caught one so it's not like he ever got a close up scent.
Hmmmm????
 

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Yes. Your pretty baby is a hunting dog. God Bless 'em.
 

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It's instinct -- they will try to track most anything -- once they learn how to believe and use their nose, all scents become of interest. Game birds, deer, cats, foz, and groundhogs are fair game. Mine have also tracked black snake, chipmonk (on concrete), a turtle (caught it), me, other dogs, and generally any thing that stinks and runs.

Boston isn't all that far from our Labor Day weekend - or at least plan to go to the fun hunt in N, Dartmouth, MA on Thanksgiving weekend
 

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:lol: Dean, I'm not going anywhere near where you are if you count yourself among those objects that "stink and run"!!!
 

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Yes, Dean knows. They all will root around with their noses and then turn around several times to 'soften their bed' before they lie down to sleep as well as hiding food in the house and going thru the motions of digging and then using their nose to cover it up--even if it nothing there but carpet.
They also know how to drag their ears in a stong scent that they want to track. That naturally keeps them on that scent and they can recognize which strong scent trail to follow and the Bloodhounds I worked with in LE---when added to the pack in the middle of the chase would smell of the ears of the lead Hounds that already had drug their ears in the human scent to 'get' the scent they all wanted to follow. Oh how facinating these wonderful Hounds are! I have to add that I have long known they are the most beautiful living things of all! Our Bassets take on 'human' traits when they are well loved
IF--Dean were hungry you would quickly see him doing the Basset 500 in earnest after the rabbit.
don
 

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At my age, it's more like the basset 100 -- and only on a good day, I can still make it to the fridge
As Don knows, to a basset -- we all stink !! On really hot days, just stay up-wind of me. Never under estimate the basset nose -- On a path in the local state park, I have seen bassets stop, smell the air, check several feet up or down the path, head into the brush and find the rabbit about 10-15 feet off the path.
Don have you ever considered going to one of thr hunts in MO?
 

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... all scents become of interest. Game birds, deer, cats, foz, and groundhogs are fair game. Mine have also tracked black snake, chipmonk (on concrete), a turtle (caught it), me, other dogs, and generally any thing that stinks and runs.

Boston isn't all that far from our Labor Day weekend - or at least plan to go to the fun hunt in N, Dartmouth, MA on Thanksgiving weekend[/b]
Moe can add squirrels, moths, earthworms (especially dead ones), and anything even REMOTELY edible (and even a few things that aren't edible :p ). But Moe's area of hunting expertise is with houseflies... he always gets his fly! :lol:
 

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Okay, this thread was very educational, now turned funny....when you added the other "things" they like to track, I started laughing...Fred loves toads....he doesn't hurt them, but he will play for hours with toads...he's pouncing and his little ears flopping around the whole time!! Now, when we call him in the house, he hides them in his mouth and lets them go in our house!! UGH!! (but hilarious)!!

I LOVE this hound!!
 

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This morning we went for a walk and the hounds were walking side by side. All of a sudden Digger caught a scent. He did a quick left turn, and plowed right into Dozer. :lol: :lol: Later on the walk they spotted a rabbit. It wasn't so much of the scent, but they saw the rabbit run across the street. I could barely hold on to them.

And speaking of toads. Dozer was chasing something in the garden yesterday. When I looked over at what he was chasing, he started gagging and shaking his head. He caught a bullfrog, and it peed in his mouth. :eek: After that he kind of left it alone. :lol:

Dozer has been chasing frogs since I put in the pond. Also with the rains lately, there have been a few more frogs around.
 

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When Moe was a young feller we used to take him hiking in the woods (anything to wear him out so we could have a couple of peaceful hours!). One early spring when the ponds and waterways were high and running across the paths, Moe waded in up to his chest and shoved his head into the water, coming up with slimy strings of toad eggs hanging from his mouth! :p Ugggh! Later in the season he had fun chasing tadpoles in the same spot. The woods are the best place to take dogs.

One time we suddenly came upon a deer and were only about eight feet from it. I saw it... my husband saw it... my son saw it... we all looked at Moe but he never saw it!! :blink: The deer froze for a moment and then disappeared into the woods. :lol: Why hadn't Moe noticed? He had spotted a BUMBLEBEE and was intent on following it on it's erratic journey as it buzzed about. He eventually followed it to it's nest in the ground. Then he fearlessly (but foolishly) shoved his nose into the hole... and was promptly stung! He still followed Bumbles after that but always kept a safe distance while barking furiously at them! :rolleyes: I don't think the Bumbles ever noticed him...
 

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Lilly is my expert tracker and petite hunting dog. She goes insane if she sees a squirrel and she has treed several. She is also very smart about tracking and hunting. She loves to hunt feral alleycats (of course she never gets close to them--I have a good hold on her leash!) and she is smart enough to know that if a pet kitty appears in a front yard it can also later appear in the same house's backyard. Many times she's seen a neighbor's kitty sunning itself out front, howled at it, it disappears, then she drags me around to the back of the house to see if it's back there. She's a smart girl.
 

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Dean,
When I was young I ran behind the Hounds from the State Pen and to stay in shape I ran behind Coon Hounds that various boys had. I have retired and moved into the woods in the Ozarks and have a Basset that defies all reason. I was told and knew that Bassets would strike and never come back but my little girl goes out and catches a scent, runs it and then comes back home and scratches on the door to be let in for food and water.
As you may know the Katydids are in their seven year cycle of plenty and my girl has been sniffing them out and pouncing on them! She will grab a toad as well.
I have not been here long so I have not met any hunters yet beside the Beagle hunters. I think my girl can hang with them and we may see this winter when the hoppers are out.
 

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Some bassets do get lost, but most will return. Mine have been seen back-tracking themselves, and on many occasions I have had them come to me cross country after running a rabbit. very impressive if we are in new territory. Don't know if they hear well or have a good sense of direction. I have had to go get some, one was found playing with some kidsin the front yard -- one pair was spotted on the edge of a road and decided a mini-van full of kids would be fun, another pair ran a fox for about a mile and decided the local Amish farm looked inviting, beat the door down, convinced the woman they had to sleep inside on the porch and she called in the morning. I would have to say over 99% of the time, I come back with all of the dogs Some of the other times, I think that when they lose what ever they are running, they wull investigate any noises, and are "found" before they even try to return
 

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Dean,
When I was young I ran behind the Hounds from the State Pen and to stay in shape I ran behind Coon Hounds that various boys had. I have retired and moved into the woods in the Ozarks and have a Basset that defies all reason. I was told and knew that Bassets would strike and never come back but my little girl goes out and catches a scent, runs it and then comes back home and scratches on the door to be let in for food and water.
As you may know the Katydids are in their seven year cycle of plenty and my girl has been sniffing them out and pouncing on them! She will grab a toad as well.
I have not been here long so I have not met any hunters yet beside the Beagle hunters. I think my girl can hang with them and we may see this winter when the hoppers are out.[/b]
 

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Instincts play a large part. My basset has always been especially
interested in the scent of rabbit and fox.

As for backtracking, when we ventured off the beaten path one can
just follow the little long eared sausage back, unless a more aluring smell
distracts him.

I guess you've all had your dogs crash into houses or other non-moving
objects because they were following a scent...... all that loose skin that
falls into their eyes helps too. People that have not experienced scent dogs
find this very amusing... and so do we XD
 

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Yeah, Lucy does that when I walk her in the fields. She leads me around the place tracking who knows what... When the scent is stronger, she can tell that the animal is very close. Sometimes, she'll break into an excited run when she's getting very close, and practically yanks my arm off as she lunges at some cat running off a few yards away. It's exciting when she finds stuff but it's not so fun when she slips the leash from my hand! I'm always scared she'll accidentally get lost chasing some hooligan rabbit! :D
~K~<3
 
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