I have a 5 month old bassett puppy that we got about 1 1/2 months ago. I'm interested in training her for rabbit hunting, but unsure just how to start. I would like to train her myself rather than take her to a trainer, if possible. She normally isn't very hyper, except when I take her walking in the field or around wooded areas. Then she gets very excited and sniffs around and acts like she's trying to follow a trail. It's head down, tail up, and running as fast as I'll let her. This makes me think she might really enjoy the hunting/trailing, however, I haven't exposed her to guns yet, but will be next week or so to see how gunshy she is.
We had thought about shooting a rabbit and using it to get her started on what the scent is and making scent trails to see if she'll follow the rabbit. I'm not sure if this is the best way to start and would like advice from someone experienced rather than just read a book on it. And how do I train her to follow slowly and far enough behind the rabbit so she'll lead him back around and not run him into hiding?