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Training for rabbit hunting

7489 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  dixie01
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?
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She's abit young for real training -- I would just take her out and let her have fun in the field. You can certainly try dragging a road kill rabbit. Also drag a hot dog and then leave a treat at the end of the trail. Are there any beagle clubs near you? They might let you join, help train and possibly have a starting pen. Bassets naturally run slower than the fast beagles, and it is very hard to teach speed. The dog will run at it's pace.
Thanks. When is the best time to start training her? My boyfriend's father and grandfather had beagles and started 6 month old puppies hunting with the older dogs so the older ones would teach the pups. Unfortunately they don't have beagles anymore or I could train Molly with them. She's very smart and has caught on to everyday training (housebreaking, leash, etc) very quickly, so I don't anticipate much trouble with her as long as she enjoys it and I don't mess up!
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