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I am sitting here wondering, field beagles are hunting pals, they zoom around the woods for their preys. Their scent is extra extra keen, and they follow their scent away, and away, and away......where do the hunters find their beloved beagles back? I'm sure my Charlie would be gone in the wilderness! :biglaugh: :freak:
Do they retrieve their prey like golden retrievers do?

Charlie mom
 

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Well...maybe they chase their preys until there's no escape. Then they eat them up real fast and stand there waiting with those shiny brown eyes, wide grins, white-tipped tails wagging merrily, and looking as innocent and adorable as ever until their owners come to them? Heh..heh.. Just kidding. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

I have only the vaguest idea in this topic and I'm just too embarrassed to voice it. :redface:
 

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I've only heard of some EXTREME training methods. Hunters beating them over the head when they don't listen, leaving some dead, brain damaged, or, in the case of the fellow I met, blind. I don't know the particulars, but I don't imagine that it's easy.

I can't imagine any of ours being good hunting dogs either...they'd all race to the downed bird, grab it and play keep-away. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif
 

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Actually both of my older dogs were big time scenters. I still have a hard time keeping my Harley in the yard. I gave my Sadie girl to a new farm home-they do LOVe to run.

Anyhow-as far as hunting, etc. Harley is a killer, I do know that. They keep our yard free of squirrels, etc. When they were littleI let them run in the yard because they were too scared to run off to far, then as they get bigger they get more adventerous. Now-I have to hold on TIGHT to Harley.

He has come home with parts of animals etc, and actually just wants to bring them right on inside like its "no big deal mom" to eat the bloody mess in my HOUSE !?? UM NO!!??
I dont know how exactly they would work for hunting dogs. When I was trying to find a new home for one of them, I had a few people from another website I am on email me and ask me if they were used to being around guns and if they had done any hunting. Well, they had never heard a gunshot of course, but I think if you are going to train any dogs, you have to get them used to the gunshot at a very young age.

Well, thats about all I do know, but like I said, I know my Harley is a hunter, and I can see little Maggie already getting her scent going (though not as much as the other 2 did, whew)and they do bring it back I know that!!!

(YUCK to the bloody prey)

/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif Judi
 

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I'm no expert on hunting, but I have been in the field with three generations of hunters. I can only speak from personal experience, it's rare for a rabbit dog to actually catch the rabbit.

A rabbit dog's MISSION is to 'catch the rabbit', but as a rabbit runs from it's pursuer, it circles around (back toward the waiting hunter) in order to elude the dog. That's when the HUNTER bags the prey; the dog's main reward is the hunt, but some hunters DO reward their dogs with meat treats. My son uses liver treats during the hunt although I can say from personal experience, Maggie's biggest reward is to just chase the bunny....it's generations of instinct. On a normal day, I could never trust Maggie off-lead, but in the field, she looks to the master for direction, and never wanders off. She realizes we're a pack working together.

I let Maggie run the fields, working off energy (because the sound of a hound on a scent trail is a beautiful sound); I use the camera to bag my prey.....I call that a 'camera safari' and we have one of those at the farm whenever we can.
 

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Every year my dad goes out hunting with a friend who has a hunting camp and a huge tract of land. He also has a pack of hounds (mostly beagles) who hunt with them. Dad says that these dogs come back (although sometimes it might take a while) because they are a pack and stay together. I gather the best way to keep them in line is an older female...they will follow her and she will bring them home. If by chance one doesn't come back, they leave a piece of clothing with the owner's scent and the next morning, there is the beagle, lying on the shirt waiting.

Of course, there are always slow learners who really wander off, but they are generally picked up by the neighbours and brought home. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

We always wonder how Buckley would react, but I don't think I'll take the chance!!!
 

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Over here in Blighty our beagle packs are socialised from 8 weeks in family homes, it is known as puppy walking. Some hunts have quite a long waiting list for puppy walking. This is where the puppy gets to know the outside world and learns that dogs, cats and people etc are not prey.

At about 10-12 months they are re-introduced to the pack and taught by the other dogs how to hunt.

When out hunting we have people called 'whippers in' who's job it is to keep an eye on the pack and round up the straglers and wayward beags. They normally stay towards the back of the pack on either side, they use their whips to guide the hounds back on track they never whip the hounds they either crack it or use the whip as a stick to guide the dog back on track.

As has already been mentioned beags hunt as a pack and therefore generaly stick together but some do go wayward and these can be also called back by the use of the hunting horn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you, very informative. That's why in pictures of hunting pack, I see man with horns. I did not see whip though. I guess beagles has to be well trained on that. Not just any beagle can run off chasing preys.
Thanks again.


Charlie mom
 

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Wasn't Bob the expert? AAAHHHHH where is Bob when we need him?.....

Well, I can however answer part of the question.
Dogs do follow scents very actively, and here is why Beagles do get lost more than any other dogs.
If you consider that dogs in general live in an environment a little similar to the one known of the Borgs (yes, in Star Treck!). The Borgs could here everyone and had to learn to concentrate to the one sound or person in order to communicate. Well, dogs can scent absolutely everything, and I mean every component of everything. For exemple, they will not smell spaghetti sauce, but tomates, garlic, meat, oignon, peper... and even water. Dogs learn to concentrate on a scent of their choice.
Hunting dogs have morphologically a different nose from other dogs in that they have far more folds in the nose, which allow them to isolate and concentrate in an even stronger manner to one particular scent of interest.
Furthermore, the dog inherently always goes towards the freshest scent. This means from wherever he picks up the scent to the source of that scent. The freshest scent is in fact synonimous to the strongest scent, which is necessarily where the object is. This is definitely usefull for the animal who needs to feed himself, as it is to the hunteing dog or the Search and rescue dog.
The problem though is that because the dog is mapped to always go towards the point originating the scent, they are not able to go track the scent the other way.
This is not so much of a problem for many dogs who, while concentrating on that one scent, managed to recognise in the back of their mind other scent, but because Beagles have been bred with one of the most discriminating nose, they can concentrate strictly to the one scent to the exclusion of all others, they are absolutely unable to find their way home when they run off following a scent.

So next time someone tells you Beagles get lost because they are stupid as it is often said, simply smile and answer that actually, they get lost because they are better at their job than any other being!
 

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Is it true that to some hunters (not all, I'm sure), that beagles are expendable? Therefore if one does not come back, how much effort is spent in finding the dog?

In general, do people who use beagles to hunt, try hard to retrieve ones that do not return?

I've also been told that during hunting season, hunters feed the dogs less so that they are more effective finding prey.

Please excuse my ignorance on the subject...I figure this is my chance to hear from those who know.
 

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Quote:Originally posted by Gingergoose:
Is it true that to some hunters (not all, I'm sure), that beagles are expendable? Therefore if one does not come back, how much effort is spent in finding the dog?
In general, do people who use beagles to hunt, try hard to retrieve ones that do not return?
I've also been told that during hunting season, hunters feed the dogs less so that they are more effective finding prey.
Please excuse my ignorance on the subject...I figure this is my chance to hear from those who know.
Sadly, many dogs are mistreated, whether they be pets or working dogs or hunting dogs. The rumors you hear are true to a much greater degree than any of us who love our beagles probably want to know. My son runs Maggie at a nearby beagle hunting club (just for fun, not competitively) and it's common knowledge who is hardest on their dogs. Many of the stray beagles found in our area are hunting dogs who got lost, or dogs thrown out because they wouldn't hunt. It's a terrible truth. BUT, for every bad dog owner out there, I believe there are many many more GOOD dog owners than bad ones!!!

In our family, the hunters LOVE their dogs. It is unusual for a hunting dog to live inside the house as a pet; the dogs my father raised lived in a housing facility together. His dog barn was climate controlled, and our farm had outside runs. Because I grew up on a cattle ranch, we also raised cattle herding dogs; the dog barn and the calf orphanage were actually the same barn...so obviously a favorite of the farm kids. We hand-fed the orphan calves and enjoyed the dogs too. Any farmer or hunter worth their salt also respects and loves their animals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Because of Charlie I've learned another chapter! :biglaugh: I educate myself a lot, the best thing is world wide! Guess what, all I need to do is click on the computer and :computer: Amazing. And I get to know you all wonderful friends.


Charlie mom
 

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I'm learning a lot here, too. 2 of my dogs (JoJo and Tanna) are from field champion lines - JoJo's breeder didn't "run" her dogs, they're all companions, as are mine, but I'd love to see IFC or FC behind some of my kids' names. I have an "internet friend" who's husband raises field champions - he is so impressed by the pedigrees of my 2 that he has offered to train one of their pups for me. As much as I hate to send a puppy "away", it would be nice to see one of them do what they are bred to do! I know that the pup would have a great home - I can't train them for trialing - I'm too old and really don't have the knowledge (or energy) necessary. My Tanna's parents are both IFC - and there are many field and international field champions in both Tanna's and JoJo's lines. Tanna had been in field trials before I adopted him and he is ready to run anytime!
 

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Great thread - thanks for pulling it up beaglesmom! I see quite a few dogs hunting round here so am always intrigued to know more.

When Beaglina was younger a few of the hunters I saw out walking asked me I wanted to sell her (!)or let them train her to hunt but I always said no - I'm sure that she would *love* it, but I thought once she had got a taste for the chase it would make walking her even more difficult...

I've also heard bad stories about the way hunting dogs are treated but I've only ever seen them looking really well and happy - and occasionally I also see their owners roaming through the woods trying to get them back!
 

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I actually met someone who is a hunter, but his beagles are ALSO companion animals. Apparently they can be both. Anyone watching a beagle outside can't deny the instinct to hunt is soooo strong in them. Even my little girl from show lines can't resist a new "scent". Tanna is the only one who has been "trained" in field trials - and his NOSE GOES! It's a joy to watch him on the 'scent' of something. I'd like to know more about the field dogs.
 

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I been exposing the scent of deers to Dixie, I let her chew on a deer leg, and i drag the scent glands around the yard for her to track. She does pretty good.

Also when i cook deer meat i let the meat drain of blood and put a rag in it so the blood get's soaked in. then using that rag i drag it around the yard and let Dixie play with it.

I haven't taken her out to track a deer yet as the season is over, but i still play with her by creating a scent trail for her to follow.
 

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My Molly has been hunting rabbits since she was 6 months old. The breeder we got her from is very active in field trials all over the US and active in area beagle clubs as well. It was a lot of work to establish recall and break her of chasing deer. Out here, if someone sees a dog chasing a deer, they will shoot it. I never fully understood why.

Also, if hunting, you don't want a dog to "run down" the rabbit. That means running ahead or over top of it. This is where the breed standard becomes important. The smaller the beagle, the better. Long legs don't really work for rabbit hunting. The funny thing that Molly does after the rabbit has been shot is she will run and lay on it. I always have to make sure that her Frontline is up to date so the fleas don't leave the rabbit for her.

Also, to contradict the popular notion that a hunting dog cannot be a house dog, Molly sleeps in bed with us under the covers every night. She has won small club hunts too. Just some food for thought.
 

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I know people who have hunted with beagles and the way the do it is one guy goes to one end and runs a chase through with the beagles. They walk in from the far end to chase the deer out to the hunters who are sitting and waiting. The guy "doing the chase" walks the whole way back with the dogs. There have been times where they have lost a dog so what he would do is leave his hunting coat on the ground in the bush. Sure enough, the next morning when he went out there, the dog was sleeping on his coat. A lot of people as well will put a GPS on their dogs so if they get lost, they know where to find them.
 

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Think you all covered most of it - don't know what I was doing two years ago when I missed this thread the first time! Still trying to figure out the new Forum layout and stumbled on to this!

The big key is there is safety in the numbers of the pack. The pack will stick together and when tired they will return or if they get lost, stay together till they can be found! Many who hunt with beagles in the states fit them with tracking devices so if a beagle should get injured or separated from the pack, they can be retrieved. There are lot’s of ways to recall and the old hunting horn worked well as at least some in the pack learned that responding to the horn was a good thing and the rest of the pack would follow along. The Bagel doesn’t have any beagle buddies and the hazards most of our beagles face in the vicinity of our homes is too great a risk so most of our pets remain on lead but a hunting pack in the country, safe from cars, well-meaning strangers who serve as distractions and having the numbers (pack) to ward off predators like Wolves, Coyotes, Cougars, Bears are relatively safe on their own. They is always the risk the get trapped in a hole or injured and can’t keep up with the pack. While the hunter accepts that possibility, most of us would not, for our beloved beagles.
 
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