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Because my border collie comes with me when I hunt and stays by my side as does my boerboel. I would just like to make them more useful. My boerboel helps me haul game as he loves to pull. And my border collie will fetch rabbits or my arrows. If I can now train her to sniff out the area of the target animal it would be helpful for me and rewarding for her.

 

But again, if she sniff it out she will be getting very close to the game and the game could go after her. Depending on the game, this could be very bad for a small to medium size dog.

 

If shes tracking ahead of you, she will come across the game before you do. I would only do that sticking to rabbits or other very small game, never anything as big as a bobcat or coyote. I would not risk my dogs safety. She earns her keep by being your companion.

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Of course what Rushdoggie says is completely true. There is risk.

 

In my own work there is risk. The way to cut risk is to learn from someone very experienced.

 

Just like when learning to work dogs on cattle.

 

 

 

Little Cap has been taught to signal to us, rather than go off on his own. In this way we can prepare.

 

 

 

My wildlife work is rehab work. Helping injured wild animals and returning them to the wild.

 

 

 

I am proud of this work. And proud that little Cap has helped all these years.

 

 

 

BTW- Cap doesn't work cattle as he thinks it too risky.

 

 

 

Ah Cap!

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I have taken tracking lessons with my BC. He did VERY well, but I did not have time to keep it up. Having said that, the tracking instructor (greater than 30 years experience in SAR tracking and air scent and cadaver dog training) told me that, on average, BCs make better air scent dogs than tracking dogs - therefore that doesn't mean someone could not train an impressive tracking BC who showed special aptitude.

 

What you propose to do is foreign to me, but theoretically, you could train your BC to sniff out the predator, then signal to you (coming back to you and giving you a special signal), and then you could send your other dog. It would be safer that way for the BC.

 

Jovi

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Besides airscent SAR, I've done footstep tracking with my two just for fun. Both dogs are highly food motivated and did great at that.

 

I do article find games with Kenzi and she LOVES it. She can zone in on my keys (that have no discernible scent as far as I can tell) from 15-20 feet away if there's a light breeze.

 

My dogs uses their noses in tracking cats all the time :rolleyes:

 

I honestly think any dog with halfway decent drives can be trained to fairly well. All dogs have noses that are almost mind-boggling sensitive. The breeds with great hunt drives are the ones that naturally excel at it, but use enough bacon on the track or motivation at the end and I imagine most dogs could come to really enjoy it :D

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I don't see why she couldn't find the trail, and you can teach her to alert you to scat, smells on trees, etc. I mean donthave her corner them, or anywhere near but if she's already out hunting with you and behaves and recalls I don't see how its any different than what she is doing now except with a purpose. Of course, shell be in work mode so you'll have toreinforce her behaviour and recall in drive/this mode. Teach her an alert signal and an automatic recall when she gets close but within a safe distance.

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HUMMMMMM Dave,

 

 

WHY is that?

 

 

Is this like the chicken crossing the road joke?????

 

 

 

Can't see the flock for the sheep...? maybe???

 

 

 

:D

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Okay then sports fans... riddle me this

 

Why is it that a bc can do an outrun and be withing 30 feet of his sheep and have no idea where they are? One would hope the nose would know but nooooo....

 

dave

 

well...

-wind direction is wrong - dog is up wind

-wind direction is wonky and scent is pooling away from the sheep

-too much latent scent in the area

-dog is looking instead of using it's nose

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I would have to agree with Mara there. My first BC I ever had was trained as a Cadaver Dog. He hated to work with the living, he would do it cause I asked him, but he hated it. He LOVED dead things. I think it had alot to do with his mix.

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Okay then sports fans... riddle me this

 

Why is it that a bc can do an outrun and be withing 30 feet of his sheep and have no idea where they are? One would hope the nose would know but nooooo....

 

dave

Could it be that the whole area where the sheep live is already saturated with the smell of sheep so that the dog has become desensitized to the scent of them?

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I have friends who hunt prairie dogs, racoons, badgers and other animals with their Jack Russels. They also have lurchers which in this case are greyhouse/JTR or other terrier crosses that they hunt coyotes with. They have a truck that they drive out into a coyote area and when a coyote gets flushed, they open guiotine doors and the pack of lurchers jump out of the truck, chase down & kill the coyote. But they also carry suture materials with them in the field and think nothing of sewing up their dogs on a routine basis. I'm sure you could do this kind of thing with border collies too, especially if you don't really mind if they get injured. For prey like coyotes, they hunt in packs. The smaller prey like racoons they do with single JRTs, but the dogs are injured fairly often.

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Could it be that the whole area where the sheep live is already saturated with the smell of sheep so that the dog has become desensitized to the scent of them?

 

I would say no, because I have several dogs that will air scent and locate wayward animals to get them back to their flock/herd.

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Dear Sheepdoggers,

 

Dave asked:"Why is it that a bc can do an outrun and be withing 30 feet of his sheep and have no idea where they are? One would hope the nose would know but nooooo...."

 

My sheepdogs usually/always ignore scent and auditory clues.

 

On an outrun, their first choice is sight and since their distance vision isn't that good - worse than mine - on strange ground they often go for anything whiteish or moving sheepishly.

 

Second choice is local habit: they go where the sheep were yesterday and if that fails they try where the sheep sometimes are, finally where they infrequently are. Although they will take redirect whistles, even running toward sheep they can't see because they aren't there, they prefer their memory of yesterday's sheep.

 

Third choice (commonest at big trials) is pattern running - the dog runs wide or not so wide because that pattern has generally brought him to his sheep - he's more willing to take my redirects on unfamiliar ground.

 

Fourth choice - how he's set up to run. Although, from very early in training I walk straight toward the sheep with the dog on the side I intend to send him, I have come to think this habit is less able to influence the dog's ability to properly arrive at his sheep than 1,2, or 3. It does keep him from running over the judge and back to the car.

 

Others' experience?

 

Donald McCaig

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I would say it depends on the dogs and their experience. Mine work on steep slopes with heavy brush and must use smell and hearing as much as sight to locate animals. At a trial they rely on eye sight first, but if they fail to see their goal they use their backup senses. Some are naturally better at this than others.

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Besides airscent SAR, I've done footstep tracking with my two just for fun. Both dogs are highly food motivated and did great at that.

 

I do article find games with Kenzi and she LOVES it. She can zone in on my keys (that have no discernible scent as far as I can tell) from 15-20 feet away if there's a light breeze.

 

My dogs uses their noses in tracking cats all the time :rolleyes:/>

 

I honestly think any dog with halfway decent drives can be trained to fairly well. All dogs have noses that are almost mind-boggling sensitive. The breeds with great hunt drives are the ones that naturally excel at it, but use enough bacon on the track or motivation at the end and I imagine most dogs could come to really enjoy it :D/>

 

I track with my dogs (not game, trails left by people who drop articles) and indeed, a lot of breeds including toy dogs can track and track well. My Border Collie does seem to prefer airscenting to following a track nose-to-ground. He will often "cheat" if he gets confused (the wind moves the scent, its very dry, my handling has been inept) and just airscent an article halfway across teh field and pick his head up and run to it. I always thought that was just an Argos thing but it might be a Border Collie thing.

 

He is super handy in that I can tell him that there is a toy left in the yard and he will go search for it until he finds it and brings it back to me. :)

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Thanks guys. I don't plan on her ever being farther then 20 feet. Ill probably teach her to do it in the heel position. She has a 100% recall and has no problems listening no matter the situation. However coyotes are notorious for luring dog to the pack and killing then as a pack. She doesn't have much of a chase instinct unless its a ball. I can hit prairie dogs at 60 yards 9/10 times with my bow. If a coyote ran at her it'd e dropped before it opened its mouth. Not to mention my boerboel is always by me and her. He'd obviously notice the scent of the threat. Id train my boerboel for scent work as well, but he likes dragging around my cart too much. He always likes to be strapped into the thing. He likes to haul stuff in it. Even my kids haha. She understands what a rabbit is now an whenever she spots one she lays down towards it. Now I gotta work on her following a trail cause the rabbits are plentiful and I know where they like to be.

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He will often "cheat" if he gets confused (the wind moves the scent, its very dry, my handling has been inept) and just airscent an article halfway across teh field and pick his head up and run to it. I always thought that was just an Argos thing but it might be a Border Collie thing.

 

 

I think "cheating" is a Border Collie thing :D :D One airscent BC on my SAR team "cheats". We have 2-3 main training locations and he is always checking out past hiding spots, tracks where people have walked, tries to watch victims go hide, etc. He'll use whatever tool is in that toolbox to try and get that frisbee the quickest. I think he actually searches much better when working a rubble pile because he needs to move slower and pay more attention to what he's doing.

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Could a BC be taught to track game? Most likely, yes. Would I advise using a BC to hunt/track anything bigger than a rabbit? No. But to answer your question of whether or not your BC could be taught to track, I would say yes! They are such smart dogs! Haha, although I never taught my BC to track or hunt, she always catches the chipmunks, mice, and other rodents that live around our house! Which is great considering the rodents are getting a little too numerous around our house! I don't let her eat her catch, just to be safe, but she gets lots of praise and treats for a prize!

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Is it possible/plausible for me to teach my border collie to track/herd deer and other hunt able big/small game?

 

You don't want your border collie near anything like deer, elk, bison, etc. We have lots of people up here that breed and raise these wild animals, and none of them use dogs on them, as the instinct in these animals are to attack and try to kill the dogs.

 

My past border collies were used very successfully by my ex-husband to hunt birds - grouse, partridge, pheasant, ducks, geese - they were actually way better than any of the labs that were used, although the down side was that once the weather got too cold up here in Canada, he couldn't sent them into the really cold water - their coats are not made for that.

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  • 7 years later...

We had a border collie who, when confronted with a small herd of deer in the woods proceeded to herd them. Her only prior experience was with a neighbour'd llamas in a field ; next to our property: she herded them. Both time she was very calm - no rushing - just kept them together - the llamas she drove quietly to the barn; called her off from the deer. No training - all natural instinct - something wondrous to behold!

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