How To Train Your Dog - Rabbit
is a natural canine instinct, and there's really no better way to enjoy
this sport then with the help of Man's Best Friend. The most efficient
type of dog for Rabbit Hunting is a hound dog (especially beagles) and
the best time to begin training is as a puppy. If you want your dog to
learn to hunt rabbits, remember to have a little bit of patience (and a
pocket full of treats!)
- The best age to begin training is between 6 and 8 weeks.
Puppies at this age have a short attention span so remember to keep
training between 10-15 minutes for 2 or 3 times a day.
- Scatter pieces of treats through the yard and allow your pup
to sniff around to find them. This helps the puppy learn to track a
scent. It also helps to take a piece of meat and drag it a few feet so
the puppy can learn to follow a scent trail.
- When your pup is 12 to 16 weeks, you can begin using a tame
rabbit for hunting practice. In a large, enclosed area, introduce the
dog and rabbit. Let the dog sniff the rabbit thoroughly while holding
the rabbit by the scruff.
- Release the rabbit. Instinctively, your dog should chase
after it. Praise your dog if she begins to bark or bay while chasing it.
- Remove the rabbit once it begins to get tired from running or
if you see the puppy being aggressive. Make sure to not allow your dog
to harm the rabbit.
- Repeat the process with lots of praise every time your pup runs the rabbit to exhaustion.
- Let your puppy run with older, trained dogs. Once in a pack
the puppy will try to manipulate the other dogs' behavior. Do this until
your puppy is tracking and baying at rabbits without the need of praise
- If unable to get a tame rabbit, rabbit fur or bottled rabbit scent could be used to train your pup to track scents.
- Always praise your dog for good work. Dogs will always respond
better to positive reinforcement (i.e. treats, saying "good boy!")
- Do not use a wild rabbit for training, as a wild rabbit could injure your puppy.
- Do not begin training in an open area. Puppies, especially
hound breeds, are very curious and will very easily follow another trail
and get lost. Pay full attention and keep your training space enclosed.
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