Dogs have been with hunters for a long time.Coonhounds are known for their scent tracking, and are great hunting partners for small game.Training a coonhound to hunt raccoons is a multi-step process that involves acclimating your dog to the animals and practicing scent tracking.
Step 1: Understand the breed characteristics.
A group of dogs that were bred to hunt and tree raccoons are referred to as coonhounds.Some of the different types of coonhounds include redbone, black and tan, American English, blue-tick, treeing walker, and the plot hound.Coonhounds were bred to hunt and are eager to please their owners.In North America, coonhounds are the breed of choice for small game hunters.They respond well to training and are good hunters.They need daily exercise to get their energy levels up.Coonhounds hunt by scent.They rely on scent before they corner the animal.
Step 2: A leash is needed for your coonhound to walk on.
Coonhounds are notorious for following scent and ignoring calls from their owners.Unless your dog is well trained, you should not let them off-leash in the open woods.Attach a leash to your dog and let them get used to it.When your dog stays by your side, reward them with a small treat.If they attempt to pull on the leash, stop walking and do not move until the dog returns to you.When they behave on the leash, the walk will stop.
Step 3: The come command should be strengthened.
One of the more difficult commands for coonhounds is the come command.These dogs are bred to smell and are known to wander off and ignore commands whenever they pick up a scent.It is essential that your coonhound responds to the come command and returns to you.You risk losing your dog to dangerous areas if they don't know this command.When your dog comes, reward them with a small treat and practice the come command.It is okay to ignore your call if you avoid yelling their name out over and over again.
Step 4: There is a train in the appropriate conditions.
When the puppy is about 12 weeks old, coonhound training should begin.Training should take place in the morning or after the rain.The wet ground helps the coonhound follow a scent more effectively, and it gets the dog used to walking in water and through puddles.When your dog is hungry, it is a good idea to train them prior to meal times.
Step 5: When is your puppy ready to hunt?
When you are certain that Coon hound puppies will follow your commands, they are ready to hunt.Even 10% of the time, a puppy is not ready to hunt.You can start acclimating them to scent while they are still in training, but they should never be allowed to go on a hunt or track a live animal.
Step 6: A scent drag is used.
Coonhounds rely on scent the most during the hunt so you want to begin to acclimate a puppy to following a scent early on.You can buy the scent from an outdoor or sporting store.Whether it is an old rag or a retrieving dummy, apply the scent to a drag.You can use a fresh carcass, but be aware that scent training is an ongoing process and you will need to procure new carcasses to train with as the old ones begin to degrade.
Step 7: The dog should be acclimatized to the scent.
The puppy should be allowed to play with the scented dummy.Reward the puppy with a small treat for showing interest, but take the drag away before they lose interest in it.You can control your puppy's interest in the scent by putting them away hot.Continue to put the drag away while it is hot for at least three days.
Step 8: You can drag the scent across your property.
Attach a scented dummy or coon to a rope.You can create a scent trail by pulling the line across your property.While your dog is inside, pull the line.You'll hang the scent drag or carcass at the end of the trail.This will create a scent trail for your coonhound.
Step 9: To follow the scent, command your dog.
Put the drag away and out of sight after you have created a scent line.Take the dog out of the house and lead them to the area where you began dragging the line.Coonhounds are prone to running after scent, so they should be on a leash.The dog will hopefully catch on to the command and begin tracking the scent if they are encouraged to find it and pair it with a verbal cue.If your dog doesn't seem to understand, you can lead them around the area where you pulled the drag and let them sniff the ground.Their scent instincts will take over eventually.When they are done following the scent, give them a treat.For at least two weeks, practice the scent lead process.
Step 10: The scent drags the carcass to a tree.
Your puppy will begin to associate the smell of a raccoon with trees.When it comes to tracking a real raccoon, they know that the trail will end with them treeing the animal.The scent trail should end in a tree.
Step 11: If you repeat this process, you will change the route.
The scent of the raccoon is starting to be associated with the hunt and the tree by the coonhound.The process of dragging a scent is repeated several times each week.You should always end at a tree where you hung the drag or the hide.The process should be repeated at least three times a week.The first two years of your dog's life are crucial to training them to a good scent hound, and this is the best way to strengthen their skills.
Step 12: After your puppy is tracked, reward him.
When your puppy tracks the scent to the tree, praise them and give them a treat.They can associate the hunt with positive things because of this.
Step 13: There is a live animal.
If you can afford it, trap a live animal.Allow your puppy to investigate it while it is in a cage.After they have tracked the scent from the drag trail, this should be done.They can associate the scent of a live animal with a fresh scent.The puppy can sniff around the cage.You should encourage them to bark.The sound of a coonhound's bark will alert you that they are on a trail in the woods that leads to a shooting range.
Step 14: The animal should be put into an open area.
If you have fully trained your dog to respond to the come command, you should be able to do this.This should not be attempted with a dog that is not fully trained.You can let the animal out of the trap.
Step 15: After the animal is out of sight, let your dog go.
Release your dog from their leash and allow them to chase after the animal that is out of sight.They will bark loudly and follow the scent of the animal into the woods.
Step 16: As your puppy tracks, follow it.
Your coonhound will follow the scent.You will need to stop them from searching for the animal if they can't find it.
Step 17: Put your dog in a secured area.
A secure area is where you should desensitizing your dog to gunfire.Only use a firearm that you are legally registered to use if you want to shoot a gun in an area populated with other people.A crate is needed for your dog to be secured.
Step 18: It's a good idea to fire your gun at a target.
You should be close to your dog's crate while you are shooting.Always aim at a target and never shoot your gun into the air.
Step 19: The dog is looking at the noise.
Stand farther away from the crate and repeat the exercise if they are frightened.Reward words with a treat when the exercise is over.You can have someone else shoot a gun at a distance while you give your puppy a treat or toy at the same time.They will be less likely to be frightened by loud noise if they associate it with something they like.
Step 20: This exercise should be repeated.
Continue this process for several days until your puppy is no longer frightened by the noise.If your puppy continues to be startled by the noise, this may take a few weeks.Some dogs are more frightened by gunfire than others.This process may take a while to repeat.