Training Coonhounds

training coonhounds

How to Train Coonhounds

Training coonhounds is a lot like training kids. You have to be able to let them become independent thinkers through trial and error. Will they make mistakes along the way? Of course, but learning and growing from these mistakes is what makes them become wiser over time. I define wisdom as knowledge gained through experience. Getting them experienced at a young age is crucial to growth.

Many times you can tell which pups will be better than others just by watching which one is the most independent. Learning to become an independent thinker from a young age is very important. The best coonhounds are the ones that can go off independently to find and hunt on their own. You win coon hunting championships by being the first one at the tree, not the last.

The most important thing you can do to train most dogs ( coonhounds are no exception) is to spend one on one time with them.  This will help you build rapport. Good rapport with your dog will make or break your relationship. Setting the tone from the beginning will help him develop into the dog you desire. When he does something that he knows you will like he will come to expect praise, when he screws up he knows you won’t be happy with him. Make him want to please you.

If you want a great dog you will have to spend time with that dog. Taking that dog out to hunt one time a month will not suffice to creating the dog you desire. You need to get him as much experience the first two years as possible.

When your pup is about 3 or 4 months old get a coon and lead it around by a rope. Let the pup nose around and smell the trail. Make the trail longer over time. Do this a few times a week so get gets practice. Get a caged coon and let it out far enough away from the pup where he can see it run, but not be able to catch it. He will learn to sight chase it. Make sure the coon has a tree to run up so when your pup gets to the tree he learns how to tree.

The best time to find coons is in the spring. Take your pup out at night in the spring where you think there will be coons. This is where your rapport will come in handy. You want him to be independent, but you also want him to come back when called. Try and find a place where there are young coons. Encourage him to search on his own.

Take an older dog with you to help find the coons to get him started. Only take a an older dog that has good habits. If the older dog is prone to chasing deer (illegal in many states) the pup may play follow the leader. This could turn into a hard habit to break. The pup will learn from the older dog.

Taking the pup with the older dog as a teacher is a good tool to have, but take him out by himself as much as possible. Having the pup make mistakes on his own will be frustrating at times. Gaining experience in becoming an independent thinker will help him develop into a better hunter over time. He will learn to trust his own nose and help increase his trust in you. This is what will separate the mediocre dogs from the great dogs. Championships are won by independent thinkers who can think for themselves. The ONLY way to do this is by making him wiser by learning from his own experiences.

If you are seeking a good coonhound pup Browse  through the listings on Buy and Sell Hunting Dogs.

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