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MJ1657

Shed hunting dog

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I'm considering getting a new dog. Training a dog to shed hunt is something that interests me. Do you think a australian shepherd or australian shepherd mix would make a good shed hunter. I had an aussie/springer mix and he was a really smart dog.

Curious to hear some opinions and experiences from guys that have trained a dog to shed hunt.

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This should bring some interesting responses. The only thing I would be alittle leary on is with a herding type animal being asked to do a chore that isn't in it's natural insticts. I've seen a few programs where guys use "scenting", if you may, dogs like goldens, labs, etc.

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The stories i have read all have used labs. Not saying you couldnt use a different breed. Plus you could use him or her for other types of hunting.

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Most of the stories that I have read have used a Lab, I did read one where the guy used a pit bull. Not sure how he trained it but I thought that was an intresting choice of a dog to use. I have also concerded traingin my Lab to look for sheds, has anyone trained a dog to do this that would have some helpful tips?

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Ive read stuff that says to start them out early and dont let them play with anything but antlers. If you do that I think almost any dog breed would work. The thing I would be interested in if antlers are their only thing is would it be detrimental to train them for other types of hunting if they only know sheds?

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I have been reading up on it and alot of guys say any dog works.

I also have read that it does not work very well to use a dog as a shed hunter and a standard hunting dog.

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Went for a walk Sat. with my 7 year old female lab, cut thru an area where deer have been hanging out, a south facing slope under some oaks. I took a little detour to check out a water seep that the deer had been using and when I turned around, my lab had a shed in her mouth!! smile I called her over and praised the heck out of her and told her what a good dog she was!!!

Nice to see some of the work has been paying off, for the last couple of years we peridically play fetch with a shed antler, and I even let her chew on them in the shed. She really likes the ones we find that have been thru a fire, that I find after burning my CRP - 'smoked antlers' I call them.

The last couple of springs we've went for some long shed hunting hikes, shes found a couple by herself, but if I find one that she doesn't see, I tell her to 'find the bone' until she finds the antler, then I praise the heck out of her. One thing that I have noticed is that she also uses her sight, I've seen her checking out a few sticks.

Also I think its bunk that you can't use your bird dog to find antlers, I just use a different phrase, 'huntem up' for birds and 'find the bone' for antlers. Plus when I go on a long shed hunt, I'll play a little antler fetch before we go, plus I carry one in my hand, waving it under her nose now and then.

Anyway, give your dog a try when shed hunting, you'd be surprised how well they'll do with a little encouragement. Don't do it though if you're squimish about your dog eating and rolling in deer [PoorWordUsage], my dog does both, just goes with territory.

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Wish I would've had your dog with me yesterday. After a 6 hr walk, my lab & I came up empty-handed. Still quite a bit of snow though.

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Guest dyrkdoyl
On 2/24/2011 at 1:22 PM, Musky hunter 82 said:

Most of the stories that I have read have used a Lab, I did read one where the guy used a pit bull. Not sure how he trained it but I thought that was an intresting choice of a dog to use. I have also concerded traingin my Lab to look for sheds, has anyone trained a dog to do this that would have some helpful tips?

 

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