Coon dog training refers to set of activities to familiarize the four legged mammal that bred especially to hunt raccoons. It has high energy level to match the activity it is supposed to perform. To steps on proper coon dog training, you have to know when the appropriate age to start is and how to conduct each stage.
Build Strong Recognition of Basic Command
First step to acquire the goal of perfect coon dog training is by knowing the nature of the dog. As mentioned, this breed is more active compared to the other type of dog. There is several classification of coon dog: plot hound, treeing walker, American English, etc.
Even so, tracking and preying on small animals are within coon dog’s gene. You could start with walking on leash. When to start training a coonhound? Five or six weeks old would be great.
Especially in an open area, it is better to keep the dog under your control. Otherwise, it could be missing during coon dog training, since it is too focused on tracking the smell. If the dog pulls the leash, freeze immediately and continue only after the dog sit next to you.
The other important coon dog training is responding to “come” command. There will be times when the dog ignores the command. Giving snacks as a reward is one answer on how to train a coonhound to come when called. Resist yourself from shouting their names repeatedly.
Introduce the Appropriate Scent to Track
For this purpose, a carcass would be the best media for the coon dog training. You can also buy raccoon scent perfume in the store. Since a carcass needs to be replaced immediately once it breaks, pick an old clothes or retrieving dummy for dog. Smear raccoon perfume on it and let the puppies sniff it.
Treat the dog to snack whenever it shows interest to the mediator. Pull away the raccoon scented clothes right before your dog gets bored with it. Repeat the same coon dog training for three days at the minimum, or until the puppies recognize the smell.
Next step is to follow the scent. For them to be able to do so, you need to create a path for the coon dog training by dragging the scented clothes. In the first week, let your dog follow the same track. If it could do the tracking perfectly, alternate the route.
How to train a coonhound to tree? After recognizing the scent of raccoon, raise the difficulty level by hanging the mediator on a tree. So, the end route of tracking should be the tree. It helps the dog to associate the scent with a tree.
Give a Chance to Corner a Real Raccoon
Before you move the coon dog training to track the live raccoon, get the preparation done. Fresh scent might be slightly different from the artificial one. With a caged raccoon, create a scent trail. Make sure you hide it well or at least unseen from the starting point.
Once the dog finds its target, it will start to bark. This is a good sign in coon dog training: the barking sound would indicate that your dog has tracked the raccoon scent. Soon after you arrive on the spot, command your dog to come closer to you. If it could listen well, move to the next coon dog training.
Now it is time to practice the full course. Remember, do this only when your hunting dog has mastered the obedience training. A slight disobedience seen in the first stage of coon dog training might harm your active dog.
Let the raccoon go first. Unlock the leash once the prey is out of sight. Your dog will normally go after the raccoon. Just like how the coon dog training goes, it will immediately follow the scent if the raccoon is not within the dog’s sight. You need to follow the tracking process.
Let Your Coon Dog Be Familiar with Gun Noises
This is the last stage in coon dog training. Some types of dogs are more sensitive to noises than the others. Once the raccoon is cornered, basically the dog’s job has finished. It is your turn to pull the trigger and aim to the prey.
To do so, you need to make sure that you are in a safe area: clear from people or any fragile properties. Aim your gun to the target, never to the air. If it is possible, put at least twelve feet distance from your hunting dogs.
Observe your dog’s reaction after the gunfire. If it is trembling or shocked, pat its head while saying calming words. Another option is to let another person shot the raccoon, while you keep the dog company and give treats. By doing so, the dog will associate the gunfire with treats.
Surely, coon dog training is not an instant process. It takes place in the wild or outdoor training field, tracking and cornering prey animal. During the coon dog training session, you as the owner must be aware of three things: the obedience, the safety and the reaction of the dog. Unless they listen well to you, it is too risky to untie the collar. Therefore, you need to make sure that your coon dog training prepares the dog well for a hunt.