Message: Hi, I've learned so much from your podcast on training my pup for tracking. And even more on raising him. He is 10 months old now and has tracked through this whole deer season. About half of the season I only took easy tracks to build his experience and confidence level. I started putting him on tougher tracks lately and we haven't found anything besides lung/heart shots. I realize some of these deer could have gotten away, but it seems like he is only recovering tracks with good blood trails. He is (supposedly) a beagle/lab mix and had no trouble early on with training. Do you think its just where his experience level is, or is he only keying in on the blood scent? Once I was confident in his tracking I went straight to hoof only training tracks before season. Thanks for all the content you put out there. > Billy
Jeremy's Answer: Hey Billy, Thanks for the message and support. I think one of the important things to keep in mind here is the fact that he's 10 months old. That's a puppy. Not to say he can't or shouldn't be able to track effectively at that age (it sounds like he's shown that) but I also think you need to have realistic expectations, particularly in the pups first season or seasons. I would continue to give him opportunities to get finds and build confidence.
A few questions I have is how many tracks have you had him on and of those that you didn't have finds, how many of those deer were found dead later?
I would keep going with what your doing and be patient. It takes a lot of time, experience and lot of tracks to make up a good tracking dog and tracker team. Take your time and enjoy the whole process. Best of luck, keep me posted. Jeremy