Annie and Dottie bagged a rabbit!

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Fundog
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Annie and Dottie bagged a rabbit!

Post by Fundog » Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:02 am

I took the girls to the dog park early this morning. Off in the distance, I spotted a jack rabbit sprinting across the way. So did the girls, and they both gave chase, each from different directions, and considerable distance. They managed to chase the rabbit into a corner, under a desert tree. I thought maybe it got away, when I saw Annie come back out. But then Annie stopped and just stood there watching Dottie, who was crouched down under the tree with her tail in the air. Dottie does that, though. She is very persistent when she spots or scents game, and is reluctant to give up She will wait for quite some time, trying to flush it out. So I decided to go down and help them flush the rabbit out, if for no other reason than to give the girls a reason to run some more. I got down there and looked under the tree, and there was the rabbit, only it wasn't hiding: It was dead! Dottie had made the kill, and she was quite proud of herself, too! She would not let Annie come near it, but she had no problem allowing me to pull the rabbit out from under the tree for her. She walked proudly beside me as I carried the rabbit down to the park entrance.

I brought the rabbit home and took a picture of it on the front walk. I was thinking at first of cleaning it and preparing it for the girls to eat later, but then I decided it was too much effort this morning, considering I've never done anything like that before. I'll be going to bed soon. But I'm hoping that perhaps now that the girls have had one successful hunt, that maybe there will be more in their future. In which case, I will make sure to learn what needs to be done to make it edible for them. Woo-hoo! I'm so proud of my girls! Their first rabbit, and I didn't even fire a shot!

wvvdiup1
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Post by wvvdiup1 » Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:39 pm

Great! Now you have something to put into your new pressure cooker! :lol:

I'll send you some squirrels this fall when squirrel season is in! How many do you want? :o

Better start "skinnin'" because the rabbit won't keep will if not refrigerated!

Maybe I could borrow your dog when rabbit season comes in the fall! :D

wvvdiup1

Fundog
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Post by Fundog » Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:41 pm

ROFL! I was thinking the same thing-- about the pressure cooker, lol. (to those who are feeling like they missed something, we've exchanged emails-- I told her about my pressure cooker)

BTW, You may want to put a reservation on Annie-- she is in high demand for her ability to hunt and remove the tomato hornworm from tomato crops.

wvvdiup1
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Post by wvvdiup1 » Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:46 am

How long is this waiting or reservation list? :lol:

wvvdiup1

katowaggytail
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Post by katowaggytail » Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:14 am

What's Tomato horn worm?

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Nettle
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Post by Nettle » Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:20 am

Brilliant. :D And you may not realise, but the fact she allowed you to take it willingly shows how much she has come to trust you.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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Fundog
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Post by Fundog » Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:02 am

katowaggytail: I don't know if you have these in the U.K. or not, but the tomato horn worm is an ugly (well, that depends on personal opinion) big, plump, green caterpillar that devastates tomato crops. It has pretty pink spots on it's back, which are off-set nicely by the bright green skin, and tiny "horns" on top of it's head. These nasty villians turn into the very beautiful and huge hummingbird moth. It gets it's name because of it's size, which at first can cause it to be mistaken for a hummingbird. Anyway, it just so happens that Annie can actually scent these little critters out, and gently pluck them off the tomato plants-- alive!

Nettle: Thank you. Yes, I got to realizing that about Dottie letting me take the rabbit later, after all the excitement had died down a little. I too found it rather remarkable. So do you suppose that now they have had a successful "hunt," that they might have more in their future? I took them out to the park again last night, and I could swear, they were actually on the look-out for more rabbits! Unfortunately, the rabbit population must have spread the word to stay out of the dog park for awhile, lol.

katowaggytail
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Post by katowaggytail » Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:18 am

Ah, I know now. We have humming bird hawk moths here, although I think it may be slightly different colour wise and I certainly didn't know they had a passion for toms!! Impressive hound to pick them out!! Thanks Fi

wvvdiup1
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Post by wvvdiup1 » Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:46 pm

Fundog,
My grandfather and others of his generation used to say "If a dog, no matter of its breed, kills an animal, it has the 'taste of blood' in its mouth so it will continuously hunt for that animal."

So, your dogs, in combination of the positive rewards you've given them, encourages them to hunt rabbits. Sounds obvious, right?

However, when my grandfather raised beagles, he trained them to hunt rabbits by having them chase rabbit furs (similar to the fox-on-the-stick toy or tool you get to exercise your dogs) smeared with rabbit's blood he had saved from his rabbit hunt. (My grandfather didn't waste anything and he sure could cook a good rabbit meal). At any rate, that was just part of his dogs' training.

After the "rabbit-on-the-stick" training, he would drag the rabbit fur with a little bit of rabbit blood along trails and throughout the wooded areas, fields, and so on around his property. As the beagle pups became adept in their training, he would decrease the amount of blood and rabbit fur until he could lay down rabbit scents without having to drag the rabbit fur on the ground; instead, he would take a rabbit fur, wipe his hands on the fur, and use his "scented hands" to lay down the scent for his beagle pups/dogs to sniff and follow. Only when the pups/dogs were adept at picking up the scent, did he take them hunting.

BTW, if my grandfather was living today, he would kill (figuritively speaking of course) me for devulging his training technique!

wvvdiup1

Fundog
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Post by Fundog » Fri Jul 17, 2009 8:47 pm

LOL, some other "old timers" already divulged Grandpa's secret in Gun Dog Magazine: They use a very similar technique for teaching bird dog pups to scent birds. So you don't need to worry about betraying your Grand-dad. :wink: Funny, I was just telling my husband that not only am I kicking myself for not dressing that rabbit yesterday, but I have made a personal vow to definitely do the next one, and save the skin. My husband asked what for, and I told him exactly what you just said about your grandpa! (I might turn out to be a hunter yet, ha-ha!) I've already got the hunting drive in my own veins now-- I'm very eager to get out there and find more rabbits to send the girls on. That was exciting!

wvvdiup1
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Post by wvvdiup1 » Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:07 pm

What?

You want to dress like Elmer Fudd in fluorescent orange? I didn't tell you that my grandfather also trained his beagles using hand signals. You see, you have to be (speaking like Elmer Fudd) "very, very quiet."

BTW, training beagles to hunt rabbit the way my grandfather did goes way further back than any of the articles written in magazines about this kind of training. This was something passed down from father to son over I'm-not-sure-how-many centuries when my ancestors lived in the UK. In fact, my uncles and cousins have told me that beagles weren't the only dogs my ancestors trained to hunt! :o

Yummmm, I've craving for some rabbit stew now! Can I borrow your dogs now? :lol:

wvvdiup1

Fundog
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Post by Fundog » Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:03 am

LOL, skip the orange, but I have been muttering to myself about needing to get that "wascally wabbit."

Now you know Annie and Dottie are NOT beagles, right? They are actually "bird dogs": Annie is a springer/lab cross, and Dottie is a Llewellin English Setter (purebred).

wvvdiup1
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Post by wvvdiup1 » Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:18 pm

I knew you didn't have any beagles, but any dog that gets rabbits is my "hunting buddy!"

Today, my purebreed Akita got a couple of rabbits in my backyard and brought them inside my house. That's just the half of it! She laid both of them at my feet! Needless to say, I had some rabbit stew today! :D

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ckranz
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Post by ckranz » Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:13 am

wvvdiup1 wrote:I knew you didn't have any beagles, but any dog that gets rabbits is my "hunting buddy!"

Today, my purebreed Akita got a couple of rabbits in my backyard and brought them inside my house. That's just the half of it! She laid both of them at my feet! Needless to say, I had some rabbit stew today! :D

wvvdiup1
Wild rabbits my dogs love to chase. My akita-collie mix bagged one as a puppy...ate it and then proceeded to toss it up all over her bed. (This was while living with my sister).

Today Chloe plays very nicely with the rabbits we use in our pet therapy program. She also is very friendly with guinea pigs and rats. She lets the rats ride on her back.

Apollo has bagged now 5 gophers, 2 small birds, and a field mouse.

Khan love the chase but is unsure of what to do when his prey is caught.

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Post by Gershep1 » Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:25 am

I'm glad I'm not the only person to experience this.

My Anatolian, true to her nature, patrols the yard, but there's not much to guard against here in suburbia. Except squirrels. How she hates those squirrels.

My neighbor decided to replace some of our common fence, so part of my yard was partitioned off. One fine day I opened the partition to rake leaves accompanied, as usual, by my German shepherd. Meanwhile, a smarty pants squirrel decided to tease the Anatolian through the partition. Oh what fun it had teasing, so much fun that it failed to notice the German shepherd coming right up behind it ... until it was too late. The squirrel froze. The German shepherd sniffed, poked, and picked it up gently. I'm serious: gently. About that time I noticed what was going on and instructed the German shepherd to "leave it," and he spit the squirrel right out of his mouth and walked away. Such a good doggie.

Why the squirrel didn't run straight up the tree it was right next to is a mystery. Instead, it made a mad dash for a tree on the other side of the yard ... and right into the waiting jaws of the Anatolian. One dead squirrel in a nanosecond. I also told her to "leave it" and she spit it right out. Another good doggie.

Nothing like Wild Kingdom in your backyard :roll:

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