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How to train Raccoon Hunting Dogs

puppy training | continued | advanced | on the hunt

Puppy Training

It is important to start training your future hunting dogs as soon as possible. The younger the better. Start by teaching them the basics that you would teach any dog. The more disciplined the better. Teach them and let them spend time with your transportation and travel arrangements. For example: teach your dogs to "load up" and walk them to the truck and into their dog box. The more comfortable they are to your truck or vehicle the better they will ride and load in the future. Teach them their name and train them separately at first so they know what to do individually.

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Next teach them the smell of the raccoon and make it fun and exciting for them even as puppies. Typically an old coon hide is a great way to get the scent buried in their mind. Drag it around and let them fight with it. Create short little "tracks" for them to follow by dragging the hide across the ground and over objects and then hide it. Let them try to track it and find the coon hide. They will improve quickly with finding it and will quickly enjoy more and more of a challenge to find and chase the hide. It is also a good idea to hang the hide from a tree so you can teach them to tree and learn that their prey will most likely end up there.

Coon Hound in Dog Box on truck

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Coon Hunting tshirtHunting Raccoon Shirt


Continued Training

Keep up with training your dog with commands like "get em" to help keep them excited and know when it is time to hunt. Continued and advanced tracking tasks should be implemented whenever possible. Scents can be purchased as well to help with tracking skills if necessary, but remember it is important to have a prize and something for the dogs to catch and fight with at the end of every track. Dogs love to hunt, but like to catch and fight their prey most of all.

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Advanced Training

Live bait can be the best solution. If you can capture a live raccoon and release it for a practice run, this is the best way to train and coach your dogs for the real deal. Release the live raccoons in an open area away from junk piles or many obvious forms of refuge. Make sure there are a few trees present so that the dog(s) can tree the raccoon. You don't want the dogs to fight with a large raccoon because most dogs cannot fight a full grown raccoon on its own and can be very deterred and scared if it has an extremely hard battle with a live coon. Smaller raccoon are the best for the practice runs and shooting the raccoon from a tree is the best so that the raccoon isn't in its toughest form to fight with your dog in training.

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On the Hunt Training

Having an experienced coon dog is the best way to teach the younger ones what to do. They tend to follow the older dog out of instinct and respect anyway. So the better the role model, the better the future dog will be.

Help lead your hunting dog to the most obvious place that a raccoon would be. Get them used to starting in a corn field or next to a body of water. If they get bored and come back to you to check in, move on to a new location, don't let them get bored. They are there to hunt and if they get bored they may want to hunt other animals or simply wonder off to somewhere where they shouldn't be. Load the dogs up or walk them to an area that they haven't checked out yet.

When you tree a raccoon at the first stages of your dog(s) career, make sure you shook the Raccoon whenever possible to make sure you dogs can handle killing a Raccoon. Once your dogs are tough and in shape, you may opt to simply wound the Raccoon so it puts up more of a fight. Dogs love the thrill of the kill!

puppy training | continued | advanced | on the hunt