Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fencing.

One of the most important abilities a hound should have when hunting jackrabbits on rangeland, aside from the obvious talent for running at high speed, turning at said speed, and catching the damn thing, is the ability to fence. No, I'm not talking about grabbing the rapier and challenging the hare to a duel. I mean the ability to clear the barbed wire without tearing up their back, and to do it at speed so as to not lose ground to the hare.

Willow demonstrates:

make gif
Make gif

She learned the hard way. On her first crossing last winter, she tried to go through the middle strands. The technique can be trained with the simple use of bait and a leash or long rope and, of course, a fence. One without barbs would be ideal, but not necessary. Two people make it easier, too, but again it's not necessary.

With the dog on one side of the fence, and you, with your bait (food, cookies, etc) on the other side, run the lead under the bottom strand of the fence and call the dog. Stop him if he tries to go come through any part of the fence except the bottom strand of wire. When he does it right, give him the treat and praise him. Do it a couple of times a day, without being excessive, then start doing it without the leash or rope. Soon you'll have a hound who can dive under the wire after the hare without even appearing to slow down. The best dogs at this are a wonder to observe.

Have fun, keep your dogs safe, and every day will feel like today was for us

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