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 Training a trapping dog?

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trapper76



Posts : 39
Join date : 2011-02-10
Age : 60
Location : NE Utah

PostSubject: Training a trapping dog?   Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:42 pm

I have a small dog that is a good companion and shows me natural urine posts and other great locations when I go on walks. I think she would be a great asset on a canine line. But I have been reluctant to take her on the line. Has anyone trained their dog to avoid traps? I've thought about setting weak traps around the yard, a few times in a watchful controlled environment, to teach her to avoid traps (mine and other trappers). Has anyone done this? Any thoughts or suggestions?
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jkelley

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Posts : 48
Join date : 2009-03-26
Age : 62
Location : Rupert, Idaho

PostSubject: Re: Training a trapping dog?   Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:57 am

I took my border collie with me this year. It was her first year and she had a learning curve to go through. In the first part of the season I caught her four different times. The traps were 1.65, #3 Bridger and #4 Duke. Each time she would go back to the 4 wheeler and watch from there until the memory wore off, then she would get caught again. Being right there I was able to let her out immediately. At any time she showed no signs of paw damage or even limp. Towards the end of the season she appeared to recognize a set and stay out of them. I would suggest to just take her with you and keep an eye on her. I'm running off set traps and I think that most of the paw damage comes from the animal fighting the trap and lack of swivels or the swivels binding up.
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Cameron2



Posts : 603
Join date : 2009-05-27

PostSubject: Re: Training a trapping dog?   Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:00 pm

This is the second year for my dog on the trapline. Last year as a 7 month old pup, I caught him a total of 4 times. The first three were fox sets with MB450's and the last one was a 550. Obviously he was unhurt. In fact, after the second time he just sat down and didn't struggle at all. He just waited for me to come a release him. This year he didn't get caught once in 4 months of steady trapping. I don't think you will ever catch that dog again. He seems to know exactly where the trap is and just how close he can get to the set before he has to worry.

As far as "training" the dog to avoid traps, I did it by just watching him real careful and as soon as he got close to a set, I would just say "No" real gruff and he got the idea. I suppose you could do even better if you had an e collar to reinforce the "No" from a distance. This season I did have to tell him "No" a time or two but after 4 months of checking hundreds of traps, that's a pretty rare occurance.

He's also real hard to catch in a snare. Last year I caught him a couple times and he fought a snare a lot more than a trap. I don't run many snares because of our warm daytime temps and the locations are pretty limited so I don't know that he understands to avoid snares as much as he just knows there are certain canyons where they exist and he avoids those spots.

I really enjoy my dog and hesitate to go without him. All of my traps are on drags due to the pure rock in which I trap most of the time. I check a lot of my traps in the dark before work and he is invaluable for finding animals on the drags. Most of the time I would have found the critter in the daylight after a search but he finds them immediately. He also finds a dozen or so critters every year that I would NEVER find.

Here is a $1,000+ cat that I don't think I would have found.

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harrishawker1

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Posts : 77
Join date : 2012-09-19

PostSubject: Re: Training a trapping dog?   Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:45 pm

Nice pictures and great looking dog
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Cameron2



Posts : 603
Join date : 2009-05-27

PostSubject: Re: Training a trapping dog?   Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:56 pm

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harrishawker1

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Posts : 77
Join date : 2012-09-19

PostSubject: Re: Training a trapping dog?   Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:25 pm

P.S.

And i thought the last picture was sweet????????
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BUCKSNBOWS

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Posts : 897
Join date : 2011-08-28
Age : 49
Location : NEVADA

PostSubject: Re: Training a trapping dog?   Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:32 am

I think I have seen them pics somewhere before????? Good looking dog buddy!!
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trapper76



Posts : 39
Join date : 2011-02-10
Age : 60
Location : NE Utah

PostSubject: Re: Training a trapping dog?   Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:48 am

Awesome insights. Thanks for the tips guys. My dog (actually my daughters) is a 15 pound Miniature Australian Shephard. And I'm a little concerned how high and hard a 4-coiled Bridger 3 would hit her. But she's very smart and should learn fast. Think I'll set her up with a weaker, smaller trap close to home a time or two and she should be ready for the trap line this fall. Thanks for your help.
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Cameron2



Posts : 603
Join date : 2009-05-27

PostSubject: Re: Training a trapping dog?   Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:53 pm

I think you are on the right track. One point to add (it's probably pretty obvious, but you never know) is in your training, use the baits and lures that you would normally use on your line. My dog knows instantly when he hits the scent cone of one of my sets that there is a trap there, but whenever I have run onto another trapper's sets with different lure/bait, he seems to be more curious about the new smells.

After the dog gets pretty accustomed to the sets and seems to have figured it out, you need to make some blind sets as well so the dog gets the correlation between the smell of steel in the ground and the bad thing that jumps out of the dirt.
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trapper76



Posts : 39
Join date : 2011-02-10
Age : 60
Location : NE Utah

PostSubject: Re: Training a trapping dog?   Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:54 pm

All good suggestions Cameron2. I'll do that. Thanks.
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