It's always an adventure. I can't even guess how many times I have taken a pup out for his first trip into the real world. It seems like every pup is a little different too. Plus, there is no way to predict for sure how a pup will react. As many pups as I have started, I still get surprised.
Sometimes even the most bold pup will sneak around looking over his shoulder like something is about to get him. Sometimes a pup you think is a little shy will bust out of the truck and never look back, acting like an old pro from the start.
Our pups spend at least a couple of months running in our 20 acre pen before we take them into the wild. This is a huge advantage. They learn to run and to pack up with other dogs. They build some muscle tone and wind which allows them to stay with the dogs when they get the chance to go outside. In addition, we don't get in a hurry to take them out where all kinds of bad things can happen.
Last night I took Trick out for his first trip. He is out of Neal and John Queen's Ruby female. He has been running for some time in the enclosure so I felt pretty confident that he would catch on quick. When I reached the clearcut though, my optimism sank. He looked wet and ragged, and acted like he wanted to be anywhere but where he was.
When I drug him out of the truck, he just sank down on the road and wouldn't move. At this point I knew I was in for a real treat. Chip jumped a rabbit after a few minutes and the race was on. I never saw Trick take off, but when I looked back to where he was sitting he was gone. Within seconds, I heard him chirping on the track and then running good.
He never left the dogs the entire night. I ran about 3 1/2 hours and he hung in there the whole time. This was on a drizzly high scent night in a clearcut. He did a great job--at least until I had to catch him. I wasn't in that big of a hurry anyway. Oh well, there's nothing like taking a pup into the wild for the first time.
I ran Rambler, Butcher, Chip, Rep, Jed, and Trick. It was 60° with a slight rain.