It's cutting them loose and having the pack run the rabbit until it gives up and goes in a hole or gets caught. And although the dogs usually don't catch it, they run like they want to. Just me and my pack of hounds, in any condition, on any day, in the roughest places I can find . . .

Sunday, February 1, 2015

When to Shock

Chip and Butcher Coming Through on the Rabbit
"Should I shock them?" I wondered. Cole opened way down over the hill in the clearcut. In a little bit, David barked a couple of times.  They weren't really running, just hacking around slowly moving along. I kept wondering, "what the heck are they doing?" Chip and Butcher were on the other side of the ridge hunting so the two young dogs were all alone.

Cole would run a piece and then David would run a bit. None of it sounded too good. I pulled out my controls. My thumb was getting the itch to give them a little reminder of what not to do. Then a conversation I had with Ray Smalley recently came to mind.

I was talking about the difficulty training a young male like Dennis. He has a lot of ability to do the tough work, especially considering he is less than two years old. Ray has a young male out of his Field Champion Rockstar Ricky and Chris Hopkin's Molly female that gives him the same challenge. When an above average young dog is growing into a good dog (especially one that has the potential to be THE DOG of your kennel) some times you have to give them a little more rope room. 

Anyone who has ever trained beagles has been faced with the question of shock or not many times. Raising and training pups forces us to make this decision over and over. Even older dogs, if not shocked when they need it can turn to crap. So much of the quality of a kennel is based on this one factor which comes up over and over every time we run.

I hate barking dogs and I had heard just about enough. As I was walking up the road thinking about all of this, I heard Chip bark a few times. Then Butcher chimed in with his growly chop. The next thing I knew, the dogs were running right up the hill towards me. They crossed the road right on some fresh tracks in the snow and hammered down the other side. For today, I got lucky and made the right decision. Tomorrow, who knows?

I ran Chip, Butcher, Cole, and David. Later the Old Man showed up with Village Girl, Tony, and Gypsy. It was 19° when I started but warmed up to 31 by the time I quit five hours later.


  1. At least we always make the correct training decisions ??? Or at least that is how we are going to tell it. I usually walk away from discussions about training dogs with some answers and even more questions. I guess that is why we have to collar and load them up again tomorrow.
    How I do love to "talk dogs".

  2. One thing for sure, we can talk the talk until we are both totally confused. :)

  3. Someday these dumb lil hounds will teach us how to them.