Coon hunting is not only a hobby to most people but a lifestyle. When they first start coon hunting they will either fall in love with it or they will do it as a hobby. Some people hunt because they want to get out of the house and do something with their time. Some kids start coon hunting because that is what their dad does. Every time you go to the woods and hear your hound bark it’s like you fall in love with it all over again. There is nowhere near as many people coon hunting today as there used to be back when coon hunting first got popular.
So this paper is being wrote for those that want to start coon hunting but do not know how. What does it take to train a coon hound? A lot of people ask this question and some of those people just want to know what it takes. Then there is others that want to learn new ways to train their hounds. Although there is more to training a coon hound than what people realize. Every dog is different and ninety percent of people have learned just as much from their dogs as they have from anybody else. Their dogs have basically taught them how to hunt.
This paper will tell you how to get your puppy started, what to teach them at three to six months old, and how to finish your dog. After that it will be up to you to do it and go to the woods. First when you go to pick up your coon hound pup you have to know what to look for. Look for the puppy that suits you best, one that comes up to you maybe. Look for one that is red headed and has a black blanket back, if you like walkers. When you get your puppy it should be eight weeks old. What seems to be the best food for a coon hound is twenty six percent protein and eighteen percent fat meat based dog food.
You may have to buy a different dog food than that for your hound it just depends. You want your dog to have solid poop and not poop very much. If your dog has diarrhea you will have to feed him something with less protein in it. If it seems like all your dog is doing is pooping solid piles you need to feed him something with less fat. The reason for watching what you feed them is so they are healthy for the woods. You want your dog to have muscle tone and be able to go hunting in the woods. The dog be able to go as far as it takes to tree the coon.
If your dog is to fat and lazy they will go into the woods and lay down. If your dog is skinny and poor they will not hunt very hard and the coon will get away. Another thing that you should do to get your puppy started is build trust with them. If your dog does not trust you they will not preform like they should for you. When you go to the woods they will run from you and will not get close to you because they are afraid of you. When you shake a coon hide at them if they don’t trust you then they will think you are trying to hurt them. After they trust you, you should start getting them used to listening to commands.
If they don’t trust you they will not listen to commands. There is nothing more frustrating than a dog not coming to you when being called in the woods. Get the dog used to coming to you when called. When they do come to you reward them with a treat or pet them. If you do this then they will be more apt to come to you because they think they will get a treat. Don’t give them a treat every time because they will expect that every time. Then the next time you call them after you didn’t give them a treat they will be mad at you and not come to you.
Next you need to know what to teach your dog as they get older. At three months old you need to work with them on a coon drag. First get them used to smelling it and seeing it. Let them play with it and bark at it. Then hang it up a tree and let them tree it. Once they get confident in knowing that is what you want them to do then they will tree harder. Next tie the dog up, make a drag and hang the coon up in a tree. Then go turn your hound loose and see if they can track and tree it. If they do not find it try to help them find the smell.
Once they start finding the coon and treeing it then you need to make the drag longer and harder for them. Go around several trees and keep going past them. Drag the coon up once side of the tree and down the other side and hang it in another tree. If the dog gets fooled by this then lead them around the tree and let them find the track leading away from the tree. When they find it turn them loose and let them track and tree the drag again. Repeat this step several times until the hound gets the coon every time. This step teaches your hound to circle the tree to make sure the coon is there.
Failing to do this step will hurt your hound and when you go to a tree you will be surprised by a slick tree. At six months old you need to show your hound a caged coon. At this stage they need something that will fight back so that they can really get the passion for the hunt. If your hound acts like they do not want anything to do with the coon do not worry. Try this step again on another day. After a couple of weeks and they still are not interested in the coon let an older dog loose on it, to show the pup what to do. Continue introducing them to the coon until they fight the cage and go crazy over the coon.
Once they fight the caged coon the next step is to take them to the woods. If you can find someone who has an older hound that is straight you need to hunt with them. Make sure the old hound is straight, straight meaning they do not tree or chase any off game. Straight meaning when you turn them loose they are under a tree that for sure has a coon in it. If you take your pup with an older hound that is not straight then your pup will be screwed up from the beginning. The pup will learn bad stuff from the older hound and it will be hard to break the pup from doing it.
When someone says they are finishing their hound it means they are hunting him alone. When your pup starts split treeing from the older hound that is when you stop hunting with the older hound. Your hound should be able to do it by itself by now. Now is when your hound’s true test comes. You have prepared it for everything up to this point, so they should be ready. Make sure when you hunt your hound that you take it to places you know for sure have coon in them. Step to the edge of a timber and cut your pup loose. When you turn your hound loose it should tree a coon every time.
Keep hunting your hound alone until you feel confident in their performance. Once you feel confident in their performance and they are treeing coons every time you cut them loose, then you should hunt with some friends. Hunt with other people that have some good hounds. If the other hounds tree more coons faster than your hound, then you need to go back to hunting him alone. Hunt your hound for thirty days by itself and then try it again. Keep repeating this until you start beating everyone. Now your hound is ready for the competition hunts and by this time you should be to.
You see it’s not all the hound when you go to a competition hunt. You have to be a good handler to handle your dog in a competition hunt. You should know when your hound is striking when it is treeing, and be able to call it when you are in a hunt. If you did everything I have told you to then you should be in the winner’s circle at the end of your hunt. What does it take to train a coon hound? I answered the question to the best of my ability. I know there is way more to it than that but that is the basics. If you do this then you will have yourself a coon hound that will tree coons.
That hound will not disappoint you. Just be sure not to push the pup too hard in the beginning, always put him up hot. When you get to six months old you can start pushing the pup harder. That is the how to on getting your hound started, what to train your hound, and how to finish your hound. Just remember to reward your hound and take care of him. It takes a lot of responsibility and respect to have a coon hound. You have to be responsible enough to feed and take care of him. Also you have to have respect for the hound and for hunting.