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  • Squirrel Dog?


    Been thinking of getting me a squirrel dog.

    Over the years I've raised and trained retrievers and bird dogs. Got no idea how I would train a dog to look up in trees.

    Does anyone know of a BOOK devoted to training a dog to specifically hunt squirrel????

    I've seen some u-tube and read a few articles...but need more advanced de-tails in a book.

  • #2
    Bear, The squirrel dog of my youth was a 1/2 Beagle 1/2 Rat Terrier female named Boots for her 4 white paws that started at the knees. Other than the boots and the tip of her tail she was rusty brown. When I first got her, for 5 bucks from an old farmer, I wanted a beagle dog. She was extremely shy and gun shy to boot. For about a month I would feed her and dry fire a Red Ryder BB gun by her bowl. Then graduated to a .22 short. Then a .22 long rifle. and finally a .410. I took her rabbit hunting a couple of times with no success at all. On about the third time out we were checking out a good rabbit patch when the chop of a beagle rang out, he ran a rabbit right by us and she followed him and chimed right in. His owner was a neighbor and he shot the rabbit. I was rather embarrassed but he laughed it off and proceeded to let my pup shake and chew on the rabbit to get some reward. From then on she was a rabbit chasing fool.

    I took her squirrel hunting too but she didn't catch on right away. I shot a couple of squirrels out of trees and they'd hit the ground dead. She'd sniff a bit, turn up her nose and walk away. Then I shot one out of a tree that I just nicked a bit. It hit the ground and was flopping around and attempting to run. She ran over and flipped it on its back. The squirrel immediately wrapped all 4 legs around Boots' nose and grapped the dog's upper lip just behind the nose. The dog was squeeling in pain but fought back like crazy. I had no gloves and couldn't help much and there was no safe way to shoot. She finally killed the squirrel. From that day on she hated squirrels. At times she'd run with her nose down and trail just like a coon hound. She'd tap the tree with her nose and bark treed. More often than not there was a squirrel in the tree. She also would follow squirrels by eye from tree to tree if they were on the run through the tree tops. I shot a lot of squirrels over her. I bred her to our farm dog, a black and white 1/2 Bull terrier 1/2 Rat terrier. Those pups were awesome squirrel dogs too. One of her sons ran up a leaning tree following a squirrel. Must have been up about 20 feet before the tree got too small to navigate. He had one hell of a time getting turned around to come back down but made it with out me catching him if he fell, even though I was ready. Boots was still a good rabbit dog too and I bred her to a couple of different Beagle dogs. Ended up with a pack of 4 for a while. Used to limit out on rabbits. Someday I'll have another and a .410 SxS to go with it.

    I guess I'm not much help with your training but in my experience the more time you spend in the woods with them the better they hunt. If they've got the nose and are pretty smart overall. They don't take a lot of training, just put the squirrels in front of them and have at it. Then again I might just be lucky. I've been blessed with far more good dogs than bad ones. RD
    Last edited by Rockydog; 01-14-2018, 23:53.
    Every once in a while in life we need a policeman, a lawyer, a doctor and a preacher. We need a farmer three times a day, every day.

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    • #3
      RD's tale reminded me of what the breeder of my first GSP told me about her training-- "Try not to get in her way."
      Homo sapiens, [ˈhōmō ˈsāpēənz] Noun. An advanced primate characterized by a large brain which it seldom uses.

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      • #4
        Nice story RD, and how true PM.
        Mtman714; A man can do no better then to leave a good garden patch. Thomas Jefferson

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        • #5
          Dang my dog won't even chase a ball. He has trained me to scratch him, and how he likes to be snuggled after he take me for a walk.
          Good judgement comes from experience,
          and a lot of that comes from bad judgement.
          Mark Twain

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          • #6
            Just take your dog out in the woods squirrel hunting with you. After shooting a few squirrels he'll get the idea if he has any hunting instincts at all.
            NRA Endowment member
            NRA Range Technical Team Advisor
            TSRA member
            NRA certified pistol coach-Retired
            NRA classified Master, F-Class mid-range
            Velocity is like a new car, always losing value
            BC is like diamonds, maintaining value forever

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            • #7
              I think Swampshooter's got it. While there are some breeds that might be better than others, almost any dog would do once they get the idea. Might take them a while to get the hang of moving to the opposite side of a tree to get the squirrel to move around to your side, but even that will come with time. Crockpot squirrel is pretty tasty.
              Homo sapiens, [ˈhōmō ˈsāpēənz] Noun. An advanced primate characterized by a large brain which it seldom uses.

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              • #8
                I raised ADBA registered American Pit Bull terriers many moons ago..all my dogs loved squirrel hunting.
                Do what swampshooter stated.. my dogs had a head start as they lived outside in the yard and plenty of tree rats to pester them.

                Here is the problem though the dog will see a squirrel in a tree and you may never see it. and that dog may not want to leave that tree so you must climb said tree and flush the rat out.

                My dogs never bayed at a tree unless there was a squirrel in it.
                The pitch they had was more like a crying kid than a howl.

                They liked swimming at the local river beds and they would stick their entire head under water and watch the turtles walk along the bottom.
                I could not keep baitfish in a bucket as they would stick their heads all the way into the bucket and get the fish out.

                Fun dogs.. My dogs loved everyone ..they were around all kinds of people and people were allowed to pet and play with them since they were pups.
                Which is a must do thing if you plan on taking them out unleashed..

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                • #9
                  "Dang my dog won't even chase a ball. He has trained me to scratch him, and how he likes to be snuggled after he take me for a walk."
                  I understand daboone. I sold plenty of would be great duck dogs, only to find out a year latter that they are sleeping in bed with couple and have never seen a duck!

                  Still looking for book. Glad to hear that any terrier will do. But I 'must' train what ever I get, can't stand a hunting dog that will not hunt.

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                  • #10
                    Bear, Here are your books....

                    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...rel+dog+basics

                    https://www.amazon.com/How-Train-Ame...n+hunting+dogs
                    Every once in a while in life we need a policeman, a lawyer, a doctor and a preacher. We need a farmer three times a day, every day.

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                    • #11
                      They are really just intro to squirrel hunting, and have only covers hunting with dogs for a few pages, and nothing detailed about training dogs.

                      But thanks for the try Rock.

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                      • #12
                        Take dog to woods. Shoot squirrel. Let him play with dead squirrel while praising him. Cook squirrel. Share some with him. Take dog to woods.
                        Homo sapiens, [ˈhōmō ˈsāpēənz] Noun. An advanced primate characterized by a large brain which it seldom uses.

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                        • #13
                          I always gutted the game right at the tree and gave the dog some raw guts. That way he knows where it came from and if he wants more he has to find another squirrel. Let him worry and chew on dead squirrel for awhile. You can take it from him later after he's trained. Don't just let him have it though.
                          PS. If you should want to purchase a dog for squirrel hunting, Feists make extremely good squirrel dogs. They and other terriers will use their eyes to follow a squirrel in the tree tops much better than a hound will. Although other breeds will work well, Airdales are very good also.
                          NRA Endowment member
                          NRA Range Technical Team Advisor
                          TSRA member
                          NRA certified pistol coach-Retired
                          NRA classified Master, F-Class mid-range
                          Velocity is like a new car, always losing value
                          BC is like diamonds, maintaining value forever

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                          • #14
                            My friend had a Jack Russel that would go Batshit crazy it he saw a tree rat and if one was dumb enough to run threw the lawn the dog would sniff out the tree it was up walk around that tree for hours and if he found it up the tree circle it like a shark. That dog never got tried ever.

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                            • #15
                              I would love a squirrel dog too.

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