Choosing a puppyThe first thing I would like to strike a blow for is background checks. That is, check out the parent animals and the lines for the pot dog you are going to get. Trusting the breeder can be punishing as very few breeders breed, according to them, useless pot dogs.
In today's situation with social media and the internet, you can usually get a good idea of the mating and how the parents work for your intended stew dog. However, it should be added that some pictures on Facebook do not mean a thing about how the hunt went.
The second is that as a beginner you do not need to overdramatize the hunting of your potty dog. Most of it is hopefully and probably in the genes from long and solid dog breeding.
You should have a pretty good picture in front of you of your expectations of your finished pot dog. If, for example, you buy a potty dog that has been used and bred mostly for hunting above ground, you risk getting a potty dog that is too large to efficiently get around in the narrow passages of the pot.
Worth saying, I also experience a big difference in the demands I make on my potholders in clean northern woodlands versus the often much more spacious pothole in between and southern Sweden where the badger has made the potty more spacious and larger.
Personally, I choose potty training with a big focus on size. It does not matter how much will the pot dog has if it is too big, it simply does not reach the fox. But if we now assume that I got my potty puppy home, I rarely get excited about a hunt in the beginning.
The social life with the puppy is most important in the beginning and the potholders I attach great importance to when summoning as it is in my opinion one of the most important in a functioning pothole dog (more on that later). I usually try to include the puppy in social life and make it used and safe in most situations.
When the puppy is about six months old, I like to take them to visit the pot we just caught a fox / badger in, this so the young dog has a chance that if it wants to go into the pot and search around it dares. Many young dogs do not enter more than the entrance the first few times, but this is completely normal in my eyes.
Time for hunting
I usually like to wait until my potty dog is about 18 months before I let them in to a fox. The risk if the potty dog is not mentally mature and it is bitten that it will take a long time to get over (or never does) the bite. Normally a stew dog will be bitten if there is the right mentality on it, but it is also unnecessary to expose it to the situation too soon.
My experience is that some foxes are much kinder than most badgers are in their behavior towards a potty dog. Most badgers do nothing to the pot dog as long as it does nothing to the badger. On the other hand, I experience that the fox, if it hears that the dog is a little insecure, is happy to let it in at close range and then go on a full attack on the potty dog.
All of the above stew dogs have in common that they have been allowed to follow a lot in most things. Some were released too early in life on, for example, foxes but had the right mentality to overcome the adversity they faced as a pot dog. For example, the border terrier Busan was too young when she was beaten by a fox and had a period between 12-18 months that she did not really want to go into the pot.
It gradually eased with her starting to work as a pot dog in barns and houses which usually have more leeway, to then loosen up completely after the age of 2 and do the job as a pot dog fully.I see the hunting of dogs by predators in much the same way, whether it is a tip, a duster or a terrier. I do this with some caution and try to adapt the dog's maturity to the situation.
Some clues that I realized over time
Quality is much more important than quantity for a young potty dog. There are few shortcuts to success other than time in the woods. Do not expose the dog to more than it will mentally cope with.
Some short tips
- 8 weeks to 4-6 months. Socialize and consolidate the summons on your potty dog.
- 6 months- 15/18 months (depending on maturity). Bring the young potty dog on hunts and situations that do not place too high demands on it. For example, Mink, marten, (search through empty pots and barns). If the young potty dog were to be bitten by a marten or mink and be scared to death, there is probably no dog material to work on. At least that's my philosophy. For a functioning pot dog will be bitten sometimes, you have to reckon with that.
- 18 months and onwards, I usually release the potty dog in almost every potty I have the chance to give it the opportunity to. Then I sometimes hunt with friends and often one of us has a young onepot dog in progress, we usually give that chance at the pot. If none of this happens, we will release a working dog instead and the young dog will watch instead.
In the past, I was more in a hurry with my young potty dog than I am today. I have simply learned to let it mature mentally before I put it in situations that can become overwhelming. Actually, I first came to that realization when it comes to chasing bear dogs, but it is the same thing in my opinion when chasing a pot dog. My responsibility as a dog owner is to give the young potty dog as good a chance to develop in the right direction as possible.
But the summons is so incredibly important to me that it has to sit. There are few things that make me as upset as when my pot dog lies and barks at a fox / badger but the dog refuses to break and is too close for me to dare to fire shots in the pot.
The difference there and then may be that we end it NOW with a well-aimed shot with the cauldron gun after the cauldron dog has been called out, or that it moves and I have to dig for another 4 hours before the end.
The trick works on about 6/10 occasions which makes it a favorite. Should no fox still come out, I usually use a skewer where I pound and skewer in the ground where I have heard that the pot dog has had contact with the fox, (the pot dog should be connected outside, ie not inside the pot).
Then the same procedure is repeated, we leave the place loudly. About 2-3 more will come out. With these methods, you usually come up with approximately an efficiency of 8/10 foxes that come out in total.