I have posted in another thread about rabbit dogs - beagles. I have one beagle - AKC 13 inch male blue ticked. He is a member of the family. He is also one of the best hunters I've seen from time to time. My buddy and I were really interested to see if a dog could be a pet and a hunter. It can. However, my experience has been that it takes some time to get your pet back into the hunter mode vs. the pet mode. I'll take some rabbit scent with me to the field and drip some on the ground to "his blood going." Once he finds a rabbit and runs it, he'll hunt harder from that point on. If I hunt him the same week, he'll still be in hunter mode. He won't hunt for anybody but me. If I leave him with my buddy, he won't hunt for him. But I think all of this is specific to the individual dog. You may get one that just thinks - "Hell, I aint going into those thorns, I'm going to just relax and let all of those other fool dogs do the work." Or you may get one that thinks "Hell, I'm going to let it all hang out and let the kids take care of me when I get back to the house." I got lucky with my dog. But if my kids go with me to the field, I tell them that I am the only one that give the dog orders or calls him in any way. Also, I have a routine with him - I always put him in the dog box when we are going to run. I think this helps get him in the right state of mind - I treat him like a hunter. Finally, I maintain strict control of the feeding. My kids would have that dog fat as a pig if I didn't keep a close eye on it. Fat dogs cant run.
Last edited by Professor Nono; 10-31-2009 at 10:47 AM.