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 Post subject: Herping with a Dog - Advice sought...
PostPosted: April 17th, 2018, 11:54 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 am
Posts: 3483
Location: Morrisville, PA
Hello FHF,

We recently had to put our dog down. I came into the situation with him not being very good socially so I never took him out. I'm beginning to hear conversations of a new family companion. Before I offer my two cents on the family's dog situation, I'd like to make sure I have input that would aim toward adopting a dog that is good in the field.

I'm not looking for any specific answers necessarily. I'd like to hear any and all advice from people who have experience with this... whether that be breed, proper training, when to start taking them out, for how long at first, snake-training (if that's a thing), etc.

Having a dog with me in the field has only ever happened once on a family vacation. If we are getting a new one, I'd like it to be a reality for me - at least when herping/hiking alone. I appreciate any thought/comments.

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Herping with a Dog - Advice sought...
PostPosted: April 17th, 2018, 4:55 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:02 am
Posts: 528
Location: Southern Cal.
My only response from 15 years as an animal control officer/administrator in California would be whatever dog you get, take it with you every where. Show it what you want it to do, in simple repetitive ways. Show it that you care. It will return the affection.

I started with local oil fields and board lines with controlled or semi - fenced areas. Go to the same area a few times so it knows what to expect. Follow a routine.
Get a young dog 10 months to 2 years old. I personally like females better than males for stability and predictability.
Make sure the dog is spayed or neutered. Get it licensed and keep the tag on the dog all the time. That license or ID tag is your dog's return ticket home if lost. It is important.

You don't have to spend a lot of money. Shelter or rescued dogs are just as smart and trainable.
In PA. you would want a dog that could handle some cold temps.
A dog that was good in water would be good also (and can be trained into any breed).

Labrador and Shepard mixes are very common and make excellent choices. But so do other breeds.

Those are just some thoughts from a lifelong, 60 year old dog owner.

P.S. Make your whole family part of the process. Each of you use the same commands, and routine.
It will naturally protect you and your family given some time. If you can raise kids you can train a dog.
It's like a two year old that take two years to get with the program.


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 Post subject: Re: Herping with a Dog - Advice sought...
PostPosted: April 17th, 2018, 9:10 pm 
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Joined: October 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm
Posts: 4047
Location: San Francisco, California
I hope you share your journey once you find The One, Brick.

Craig, Love your advice up there. Should be a sticky.


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 Post subject: Re: Herping with a Dog - Advice sought...
PostPosted: April 18th, 2018, 2:40 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:42 am
Posts: 2231
ImageBoots2 by Tamara McConnell1, on Flickr

Yes, Brick, please keep us posted!
I love herping with this guy. Boots is a mutt I found in a ditch when he was a tiny puppy. He's 75 pounds now and loves to go on adventures. He learned quickly that he is not to bother herps (and I don't have any dog training special knowledge, the dog just wants very much to please his people).
A good dog is a great field companion.


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 Post subject: Re: Herping with a Dog - Advice sought...
PostPosted: April 18th, 2018, 3:53 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:23 am
Posts: 2181
Location: Unicoi, TN
Topic close to my heart also as a lifelong dog owner.... ( 2 weeks away from 70 years)
Lots of variation here and your type of herping can even enter into it.


Craig's advice is right on: training, training, training.

And after a few fundamentals, like come, sit, stay, wait, down, on leash and off leash, the easiest way for a family to train is to take the dog with them everywhere they go if it is possible. The animal learns quickly what is expected and what is not as a pack member, and you don't even realize you're training. As Craig said, consistency amongst your pack members is important.


1 to 2 year old dogs are best, but I prefer puppies that haven't already been taught bad habits, but you have to be take training seriously and be aware that you're going to go through formative stages on high energy (even teenage times! Argh).
Selecting a puppy that doesn’t seem to be the first in the litter to greet you (trying to be most dominate) and often a female, can often be an easier train.


Just an opinion on pure breeds:
All the pure breeds carry selective breeding traits that are obvious to see, but genetic behavior dispositions are also in the background. These can positive or negative and can usually be overcome with training, but recognizing it upfront needs to be taken seriously helps on training emphasis.


Generalized examples are:

Hound dogs often seem to think that they’re hiking WITH you, as long as you’re within smell and ear distance. (A hound we had could go several hundred yards off trail, but was always still with us even on long hikes! LOL)

Southern quail hunters often have to deal with a dog that goes on point for Box Turtles.

Small breeds, terriers, Westies, Poms, etc., were often bred originally to control vermin, so can be aggressive to small animals. (We had a dachshund that would find a crawling snake, bark frantically, and, if the snake assumed a defensive position, dance around it. If I didn’t get there quickly, and the snake turned to escape, it would close in and kill. - nicht gut.)

Short snouted dogs were bred for the fighting pits, so their training needs to take that seriously (why so many pit bull owners get in trouble!)

Personally, we’ve found herding dogs to be best for herping and stream wild trout fishing where occasionally you need the dog to remain behind you a few yards, while you flip a rock or sneak up on a basking snake, or stalk a trout pool. We’ve had 3 rough collies, and are excellent hiking/herping companions and excellent family dogs.

PS Tamara, it looks like you have a keeper there!


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 Post subject: Re: Herping with a Dog - Advice sought...
PostPosted: April 18th, 2018, 3:57 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 am
Posts: 3483
Location: Morrisville, PA
Thanks to everyone so far! I'm soaking it in.


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 Post subject: Re: Herping with a Dog - Advice sought...
PostPosted: April 18th, 2018, 8:00 am 
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Joined: March 15th, 2018, 12:02 pm
Posts: 11
Location: AngloCelticAmericay
Go to a cowhunter in Florida who sells yeller curr dogs.
https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1EJ ... _5Y-a_m5-M


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 Post subject: Re: Herping with a Dog - Advice sought...
PostPosted: April 19th, 2018, 9:52 am 
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Joined: October 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm
Posts: 4047
Location: San Francisco, California
There's something so big and bright, so uniting, about dogs. Bill love your post and insights.

Love the photos and stories.

Tamara the more you share the more I wish we were neighbors.

Our dogs - my partner's - my "step kids" have both passed away these past couple years - they were terrier mixes, and small animal killers - catching rats that were living in the fruit trees at my partner's last residence - it was an interesting backyard ecology - the rats were fat and shiny. Coco the tiny one was the most adamant killer. The rest of the time she was as dainty and innocent as a polka dot.

We would like another dog, and I have the ability to bring dog to work, its allowed but its not the right time. Our cat relaxed her dislike when Coco entered her frail stage, and had lost her brother to lymphoma. It was rather profound that my cat did this, and helpful as Coco needed to be with us very closely, her brother was her Leader and he was such a good big brother - The Best.

We are letting Lula be the Grand Dam in her golden years without having to share territory. Until then we enjoy the dogs of our friends and neighbors.

Some of the clients have service dogs were I work - the dorms that do are happier and have less interpersonal conflicts.

Imagine.. somewhere is Brick's dog, right now, and how good its going to be when they find each other. :beer:


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 Post subject: Re: Herping with a Dog - Advice sought...
PostPosted: April 20th, 2018, 2:42 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:42 am
Posts: 2231
Quote:
Imagine.. somewhere is Brick's dog, right now, and how good its going to be when they find each other.

Yes!


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