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MAArcher

Porcupine and Skunk aversion training

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MAArcher

Has anyone trained their dog to keep away from skunks and porcupines?  If so, how did you do it?

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ryanr

Porkies yes, skunks no. So far my dogs have all seemed to learn to avoid skunks as best they can after 1 or 2 skunkings but it wouldn't be a bad idea. And I think my Drahthaar has learned to avoid Porkies after his second run-in because we did another avoidance clinic last September (a year after his 2nd run-in) and he wanted nothing to do with it as soon as he smelled it, even without the harsh stim job. Tried to bring him around a second time to be sure but he wouldn't budge after 3 steps. 

 

I did the porky avoidance two different times, once in his first year and again when he was 5. Both times I used a fresh, dead porky that was in good condition (guts weren't hanging out, etc.) First time it was while we were grouse hunting, I found it recently dead and brought him back around and when he crossed downwind of it and turned towards the smell I nailed him hard with high stim (higher than a normal correction.) Brought him back around and when he hit the scent he turned toward it again and I nailed him harshly again. The third time he hit the scent he turned away from it immediately.  No encounters for at least a year. Then a bad one at 3 and a mild one at 4 (he briefly mouthed it and seemed to know it was a mistake immediately.) I have a 10 month old GWP as well now so we're starting from scratch with her, yippee me. She was nose to nose with a little one at 4 months old but thankfully she's more cautious than my Drahthaar. Porky flicked its tail slightly and she jumped right back giving me enough time to catch up and reel her in on the CD. Whew.    

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Brad Eden

GSP? Forget it. Buy a Leatherman with pliers and read this Topic: Skunk Recipe

 

Kidding. Sorta. :$

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Hub

The basic premise is to walk your dog up on roadkill porkies or skunks and then light the dog up with an e-collar and holler at them once they catch sight.  When my dogs show any interest in live porkies in the woods I read them the riot act.  It doesn't take too long for some dogs to put 2 and 2 together and ignore them.  All that being said, some dogs, like some teenaged boys, just like to mix it up and they don't care who gets hurt or how much 'correcting' you do.  Like Brad mentioned, the Germans are notorious fur dogs and a guy with an e-collar isn't going to overcome a predilection  in a few sessions that took hundreds of years of breeding to get in there to begin with.  I can still see my old GSP 'Dutch' in my minds eye charging across an open field to tackle the biggest skunk I ever saw.  I had the e-collar set to 'stun' and each time I mashed the button and screamed at him you could see the electricity twitching through his body, but he didn't let it stop him from covering the last 40 yards before getting sprayed yellow while disemboweling said skunk.  

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MAArcher

If you are going to do the bait and fry method, I was wondering at what age or point in training would be best.  I want my dog to hunt rabbit and squirrel and track wounded coyote so I don't want to shut down fur sharpness all together.  So I'm wondering if its better to do aversion training later, after you've had success with target game, or try and shut down porkies and skunks early on and then build drive for rabbit and squirrel later if needed.  I have easy access to porkies and skunks to use for training.    

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Chukarman

I'va had plenty of porky incidents, but only a couple of skunk encounters. They seem to be self correcting with my dogs at least. Most of my setters have one encounter with a porky and thereafter avoid them. Yes on the Leatherman - - I won't run dogs without it.

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ryanr
51 minutes ago, MAArcher said:

If you are going to do the bait and fry method, I was wondering at what age or point in training would be best.  I want my dog to hunt rabbit and squirrel and track wounded coyote so I don't want to shut down fur sharpness all together.  So I'm wondering if its better to do aversion training later, after you've had success with target game, or try and shut down porkies and skunks early on and then build drive for rabbit and squirrel later if needed.  I have easy access to porkies and skunks to use for training.    

What age were you planning to wait for. IMO, if you're out hunying your dog, they're of age for this training AND the younger the dog perhaps the better the message gets received before they're set in their ways to go after porkies or skunks. And my dog has always tracked fur whenever I've let him, he loves to hunt for squirrel (tries to tree them) and rabbit (trnds to point them unless they run.) He continues to kill vermin, mainly groundhogs while not being quick to engage other animals. He's deer broke, they've  come right in the yard, 10 yards away from him sitting on the porch, and he doesn't bother with them. And he's been one of the more hard-headed dogs I've ever owned.

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MAArcher
4 minutes ago, ryanr said:

What age were you planning to wait for. IMO, if you're out hunying your dog, they're of age for this training AND the younger the dog perhaps the better the message gets received before they're set in their ways to go after porkies or skunks. And my dog has always tracked fur whenever I've let him, he loves to hunt for squirrel (tries to tree them) and rabbit (trnds to point them unless they run.) He continues to kill vermin, mainly groundhogs while not being quick to engage other animals. He's deer broke, they've  come right in the yard, 10 yards away from him sitting on the porch, and he doesn't bother with them. And he's been one of the more hard-headed dogs I've ever owned.

Ryanr, what do you have for a dog?  Sounds exactly like how my GSP behaved, except I never did any aversion training with her other than deer.  I'm getting a Drahthaar pup soon and I don't know what age I'd wait to do aversion training for, that's sort of what I'm asking opinions for. Thanks

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fishvik
2 hours ago, Brad Eden said:

GSP? Forget it. Buy a Leatherman with pliers and read this Topic: Skunk Recipe

 

Kidding. Sorta. :$

I don't know Brad that seems like sound advice.9_9 Pointing breeds seem to catch on to porkies better than retrievers, especially Chessies. They seem to have an inbred hate of porkies.

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Wirehair

Whenever my dogs got into Porkies was cause they first smelled the pile of porky crap at the base of the tree. 

So I started to use the porky crap as bait then hit the e collar.  A few times of that was all it took. Never had a porky incident since then.

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MAArcher
29 minutes ago, Wirehair said:

Whenever my dogs got into Porkies was cause they first smelled the pile of porky crap at the base of the tree. 

So I started to use the porky crap as bait then hit the e collar.  A few times of that was all it took. Never had a porky incident since then.

 

Well I have access to plenty of porky poop.;)

 

Porky Poop.JPG

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Wirehair
1 hour ago, MAArcher said:

 

Well I have access to plenty of porky poop.;)

 

Porky Poop.JPG

There you go. I'd find one like that and let the dog start to smell it then hit the e collar.

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Urban_Redneck
6 hours ago, MAArcher said:

If you are going to do the bait and fry method, I was wondering at what age or point in training would be best.  I want my dog to hunt rabbit and squirrel and track wounded coyote so I don't want to shut down fur sharpness all together.  So I'm wondering if its better to do aversion training later, after you've had success with target game, or try and shut down porkies and skunks early on and then build drive for rabbit and squirrel later if needed.  I have easy access to porkies and skunks to use for training.    

 

Don't worry about creating an aversion to fur, my pup is deer and porky broke, getting her to give up bears has been tough. 

 

 

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ryanr
5 hours ago, MAArcher said:

Ryanr, what do you have for a dog?  Sounds exactly like how my GSP behaved, except I never did any aversion training with her other than deer.  I'm getting a Drahthaar pup soon and I don't know what age I'd wait to do aversion training for, that's sort of what I'm asking opinions for. Thanks

I have an almost 6yr old 70lb Drahthaar, a bit of a hardheaded male and I have a 10 month old GWP, my sweet little rocket girl. Well she's sweet to me and feisty as a hell with my male and she's only 50lbs. I think you have to read your dog but like I said when you start hunting your dog then it's certainly old enough to at least strongly consider it. From an early age my male had an enormous prey and fur drive and a bit of an independent hunting streak. I honestly can't remember if I did the first aversion training at 7 months or a 1.5 years.

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greg jacobs

My female isn't that interested in porkies. My male killed the last one. That was really an ugly situation. Not totally sure aversion training is going to work with him. He is a hater.

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