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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Visiting Beth and Gentian's puppies

Yesterday was a great day to be outside, and we took a two-hour-drive to Poughkeepsie, NY to visit Beth and Gentian Shero and see their puppies. The scenery was a feast for the eyes. We could see the Catskill Mountains in the background but the foreground was dominated by the changing colors of leaves in the Mid-Hudson Valley.

The puppies were born on August 8, and they are seven and a half weeks old. Beth and Gentian have done excellent job documenting the pups' development and progress - you can access all the needed info at

The pups' sire is our FC Billy von Moosbach-Zuzelek, an accomplished blood tracker and producer.

Billy has a proven track record as a stud dog and has produced a lot of blood tracking and hunting puppies.
Mariel von Munterkeit is the pups' mom, and she comes from a line of great blood trackers.
Mariel's good looks match her personality; she is outgoing and friendly with people and dogs. She was at ease with us when we handled her pups.
We liked the pups very much. They are going to have good coats of dark wild boar color. They were calm and easy going, friendly and relaxed.

Mariel is just over two years old. She loves to play with her pups.

Beth and Gentian are working out of their home so puppies have been receiving a lot of attention. We were impressed how well socialized they are.
We had a great dinner prepared by Beth with Gentian's help. Good conversation and good wine...and the time flew. When we got back home it was 10 pm. Thank you Beth and Gentian for your hospitality! We had a great time.
Puppies will be leaving for new homes in a couple of weeks so probably we are not going to see them again. Two male puppies are still available to working homes. Those interested should contact Beth directly at

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A two-and-a-half-hour drive to track a hunter's deer ends in a successful find

I can't believe that Tom drove two and a half hours to track a deer for a stranger. What a dedication! Read more in this letter from Tom Munoz...

We met John at trackfest a couple of years ago in Alabama. John recommended the dog we bought last year. We bought Meg from Denise in Canada. Meg is 1 1/2 years old. Her mother Scout. This was her first deer of the season. The shot was not a pass through shot. I drove with my wife 2 1/2 hours there to put Meg on deer. We received this letter today.

The hunter found me through United Blood Trackers. Thanks for help in getting a great dog.

Below is a letter from a grateful hunter:

“I thought it was a lost cause, and I’m not a rookie hunter...My 8 year old son and I were hunting the 2nd day of Archery season and within 25 minutes shot a nice Tennessee buck. We watched where the deer ran, patiently waited in the stand until it should have expired, and then were on the track. The blood at the beginning of the track was plentiful, but the droplets got smaller and smaller until they stopped. We scoured the area for two or three hours to no avail…12 hours after the morning hunt, Meg arrived on the scene. I showed Tom, her handler, where the deer was shot and she immediately picked up his trail. She got stumped in the same place we did (where the blood ended), so she backtracked to the beginning and went at it again. Within 15 minutes of putting Meg on the chase, we had our deer!! To watch this little dog tireless nose through brush and bramble, and ultimately claim the prize of “her” deer – what she was born to do – was truly an amazing experience. THANK YOU MEG!”

Tom Munoz with Meg helped Chris and his son DC recover the deer
Tom, thank you for sharing this heart-warming story. It is good to know that trackers like you exist. I bet that Chris and DC will never forget Meg and the deer that she found. I don't know Meg's registered name, but she must have been bred by Denise Weston from Thunder Bay, Canada. Her dam is The Great Canadian Scout (out of Agata von Moosbach-Zuzelek), and her sire is a German import Nicki von Velbert owned by Bob Hageman.

A great start of blood tracking season for Kyle Stiffler from Michigan

For a tracker it does not getter better than that - two recoveries on two deer calls. Kyle Stiffler from Eagle, MI wrote yesterday:

2 for 2 on youth hunt. The first was last night, the hunter called telling me to bring Moose, my more expierenced dog, as there was very little blood in the bean field. At the hit sight there trail markers went to the left about 50 yards. Moose went to the right. After 25 yards the blood was very visiable. The deer only went another 75 yards. The hunter thought there may have been two deer- possible a pass through. After an extesive search on the other line we determined that it was more than likley superficial. Misty, my 15 mo. whd did get to train on the line.

The second call was this morning from another youth hunt. Shot last night, they jumped it & let it go until this morning. They tracked for about three hundered yards & lost blood. Moose started at the hit site & covered the distance to last blood very fast. At that point he went another 150 yards to a hay field. After searching the field for 30 minutes we discoverd that the deer back tracked never entering the field. After that Moose nailed it for about another 200 yards the middle of another hay field where he winded the deer about 50 yards away. It was a 6 point but sadly enough the coyotes beat us to it which kind of slows the high fives. Moose did an exellent job on this track. I think he worked better then ever. I attribute this to alot of training technics we learned at the UBT Ttrackfest.

Coyotes found this deer first.

Also yesterday I received this note from Todd from Missouri:

Just wanted to say that I really enjoy your do a great job on it!  Thanks. I check it daily. I do have one comment. I've got a Billy pup going on 2 years. I really enjoy seeing where my dog fits into your line and the stories. If you would give the dam/sire and age, if it's not too much trouble, I think others would like that too. If I read about one of Hank's siblings or aunt/ personalizes the story a bit for me. Again, thanks for your efforts.

Todd, I'll try to do it when I can. Some people may take it as a shameless promotion of our dogs, but you can never please everybody. Anyway, Kyle Stiffler's Moose is three and a half years old, his registered name is Moose von Moosbach-Zuzelek, his sire is FC Clown vom Talsdeich "Buster" owned by Susanne Hamilton, his dam is FC Keena v Moosbach-Zuzelek (Billy's daughter).

Huge congratulations are in order to Kyle and Moose. Below is their picture taken at a recent field trial Michigan. Kyle forgot to bring a leash, and this explains the heavy rope around Moose's neck. 

Kyle Stiffler and Moose

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cheri and Danika - a dynamite tracking team from Madison, Wisconsin

I have the feeling that this blog is going to be a very busy site this hunting/tracking season. Only today I have received four stories/reports of recoveries made by wirehaired dachshunds. Thank you and huge congratulations! BTW, the blog is not just about wirehaired dachshunds, and owners/handlers of other breeds are welcome as well. 

This recovery has been reported by Cheri Faust from Madison, WI, who is an owner/handler of a four-year-old Danika (FC Danika vom Nordlicht TD, SE). Cheri wrote:

I had a call from a hunter near West Bend, WI this morning. Bow shot deer from 9/26 @ 6:00 p.m. The hunter and his friends followed it about 500 yards last night and this morning before they ran out of trail. He said the shot was low and back - assumed it was gut shot - and that the arrow hadn't gone through. I got there about 11:00 a.m. this morning, and met the hunter, his father and a friend. We had parked in an alfalfa field and they showed me the picked corn rows where they thought the deer had walked. We walked in the corn and Danika seemed to hit the line. She tracked over their two last marked spots and went into a green soybean field about two rows in from the edge. 150 yards in that and she turned towards the brush line separating the soybean field from a standing corn field. She went four rows in to the corn but stopped when everyone else got into the corn. I asked everyone to stay put and took her back out to the soybeans to see if she would take the same turn. She went 10 yards further, but didn't seem like she was on it. Had I taken her off the track and now she thought she should be looking for something else? I picked her up and took her 20 yards further back from where she had turned and started again. This time she went about 20 feet and turned into the corn. I dropped the lead while I crossed the brush in an easier place and when I got to her in the corn to pick up the lead, she was standing at the head of this deer. Three more fans of tracking dogs!
Danika with the hunter and recovered deer. A happy ending!

Cheri and Danika at the recent field trial in Michigan

First track of the 2010 season for Chris and Gerti

Chris Barr with Gerti (Gwen von Moosbach-Zuzelek) who found the young hunter's doe
Chris Barr from Indiana wrote:

Doe shot at 5:30 p.m. Saturday night. Suspicious of a possible gut shot, hunters did not attempt to track until 11:00p.m. After 100 yards they bumped the deer. They took a nap under a tree until 1:00a.m. at which time they tracked for another 100 yards or so before backing out for the night. Light rain most of the night. Gerti and I got called and went to the scene Sunday morning at 10:00a.m. Began at hit site and took first 200 yards without much problem. Lost blood, eventually picked up, took another 100 yards or so to point of loss. Incredibly thick cover laced with Autumn Olive and Multiflora Rose. Gerti and I would move out about 50 yards and needed GPS to get back to hit site because it was so thick. Eventually made 150 yard semi circle checking soybean field and creek. As I, Gerti and 14 year old hunter were working back to the hit site we “stumbled” across some blood. Eventually Gerti took me to the bedded deer, still alive 20 hours after shot. As I was attempting to get hunters in place for a killing shot, deer took off. Gerti and I pursued with her opening the entire way. Deer went another 65 yards before expiring. It ended up being a slight liver/one lung hit. Attached is me, Gerti and 14 year old hunter with already his 5th bow kill of his life.

A blood tracking dog as a canine athlete

Joeri in a hot pursuit of a cottontail rabbit.
Active blood tracking dogs should be treated as canine athletes. Unfortunately, sometimes handlers focus on intensive training on artificial lines, yet they forget about other necessary components required for the optimum performance.

These include physical conditioning and a proper diet. If you want to have a canine partner with adequate level of stamina and enough endurance to take 2-3 deer calls a day, you really have to take a good care of her and condition her in advance of the hunting season. In our case we run our teckels on rabbits all summer. It really conditions them physically and mentally in preparation for the deer tracking and field trialing season. We don't recommend it for inexperienced young dogs as you really want to focus them mainly on blood tracking. But once they know what they are doing and have 1-2 successful deer tracking seasons under their belt, running them on rabbits should not be a problem. It will do more good than harm.

This is a list of resources with good information on physical conditioning and proper diet:
Optimum Performance. Getting the Best out of Your Dog. by Robert L. Gillette, DVM, MSE
Effect of Diet on Hunting Performance of English Pointers by Gary M. Davenport, PhD, Russell L. Kelley, MS, Eric K. Altom, PhD andAllan J. Lepine, PhD
Performance Dog Feeding by Arleigh Reynolds, DVM, PhD, DACVN and Jill Cline, PhD
Does Diet Affect Field Trial Performance by Martin Coffman D.V.M. & Eric Altom Ph.D
The Nutritional Requirements of Exercising Dogs by Richard C. Hill

Sunday, September 26, 2010

First deer for the very young hunting/tracking team

Garret and Buford with their doe
Ben and Hearther Byington live in Sandusky, Ohio, and this summer they got one of our puppies whose name was Quint. Quint's new name is Buford, and he has already had a chance to find his first real deer. Yesterday there was an opening day of deer hunting season in Ohio, and today we got this e-mail from Ben and Heather.

We just wanted to send you a picture of Buford's first deer he tracked. Garett Baker, 8 years old, first bow kill and Buford tracked the deer. He killed the deer in Sandusky, OH. The shot was good but a little high. On the opening day of deer season 2010, at 7 o'clock at night and Buford started tracking at 8:45 pm. It took him 10-15 minutes to locate the deer. We are very pleased and excited with Buford's performance!

He jumped across a creek. I never thought he would get across as a 4-month old puppy. He went over the hill to the deer and jumped right on deer and started biting and shaking his tail! He went into "track" mode and turned aggressive and excited instantly!

Thank you Ben and Heather, and congratulations to Garett and Buford!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Learn all about teckels (dachshunds) at the NATC events in the Midwest

If you live in the Midwest, until now you have not had a chance to attend any North American Teckel Club (NATC) events as they all have been organized in the Northeast. To see pictures from some of these events go to This fall, however, all this is going to change. The NATC is coming to Roscoe, Illinois, where it will have a conformation show judged by a German judge, several hunting and obedience tests, and demos. You will be able to learn about the dachshund breed and its hunting heritage. Events are open to non-members, and they are going to be sandwiched in between the AKC field trials for dachshunds. To get the schedule and more information about the events go to the website especially set up for this occasion at For premium lists of the AKC field trials e-mail Cheri Faust.

Below there is a video, which I shot last spring at the NATC Zuchtschau in Rockaway, NJ. It can give you some idea how dachshunds are judged in the ring. Lykke von Lowenherz, Joeri's daughter bred by Laurel Whistance-Smith was showed by Sherry Ruggieri, The German judge Frau Heike Behring evaluated Lykke aloud, with the help from the NATC translator Anke Masters. To see a better resolution of this video click here.

The elk that was recovered with Remy's assisstance

This is a continuation of the post from few days ago. Justin wrote today:

They just found that elk Remi tracked for 3/4 mile. Another hunter and guide were in the same are and decided to look again. Of course with out Remi taking the track to the point of loss it never would have been recovered. It was 1/2 mile east from where Remi left the tract. The hunter realy wanted a pic with Remi as he feels he was instrumental in finding it and he was sure the elk had run the opposite direction. I'm surprised it died!

We are proud of the young Remi!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Early fall in the Helderbergs

The change of colors in the surrounding woods has already started, and for the next few weeks this is going to be a magical place bursting with colors, just in front of our eyes.

Berne, NY

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Remy finds his first elk

Justin Richins, an outfitter operating in Utah, Wyoming and Montana, bought Remy, one of our 2010 puppies (Joeri x Gilda). Remy got plenty of conditioning for blood tracking from the time he ventured out of the whelping box, but we are still surprised (“shaken” is a better word) to learn what he has been doing at the ripe old age of 15 weeks.

One of Justin’s hunters shot an elk, but there was little blood beyond the hit site; the hunter could not find the animal. Justin figured that he might as well let little Remy have a try at tracking it. To everyone’s amazement Remy followed the fairly fresh scent line for a quarter of a mile and found his first elk.

Even more impressive tracking work was to come. A hunter had taken an unadvisable head-on shot with a crossbow on another elk. Remy tracked that one ¾ of a mile with very occasional drops of blood to verify his good work. Remy continued on even farther, but there was no more blood at all to verify the line. All this occurred at night and Remy was tracking through areas filled with the hot lines of feeding elk.

Justin said that there were two government trappers who went along on the second call. They found it hard to believe what they saw. Finally Justin concluded that the elk was not mortally wounded, and that the crossbow bolt had glanced along the outside of the elk’s heavy rib cage with no penetration to the heart and lungs.

We hope that Remy is getting plenty of sleep and playtime.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Field trials in Batavia, NY - Sept. 18-19, 2010

Last weekend I traveled to Batavia, NY to participate in dachshund field trials organized by Albany Capital District Dachshund Club (Saturday) and Dachshund Club of Greater Buffalo (Sunday). I was scheduled to judge open stakes, and John had to stay behind as Paika came in heat and we did not want to leave her in a kennel full of intact males.

Beaglers from Niagara Beagle Club are great folks, and they are like family to many dachshund field trialers. I always look forward to this particular weekend!

This time I did not take many pictures as I judged in the morning and then ran my own dogs in the afternoon in the field champion stake. So instead of a thorough and long report, these are just some highlights from the weekend.

First, congratulations should go to Beth and Gentian Shero on finishing Mae Von Munterkeit, who now is an AKC Field Champion. We wrote about Mae here many times as she is a Deer Search dachshund whose dam is Jessie von Moosbach-Zuzelek "Sabrina". Mae was bred by Dale Clifford from Hamburg, NY, and is used for blood tracking and rabbit hunting. Actually Dale and his partner Janice dropped by on Saturday and it was nice to see them. Mae placed second on Saturday and first on Sunday in the Open Bitch stake. Her sister Mariel was NBQ on the first day of trials.

Beth Shero with FC Mae vom Munterkeit
Also congratulations are going to Sarah Stokoe Burr whose Poker von Moosbach-Zuzelek placed 2nd on Saturday and 1st on Sunday in the Open Dog stake. Poker, or as he is called Bentley, comes from our 2009 litter out of Keena and Theo, and he is our Paika's brother. He is a beautiful dog with a great potential; he is just 18 months old now. BTW, I always get a kick when I see Beth and Sarah together as they look like sisters. It is great to see these two young women involved in blood tracking and field trials!
Sarah Stokoe Burr with Bentley

Bnetley, our Paika's brother, has a very correct wirehaired coat and nice proportions.
On Sunday Mae and Bentley had to run together against each other and Bentley won this particular run.

Our FC Joeri vom Nonnenschlag placed 2nd in a stake of 28 field champions on Saturday. The first place went to Odie, a mini long handled by Pete Mercier from Long Island. Odie did very well on Sunday too and placed 4th.
Pete Mercier with Odie  (FC Rosie's Odie on the Run)
On Sunday there were 25 field champions and the first place and Absolute win went to Carmen, a mini wire owned and handled by John Merriman.
John Merriman with Carmen  (DC Siddachs Carmen)
The second place went to standard wire FC Quilla von Velbert owned and handled by Willette Brown from Maine. It was a good week for Quilla as few days before the trial she also recovered a wounded deer for a hunter.
Willette is releasing Quilla on the scent line left by a cottontail rabbit.
Willette Brown with Quilla and Sherry Ruggieri with Auggie
The third place went to Auggie (FC Augden von Moosbach-Zuzelek, who has too many titles to remember them) handled by Sherry Ruggieri.
Auggie held by Phil Ruggieri is getting ready for his run
It was great to see many friends after a long summer break from field trials. Congratulations to all the winners! See you soon in New Jersey!

They aren't always big

Andy Bensing writes:

Eibe and I had 2 more calls on Saturday. Our 1st call today was a quickie. The hunter had gut shot a little button buck and was only able to track it 40 meters till the blood ran out. The hunter and his buddy had grid searched out about 300 meters in the direction he had last seen the deer running but were unable to find the deer. We found the little button buck only 200 meters away but not in the direction the hunter had searched. The deer had button hooked (pun intended!) right after the hunter lost sight of it and Eibe was able to find it in less than 30 minutes. We only saw one spot of blood along the way.

As you can see in the pictures, the deer somehow fell into a creek and ended up under the stream bank. We came up to the stream from the high bank side and when Eibe got to the creek she stretched over the bank and poked her head into the roots, I thought she was smelling for critters! She then went a few feet up the stream bank where she could jump down to the water and proceeded under the bank overhang. I was about to scold her for looking for critters when I was surprised to see her biting at the deer! Good thing I didn't yell at her!

And Ybensing is holding Eibe who found the button buck.

GPS map of the track showing one spot of blood.

Google Earth representation of the track
 The second call was for a nice buck with a lot of penetration and sounded pretty good on the phone. When I got to the hunter's house he showed me on Google Earth the course of the 400 meters he had already tracked the deer. I did not like what I saw. The buck had made several what looked like unnecessary turns on the map. Not something a hard hit deer would usually do in my opinion. The hunter had the shot on video and he thought it looked a lot better than I did when I saw the video at the hunter's house before we went out. It did not look very encouraging to me from the start but I was there so we of course gave it a shot. The interesting thing about this call was that the hunter owned a 1 1/2 year old Hanoverian hound that he had imported from Germany and had run the dog at 2 hours after the shot. The young dog had done a great job the 1st 400m (with no blood at the start and for the 1st 200 meters) but came to a grass yard and was distracted by several people and vehicles that came to see what the hunter was doing. At that point the dog and hunter did some searching of the edges of the yard but were unable to continue and called me for help. I was there at 10 hours after the shot. We put another 600 meters on the line and found 3 or 4 spots of blood but eventually quit the trail surmising that the deer was not mortally wounded. There was one place where the buck chose to jump over a strand of barbed wire that was 4 feet high when he could have very easily just walked under it ( like we did). His belly left a little hair with a touch of blood on it on the wire.

Congratulations Andy on another fine find!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Chuck Collier's Moose finds his first bear of the season

The e-mail was short and followed Chuck's phone call to John:

300 yard track in dense swamp. Gut shot middle of body.  14 hours after shot. Young girl hunter. Rained heavy during track. Bear 250 to 300 lbs of meat and hide good shape.

Moose (FC Nurmi v Moosbach-Zuzelek) with his handler Chuck Collier from Michigan, young hunter and the bear they recovered.

Koa's first hog

We got this story from Chris Surtees almost four weeks ago. Sorry Chris for the late post. Congratulations to you and Koa, many thanks for the pictures. BTW, Koa was born in spring 2009 and his registered name is Grock von Moosbach-Zuzelek.

I shot a small hog this evening and since she ran out of the swamp I decided to bring Koa out. This was the first hog this year that did not run into the swamp to die so I was pretty excited about getting him on the trail.

Fast forward to putting Koa on the first sign and he was off. He was weaving quite a bit but never left the trail more than a yard or so. When we came upon a large log the hog went over. Koa stopped, looked left then right and all of a sudden he took off left. Just as I was about to call him back he finds a low spot and crosses. Then he heads back to the trail and continues tracking. Next he veers off to the right about 3 yards and sweeps into the hog. I could not feel a breeze but assume the scent had drifted off to the right of the trail.

Once at the hog Koa gave me a look of now what? You had me track to nasty smelling thing? It took a couple minutes for him to figure out this was the prize at the end of the trail. He decided to take a chew or two.

I could not be more pleased with Koa's performance as this was his first track in a couple months. I have been leery about training him since I have been seeing a lot of snakes this year.

Koa's first hog

Friday, September 17, 2010

A new litter of wirehaired dachshunds out of German hunting lines

On Tuesday, Sept 14, Melodie von Moosbach-Zuzelek "Greta" owned by Susie Gardner from Ohio whelped six puppies, five males and one female. Our FC Joeri vom Nonnenschlag is a sire of this litter.
Susie and Jody Gardner are outfitters and they have been using Greta for tracking wounded deer for the last three years. She is a very talented and accomplished blood tracker and proved her versatility in a number of tests. For more information about them and Greta click here. These are two pics showing newborn puppies.

If you are interested in a well bred puppy for blood tracking and hunting, Contact Susie directly at, 740-254-9156 or 330-260-7725. This is a very busy time of the year for the Gardners as their hunting season is already open.

A couple of weeks ago I received a very nice e-mail from Rosi and Anne Bauersachs from Germany. Rosi is Joeri's breeder. Last summer she repeated a breeding that produced Joeri, and we were happy to see his new sisters and brothers. I am going to include part of Rosi and Anne's e-mail here.

Our puppies are gone too – the last boy at the end of the last week. The names are Lotta, Luzie, Loisl, Lenz, Linus and Leopold.  Four of them live near to us. So they can visit every Monday “Welpenspiel” (= “playing time for puppies”) together. It is like an early education for the puppies and it has been organized by my mother for the last few years. They learn to socialize with other dogs (like larger dogs breeds) and people, and also learn to manage new environmental and social influences. It´s like a small agility park for the puppies. They have to go over different bottoms (wobbly, lattice-like, rough, slippy), they have to go through different tubes, over a seesaw and so on. The dogs who live in a hunting family are practiced in tracking. The puppies have also enough time to play together because they can use it as training for social handling. Our puppies are also very nose oriented like yours and we are very pleased with their excitement for tracking. All boys have two testicles and no puppy has a tooth displacement. All have short coat (but not too short) – the beard began to grow and they have enough hair between their pads of the feet and at the marginal part of the ears.
Joeri's brothers and siters from the 2010 litter.

Rosi Bauersachs with Jette, Joeri's littermate

Ilena vom Nonneschlag, Joeri's mom, is playing with her puppies.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A good week for Andy Bensing and Eibe

A great report from Andy:
Last Sunday Eibe and I were entered in a VSwP blood tracking trial sponsored by the North American Deutsch Kurzhaar Club in Stillman Valley IL.  The VSwP is a 20 hour old, 1000 meter long test laid with 8 ozs. of blood.  there are 3 turns, 2 wound beds and various "marking points" along the way.  The marking points are either small pieces of lung,  bone, or skin serving as sign to be indicated by the dog as it follows the trail.  It is judged by 3 special JGHV blood tracking judges who can award a successful participant with either a Prize, I, II, or III (excellent, very good, good).  When the tracks were laid on Saturday, the weather forecast made it look like scenting conditions would be quite good on Sunday for the test but as it turned out the scenting conditions were quite difficult by the morning of the test.  

The first dog, Honey, a 9 year old female Kurzhaar bred, owned and handled by Jerry Kellogg, had been quite aggressively trained and prepared for the test over the last 3 months but unfortunately was unable to lock into the scent line and did not pass the test.
Jerry Kellogg with Honey

Eibe and I were the only other participant in the trial and we were the second team up.  Under average conditions, 1000 meters takes Eibe and I anywhere from 35 minutes to 1 hour to complete.  This test turned out to be quite difficult and it ended up taking us 2 hours and 36 minutes to complete!  Eibe had to work and concentrate incredibly hard to string together the little pieces of the line as she searched them out and found them.  Unfortunately along the way we got too far off on an incorrect line one time and the judges had to give us a "call back" .  Unlike other testing venues that I have trialed under in the past, in this test the judges do not tell you WHERE you went wrong and left the correct line.  At the call back they just tell you that you ARE wrong and you and your dog have to find your own way back to the correct line.  My GPS experience came in quite handy for that.   Eibe found and cleanly indicated both wound beds, and 3 of the 6 marking points along the way.  She even found a "bonus" marking point accidently dropped by the judges the day before when they laid the line (a plastic bag of deer hair for use on the wound beds).  At the end of the test the judges awarded Eibe and I with a Prize II, Very Good.  The head judge commented that  she was quite impressed by my dog's concentration and stamina on so long and difficult a test and that her performance was actually a Prize I performance but because of the one call back they had to award her a Prize II.  I was very proud of my dog's performance and most particularly how well she did in ignoring the hot lines in the area.  The grounds where this trial was held were just crawling with Deer and Turkey.  

Andy, Eibe and judges Leonard Chase, Bob Gerstner, Vanita Skinner (head judge).  

 After the trial I drove 5 hours east and meet up with some blood tracking friends at a field trial in Addison MI and did some celebrating, well let me more truthfully say, A LOT of celebrating. (We enjoyed it very much Andy!)

Celebrating with friends

So that was Sunday, my last artificial tracking work for the year.  Wednesday, the Maryland Archery season opened and I got my first call of the season to go out and help a guy find a gut shot deer Thursday morning.  The deer had run out of sight within 15 yards and there was no visible blood even at the hit site.  Eibe's slow and steady searching eventually worked it all out and after about 45 minutes we located the deer not too far away in a standing bean field.  The hunter had searched the bean field the day before but with the beans being not very dry and about 3 1/2 feet high it was hard to see anything unless you stepped on it.  Right before we found the deer I was tying a marking ribbon on a bean stalk where Eibe had indicated to me a piece of chewed muscle and while I was tying the ribbon I noticed she was pulling like heck on the leash.  I figured we were pretty close assuming the chewed muscle was from a critter eating on the dead deer nearby but I was quite surprised when I started following her again and discovered she was standing 1 foot away from the dead deer when she was pulling.  I was only 15 feet away from the deer and I could not see her or the deer when I looked that direction till I walked over to it.

Andy, Eibe, and a happy hunter  with the recovered 11 pointer in the bean field

  We tracked another deer on that same lease after that but it appeared to be a front leg hit that just passed through muscle without even hitting bone so we gave that trail up as unrecoverable.  I am pretty sure that 10 pointer will recover.  I got a phone call from another hunter only 30 minutes away while tracking the 1st deer so we took a 3rd call around 11:30 AM as well.  This was another gut shot from the night before and I am pretty sure we would have found it but we had to call the trail off when the hunter's Boss called him and told him he was going to be fired if he did not come to work right away.  There was a lot of private property in the area so I did not feel comfortable not having the hunter with me and I quit the trail.  We had advanced the trail about 300 yards through a hot, dry, standing corn field and to be honest, I do not think Eibe had much left mentally or physically. She had about 5 hours of tracking under her belt by then and the sun was out and it was 85 degrees.  The hunter had no idea when he would be done with work so I decided to drive the hour and a half home.  I think if I would have rested Eibe a few hours till the temps went down we could have eventually found that one.  At least we got the hunter a lot closer to the deer and he is going to look again in the morning.

Blog on training a young Bavarian Montain Hound

A week ago we received e-mail from Peter Cheeseman who has a blog documenting the blood tracking training of his young Bavarian Mountain Hound Heidi.
Hi John and Jolanta
I regularly check out you web and blog site with great interest, and must commend you on all the time and effort that you put into it. It is a great source of information for anyone, wherever they are in the world. Congratulations.

I live in the UK, and in May of this year took on a Bavarian Mountain Hound pup, Heidi. Coming from a background where I have trained trained and used gun dogs in the past I am keen to get her training right, (to do her justice more than anything else). The problem I found here is that there is a lot of information about training to track for the slightly mature dog, but not so much from a few weeks old, through their first year. Therefore I decided that I would put down all my training notes on a blog, mainly for my my own record, but if others want to see, they are obviously welcome.

If you feel that you would like to check it out please do:  Its not very professional, and there's a lot there, so don't get bored. If you have any comments I would greatly welcome them, not so much on the site, but the training.

By the way I've just ordered your new book from Amazon, and am looking forward to reading it as soon as it arrives. Please keep up the good work, you are both invaluable.

Kind Regards

Peter Cheeseman

Hi Peter,
Thank you for your kind words. We have been away for a week and trying to catch up with all the correspondence. I took a look at your blog and it does have a lot of information. I wish I had more time to spend there. When do you think you will have her on a "real thing"? This will help with her motivation even though as you pointed out she loves to track even though she is not that interested in the find at the end of track. I am looking forward to your future posts!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dachshund Field Trials in Michigan - September 10-13, 2010

After a very busy summer John and I took some time off and went to Michigan to run our young dogs in field trials for dachshunds. These four trials were held at the Detroit Beagle Club in Addison, MI, on Sept. 10-13, and they were hosted by Central Ohio Dachshund Club and Wolverine Dachshund Club.

We might differ from some blood trackers who keep their dachshunds focused exclusively on tracking wounded game. We appreciate versatility of hunting dachshunds, we run them on rabbits and we participate in dachshund field trials. The dachshund trial format is similar to a brace beagle trial and the rules are posted at the AKC website.

Our blood tracking season lasts just over two months, and we need to keep our dogs busy and fit. It is good for their noses to be used and challenged throughout a whole year. We enjoy the sport and recreational aspects of field trials and camaraderie amongst participants. We also learn a lot about our dogs when we run them in a field trial format; we need as much information as possible to keep our breeding program on a sound foundation. Dogs are run in braces so it is not difficult to evaluate their nose, line sense and line control. Other traits easily observed at a field trial are voice, searching ability, hunting drive, intelligent use of nose, temperament and responsiveness.

It was warm and sunny except for one rainy day. The picture shows handlers and dogs coming to the field.
This time we took four dogs with us: three field champions - Joeri and Tommy, who are two and a half years old, and 18-month-old Paika. Mischa was entered in an OAAB stake. There were other wires out of our breeding or related to our bloodlines.

A great day in the field spent with good friends. From the left: Phil Ruggieri from NJ, Chuck Collier and Kyle Stiffler from MI, and John Jeanneney from NY.
 Chuck Collier from Michigan came with his three-year-old "Moose" (Nurmi v Moosbach-Zuzelek), an Emma/Buster son.
Chuck Collier's Moose is an accomplished blood tracker and he has showed a great talent for running rabbits.

Moose ran in the open dog stake on Saturday and Sunday. Both times he got first place in the stake and on Sunday he defeated our Tommy and won the Absolute run. He has completed the requirements to become an AKC Field Champion. Congratulations to Moose and Chuck!

Sherry and Phil Ruggieri were there with Auggie (FC Augden von Moosbach-Zuzelek) and Dixie, Auggie's sister (two pics below).

Sherry Ruggieri is holding Dixie (FC Anja von Moosbach-Zuzelek)
Larry Gohlke and Cheri Faust had Nix and Danika vom Nordlich, a brother and sister bred by Larry and out of FC Fredrika v Moosbach-Zuzelek and Buster (FC Clown Vom Talsdeich). Nix and Danika are very accomplished field trialing dachshunds..

FC Danika vom Nordlicht TD, ME

Danika with her breeder Larry Gohlke and her owner  Cheri Faust. Danika did great in MI field trials. She was the Absolute winner of the trials twice and she placed 2nd two other times. 
Judy Gallamore competed with "Ana Maria" FC Hurricane Ana Maria v Czar SW, who was sired by FC Czar v Moosbach-Zuzelek. Ana Maria finished her Field Championship at 119 days old, and this made her the youngest AKC Field Champion of any breed to date.

Judy Gallamore with Ana Maria and Sherry Ruggieri with Dixie are waiting for their turn.
Another standard wire that goes back to European hunting lines was DC Short Shadows Runaround Sue  "Gypsy" owned by Shawn Nies and bred by Carolyn Casoria. Gypsy is not related to our dogs as she was sired by  FC Traelborg's Herbert "Skyder", who was imported from Denmark.
Shawn Nies is watering Gypsy. Gypsy did really well in Michigan and placed 1st in her stake twice. Unfortunately she was in season and could not run against a winner of the male fld champion stake.

All in all we had a good time in Michigan, and things went very well. We learned a lot about our young dogs, their strengths and weaknesses. We also found out that in spite of their young age they are competitive running as field champions.

Joeri is a very good check dog and he had fire in his belly, especially when running against Moose. He won the dog field ch stake once and he placed 2nd once. In the run against Moose he won and was the Absolute winner of the trial on Saturday.

Judy Gallamore and Sherry Ruggieri were the judges of the Absolute run. John handled Joeri.

Tommy placed 1st and 2nd in the dog field ch stake. Paika did very well and placed in the bitch field stake three times. Mischa was 1st in the OAAB stake once.

The 155 pictures taken at Michigan field trials are posted at click here.

A big thank you to the members of Central Ohio and Wolverine Dachshund Clubs for all their hard work. It is very much appreciated.