I am not blessed to own one of those tracking systems. I run bells on my dogs, poor man's GPS!!!! I have been owning my own Beagles since I was 10 years old. Living on a 400 acre farm we had two dogs running loose on their own all the time. Two came in two more were released. I went out with my dogs every chance I could and thought them to handle. Although they hunted on their own, they also handled when a person was with them. They handled better then any dog I own today. They hunted within the sound of my voice, usually within my site if the cover wasn't to thick. I could get them to hunt every piece of cover I wanted by pointing where I wanted them to hunt, and they aimed to please. I rarely entered cover, these dogs were true searchers. Some were smarter searchers then others and jumped more rabbits, although the others hunted as hard. I thought them to hunt the cover I wanted by throwing a stick, clump of dirt, anything I could throw into the cover. They raced into the cover in search of whatever I threw in. They just loved to hunt.
My dogs today are a little different. It seems that most of todays dogs just don't have the hunt that the dogs of the old days. Don't get me wrong, some have decent hunt, but it seems running the line has been bred in them more then the desire to search. I try to teach my dogs to search. I do have to enter the cover at times, but I work them slow. I want my dogs searching in front of me. I have seen at trials handlers getting in the cover going really fast and beating brush. Why, in the SPO trials the dogs are suppose to be judged on hunt. I understand when their are big classes at some trials the quicker a rabbit is jumped the faster the trial progresses. Most clubs today have enough rabbits to handle pretty large classes so no reason to rush the dogs.
I still want my dogs to search in front of me, I don't want healers behind me. If they are within the distance that I can hear their bells I am ok. I know that they are within the sound of my voice then. I want them to hunt individually but not to spread out that they do not hear the packmates once a jump. If they are not within the sound of my voice, I cannot handle them. It causes trouble in a Field Trial for this old man. If I don't know where my dog is and the dog is away from the others and cannot hark in to the pack quickly, how and where does this old man go to try to get his dog to the pack???? I gave away a really nice one last year to a young man that was a true rabbit dog. Her problem was what I described above. When cast she just had no since of distance from her handler. She just kept hunting until she jumped. Sometimes on totally different properties. I could handle her with an ecollar on her, but without no clue where she was going to turn up. At a Field Trial no ECollars allowed in my area.
WOW!!! That's a lot of babbling by this old man just to say, I like them within the sound of my voice!!!! when searching for one. Once the rabbit is up they better run him where ever he goes, sometimes them going out of hearing. Once they get out of hearing then you hear them coming back burning up that rabbit, what a rush that is!!!!
Judges just picked me up for Babbling !!!!