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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know quite a few of my threads and questions been asked before but I have the opportunity to take my pups to a starting pen, I am not super in a hurry to get them started asap so I am going to take them 1 at a time (so they wont be playing) and leave them for a few weeks, my question is whats the average time or is there one that a pup will start? Btw they just turned 6 months
 

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Starting usually takes 1-4 weeks. I would say mainly make sure the dog will come and do "down" so the pen can handle them. You might consider a kennel cough shot too if there are a lot of dogs at he pen, but I think a lot of folks forgo this.

I take my pups out with my running pack and when they begin to show interest or try to go, you can pretty much tell when they're ready for the pen. 6 months and you are probably there or very near it now.
 

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I agree by 6 months your at or near the time I’d try too dependent of factors like if you do get them started to you have somewhere you can currently get them more tracks once home? I live in an area where typically now there’s deep crusty snow and the rabbits are pretty hard to come by especially for fresh started pups.
If this is the situation I’d wait to start for about a month when I’d expect better conditions. last year 2019 I was soloing a dog on Christmas morning early. Had a pup out just running around playing to associate her. Suddenly I heard screaming, she opened and was running w older dog.Within 3 days she was running w 2 other dogs, be careful here. She was 5 months old. By 7 months old she had dead rabbits under her. Imo that’s not real typical very often.
My buddy’s pup was in yard just a couple nights ago. A rabbit was in it too, he had no idea until dog opened and he saw rabbit. It’s about 5 months old now. Imo once they start I’d be busy trying to gain exposure. Tough or not he ought to try to find spots to work this pup.
Ive seen a pup one time start and actually track a little at 9 weeks old in my old pen believe it or not. I don’t recommend that. Dog blew up before a year old. Let it be a pup that young.
On the other hand more than one guy has been frustrated by 8-9 month old dogs or even older only wanted to play and chew sticks. Every dog can be different.
Another note regarding pens and this time of year. Things can be pretty open. A beagle is a scent hound, not a sight hound. Make sure pen you pick if you do use one is thick enough.
Id personally be introducing them to the areas holding rabbits by now
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree by 6 months your at or near the time I’d try too dependent of factors like if you do get them started to you have somewhere you can currently get them more tracks once home? I live in an area where typically now there’s deep crusty snow and the rabbits are pretty hard to come by especially for fresh started pups.
If this is the situation I’d wait to start for about a month when I’d expect better conditions. last year 2019 I was soloing a dog on Christmas morning early. Had a pup out just running around playing to associate her. Suddenly I heard screaming, she opened and was running w older dog.Within 3 days she was running w 2 other dogs, be careful here. She was 5 months old. By 7 months old she had dead rabbits under her. Imo that’s not real typical very often.
My buddy’s pup was in yard just a couple nights ago. A rabbit was in it too, he had no idea until dog opened and he saw rabbit. It’s about 5 months old now. Imo once they start I’d be busy trying to gain exposure. Tough or not he ought to try to find spots to work this pup.
Ive seen a pup one time start and actually track a little at 9 weeks old in my old pen believe it or not. I don’t recommend that. Dog blew up before a year old. Let it be a pup that young.
On the other hand more than one guy has been frustrated by 8-9 month old dogs or even older only wanted to play and chew sticks. Every dog can be different.
Another note regarding pens and this time of year. Things can be pretty open. A beagle is a scent hound, not a sight hound. Make sure pen you pick if you do use one is thick enough.
Id personally be introducing them to the areas holding rabbits by now
Good info here , yes the pen does have plenty of cover, luckily I do live in the country I have about 30 acres and 10 is a 6 yr cuttover, after they get started going to keep feeding them as many tracks as I can , besides weekends I should be able to get them out at very least once during the work week
 

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It also depends on weather and scenting conditions as well as if they start on tame or Wild Rabbits. It's been difficult to start some pups that have been in small pens for too long sight chasing Redbacks or San Juans. IMO leaving them in this environment can cause them to look with their eyes and not their noise. Instead of tracking, they just run around looking to try and sight chase another one. It's sometimes longer to get them going on Wild Rabbits, but overall I think it's the best way.
 

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I never put a collar on them or taught them to lead until I started them. When they turned 4 months old they went in my running pen, no more than two at a time. On a very few occasions I have woke up the next day and they were running. Once they were started I took them out of the pen for a couple of days and put them back one at a time alternating them. If I liked what I saw then I collared them, taught them to lead and handle. By the time they were six months old I began to cull. Like Mack C said, most will be running by six months.
 
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