Standing in the snow under the red pines up in the forest, a big white rabbit runs by in the hazel brush along the swamp. The pack comes by making their music, working the line. I whistled a couple times, kind of soft. Monroe came out and ran up to me with that look on her face. I let her know what a great dog she was and sent her back into the race.
Monroe is kind of an unusual dog. I don’t run her with a tracking collar on, she doesn’t need it. She don’t need any kind of collar. Not that unusual. Happy and Crystal and a bunch of dogs that I can only see in my memories now were the same. Rose, one of the best rabbit dogs I ever had never needed much in the way of training. They just want to be with you. But they will also hunt all day long and do it well. Kind of a contradiction but there it is.
I have four puppies now from Monroe’s last litter. Their kennel door is always open when I am home at the farm. They have a couple acres fenced in to run loose in when I am working.
I save all kinds of good things to eat for them and I go out and call them and make it worth their while when they come to me. They don’t know their names yet but they come running when they hear me call.
I walk them a lot. Keep it short and fun. Stop all the time and get down on their level and give them lots of attention. They follow me anywhere, get underfoot and in the way. They want to be with me. It’s fun and rewarding and it’s in their blood.