Training rabbits for a younger pup - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2018, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Training rabbits for a younger pup

So I'm looking for some advice from the houndspeople (wanna be correct here ) who keep rabbits for training. What breed of rabbits are you using, and what do you do with the bunnies when you aren't training a pup? I have a pup right now who hasn't started yet and I just haven't been able to get him in front of any wild cottontails. Now with the weather and work... it isn't looking good for time for me. So I am thinking about using my garden as a training pen and getting a bunny or two to train with, but I have the problem of not being sure what type to use or what to do with them afterward! Advice?

A bad day hunting rabbits beats a good day of anything else!
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 12:05 PM
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First off I am not a professional trainer so I may not know the best method, but I can tell you what worked for me with the beagle I have now. I watched pennswoods.com and craigslist for someone wanting to get rid of their rabbits. I was lucky enough to find someone who had two they wanted to give away with pen included. I went and got them. They were lops (I don't think the breed really matters that much, IMO). At home I fenced in a small area only 8' x 12' in my garden. I would put the rabbits in the fence and walk the pup around the outside. She could see and smell them and really want to get to them....barking, etc. I never put her in with the rabbits, only around the perimeter. After I put them back in their pen I would let her inside the fence to smell the fresh scent.

The second phase was putting a collar on a rabbit. I would use a long pole with leash on one end and me holding the other. I would lead the rabbit around my yard (out of sight of the pup). I used the pole so I could tell if the pup was tracking the rabbit or me. They like to cheat. I put the rabbit in a wire box trap at the end of the trail. Then let the pup loose to follow the trail and find the bunny. After just a few of these sessions she was opening up and it was a smooth transition into chasing the wild bunnies.

As far as what to do with the rabbits when you're done with them do like I did. Find a relative or friend who has kids and ask the kids if they want a rabbit. Then they bug the parents until they give in. That's what I did and now my sister's kids are proud owners of two lops. My sister and brother-in-law weren't too happy, but they still have them.

Another tip: If you go this route, place your rabbit pen in your garden, too. That way you get free fertilizer. Rabbits make a bunch of it. That was one of the selling points I used to get my sister to take them.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 10:43 PM
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Domestic rabbit taste good. Waugh!

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 11:56 AM
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I bought some at a local livestock auction. Cost about 6 bucks each. They didn't seem to run too well until they were in the starting pen for a few days.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-10-2018, 06:21 AM
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How old is the puppy?
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-15-2018, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Eight months He does at least try to chase the bunnies on our yard, but he won't open on a trail and the few times I've gotten him out he's been kind of lazy. I think it is inexperience; all the other pups out of his litter that went as hunting dogs seem to be running well, so I'm hoping I didn't just get a bad pup. I see the potential there, I am just worried I'm not going to be able to get the training time in and it will soon be too late for him to become an excellent dog.

A bad day hunting rabbits beats a good day of anything else!
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-15-2018, 01:32 PM
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Cold weather,rabbit tracks,smallbox trap,large red ripe apple=training rabbit!!!!!!!!!!!
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-15-2018, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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My dad said the same thing lol. Plus with the enclosed garden... I have plenty of friendly 'neighborhood' bunnies probably looking for a nice meal about now. As long as I let him go when I'm done that's not a problem, right?

A bad day hunting rabbits beats a good day of anything else!
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-15-2018, 06:51 PM
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i have a started pup now ,he"s 1yr and 3 months What i do is shoot a rabbit on the jump and take it home and let pup smell and mess with it,then my son will hold him out of site and i drag the rabbit with a rope to a brush pile and hide it and we let him go and he "ll trail it to the brush pile its in. We repeat this for a couple weeks of course you have to freeze the rabbit toward the end of a couple weeks mine start opening up on the scent. I take him out in the field and try to jump bunnies and put him on them. I like to train him in summmer when all the rabbits are out in yard,easy to get him a chase. This method has worked for me, my pup opened up at 4months and brought his first one around at 6months
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-15-2018, 07:12 PM
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Collierdeerhunter, good way to get a citation, I hope no one even thinks about what you posted. It would be an expensive training rabbit.

When you are up to your butt in alligators, it is hard to remember your intent was to drain the swamp. Stay focused!
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