So I was lucky enough to get 2 rabbits on the day before the season ended (no dog just walking a Christmas tree farm with the boys) I kept the legs off one of the rabbits zip tied them together and attached a long piece of rope. My beagle is now almost 5 months old, I've been working with him in the yard just dragging the legs around. I started with real close trails and now I've been going around almost the whole yard (I have an acre) and he follows the scent pretty well. He still loses it from time to time but he does the circle and always ends up back on it. He has not opened up yet, and I've been walking him to where I started the scent to make sure he gets on it. Is it time for me to just let him lose and have him find it on his own? I usually keep him in the garage until I'm done and then I walk him to the area I started, should I just let him walk on his own as if we were hunting? Also, at what point do you guys start getting your dog used to gun shots? Mine has not heard on yet, he seems ok with noises he hears in the house. I had read about dropping books on the floor when the dog isn't paying attention and things like that, I don't want to over do it and end up scaring him. Any other training tips would be greatly appreciated!!