Breeding wirehaired dachshunds for tracking has been our passion for the last 30 years. Our teckels live with us as our companions. We have a good setup for our dogs, one that allows plenty of interaction and playtime with other dogs and people, yet allows dogs some privacy and quiet time. Older dogs stay in the house all the time. They lounge around on sofas and chairs, wherever they feel like it. We built an 1/3 acre enclosure between our house and the barn, where there are 8 indoor-outdoor runs. This grassy area we call "yard" and this is where dogs spend time together playing. Dogs can go directly from the yard to their runs behind the barn. The runs are not big, but we do not need them large as dogs do not spend a lot of time there. But when we have to go to town or are busy working on some projects, young dogs go to the runs because this is the safe place for them to be. Throughout the day they are let for bathroom breaks often. Next to the yard there is an eleven-acre-field, which is fenced in. We keep the field as a habitat for cottontail rabbits so dogs actually go to hunt there. In total we have 30 acres of woods and fields and use our land for training purposes.

We usually raise puppies in spring and summer. Puppies are whelped in our "guest room" and raised in our house. For the first three-four weeks pups are raised in the whelping box. We do not raise our puppies on newspapers. We find that newspapers are difficult to keep clean and they do not provide proper traction for the puppies when they start to walk. When the pups are ready to walk we move them to a bigger pen filled with wood chips. In the center of the pen there is a wooden box, which serves as a bed. It is lined with towels and blankets and this is where pups sleep. They do their business in the chips and they learn this routine very early.

We spend a great deal of time socializing puppies with people and dogs, exposing them early on to the outdoor environment. Pups go on walks in the woods, fields and to our pond. If you'd like to see pictures how our pups are raised go to http://jola.smugmug.com/Puppies

A tracking dog’s genetics, that is his ancestry, is certainly an important factor determining his future potential as a blood tracker. However genetics is not the only factor. Breeders of hunting dogs may well have over-emphasized its importance while neglecting the role played by environment and early conditioning. Recent psychological research on young mammals clearly shows the development of the brain circuitry is influenced in part by the stimulation that the brain receives and not simply by the programmed genetic codes that come down from the parents. In practice this means that a very "well-bred" puppy left in a dull kennel environment for its formative months may mature with tracking abilities inferior to that of a puppy whose pedigree is nothing special from a hunter’s point of view.

Over many years of breeding experience, we have become much more successful in producing a high percentage of wirehaired dachshunds with a strong drive to track blood scent. We have always used good working dogs in our pedigrees, but the improvement that we have seen in our puppies seems too great to be explained just by "better genetics".

We have to attribute part of the improvement to early conditioning starting when, or even before, the puppies are weaned. We have gone to about 80-90% that we can sell as blood tracking prospects with a strong desire to track. This tracking desire will already be clearly evident when the pups are 10 or 12 weeks old. We believe that by equipping pups with the great genetic potential and early conditioning we assure that our puppies are "born to track". Read more about how we work with our puppies here.

All Text & Graphics Copyright 2002 born-to-track.com

 

 
 
Most of tracking dachshunds have to be good family pets as well - John's daughter, Emilie, with her son, Sam, are playing with Falko The 1/3-acre ex-pen provides a safe place place for dogs to play; dog runs are behind the red barn Young dogs get never tired of playing  (John is trying to watch the news on tv) When pups start to walk they are moved to the wooden box placed in a large pen filled with chips We start to train our puppies early and we have a pretty good idea of their potential before we let them go to their new homes Sabina with her ten puppies in the whelping box Our dogs' paradise - the fenced in field of 10 acres is maintained as training grounds for rabbit trailing Our puppies are raised in a clean, safe and stimulating environment Our dachshunds live in the house together with us - here Kuba is resting comfortably on our sofa Homepage of born-to-track.com how to order John's book Tracking Dogs for Finding Wounded Deer