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Monthly Archives: March 2013

  • Proud Sponsor- NASHDA World Championships April 13-14


    NASHDA-Rochester Shed Dog Trail

    We getting very excited to for the upcoming NASHDA World Championship event coming up in less than 4 weeks.  The Championship will be held April 13-14th at the Northfield, MN shed hunting field trail stadium (aka- the woods).  This is going to be an exciting time to watch the best shed hunting dogs and dog trainers show off their hard work.  There is going to be many returning champions and competitors that have experience at this location and in the championship and a few first time attenders that we will sure have to watch out for. The competition is going to be stiff this year, there is no doubt about it, we are pumped to see who is going to make it to the podium!

    Everything Shed Dog will be there as an official sponsor and will be intently watching and participating in all of the action.  Our company is so proud to sponsor such an event and get to talk and learn from all the shed hunters out there.  We know how popular shed dog training and antler dog hunting is getting but when we get to meet and greet with you out there, it really just gets us excited and motivated about the growth in the sport!

    We will be sure to post some real time updates via Facebook (please like our page so you can receive these) so you can keep up to date with the action that is going on in Northfield, MN Shed Dog Hunting World Championships.  We will also be bringing you video interviews and training tips we learned from the championship.

    EverythingShedDog.com Team!

    Happy Shed Hunting!

  • 200 Inch Deer- How To Start Finding Their Sheds

    Find Huge Shed Antlers

    There are a couple factors to finding big sheds; obviously being in an area that holds big bucks is the biggest factor to finding big sheds.  If you are in area that doesn’t hold a ton of big buck doesn’t mean you can find them, with a quality shed dog and the determination to get out in the woods before everybody else should increase your odds of finding that big shed. Most people that shed don’t have a dog, but that is changing on a daily basis more and more people are using dogs making it harder for people without dogs to find sheds.

    Getting off the beaten path and getting farther back into those off the wall spots will increase your odds of finding a big shed, this is where a good shed dog comes into play.  Most of those out of the way places are thicker then thick and are hard to pass through but a good shed dog should be able to get through and find those hard to get to sheds, does this mean you are going to find big sheds all the time?  “Nope” but it sure does increase your odds of finding bigger sheds.

    Once you know where bigger deer hang out from finding their sheds, you can go back to that area year in and year out until the deer is harvested, and hopefully you get a chance to see the antler growth from year to year.  Just remember that the deer don’t drop their antlers in the same spot every year.  But you have a better chance of finding antlers in the same area that you did the year before.   Get your shed dog out in the general area and let them find the sheds for you.

  • How Do You Keep YOUR Scent Off of the Dummy and Antler During Training?

    How Do You Keep YOUR Scent Off of the Dummy and Antler During Training?

    This is a question that I really have been getting asked a lot lately and I thought I would post my answer and thoughts to it here on the Everything Shed Dog Blog:

    The quick answer to this one is simple…I don’t get too worried about keeping my scent off of the dummy or antler because the fact is, no matter how hard you try, there will always be scent on the dummies and or antlers that we train with.  We simply cannot beat our dog’s noses and their sense of smell!  If I tried to keep my dummies and antlers completely scent free by washing them in some manner a few things would happen:

    1. I wouldn’t get much training done because I would find myself constantly washing and never training…each time my antlers or dummies touch me, or the dog/dogs mouth, or the training bag or what’s inside my training bag (the list goes on) the antler then takes on that scent.
    2. Any natural odors that the shed or dummy previously had on it (hair, blood, etc) will then be washed off as well, which defeats the purpose of training my dog to find the shed using natural odors.

    The truth about this whole thing is that a dog’s ability to smell is so incredible it is hard for me to comprehend what they are capable of. Depending on the breed, a dog’s nose is estimated at 1,000 to 10,000 times stronger than humans.  The other amazing thing about dogs that is difficult for us to understand is that they smell in “layers.”  Whereas we smell “vegetable soup” a dog smells carrots, peas, beans…each individual ingredient, or layer.  Our dog’s noses are so powerful they can smell a tablespoon of sugar diluted in the amount of water it would take to fill two Olympic sized pools!

    When we train our shed dogs, we want to introduce the shape of an antler first to equal the reward (the retrieve) after being thrown.  This is usually pretty simple because it is very natural as far as a visual goes; it’s just predator/prey instinct. But soon after this habit has been formed, we want to ensure that our pup does not get lazy on us and rely more so on their eyes than their nose when locating sheds. We do this by adding antler scent into the equation.

    This is a liquid scent made from real shed antler scent elements- hair, blood, pulverized, but un-burnt antler.  Using this liquid scent allows for us the ability to increase or decrease the amount needed or used depending on a number of variables regarding scenting conditions when training.   Use more scent on dry, windy, high-pressure days and less scent on damp, calm, low-pressure days.  When we add this scent to the training situation we are doing so in order set our dogs up for success in locating the retrieve by using their nose…that’s the whole point.  Our dog is going to smell this concentrated scent of antler elements and begin to associate it with the reward or retrieve, but make no mistake, the dog will also detect every other smell associated with that retrieve and around that retrieve location as well individually.  The important part about this whole thing is that they are using their noses to get the retrieve, not that they are smelling lots of smells individually.

    Drug dogs are trained to alert to the smells of narcotics...a smuggler can take a bag of dope wrapped up in plastic, sealed airtight with tape and float it in a gas tank of a vehicle coming across the border and old Fido will sound off like a bugle horn when that vehicle drives past.  If that dog is capable of detecting those drugs with that many other scenting elements and things not in their favor, I’m fairly certain my shed dogs will be able to identify mine or any other scent and the concentrated antler scent applied the dummy or antler.  They will smell all of them…but separately.

    When I hear folks tell me that you have to wear rubber gloves when training a shed dog in order to keep scent off of the antler, my question to them is…”have you ever smelled a rubber glove?” If I handle the antlers wearing rubber gloves, they will smell like…rubber gloves.  And once you touch something else with the rubber glove (dummy or antler with saliva, etc) won’t your rubber gloves then just smell like whatever it is you’ve touched?  Trust me, your dog will smell that as well!  A rubber glove smell is just as unnatural to a shed as a human hand smell.  I’ve often wondered why you don’t see the guys that say you need to train shed dogs with rubber gloves training their bird dogs using rubber gloves to handle canvas bumpers or duck dummies?

    Don’t think that I not concerned or sensitive to the idea that my dog is going to smell my scent, their scent, the scent of everything around or in contact with that particular dummy or antler when I’m training.  I certainly don’t go out of my way to rub my hands all over it or intentionally add un-natural scents to it prior to training. Remember, attempting to eliminate the un-natural scent by washing, will also minimize any natural scent as well.  I realize that there will always be other scent there, and no matter how hard I try, I’m not fooling my dog or their nose.  I think the important thing to remember is that your dog’s sense of smell is so incredible and capable of separating different layers of scent that you’re not going to trick him with a little Irish Spring and water, but instead be happy that you’ve got your pup using their nose to find the shed.

    By Jeremy Moore
    Owner: DogBone Products


  • The Foundations of A Successful Shed Antler Dog!

    Even with shed hunting, a good foundation of basic obedience is very important.  An obedient dog in the field and in the home will lead to more time enjoying yourself being in the field with your four legged friend.

    Here……HERE…..HERE!!!!  We have all had those days in the field when your dog, or maybe your buddy’s dog, is not on the same page as you. It’s going to happen, and the difference between a good day with your dog and a bad day is whether you can break the cycle and get him/her locked in and not spend your whole hunt training your dog. Here are some of the basics that should be solid with any dog to prevent you from more of these training days then hunting days.


    When we teach the command “SIT”, that’s exactly what we are demanding our dog to do. They are to “SIT” not walk a few more feet and then sit. We mean NOW. SIT means “sit and stay there”. If you teach the SIT command correctly you should never have to use the command “Stay”. The SIT command is also the main heartbeat of all the other commands you will teach your dog so naturally you want this command to be flawless. Teaching your dog to sit on command no matter where they are is the most important command you can have with your dog. This command can stop them from getting into trouble or can even save their life.


    The command “HERE” has to be the next most important command we use.  We train the dog to come back to us no matter what is going on. When training the command “HERE”, start in a controlled environment like inside of your garage or in a basement. Keep things simple because simple = success = progress = more time hunting less time training. You should start with the dog in the “SIT” position and then stand about 10 feet away and give the command by saying your dog’s name followed by the word “HERE”. Slowly, as your dog catches on to this and doesn’t break before your command, you can back away.  As you get to your limit of space and your dog can do the drill without fail, start putting distractions off to the side of your dogs’ path to you. Place objects that the dog knows and might see on a daily basis on the floor first then work your way up to putting some decoys out, and then some bumpers. This now lays the groundwork for working on single and multiple retrieves cleanly and gets your dog used to coming to you when you demand it.

    Rick Schmitz
    Behind the Blinds Kennel and Dog Training

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