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Discussion Starter #1
Scout and I are just back from our first of what I expect will be many, houseboating/fishing trips. Here are some pics of my dog in complete ecstasy...
While I don't hunt with her, her instincts became glaringly apparent during our trip. Most of her time was spent running up and down the shoreline chasing ground squirrels, then digging, and digging, and, well, you get the idea. On one attempt she was actually successful much to my surprise, and I had to go rescue the little guy. Not sure if he made it as he lost half his tail. It was strange how after I showed up on scene and made her release the squirrel, she calmed right down. It was like "job well done". It was surreal since Scout is not usually a calm dog. I am not a hunter and the experience had my adrenaline pumping. All I could think of was what it would be like to take on the quarry these dogs were meant to go after...wild pigs. While I felt bad for the squirrel, I also felt bad for Scout because I truly felt that I might be depriving her of one of the things that she is bred to do. Thoughts?
Oh, and don't tell the Catahoula community I'm such a softie.:laugh:
 

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Wow! She is gorgeous! I think it is wonderful that she was able to do all those things. I used to let Leeo go rodent hunting ... while feeling sorry for the rodents ... but ... if Leeo was happy ... so was I. :) I hope Scout gets to do this often this year ... it probably makes her a very very happy camper! :)

Photos were great quality and Scout being beautiful in all of them also.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks! I think she is begrudgingly realizing that we are not going to live on a houseboat on Shasta Lake:( The photos were actually taken with my iphone which is proving to be a great little camera with the exception of the lack of a good zoom. Lets just say that when taking that shot of her running, I paid a price to get the picture.:laugh:
 

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What a pretty place! He looks like he was having a ton of fun!!

I'm a big fan of getting dogs to do what they've been bred to do. But I also know and understand that it isn't always possible. I think as long as your dog has an owner-approved outlet for their natural desires that's plenty good enough. I'm certainly not a fan of killing for pure sport just because it's what the dog has been bred to do (by the way, squirrels can drop their tails kind of like lizards do- but the tail doesn't grow back. Squirrel should be fine!). For example, sight hounds do lure coursing instead of chasing live game, you might be able to try that? Little doggies bred for killing rats have "earth dog" where the rodent is caged and protected. You could also try tracking with Scout, or encourage him to dig in certain areas where you've buried a big treat like a pig ear or bully stick.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Sibe,
I've seen those sight hound lure coursing gizmos where they have a motor driven cable dragging a plastic grocery bag. I've considered trying to cobble one together myself. Then again, a remote control car might be more fun and I'm pretty sure she'll chase that!
I have also considered SAR... especially lately. There is currently a girl missing from Morgan Hill which is about a half hour from me. They are actually asking for volunteers, professional or not, to help search some of the more rural areas. Although Scout doesn't have any formal training, she does seem to possess a strong tracking instinct. She certainly has the drive. On this trip, if my friend wandered away without her noticing, she could beeline straight to him, both nose to ground and air scenting.
Scout, even more than my last Catahoula, seems to be a true working dog and if that's what makes her happy, I feel it's my duty to do my best to provide her with outlets for her "skills". Plus, if she doesn't get her exercise she tends to "exercise" my personal belongings :laugh: Thanks for the suggestions.
 
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