Squirrel dog

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bscrandall

Senior Member
Other than a cur or Feist, what breed would make a good dog? I’ve thought about three others, a bluetick, a walker, and a beagle
 
My squirrel dog experience is very limited. Grew up coon and bear hunting with hounds. I’m working starting my first squirrel dog now.

I’ve had several hound pups that would tree squirrels. I would shoot squirrels out to them to get them exited about treeing but they all seem to “grow out of it” for lack of better words. By the time they are two or so none of them would pay squirrels any attention. I would also be concerned about hounds being a little to long ranged for squirrel hunting.

As far as beagles go I’ve never seen one that would tree.

I’m sure there are others but the only two breeds I have personally seen make good squirrel dogs other than curs and fiests were elk hounds and Siberian laikas.
 
Some hounds wil make squirrel dogs. But the best squirrel dogs have just the right amount of nose. Hounds tend to have way too much nose for the job. I've seen them tree on every hole and every nest in the woods. A good squirrel dog has the squirrel . Hounds tend to lock down on the tree,great for coon and bear, not so great for squirrel . Squirrels timber or change trees at the drop of a hat. It takes a good dog to stay wth him. Like said above, hounds hunt kinda deep, you walk to a couple trees 800 away and find hole after hole, it turns to work and no fun. There s a reason curs and feist are mostly used for squirrels. Beagles don't tree, that's not what they were breed to do. Elk hounds and Laikas make good squirrel dogs but theyhave very thick coats and the heat in the south will be ruff on them. If possible, hunt with every kind you can to see what you like.
 
hounds tend to be open on track, and that is a sure fire no no when sqwerl hunting. You need a dog that is silent on track, with a decent nose, and will stay on tree.

There is a reason curs and feists are the dominant breeds involved in sqwerl hunting.
 
I bet a jack russell terrier or a border collie would make a good squirrel dog.
JR's have been bred for years as a go to ground dog. They don't do well on treeing. Even a JRT and feist cross is a poor excuse for a sqwerl dog.

I have seen hound crosses that did ok... and I have seen JRT crosses that would tree some... but none of them come close to a quality feist or cur
 
JR's have been bred for years as a go to ground dog. They don't do well on treeing. Even a JRT and feist cross is a poor excuse for a sqwerl dog.

I have seen hound crosses that did ok... and I have seen JRT crosses that would tree some... but none of them come close to a quality feist or cur
My step-father has had a couple JR and he can't/couldn't keep them out of trees. My dad had a pack of jack rats that decimated the squirrel population around his house. None of them had any training other than being bored and probably hungry.
I understand the yard dog comment, that pack of jack rats were wild for the most part.
 
Terriers will chase, catch and kill a lot of varmints, but to go hunt a squirrel, run it up a tree and bark treed until you get there....maybe 1 in a thousand will, most will sit there and stare or go on. They have a very high prey drive with no treeing instinct. I got a buddy that has a Black n tan wiener dog that stayed treed for a timed 2 hrs. and 45 minutes barking. But he aint a squirrel dog that will go find you a sackful. My buddy breeds, raises and sells curs by the way, wienee is his yard dog.
 

Dbender

Senior Member
Hounds make fine squirrel dogs. They need a little more fine tuning when young though. An open mouth dog that is quick to tree will tree you just as many squirrels as a silent dog. If you like hounds get one, if you like a cur get a cur. I don't waste time with feists and Beagles are for rabbits or deer.
 
Hounds make fine squirrel dogs. They need a little more fine tuning when young though. An open mouth dog that is quick to tree will tree you just as many squirrels as a silent dog. If you like hounds get one, if you like a cur get a cur. I don't waste time with feists and Beagles are for rabbits or deer.
You sure are missing out on some fun image.jpeg
 

Dbender

Senior Member
I don't know how to post pics. Plus a pic of dead squirrels proves absolutely nothing. I didn't say you didn't have a good dog or that there aren't good fiests only that I don't waste my time with them. Have fun killing truckloads of squirrels.
 
My point is there a lot of good feist out there, a lot of good dogs from several breeds. I wouldn't want kennel blindness to affect a newer hunter. I got curs too. Them squirrels don't just jump on the tailgate tho, they mean a lot ;). I'd be glad to post them pictures for you.
 

Al Medcalf

Senior Member
hounds tend to be open on track, and that is a sure fire no no when sqwerl hunting. You need a dog that is silent on track, with a decent nose, and will stay on tree.

There is a reason curs and feists are the dominant breeds involved in sqwerl hunting.
Most folks prefer a silent dog and I do too. But one of the best dogs that I've ever had was wide open on track, so it really doesn't make any difference.
 
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