I got my new deer drag,dipped it in the rabbit scent, drag it through my yard bout 20 yrds with a treat at the end. I turned them loose and They found it but didnt stay on it to the end. They are 4m old but they need ridilin.lol. I think They have to much pup still in them. I'm gonna get a tame rabbit and try it.
Here are my thoughts. It doesn't matter what age, every new experience is new. For example, my 11 month old pup hesitated to walk on an iced-over shallow pond that was thawed around the edge. Cautiously, she ventured out, and once she gained some confidence, she walked right across. But it was new to her for the first time. Next time she'll know. If your pups haven't been afield before or are now at a new place it's a learning curve. I started taking my pups, all four, on walks at eight weeks. I led them through thickets, briars, weeds, over downed small trees, and coaxed them into brush piles. They gain confidence with each outing. Because of that early training and a tame rabbit to chase a time or two, they started barking track at 13 weeks. They are running very well now.
Currently, I'm working with a friend's pup. We did similar things to my pups. Once she gained confidence, she ranged out farther, but came to find me often. I never mind a dog that "checks in" occassionally to keep track of me. The last couple of weeks I have been able to live trap wild rabbits. I set her up for success. I get the live trap set where I want it to achieve a goal before I get her from the kennel. Once she finds the trap, I get her excited and open the door. The rabbit bolts and the chase is on. Success! Even if she loses the rabbit, it builds prey drive, helps her learn to use her nose, and gives her some good exercise--all positive stuff. She just started barking on track a little. Considering we still have snow in varoius stages of thawing/freezing, I'll take it. She searches for the track vigorously.
My advice: Have a plan. What do you want to accomplish? Stick to your plan and be prepared for a problem. At the end, evaluate what went well and what went wrong.
Set a goal. It can be anything from getting them to follow you through a thicket to having them learn how to get over, under or around an obstacle or trailing a scented drag.
Keep you sessions short. They are still puppies and you have a lot of years with them. Don't rush or push too hard. Make it fun for all of you.
Keep expectations reasonable. They're pups; don't expect them to range or hunt like seasoned veterans.
Set them up to succeed. Don't test them to see them fail. All pups develope at their own pace. The sister of the pups that started barking track at 13 weeks just started sight chases in spite of running her often with her sibblings and experienced dogs. She belongs to a friend and didn't get that early introduction. Don't give up. Help bring out what ever mama and pappa bred into them.
If you have questions or would like clarification, let me know either here or in a PM.