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OK, I posted a few months ago about our rescue Beagle, Watson. He is a very sweet and energetic dog.

I've been working on the basics. He has sit and down pretty well. He actually will offer the down as soon as he knows I have a treat. He will do 'puppy push ups' (sit to down to sit to down, etc.) as long as the treats last.

As for hunting behavior. He will definitely stalk and mark anything in the backyard. I was very pleased one day when he was sitting at my feet, then he perked up and took off like a shot towards the back fence. A squirrel was running along the fence top and he treed it. Even followed it from one tree to the one next to it.

The only problem was he didn't bay. Now, if there is a person outside, even the neighbor that pets him and plays with him, he will bay like there's not tomorrow, but he won't open up on the scent.

I haven't fired a gun around him, but while I am in my workshop I have run a jigsaw with him at my feet and he barely perked up his ears and ignored it. I take that as a good sign. I am wondering if I can down a squirrel in front of him if he'd get excited. Which brings me to my next question...

Spring squirrel season is right around the corner here. I usually go to some private land that is a pretty large area, and his recall is wonderful in the backyard, but I am not confident in the woods. I am wondering about a long lead on him as I take him out the first few times. My eventual hope is he will be both and squirrel and rabbit dog. I have dome hides from last season in the freezer and he *loves* them. He actually grabbed the squirrel tail from me and played with it so much he destroyed it.

Sorry for the ramble, but those are the two things I'm curious about.

Thanks
 

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