A quarter of a liter of red deer blood, distributed drop by drop on a wildly overgrown track one kilometer long: whoever can follow this track after a waiting time of 20 hours has a super nose. Just like cira vom lohmuhlweiher, the german longhair dog from willanzheim.
8110 traffic accidents involving game occurred in lower franconia in 2016, according to police statistics. Mostly on country roads, mostly in the dammerung or darkness. The bulk of it, two-thirds by name, with roe deer, red deer and fallow deer, nine percent with wild boar.
Silence and concentration
In many cases, animals die in collisions with vehicles. But not always. Quite a few still have the strength to drag themselves away, into the forest, often over many hundreds of meters. Somewhere they finally collapse, badly injured but not yet dead.
If you want to put animals out of their misery that have been injured in accidents or have been shot while hunting, you have to find them first. Alone the jager has a hard time. "A well-trained swiss hound is needed here," says volker conrad. The language of the hunter is irritating for the layman, because in fact it is not about blood, but about the pig.
Not every dog is suitable as a schweibhund. "He has to bring a certain amount of calm, because concentration is needed," explains volker conrad. Furthermore, the dog must give loud, he must bark when he finds something. "Then the dog driver knows where he is and can follow him well."In addition, the dog should be bulletproof, "show no character traits when it bangs."
Rudi and ruth haupt from willanzheim are passionate hunters, connected to nature and animals. Hunting is a matter of course for both of them. Therefore, it was important to ruth haupt that her cira also masters the sword work very well and that she takes the sword exam with her. In april she started to practice for the exam in the training course of volker conrad in michelau. About every two weeks, she met with 16 other hunters and their dogs in the steigerwald village where volker conrad worked with the animal-human tense.
He set the training runs the day before the meetings, then walked the different routes with dog driver and animal. Conrad has about ten different ubungsfahrten in his district. "He tells you exactly what you’re doing wrong and shows you what to look out for," says ruth haupts. The course instructor invested many hours of his time over a period of several months. But he also warns against overdoing it, because it’s important to keep the dog happy. "If he loses the desire, it becomes difficult."
After the course, some of the participants took the "verbandsschweibprufung" in unken in the austrian mountains, among them cira and ruth haupts husband rudi. The test is demanding: the starting point is a 30 by 30 meter rough area where the dog and the handler have to find a bed of wounds. Cut hairs, bone splinters or lung stucco mark the place where the animal was injured according to the scenario. Experienced dog handlers can tell at this point whether it is a large or small animal and how badly it is injured.
Capercaillies and tall grass
From the wound bed, it is important to follow the track, which stretches for more than a kilometer, slightly meandering, through changing vegetation. Two wound beds are on the track and several referrers – here you can find more float, partly the grass is printed flat, the animal has laid down in between. For the dog a clear indication that he is on the right track.
But there are also so-called tempting trips. Not intentionally laid, but naturally created. The drive is laid out 20 hours before the test. Just as in real life, several hours can pass before the dog and the hunter can follow the injured animal’s journey.
There are walkers or hikers running around, other deer, wild boars or rabbits cross the track. During rudi haupts test, capercaillies repeatedly crossed the track, which also led through knee-high fern grass. "Sometimes you can’t even see your dog anymore," says rudi haupt, "and you certainly can’t see the reference points that have to be reported to the caller.
It is important that the dog handler can "read" his dog, explains michaela kammerer. She comes from stadelschwarzach, has won the title of search winner in unken two years ago with kuno vom frankischen bauern and was present at the preparation course in michelau and at the current examination as a judge.
The handler must know how the dog reacts, what its looks mean, what it indicates with its posture, she explains. It worked well for rudi and cira – both even won the title of search winner. And that, although actually ruth haupt with the six-year-old dog lady had geubt. Her husband only stood in for her because she was prevented from attending the exam. An aspect that perhaps increases the performance of cira a little more. The power of the hitch was just right.