There are certain breeds that come to mind when you think about a moose antler finding dog. Some common shed hunting breeds include Labrador Retriever, German Short-haired Pointer, Weimaraner, and Beagle. A typical shed hunting dog is usually a sporting breed, larger sized, with a drive for retrieval. Here at Allagash Antlers, our shed dog is Finley, a red-tri Australian Shepherd, a breed that specializes in herding livestock.
When we first got Finley, we didn’t plan on him being an antler dog. We were drawn to the Aussie breed because we lead an active lifestyle and wanted a dog that could keep up with all of our adventures. Once we met our amazing puppy and saw how incredibly intelligent and hard working he was, we decided to turn him into a shed hunting pup. No surprise, Finley picked up on the training right away! We loved seeing him learn new things and were so excited to see how his skills transferred over into the field.
His first spring shed season came along when he was about 6-7 months old, which is a little young for full days out shed hunting. With that in mind, we kept field work minimal and just worked on getting him exposed to what prime moose antler areas looked/smelled like. When we found antlers that season, we made sure to make it a super exciting experience and showed Finley a lot of enthusiasm when any of us located an antler. We would reiterate his training commands and reward heavily.
The next season, as an adult, Finley was ready to take on the Maine woods in search of some beautiful and tasty moose antlers. His first official most antler find blew us away! We were amazed as he proved his ability to search, smell, and locate a fresh, brown moose antler… all on his own! From there, he was an antler finding machine, who has now found hundreds of moose antlers. And that is the story of our unlikely shed dog! We’ve definitely seen firsthand that Australian Shepherds are an amazing and versatile breed, which can be accredited to their high intellect, work ethic, and drive to please.
You can keep Finley employed and our dream alive by ordering one of our moose antler chews! Each one has Finley's own stamp of approval.
Thanks for reading!