Top Hunting Dogs
Hunting dogs may seem to be something straight out of a Victorian novel, but many people enjoy breeding and hunting these animals today. There are several breeds that are particularly suited for various types of hunting. Owners can either have the animals professionally trained or choose to do it themselves. Owners can also enter their canines in various contests where they can receive awards for displaying their learned skills. Here are some of the top hunting dogs as well as important information and training tips that pertain to each specific breed:
The Pointer is one of the oldest hunting breeds and a favorite of the English to flush flying game. The Pointer is a lively dog, standing around 23 to 28 inches tall and weighing between 44 and 75 pounds. Pointers make great family dogs but must be given regular exercise.
The Labrador Retriever holds the title of “most popular” in the United States for good reason. The laid-back, kid-friendly Labrador is not only a great hunting companion but an all-around good family pet. Labs can grow to 75 pounds and are extremely active. They need regular runs to stay fit.
The Coonhound is a general designation for several specific breeds, including the Black-and-Tan Coonhound and the Redbone Coonhound. These dogs are known as “scent” dogs and have extremely well-developed tracking skills. These are medium-sized dogs that grow up to 27 inches in height and may chase small animals.
This dog was originally designated a member of the spaniel family, but its hunting style is closer to that of the pointers. The Brittany is equally suited to work or play and makes a fine companion dog. It grows to about 40 pounds and 20 inches in height.
German Short-Haired Pointer
This fine hunting dog can track through water and on land and fearlessly follows a variety of game, making it a great all-around hunting companion. The German Short-Haired Pointer does require continual exercise but blends in well with a moderately active family. The dog will reach up to 70 pounds in weight.
The Beagle is one of the most popular hunting dogs and family pets in the country due to its happy personality and great scenting ability. Its distinctive bark lets the hunter know when the beagle has “treed” its game. Beagles are medium-sized dogs that grow to at least 15 inches in height.
Spanish Water Dog
This UKC-recognized breed is one of the most versatile, being equally at home in the water and on land. The Spanish Water Dog is friendly and makes a great pet, but has strong herding and guarding instincts as well. Spanish Water Dogs grow to 20 inches in height and around 40 pounds in weight.
This popular pet breed can also be a great hunter. Golden Retrievers do well both in the water and on land retrieving birds and other game. The golden will grow to 75 pounds and makes a devoted family companion.
There are two recognized breeds of fox terriers: the Smooth Fox Terrier and the Wire Fox Terrier. These dogs differ in appearance but essentially have the same characteristics: a willingness to please and tireless energy. These dogs do not exceed 18 pounds so they make great pets for small homes.
English Springer Spaniel
The beautiful English Springer Spaniel reaches up to 50 pounds, but this dog has boundless energy and can last for long periods on a hunt. The Springer is eager to please and loves being with human companions.
If you want to train your dog to hunt, there are several ways you can do so. One is to handle the training yourself while, simultaneously, entering your canine into field trial competitions. This gives you both something to work toward.
Field trials exist for pointers, retrievers, and flushing dogs. Depending on which organization is handling the event, field trials may be limited to certain breeds, but local field trials by hunting clubs are often open to any dog and owner who want to compete.
You can also receive hunting training for yourself and your dog from a licensed trainer. Be sure to look for a trainer who is qualified and works well with you and your dog. Get recommendations from other hunters to find a good trainer.
Chad Sidebotham is an active hunter with a 3 year old German Short Hair Pointer, Bella. He advocates to always store firearms in a proper gun safe.
Filed under: Hunting Dogs
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!