When pet lovers are looking for a dog, there are certain qualities they want from their companion, and Purebred Breeders LLC knows that with hunting dogs this may be even more so.
The experts disagree on the exact origin of dogs as hunting companions. It is thought that early man first attempted the idea with an off-shoot of the gray wolf. Evidence suggests the Paleo Period (10 to 13,000 years ago) is the time in which the dog as a hunting companion came into use. By this time, the Paleo Period man had learned the value of keeping dogs for hunting purposes. Training had evolved to a point where hunting with dogs produced favorable returns, that exceeded stalking alone with spear, or bow and arrow. Paleo Period dogs became quite adept at running game down. They were used to run large game such as bison off cliffs. The hide and meat were then collected at the convenience of the hunter.
There are many different breeds available for hunting. Some breeds are bred from the ground up to hunt a specific type of game.
- The springer spaniel that is considered a showcase for gun and bird dogs.
- The coonhound is well known for courage. It gets its name for top ability in hunting raccoons, and opossums. The coonhound is well known for speed, stamina, and keen sense of smell.
- The English setter is considered the best of the bird dogs. The English setter was originally bred by combining spaniels and pointers. This ensured the best quality available in an upland bird dog.
- The German short-haired pointer is a versatile hunting dog. The breed is well known for bird hunting. They do equally well hunting small game and retrieving water-fowl.
- The Labrador retriever continues to be the number one favorite hunting dog. The dog is so popular in the United States; year after year it continues to remain the hunting breed of choice.
The most desirable hunting skills will depend on what type of hunting the dog will be doing. Gun and bird dogs will need excellent skills in tight cover; and will be able to handle jump shooting waterfowl with equal ease. They need to have a high energy level to keep the hunt going in tight cover. Be enthusiastic about getting in the water for retrieval duties no matter how cold the water is. The breed will need to adapt well to training, and be a quick learner.
Gun and bird dogs have a natural ability to find and point at game birds. They have the ability to flush out birds. They work closely with the hunter to make sure the bird is within shotgun range. These dogs work well in the water and on land. While not a skill; they have a gentle muzzle, so the game is not damaged on retrieval.
Categories of Hunting Dogs
There are different categories of hunting dogs. The major categories are terriers, curs, gun dogs, and hounds.
- Starting with terriers; this category is best suited to hunt vermin. They are an excellent choice for hunting mice, weasels, stoats, rabbits and other small game.
- Curs are not known by specific breed groups and are best described as general purpose hunting dog. Originally developed in rural areas of the southern United States curs are selected mainly for their ability to hunt and work. They can be used to hunt both small and big game depending on skill and features desired.
- Gun dogs excel at hunting upland birds and waterfowl. Some breeds are better than others for waterfowl or birds.
- Hounds are known for their ability to hunt game as small as fox, and as large as black bear.
For more information on Purebred Breeders LLC, visit PurebredBreeders.com