Dogs are great! They’re fun, energetic, playful, and have utmost love and respect for their owners. They are no doubt your best pals, and will accompany you everywhere for all your activities - from swimming to running in the park to even fetching groceries - you can count on your dogs for everything. And when we say everything, we also mean hunting. Hunting dogs are great if you’re into the sport, because they have a natural ear for predators and prey, for sniffing out a good game, and most importantly enjoy playing with you.
But choosing a hunting dog that is just right for your hobby is a difficult task. There are several different dogs to pick from, and many questions to filter out - should you get hypoallergenic hunting dogs or something different, what the proper age of the dog should be, whether or not it should be used in your country - so many people get lost in this sea of doubt. But don’t worry, we’ve got you. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the five hunting dogs you should definitely consider. Let’s get started.
A beagle is the most common hunting dog you’d find in the market. They’ve been wildly popular in the film industry as companion hunting dogs, and rightly so. They’re insanely good when you go hunting rabbits, foxes, and small birds. Their popularity makes them an easy find, and their ability to quickly learn and adapt makes them great learners. Training them wouldn’t be a cinch. So if you’re looking for a partner who can hunt alongside you, a beagle is a no-brainer.
If you’re into hunting birds, Spaniels are the go-to option. And a Boykin Spaniel is an added bonus. If you’re in South Carolina, these are a great find - turkeys, ducks, or any other waterfowl - you can easily get the task done with a Spaniel by your side. American Spaniels are also hypoallergenic hunting dogs. They don’t ever give up so you can be sure if they run after it, they’ll be back with the game. On the other hand, if you just want to keep a pet, you can have a loving Spaniel too. It’s absolutely passionate about its owner and is a joyful little thing to have around. If you can find one, don’t let go.
Brittany dogs are often, and incorrectly, referred to as spaniels. But the differences are apparent. Brittany dogs lie somewhere between spaniels and setters, hence the confusion. They’re really versatile with hunting tasks, be they it, pointing, or even chasing something down. They’re beautiful dogs with great fur and need little to no maintenance on their grooming needs. A word of caution though - they’re extremely restless so if you’re going on a hunt, make sure they get a lot of work done, else you’ll need to worry about them jumping around the house all night.
If you’re not worried about grooming their long hair (that can easily get tangled during chases), English setters are amazing hunting partners. They’re athletic beasts with no concern for terrain whatsoever. Their sharpness and absolute focus on the prey make them ideal for hunting birds. Don’t let them into your house for too long though, because their sense of smell will sniff out food even in the highest of cupboards and you won’t be able to keep your kitchen clean.
Italian Greyhounds are often meant for racing, but don’t let those sleek, strong legs fool you. Their nose is perhaps one of the best noses out there, and hence they make for exceptional trackers. Their speed is unrivaled, and you can expect them to run faster once their eyes are set on their prey. Once they take off, you can be sure to find them coming back with a fox, hare, or even a coyote. Like the English Setter, Italian Greyhounds are also very active creatures, and you need to work them down or it’ll be chaos at home. They love adventure so make sure they don’t run away on their own.
Bonus Mention: Golden Retriever
Because who doesn’t love a golden retriever? Easily one of the most popular dogs on the planet, these adorable boys are a true gift to humans. But don’t take their appearances for granted. With enough training, these can be absolute beasts on the field as well. They’re at their best when you’re out hunting birds, and boy is it a sight to see these beasts in their full mojo out in the field. Once they get to the chase, you just stop and look at the beauty that unravels before you. Get a golden retriever if you’re a bird hunter, and you won’t ever regret your decision. They are not hypoallergenic dogs, so allergic hunters: beware!
Regardless of the kind of hunting dog you choose, if you’re not careful with training it or nurturing it, you’ll never be able to get it to its full potential. So make sure to groom them well before putting them out there in the field.