Looking for a hunting dog - Hunting dog types guide

Narrated from: Special Dogs

If you are looking for a hunting dog, then you already know there are many breeds to pick from – however, you need to be aware about the different TYPES of hunting dogs before you choose a breed. Hunting dogs are the end result of hundreds of years of selective breeding and their skills are honed perfectly – but in their relevant fields of expertise!

To summarize – different hunting breeds are suitable for different terrains and game!

I. The Hound group – of course, everyone knows who the hounds are! These are your stereotypical hunting dogs – eager, loyal and proficient, they will chase down and even kill any prey, no matter how large or dangerous. However, there are different types of hounds, according to their respective advantages in hunting.

1. Sighthounds – dogs from this group are perfect for hunting in large, open areas. These dogs are bred for a type of hunting known as “coursing” – the prey is spotted from afar, and chased down no matter how fast it is.

Dogs from this group are very beautiful, with their elegant, aerodynamic heads and slim bodies, and their prowess in running has also made them racing animals.

Breeds from this group include: Afghan Hound; Azawakh; Borzoi; Chart Polski; Chippiparai; Greyhound; Hortaya Borzaya; Hungarian Greyhound; Irish Wolfhound; Italian Greyhound; Kangaroo Dog; Kanni; Longdog; Lurcher; Mudhol Hound; Rajapalayam; Rampur Greyhound; Saluki; Scottish Deerhound; Sloughi; Spanish Greyhound; Taigan; Tasy; Whippet.

2. Scenthounds – Scenthounds are hounds that rely on their sense of scent to track the prey. They are very resilient, and often hunt in packs, tracking the prey no matter how long it takes. Many of these dogs have deep, booming voices, and use their barking to alert the hunter of their position.

Breeds from this group include: Alpine Dachsbracke; American Foxhound; American English Coonhound; Anglo Francais de Petite Venerie; Ariegeois; Artois Hound; Austrian Black and Tan Hound; Basset Fauve de Bretagne; Basset Hound; Bavarian Mountain Hound; Beagle; Beagle Harrier; Black and Tan Coonhound; Blackmouth Cur; Bloodhound; Bluetick Coonhound; Dachshund; Drever; Dunker; English Coonhound; English Foxhound; Finnish Hound; Foxhound; Francais Blanc et Noir; Francais Blanc et Orange; Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen; Grand Bleu de Gascogne; Hamiltonstovare; Hanover Hound; Harrier; Irish Wolfhound; Kerry Beagle; Norwegian Elkhound; Norwegian Lundehund; Otterhound; Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen; Plott; Polish Scenthound); Polish Hound; Porcelaine; Redbone Coonhound; Rhodesian Ridgeback; Schweizer Laufhund; Segugio Italiano; Serbian Hound; Serbian Tricolour Hound; Treeing Walker Coonhound; Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen.

3. Lurcher – Lurchers are sighthounds cross-bred with a working dog breed – usually terriers, or another sturdy breed. Their skills depend highly on the exact combination of breeds that have been used, and the training the dog has been through.

II.Gun Dogs

Gun dogs are typically used by small game hunters. They fetch the prey brought down by the hunter. Most of the breeds in this group are very obedient dogs, and rely more on working with the hunter.

1. Retrievers – these favored pets became so popular because of their hunting skills. They are obedient, sensitive and very intelligent dogs – their task is to sit by their master, memorize where shot birds (or other game) fell down, and fetch them on command.

Breeds from this group include: American Water Spaniel; Barbet; Boykin Spaniel; Chesapeake Bay Retriever; Curly-Coated Retriever; Flat-Coated Retriever; German Water Spaniel; Golden Retriever; Irish Water Spaniel; Labrador Retriever; Murray River Curly Coated retriever; Newfoundland; Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever; Poodle; Portuguese Water Dog; Spanish Water Dog.

2. Setters – a setter’s task is quite different from a retriever’s; these dogs have to spot and flush out small game, usually birds. These dogs are good trackers, and rather intelligent, acting on their master’s command.

Breeds from this group include: English Setter; Gordon Setter; Irish Setter; Irish Red and White Setter.

3. Spaniels (flushers) – Spaniels act much like setters, flushing out small game for the hunter to shoot. They are also very good at retrieving – and do make excellent pets!

Breeds from this group include: American Cocker Spaniel; American Water Spaniel; Blue Picardy Spaniel; Boykin Spaniel; Brittany; Cavalier King Charles Spaniel; Clumber Spaniel; Drentse Patrijshond; English Cocker Spaniel; English Springer Spaniel; Field Spaniel; French Spaniel; German Spaniel; Irish Water Spaniel; King Charles Spaniel; Kooikerhondje; Papillon; Picardy Spaniel; Pont-Audemer Spaniel; Russian Spaniel; Small Münsterländer; Sussex Spaniel; Welsh Springer Spaniel.

4. Pointers – Pointers are very good at locating small game and signaling its position to the hunter – from then on, it’s usually the hunter’s job to flush it out.

Breeds from this group include: Canadian Pointer; Frisian Pointer; German Longhaired Pointer; German Shorthaired Pointer; German Wirehaired Pointer; Old Danish Pointer; Portuguese Pointer; Pudelpointer; Slovak Rough-haired Pointer; Spanish Pointer.

5. Water dogs – these dogs are a subclass of retrievers. The retrievers have a natural affinity to water, and in water dogs this skill has been refined, and they are very good for hunting near rivers, or in marshland.

Breeds from this group include: American Water Spaniel; Barbet; Boykin Spaniel; Cantabrian Water Dog; Chesapeake Bay Retriever; Curly Coated Retriever; Epagneul Pont-Audemer; Flat-Coated Retriever; Golden Retriever; Irish Water Spaniel; Labrador Retriever; Lagotto Romagnolo (a.k.a Italian Water Dog); Münsterländer (Large and Small); Nova Scotia Duck Toller; Otterhound; Portuguese Water Dog; Spanish Water Dog; Standard Poodle; Newfoundland; Wetterhound.

III. Feists – these fellows are proficient in hunting small game – very small indeed. Sometimes they are used in packs, and if trained are able to corner the prey on a tree and alert the hunter. Squirrels and ferrets are typical prey for feists.

Breeds from this group include: American Treeing Feist; Barger Stock Feist; Bench-legged Feist; Buckley Mountain Feist; Charlie Feist; Denmark Feist; Kemmer Feist; Kemmer Stock Hybrid Squirrel Dogs; Mountain Feist; Mullins Feist; Pencil-tail Feist; Rat Terrier; Thornburg Feist; Treeing Feist.

IV. Terriers – Terriers are used primarily for hunting mammals, or other ground-based animals. They locate the prey and attack it, usually finding a way to get it even if it is hidden underground. Many of the animals hunted with terriers are species of pests, and because of that the terrier breeds are quite popular.

Breeds from this group include: Airedale Terrier; Australian Terrier; Bedlington Terrier; Border Terrier; Bull Terrier; Bull Terrier (Miniature); Cairn Terrier; Cesky Terrier; Dandie Dinmont Terrier; Fox Terrier; Glen of Imaal Terrier; Irish Terrier; Kerry Blue Terrier; Lakeland Terrier; Manchester Terrier; Norfolk Terrier; Norwich Terrier; Parson Russell Terrier; Scottish Terrier; Sealyham Terrier; Skye Terrier; Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier; Staffordshire Bull Terrier; Welsh Terrier; West Highland White Terrier.

V. Curs – Curs hunt in the same manner as terriers, but their large size makes them suitable for hunting larger game – even boars and cougars!

Breeds from this group are: Blackmouth Cur; Blue Lacy; Catahoula Cur; Mountain Cur; Stephens Stock Cur; Treeing Cur.

VI. Dachshund – Dachshunds exhibit traits of both the scent hound and the terrier hunting groups. Although they are often considered scent hounds, in many classifications they have a separate group, suiting their unique appearance. They are primarily used for flushing out medium-sized, underground-dwelling prey, and they alert the hunter with their loud barks.

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