The relationship between the dog and the hunter predates the concept of history. If it wasn’t for the
dog we humans as a species would have most probably gone extinct and wouldn’t have had the edge over our other humanoid competitors. Some argue that the world would have been better off without us, but since us humans and our partners in crime are still gallivanting around the planet,
our relationship as friends and hunting partners must surely be something worth living for! So with a
rifle in hand, and a leash in the other, let’s see what the canine world has to offer in terms of hunting buddies.
These dogs can’t help but point like a child on a fieldtrip. If you need a dog to locate game and keep it’s cool until you’re cocked, locked, and ready to rock, look no further than our trusty pointers.
With so many hunting-heavyweights such as the English pointer, the German short-haired pointer and the Hungarian Vizsla, one’s biggest challenge wouldn’t be to find a suitable hunting dog, but to be able to decide which breed suits them best. The German short-haired pointer is one breed that stands out from the rest, being an easily trainable, all-rounder that excels in the field. Highly excitable and at times overly enthusiastic, it might not be the best candidate for more subdued characters that might not appreciate the rowdy personality of the German short-haired pointer. In such cases, it is wise for these hunters to sift through this highly populated category to find a breed that best suits their personality.
Setters are very similar to pointers, but what sets them apart is their killer good looks and a distinctive, crouching, stance when they locate game. Setters and pointers are often even grouped together, further highlighting that they serve the same purpose. If you like a classy looking gun dog with a lush beautiful long coat, you can’t go wrong with a setter breed such as an Irish Setter or a Gordon Setter. Be warned that these fine looking dogs are still as high energy and as mischievous as any pointer.
Your friends’ chubby Labrador retriever might not give you the impression that she’s worth much in the field, but do not let her demeanour fool you. Under all that fat, amassed over years of undisciplined nutrition, there is one mean retrieving machine. Retrievers will bring back game faster than you can say “fetch”, and with two of the most popular dog breeds falling into this category it wouldn’t be a problem convincing the rest of your family that a Golden retriever or a Labrador retriever is a good idea. Who on earth doesn’t like to play fetch?!
If you need a dog to jump head first into the unknown to flush anything from the most miniscule of game to the devil himself out of dense thickets and tall grass, then look no further than this category of dog. Mostly made up of various breeds of spaniels, this category is a no brainer: if it’s a spaniel it’s a flushing dog, and with just a few officially recognized breeds to choose from, it is best to stick to the tried and tested, with big names like the English Springer Spaniel, the Field Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel.
This is where it gets interesting for those who like hunting waterfowl. Many of the dogs mentioned above can do this job, but as with humans, there are ordinary swimmers and then there are the Michael Phelpses of the dog world. With a variety of water spaniels and water dogs hailing from different countries, choosing one of these fluffy specialized swimmers shouldn’t be a difficult task. Knowning that your dog excels at dealing with large bodies of water should give you that extra reassurance. If you have your eyes set on the Standard Poodle’s aristocratic bearing, the Portuguese Water Spaniel’s cheery disposition or the Lagotto Romagnolo’s keen enthusiasm, and have been mulling over whether to buy the dog over the last couple of weeks, what are you waiting for? JUST DO IT!