The use of hunting dogs for the pursuit of game has been in practice ever since man and dog discovered they made great companions. Whether opting for sight hounds, scent hounds, pointers or retrievers the relationship between a hunter and his canine counterpart is a special one. While they are companions, in the field there is a working relationship between hunters and their hunting dogs. Dogs can be trained to obey verbal commands, hand gestures and whistle signals. A hunter who trains his or her dog well has the advantage of depending on their companion to get at game that the hunter cannot.
Because dogs are pack animals and eager to please, they often enjoy hunting just for the chance to be included. While hunting dogs work hard to please their master’s, certain breeds have characteristics that naturally fit many types of hunting. Retrievers or water retrievers are unrivaled in their ability to recover downed ducks or geese from ponds at any temperature. Scent hounds are spectacular at trailing game by smell even in the most extreme of conditions. Pointers are fantastic in their ability to track and establish the specific location of small game. While these dogs love to please, their instinctive characteristics often make training and hunting much easier.
Training hunting dogs can take skill and most importantly, patience. There are many resources available to help hunters through the process of making their dog field ready. For the most part, it is always the best idea to work with a professional trainer. A professional trainer can help a hunter to understand what he or she sees versus what the dog may be seeing. It can save a lot of frustration and, in the long run, make for a better working relationship between the hunter and his or her four legged hunting buddy. A hunter and dog that work well together in the field makes for a hunt that is both successful and satisfying.
While hunting dogs can be found for sale just about anywhere, there are those who breed dogs for hunting from very exclusive bloodlines. These dogs are often registered and carry quite a heavy price tag. While it is not necessary to buy a dog from this type of breeder, all reputable breeders will be able to show purebreed documentation to prospective buyers with ease. When purchasing a certain type of hunting dog, it is important to ask the breeder specific questions about their dogs and their experience breeding them. It is also wise to take note of the surroundings and the condition of the kennels. In fact, good dog breeders are very hygienic and quite picky about whom they sell their dogs to.