Hunting dogs are certainly the best possible ally of the hunter, as they sniff and scavenge for prey in the deepest and darkest brush of the forest. There are many different possibilities for a hunting dog type that you can take on your next trip. The type of dog you should take on your hunting trip should be directly related to the type of hunting you are planning on. If you are planning on hunting fur-bearing animals, for example, you would be more satisfied with a hound than you would be with a terrier. Regardless of what dog you choose to take with you on your next hunting trip, you can be sure that you will have made a new friend by the end of the journey.
The most common main category of hunting dogs is the hound. Hounds are actually divided into two categories from there: the sighthound and the scent hound. As their names imply, each sub-category of dog type refers to a certain skill that the dog tends to be more proficient in. Sighthounds, like the Whippet, are adapted to hunting because of their visual acumen. They practice a method that is known as coursing, referring to the notion of spotting the prey from a long distance and following it in a quick pursuit. Scent hounds, like the Coonhound, work by scent rather than sight. They tend to pick up on a trace of the prey from the ground and follow that scent, hopefully to the prey. Scent hounds often work in packs and are regarded as having some of the most sensitive noses of all other dog types.
The next classification of dogs used for hunting is the gun dog. These dogs are used mostly by short range hunters using shotguns. There are three sub-categories of gun dogs: flushing spaniels, pointing breeds and retrievers. Again, their names are reflective of the particular skill that the dog has to offer the hunter. The retrievers, once known as water spaniels, are great for finding and getting shot or killed game for the hunter. If the hunter kills a duck, the retriever heads over to pick it up and brings it back to the hunter. The pointing breed, such as an English setter, tend to “point out” the prey by pointing at upland birds or other upland animals being hunted. The pointing breed of dogs sometimes also help flush the prey out from their hiding spot. The flushing spaniels, such as the English Cocker spaniel, are used to locate and spring the prey for the hunter. They are trained to remain close to the hunter, ensuring an easy kill.
Still another popular type of hunting dog is the terrier. Terriers are used to hunt mammals, for the most part. These animals, such as the Lakeland terrier, are used to locate the actual den of the animal and spring or capture the animal. Some terriers are bred to kill the animal at the animal’s den. A large number of terriers are used to hunt what are known as “pest species”. The pest species refer to groundhogs, hunted by the Jack Russel terriers, or the badger or fox, hunted by the Fell terrier. The legality of some of these hunts is in question, so you may want to check your local regulations before you set upon and hunt a fox.
There are many particulars that make using hunting dogs a popular option for hunting. Whether you choose a sighthound or a scent hound, you can be assured that your companion hound will be working for you at finding your prey. Using a gun dog can not only provide great companionship, but it can bring prey right to your doorstep and literally take the hunt out of hunting. Terriers not only make a vigorous hunting companion, but they also make for a nice domesticated animal. Make sure that you consider the hunting dog type before you go out on the hunt so that you can bring the best possible breed with you and land the best possible kill for this hunting season.