Posted on January 26, 2011
Not every dog is cut out for hunting.
Even if a dog comes from an extended line of impressive genes, there are other characteristics to consider before automatically assuming he’s fit for the field. With inspiration from Iron Spike Ranch, we’ve compiled a list of key traits that we think the best of the best hunting dogs posses. Keep these traits in mind when purchasing a puppy to be your future hunting companion or trying to decipher if the one you own has what it takes.
Genuine Love for Retrieving – Find the dog who knows how to play fetch before you ever teach him. The one who will want to continue to retrieve long after his body is aching and his mouth has gone dry.
Great Nose – In the case of tall grass or inclement weather, you will need his aid in searching out the prize. If he can smell it, he will undoubtedly help you find it.
Disciplined – Some need more training than others. Even the most active dogs will calm down when it’s time for work if they enjoy the sport.
Genetically Gifted – You don’t have to look far from the puppy to determine whether or not he turns out to be a keeper. If the parents maintained the traits of great hunting dogs, you can often assume their offspring will also.
Gentle Touch – In order to bring your kill back to you in proper condition, it is important for the dog to have a soft mouth. You probably don’t want you bird devoured before you’re ever in sight of it.
Obedient – If he listens well to commands and minds his manners, it will be a much more pleasant experience for you and him when out in the field.
Water Lover – Hunting dogs cannot be afraid of water just as much as they can’t be afraid of gun shots. If your bird drops in a pond and your dog refuses to go after it, you’ll be chasing your own prize.
Energetic – You want a playful pup. If he’s lazy, leave him on the couch.
Family Friendly – Chances are your pooch interacts well with the other loves of your life. As your hunting companion, it’s important that he gets along with the rest of the brood.
What other traits do you find to be important in a hunting dog? Which traits does your dog display?