Hunting is an age-old activity associated with humans. And as far as we know, dogs have been our hunting companions all these years. They are as much passionate about hunting as humans are. This relationship between humans and dogs is mutually beneficial: helping each other grow. In fact, dogs have evolved to be better hunters.
But discussing which dog breed is perfect for hunting could be asking if you could wear flip-flops for hiking. The ideal dog breed depends on what the hunters want and the quarry. If the hunter appreciates their dog delivering their hunt to their hands, Labradors are the right choice. If they’re hunting rabbits, beagles could be amazing runners!
Thus, this blog post took life. We curated this blog post with different games and breeds in mind. This blog post will help you understand the specialty of each hunting dog breed so you can make an informed decision. So, sit tight because we are going for a perfect dog hunt!
If you’re a waterfowl hunter or a fisherman, a Labrador could be a big help. They are the perfect companion for marking and retrieving a game for hunters and fishermen. They have the physical build to hunt in water. They have a double coat to provide warmth. The tail, webbed paws, and bone structure help in balanced mobility.
A Labrador Retriever’s intelligence is a bonus for the hunters. They can train hunting skills from a young age and adapt to whistle or hand signals, which are crucial for blind retrieving. After a tiring day at the field, they are excited to spend the rest of the day playing with kids at home.
It is a cross between a breed that protects the farmland with exceptional tracking skills (Bernese Mountain Dog) and an active duck hunter (Poodle).
However, when we hear of Poodle or a cross breed, we think of designer dogs on dog shows. But Poodle’s history tells otherwise. And a cross between a historical flushing dog and a tracking expert seems perfect. You may have heard of a Bernedoodle as a potential hunting dog breed for the first time. Therefore, we decided to curate a post for Bernedoodle Rescues to help you with the search.
However, Berne doodles are not an original hunting breed. But due to their parent breeds, they have a natural hunting instinct. They have the intelligence and trainability to learn hunting skills. Berne doodles are the right choice for someone who enjoys hunting and other outdoor activities.
Karelian Bear Dog
As the name suggests, this breed hunts a large game: bears. Karelian Bear Dog is the fearless hunter of Finland and Russia. This dog breed is confident and works independently. KBDs can work in harsh conditions, too. So let them do their work silently, as they will only bark to alert you as soon as they find any prey.
German Shorthaired Pointer
If you’re looking for a hunter for games of all sizes, a German Shorthair Pointer is an All-rounder. They can even track and point the Chukar for you (that is considered the most cunning upland bird game). They belong to the pointer category, where they help their owner track prey and point at them for better precision at aiming. They have exceptional scent abilities or “sharp nose” that helps find prey.
English Springer Spaniel
Don’t let the medium size with adorable ears fool you because English Springer Spaniels are ideal bird dogs. They have incredible smelling abilities to flush games and the eagerness to please their owners. They have the energy to cover the ground without any problem and the intelligence to close in a running rooster. Their retrieving game is spot-on. And with a pleasant temperament, you’d enjoy a hunting day with this cute boy.
A sighthound with lightning speed will help chase prey. Azawakh are a popular breed in Africa. They are perfect watchdogs and loyal companions to the families. Their strong and fast chase helps catch antelopes, wild boar, and other quick runners. So, if you’re looking for an independent hunting partner to find and hunt a game, we found the perfect match!
A deadly option for a rabbit hunt, a Beagle can strategically chase the rabbit in a circle so you can get a better shot. Hunting in a pack or alone, a Beagle can be a great partner for small games. They belong to the scent hound family. And with their scenting abilities and baying, you will not lose track of the prey and eventually succeed.
When talking about scent hounds, Bloodhound takes the lead. Deer, wild boar, rabbits, or even people (for law enforcement); Bloodhounds have strong noses that can track everyone and everything. These large dogs have the determination to win prey. However, ensure keeping them on a leash whenever outside, or they’ll call trouble at your doorstep.
Are you hunting mountain lions, wild boars, or other big games like bears? Then, Plott Hounds will be a suitable hunting partner for you. They are strong and clever, with excellent scenting abilities to sniff the prey from their lair. Their confident personality can confront a black bear and corner them. Meanwhile, their short barks will help you follow them through the path. For big game hunters, this dog breed could be their next best friend.
Cost Of Owning a Hunting Dog
Like any other dog breeds, hunting dogs require care and grooming. But they also need extra training and mental simulations to keep that hunting instinct intact. The estimated cost of owning a hunting dog is as follows;
- Purchase Amount: The cost of purchasing or adopting a dog. This amount varies from one breed to another and their age. It may also depend on where you’re adopting or purchasing from. For example, a Labrador Retriever can cost $800 to $2,000 or more. And a Bernedoodle cost can be around $2,000 to $5,000.
- Training: You can either opt for a professional trainer or do it yourself. A professional trainer can have hefty fees. But if you train your dog, you must invest in birds and pay to gain access to training grounds.
- Equipment: Training for a hunting dog requires equipment for efficiency. These may include collars, leashes, harnesses, protective gear, or electronic tracking devices. It will contribute to successful training and the dog’s safety. However, it is up to you to spend according to your budget.
- Healthcare: Regular vet checks are crucial to keep your hunting partner healthy. Preventative medicines, physical exams, vaccination, or emergency care may be costly but are necessary for a hunting dog’s lifestyle.
- Nutrition: Hunting dogs requires stamina and an active mind. Thus, they need tons of nutrition and proteins to keep their energy levels high. The food can range from a raw homemade diet to packaged meals starting from $60.
- Licenses and Permits: If you hunt on public conservation land, it could be an additional expense. You will need a permit to accompany your hunting dog with you.
Owning a hunting dog is as much a responsibility as owning a pet dog. It is crucial to be aware of the costs and expenses before committing to adopt a dog. Make an informed decision if you are ready to afford their lifestyle.
Choosing the right hunting partner is crucial for a successful hunting experience. And while traditional hunting dog breeds like Labrador Retrievers promise good performance, new hybrid dog breeds have begun to interest hunters with their unique abilities.
Secondly, budgeting before you decide to adopt a hunting dog is essential. It will help you decide on a hunting dog you can afford and maintain a lifestyle. These dogs require regular exercise, mental simulations, and nutrition to sustain their energy levels and physique. And a healthy and trained hunting dog will elevate the hunting experience.
So, whether you are hunting waterfowl, small games, or big animals, the right hunting dog will change your experience entirely. But remember to enjoy this adventure and make unforgettable memories as you take your Berne doodle or Plott hound to your next hunting event.