When people hunt small prey, they usually use hunting dogs
to bring their kills. If hunting dogs didn't exist, hunters would need to go
find the prey they hit on their own, losing time. A hunting dog that is trained
properly will reduce the amount of useless work that the hunter needs to do.
But, you can't just train any dog to help with hunting. There are special
breeds designed to perform best in the conditions that hunting requires.
But, you can't find a hunting dog like you would any other normal dog breed.
These dogs are well trained to be able to meet the requirements of hunting. The
training process for a hunting dog is usually a long one, that needs the
trainer to be patient and to know how to work with the dog. As for the dog, he
needs to have the right attributes to become a proper hunting dog.
Choosing the right breed
As I said before, you can't use just any type of dog to train for hunting. You
should work with a dog breed that is specially designed for this, and that has
a history of serving men in this capacity. You need a dog breed that is made to
do this kind of job.
Some of the dog breeds that are well suited to be hunters include pointers,
spaniels and retrievers. Each of these three have their own traits that are
unique to them. Once you choose such a dog, the trainer needs to make the most
out of their unique traits.
One trait that all hunting dogs have is a great sense of smell. This helps them
track the prey in the field. Another trait is that they're adapted to outdoor
life and can be easily trained. If you want the best possible hunting dog,
choose a breed that meets all the requirements. In most cases, people choose
Beagles, Dachshunds, Bloodhounds or Labradors
as hunting dogs.
What dog to choose?
If you want to train a dog to hunt, you shouldn't choose one that is already
fully grown. You should go with a puppy, since his behavior isn't formed yet
and he can be trained easily. The second requirement would be for the dog to
have some affinity to the handler. You can't expect for that affinity to form
alone. This is why you should train the dog personally, or at least assist the
trainer with it.
What does training usually entail?
A hunting dog needs to be able to master these six tasks:
f) Following hand signals
What about scent and gun fire?
Some dogs will be scared when they hear gun fire. So they need to be specially
trained to get used to it. Usually, this is done by conditioning the dog, by
getting him used both with game birds and gun fire.
Game birds will be associated this way with gun fire. When he will hear it in
the future, he will know that when the hunter shoots, he needs to look for the
bird. After they get the prey, they will expect to hear the gun fire again.
One thing you should do when training the dog, is getting him used to a certain
scent, depending on what you want to hunt with him. If you're looking to hunt
boar, than he should know the boar scent, so he can track it.
It's much harder to do dog training than it is to train them in other areas.
But, if you're a true hunter, you will need a great dog to assist you.