Considering adding a four-legged partner to your hunting excursion? A good hunting dog provides many benefits to you in the field, outside of the companionship and love the animal gives at home. So what is the best hunting dog breed for you?
Dogs do much of the work searching out birds, rabbits or other game or picking up a scent, leading you to your catch. Pointers will find the game and point to it, flushers will lead you to your target, and retrievers will happily bring you your catch once you’ve gotten the shot. Choosing the right dog for your hunting style will give you a loyal, tried and true partner in the field.
Are you looking for a dog that will be a pointer, flusher, or retriever? This can play into your decision as to which dog to choose. How often you hunt, the type of terrain, and what you are hunting should also factor into your hunting dog choice. Many dogs are good at more than one aspect of the hunt, but your decision may be based on one particular area.
English Setters, English Pointers, and Brittany Spaniels are all effective pointer dogs. Labrador Retrievers, Springer Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels are excellent flushers. Golden Retrievers, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, and Labrador Retrievers are tops when it comes to retrieving. Consider scent hounds as well – Beagles, Redbone Coonhounds, and Blackmouth Curs will all sniff out game effectively.
Figure out what purpose you want your hunting dog to serve, then research breeds that make the best hunting partner for your needs. Outdoor Life and Field and Stream have some in-depth articles that may help you research the perfect breed for you.
Your hunting dog will likely end up being more than just your companion in the field – it will likely be a member of your family, so take into consideration your home environment as well. Your perfect hunting companion is out there, waiting for years of adventure with you.