For hunting dogs, not only do they need to have normal obedience training, but they must also possess something a little “extra” in order to be a good hunting dog. What makes them different from a regular pet? There are a few unique characteristics that you can look for in a dog that will tell you if they are a solid hunting dog or not!
The first characteristic is irritability. This refers to a dog’s five different senses. In dogs, their sense of smell will be the strongest and a good hunting dog (no matter the breed) should be great with their nose. If the dog can utilize its senses well, especially its nose, then you are off to a great start.
The next characteristic to look for is good reflexes. The ability to change directions quickly when they pick up new scents or are retrieving something is extremely important. Their reflexes will also reflect on their athleticism and stamina. Hunting dogs often have to run for miles on a hunt, so the dog needs to be in great shape and have a body that is conducive for running. Good stamina is an essential characteristic.
Emotions are the next characteristic, and behaviors like wagging a tail or whimpering will always be present in any dog, but a good hunting dog will always share what it is feeling. Many people may think that an overly emotional dog would be a bad thing, but it is actually the opposite. A dog that shows its emotions will allow you two to connect and communicate much easier.
Next on the list is intelligence. This may be the most important characteristic of them all. Hunting dogs must be smart and able to understand what to do in different situations. Hunting can throw many different scenarios at a dog, and it must be able to make quick and smart decisions. In addition to all of that, it must have the ability to listen to its master at all times. You can see why intelligence is so important in a hunting dog.
While these are the basic characteristics of a good hunting dog, these are not the only ones that you may want to look for in a hunting dog. For example, if you are looking for a good duck hunting dog that will retrieve your birds, then you want a pup that is not afraid of water and is a good swimmer. A pointer or a flusher will need to have patience as it finds birds for you.
A good hunting dog is different for everyone. Luckily there are a few different characteristics to look for to ensure that the dog can be the best possible hunting hound that it can be.
For more great ideas on how to fish and hunt from the experts, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Hunting & Fishing Blog for more great tips & tricks.