Choosing a Hunting Dog that is Right for You


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Choosing a Hunting Dog that is Right for You

Choosing a puppy and picking a hunting partner is a big decision. Breed and Breeder

Most important... is what breed of dog best suits your hunting needs. Visit local breeders of the types of dogs you are considering.

Breeders don't just want to sell dogs; their reputations rely on putting the right dog with the right person and situation.

Choosing a puppy and picking a hunting partner is a big decision. While a family dog still needs to be carefully selected to fit into your home life, deciding on the right hunting dog requires a bit more forethought.
Breed and Breeder

Most important... is what breed of dog best suits your hunting needs. While some breeds crossover well, others tend to excel in one area.

Books and the Internet are invaluable research tools. This can help you understand how different breeds deal with home life or how much non-hunting exercise they will require.

Choosing a puppy Don’t skimp on this step, in-depth research should help you narrow down your choices.

Visit local breeders of the types of dogs you are considering.

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Talk to them about the type of hunting you do, your home situation, and how much time you are willing to devote to training.

Breeders don't just want to sell dogs; their reputations rely on putting the right dog with the right person and situation.

Inform them what your future plans are with the dog. After meeting with breeders, you should have a good idea which dog is right for you.
Observe the Litter

While bloodline doesn't matter in a family pet, it is of the utmost importance when choosing a puppy that will become your hunting dog.

Be sure to see both parents and take a good look at their pedigrees. People who breed show dogs often select those that lack the traits useful in a hunting dog, so avoid litters by dogs bred for show. Though this is not always the case.

After finding parents that look good on paper, ask to tag along to watch the parents train, or better yet, join them on an actual hunt. An experienced breeder won't hesitate to prove their dogs' bloodline, but remember you will be paying for that heritage as well as for the individual puppy.

Choosing a Puppy

Choosing a puppy If your earlier research was thorough, you should know what traits to look for in the breed you have selected.

However, choosing a puppy goes beyond physical characteristics; proper disposition is imperative in a hunting dog.

Do not choose a pup prior to six weeks of age as their temperament can still change in that time.

As most breeders won't allow pups to leave their mother until seven or eight weeks old, this still leaves a fair window for you to select the one that meets your needs before they are sold. Some breeders prefer to wait 10 weeks.

Ask the breeder his opinion which pup might be a good match for your situation. The breeder would have spent quite a bit of time with his puppies, and has figured out the most dominate, friendly, independent, skittish, etc. Every dog has their own unique personality.

You want to look for a pup that is not shy or skittish; the one that wanders over to lick your hand is a good contender.

However, if a pup tries to lay claim to you, they are likely dominant which could be a problem later on, so be sure dominance is something you want in a dog before selecting a puppy that displays the trait.

A big issue for a prospective hunting dog is how the pup will react to noise. Get down low to the ground and make a loud sound. If a puppy runs off and doesn't come back to you, they may not be the best choice for hunting.

You also want your pup to have been physically handled by the breeder, so they are not afraid of human interaction.

If you follow these steps and make sure you pick the right breeder, litter and puppy, you will be well on your way. Remember that choosing a puppy is itself a first step; proper training once you get your new addition home is crucial.

 

1 comments:

  1. JM said,

    Will a lab retriever be a good hunting dog? I'm choosing between a lab and a german shepherd. Which of them will be easy to train?

    on April 22, 2011 at 3:24 AM