Here are three things to know when choosing a hunting dog.
Choosing a hunting dog isn't the easiest decision you'll ever make in your life. Taking into account a dog's temperament and personality combined with your own necessities is a process that shouldn't be taken lightly, so here are three things to about choosing a hunting dog.
1. Know the breed you want
When choosing a hunting dog, be sure to understand and research the type of breed that best fits the type of hunting you most frequently do. There are several different breeds for several types of hunting. For example, a breed that is bred specifically for pheasant hunting will not be the proper breed for deer hunting and vice versa.
Ninety percent of deciding the proper hunting dog should go into researching the bloodlines, breeders and kennels to find out who has a reputation for producing the type of breed that suits you best. The other ten percent should be, simply, choosing the puppy itself.
2. Know the purpose of you pup
Oftentimes when choosing a hunting dog, amateur hunters think any hunting breed will be able to do what you want it to, but that's not always the case. It's important to know what role your dog will perform when hunting.
Will it be a retriever for waterfowl or will it flush quail? Will it be a dog that bays a hog, or will it point to a rabbit in a thicket? All these scenarios must be taken into account when considering the proper breed.
Be sure to ask other hunters what breed they like as well as professional trainers, and any other resources you can look into before deciding a breed. The more homework you can do to choose a breed, the more successful you will be.
3. Know the characteristics of a great hunting dog
When you finally get to that last ten percent and are looking at the litter, trying to choose between 5-10 puppies, what do you look for? Do you want a male or a female, an inside dog or outside dog, a small dog or a large dog?
When trying to decide between several dogs in a litter see which dog makes good eye contact with you and has that personal connection with you. Spend as much time with the litter as possible to view the pups that have more energy and the ones that have less, or the ones that personality might fit best with other hunting dogs that it comes in contact with on a hunt. Be sure the dog is healthy and is 7-9 weeks old give or take a week.