What Is a Gun Dog? – This Is Why You Need One

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A gun dog also referred to as a bird dog, is a type of hunting dog that is developed to help humans in retrieving and finding game, usually birds. There are three primary types of gun dogs; pointing breeds, flushing dogs, and retrievers.

What’s the Difference Between a Hunting Dog and a Gun Dog?

There is not a huge distinction between a hunting dog and a gun dog. This is because a gun dog is a type of hunting dog just a more specific expression. What separates the hunting dog from the gun dog is the type of hunting the dog is good for. While hunting dogs are skilled at hunting different prey, the gun dog is skilled at bird hunting. Most people refer to gun dogs as bird dogs due to this reason.

Which Breeds Are Usually Gun Dogs?

The main gun dog breeds include the following;

However, gun dog breeds are usually categorized into broader types such as:

  • Pointers
  • Setters
  • Retrievers
  • Spaniels
  • Water dogs

For What Purpose Do You Have a Gun Dog?

Yes, gun dogs are bred to help humans in finding and retrieving game such as rabbits and birds. However, they do so in various ways meaning that there are so many reasons for having a gun dog. These reasons include the following:

Finding Shot Game

Certain breeds of gun dogs only specialize in tracking and finding already shot game. This makes them practical when you fire from a far distance, and you wouldn’t be able to find your kill quickly. These gun dogs are also great when you hunt in huge packs.

Flush Out Live Game

Some gun dog breeds specialize in finding live game hidden and flushing them out. These gun dogs are great in large fields that are hard to survey at a glance. They are also practical when you want to kill a lot of game at a single time.

A Combination of the Two

Most guard dogs can flush out prey and track the kill. Fulfilling a combination of the two roles make them a great companion for hunters. These guard dogs ensure that you get high-quality game meat that is fit for human consumption.

What Are the Characteristics of a Good Gun Dog?

A good gun dog needs to have specific characteristics so that they can become effective. Some of these characteristics of a good gun dog include the following:

Stamina and Endurance

A gun dog will require a lot of stamina and endurance since hunting sessions can last a long time. Understand that hunting is a physical activity than needs the gun dog to be active throughout. Endurance is equally essential because hunting sessions occur in different weather conditions.

Healthy Joints and Bones

Through proper dieting and training, a good gun dog will develop healthy joints and bones. Most gun dog trainers use nutritional supplements to ensure that dogs get healthy and strong bones. Healthy joints and bones are vital for guaranteeing endurance and stamina.

Healthy Coat

Why should a gun dog have a healthy coat? A healthy coat protects the gun dog from adverse weather conditions during hunting. The health coat will also protect the gun dog from the atmosphere, which is critical during hunting.


While hunting, you will encounter different kinds of wild game, and both you and your gun dog need to have some sense of fearlessness. A good dog won’t get scared quickly by other wild game and runoff. With a fearless gun dog, you will be more successful on your hunt.

Right temperament

A good gun dog needs to know when to adjust behavior depending on the situation and individual. The right temperament ensures that the gun dog can be a good companion both during the hunting sessions and at home.

Is a Pointer a Gun Dog?

Yes, a gun dog is a type of gun dog that is used in tracking and finding game. Pointer dogs have an instinct of stopping and aiming at a game using their muzzle. Pointers help hunters know where game is so that they can get into range. The pointers are bred selectively from dogs that have abundant backing and pointing instinct.

How Much Does a Gun Dog Cost?

The price of a gun dog will range depending on several factors, including the type, age, and training. Typically a puppy will go for between $700-$2000 depending on a lot of different aspects. However, training a gun dog is not cheap since there are a lot of requirements.

A fully grown and trained guard dog will, therefore, cost from around $2500 -$4000. Having a gun dog is not cheap, and you will need to invest a lot. However, they are a good hunting dog if you are a seasoned hunter.

Can Any Dog Be a Gun Dog?

Yes, any dog can be a gun dog but with proper and adequate training. You need to find a trained professional to turn your dog into a gun dog. However, take note that you need to start early so that the training takes a shorter period. Training a puppy is more straightforward than having to train a fully grown dog.

Can Gun Dogs Be Pets?

Yes, Gun dogs can be pets, especially when they hardly for hunting in the fields. A gun dog that wasn’t fully trained becomes a pet much easier than one that was fully trained. Gun dogs have a good temperament, which makes then great pets, just like most of the other dog breeds. However, it is not advisable to turn a fully trained gun dog into a pet.


Gun dogs are great hunting companions that ensure you get the most out of all your hunting sessions. Although they can be rather expensive, they are worth every penny you spend. Ensure that you get a high-quality gun dog from a certified and qualified trainer. Do extensive research before making the purchase.

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