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- Springer spaniel
- Labrador retriever
- Irish setters
Ok thats the conclusion, but the conclusion might be totally different for you depending on your preference so follow our reasoning here in this article about picking a hunting dog that is also a fantastic family member.
Size of the Dog
There are people who want small dogs, big dogs or medium-sized dogs. The size of the dog is determined by personal preference of the family. Additionally, the location of your home will dictate what size of family dog will go for, for example, living in an apartment will require a small or medium-sized dogs.
Health of the Dog
There are dogs that are prone to medical conditions, which means they need money and time, which is a limiting factor for most families. Also, there are dogs with great personalities but require frequent veterinary visits that can be too expensive. Therefore, it is important to look for family dogs that come from breeds that do not have major health problems.
Personality / Temperament of the Dog
Family dogs are expected to be friendly, outgoing, and get along with other people and animals. This is a critical factor especially for families that have small children or social families. Ensure that you choose a breed that has a good reputation when it comes to outgoing, socializing, and friendly personalities.
There are breeds that are known to be more active than others. Therefore, you should opt for a dog that will match your family’s activity levels. For example, if the family enjoys running for five miles, therefore, you should go for a dog that is highly active. On the other hand, if the family enjoys cuddles on the couch and down time between exercising, ensure that your dog will fit.
Fit to the Physical Location
Having rented apartments and owning a yard are critical factors that indicate the ability of your dog to fit to your location. There are some breeds that enjoy yards so that they are able to play and run around while other breeds will be okay with just relaxing in the house.
Time, Attention, and Energy
There are some breeds that are active and intelligent and require too much time, energy, and attention from the owners. Therefore, if your family does not have that, it is a bad idea to go for such breeds because these dogs will need mental stimulation and exercise.
What Could Be a Problem With Hunting Dogs?
Hunting dogs are not a 100% safe at all times, even when they are with their owners. They are bred to have a lust for hunting and also aggressive tendencies. This can be dangerous especially in cases where people are involved as people are somewhat unreliable at times and doesnt really consider that the dog is trained to hunt and chase after prey.
Susceptibility to Illnesses
Hunting dogs spend considerable amount of time in the woods. This increases susceptibility to health hazards such as ticks, poison ivy, hypoglycemia, snake bites, Lyme disease, heat stroke, Limber Tail Syndrome, foxtail infection, bloating, tongue injuries, and overexertion.
Ethical Concept Regarding Hunting
There are individuals who believe that hunting dogs give the hunter an unfair advantage. Another controversy is regarding animal rights as activists believe that hunting is an inhumane act towards the dog. They believe that these dogs are mistreated and/or neglected by their owners. Of course we hunters know that this so far from the truth that you can be but its an important factor to consider when choosing certain breeds, there will be a social stigma with some of them.
How Do We Pick the Correct Dog That Works in Both Situations?
Contrary to some beliefs, hunting dogs are known to make terrific family pets. This is due to the deep connection and partnership that these dogs have with human beings. There are things to consider when picking the correct dog that works as both family and hunting dogs. These include:
Choose Breeds That Can Be Used for Both Hunting and Family Life
There are different dog breeds that can be used as both family dogs and family dogs. These include springer spaniel, Labrador retriever, Irish setters, hounds, setters and pointers.
There are breeds that take more energy to train when you want the dog to be a hunting dog. Ensure that you choose a breed that is easy to train
What Type of Training Does it Require for the Dog to Work in Both Situations?
There are basic training that can be used for a dog that works as a family and hunting dog. These include:
This means that you will teach the dog to fetch things for you. You can use a toy or ball, where you will start by throwing it for short distances at first and extend the distance with training. Ensure that you offer the dog a treat once it returns the object.
Train the dog to wait until it is given a release word. You can use your hands to show the dog and also using the word “stay” and treat the dog once it follows the instruction. Combine the retrieve and staying training after the dog has mastered the staying training.
This is responding to come when you call the dog. Ensure that you get a word for your recall that you will use in the field or it can simply be whistling. Treat the dog when it responds to the call. Combine the three training, that is, retrieve, stay, and recall.
This is finding things using their sense of smell. You can start by hiding the dog’s treats in your home and let the dog search for them. You can give the dog clues at first and let them search for other treats. Ensure that you build confidence in the dog for them to be good in the training.
Ensure that the dog is able to different when to hunt and when to be friendly. This will come in handy since the dog will distinguish when it should be a family dog and when to be a hunting dog. Really important when socializing a dog to not overdo it. Imagine if you were forced to hug every person you met, even the ones you didnt like. It would after awhile get quite tiresome, right?
What Breeds Do We Suggest That Is Naturally Good in Both Situations?
They are very intelligent and love being around people. They are well behaved and gets along with children and other household pets. Therefore, they will require lots of attention from their owners, mostly because they thrive in challenges. These dogs may be overweight if they are not involved in exercises. They are good hunting dogs for first-time bird dog owners.
It is alert, intelligent, and friendly, as they get along with other pets and people. Overfeeding this breed of dogs can lead to them being overweight. Therefore, they should be given vigorous exercise to prevent being overweight. These exercises include fetching games and swimming. They have the ability to make great hunting dogs when the owner is patient and persistent training is involved. They are best known to have boundless energy.
The dog has a beautiful red coat and it is known for its vivacity. It is intelligent, energetic, friendly, and loves to be involved in family activities. However, it has a high energy levels that can be contraindication to families with small children. They require time, energy, and patience from the owners. They mature slowly and thus playfulness and mischievousness can be seen. It needs plenty of exercise to prevent cases of hyperactivity, destruction, and skittishness. Its enthusiasm is what makes it a great hunting dog, especially with training.
They make great pets because they are loyal to their owners and friendly. Hounds exhibit curious attitudes. They are also known to be great hunting dogs because of their acute sense of smell when following trails.
They are good family dogs that normally thrive when they spend time with the family. It is recommended that the dog should not live outdoors but rather enjoy the same comfort as the owners. They are good with children, however, are not best suited for families with toddlers. They are also wonderful hunting dogs because of their ability to point, by stopping and aiming their muzzle towards game. Therefore, they show the hunter the location of the quarry.
Thats concludes our guide to choosing a hunting dog that will also work as a fantastic family member. Best of luck with picking your new companion!
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36 years old, been hunting and fishing my entire life – love the outdoors, family, and all kinds of hunting and fishing! I have spent thousands of hours hunting hogs and training hunting dogs, but I’m always learning new stuff and really happy to be sharing them with you! hit me up with an email in the contact form if you have any questions.