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The tradition of dogs acting as hunting buddies started decades ago, and ever since, hunters opt to have an energetic dog that will chase down prey and successfully tackle them. A wise hunter knows that active hunting dogs are small rather than big, and that a little dog is swifter and slightly faster than some of these big dogs.
Let alone small dog breeds; there are hundreds of hunting dog breeds available. This large pool might make it difficult for you to narrow down your prospects.
3 of the Best Small Hunting Dog Breeds
There are many dogs to choose from, lucky for you, I have shortlisted some of the outstanding dog breeds that will serve as great hunting companions.
The Dachshund has a unique body build as compared to the other dogs. It has a long-backed body with very short legs. However, this does not limit the dog’s personality; it is a very affectionate and loving dog that is friendly even to strangers.
The dog’s standard weight is 16-32 pounds, however for a miniature (which is smaller) is under 11 pounds. The dog’s coating varies; your dog can either be smooth, long-haired, or wirehaired. Each type of surface requires a different approach when it comes to cleaning.
It is very smart with a big dog bark that contradicts its size. All its characteristics lead to the fact that this is an excellent watchdog and hunting companion. It may appear to be stubborn in nature; however, this may act as an advantage when handling cheeky prey like the rabbit.
Caring for the Dachshunds
How to Groom the Dachshund Dog
The Miniature Dachshunds is available in three different coatings, which require unique approaches when it comes to grooming. The smooth-coated breed is the easiest to groom since its surface may be termed as wash and wear. Just a little wipe, and your dog is clean.
However, when it comes to the long-haired version, the dog requires more attention. After cleaning the dog, frequent brushing of its coating is a necessity to keep it neat. The dog is very comfortable as you brush its fur; this means that the dog enjoys brushing.
The wirehaired version of the breed may require shaving, several times a year to clear the protruding strands and require trimming of the nails.
What to feed them?
The Dachshunds tend to put on excess weight quickly. Carefully monitor its pressure by ensuring you do not exceed the required quantity of food. Also, ensure that you feed the dog with only the recommended quality of dog food, avoiding foods that are highly rich in fat.
Do They Require Exercise?
These dogs are very energetic and require a substantial amount of exercise daily. This frequent exercise helps to burn off the extra calories and keep them fit for taking down various games while hunting. Approximately two walks of average distancing are enough exercise for this breed.
Does a Dachshund Need Attention?
Despite its enthusiastic nature to the outdoors, this breed does not do so well by itself. It craves human attention and affection, and if left for too long, it may start peculiar behaviors like digging up holes or consistent barking.
This breed does not have any health concerns that should worry you as long as you feed the dog and provide enough exercise. With proper care, this breed can serve you for 12 to 16 years.
Remember to monitor the dog’s activity as it has a susceptible back.
The miniature Dachshunds breed is an independent hunter with outstanding bravery to tackle small and medium-sized prey.
Make sure you check out massive guide to Dachshund here
The Patterdale Terrier is a reliable and energetic dog, and you will be lucky to have it as your partner. It’s small in size, with a perfectly balanced body.
The body structure of this dog is magnificent as it portrays a mighty breed in a small body. Its firm white teeth are very sharp and can scissor even the harsh prey. With a flexible bone structure, the Patterdale is very swift on the field and has the ability to chase down any moving object.
It originates from North England, where its primary use was hunting down rats and foxes in the English fields. It is important to note that with this breed, performance comes before appearance.
Characteristics of the Patterdale Terrier Dog Breed.
A healthy Patterdale terrier weighs between 11 to 13 pounds. This is proportionally correct to its body height, the Terrier stands twelve inches tall. It is swift and confident in tackling prey twice its size.
No Health Concerns
The Patterdale breed has no illnesses associated with it, with good quality and quantity food your dog will be excellent. As the Patterdale is a hunting dog, ensure that regular exercise is part of its daily routine. Frequent exercises help keep the dog active and in shape.
Requires Little Grooming
All dogs require frequent grooming, and this is also the case with the Patterdale Terrier. Routine cleaning of its fur will be the first step to having a neat and healthy dog. It is a very active dog and is somehow playful. It is recommendable to use a patient cleaning approach when handling this dog.
If you are looking for a lively spirited hunting partner, well, here is a match made in heaven. The Manchester terrier is a loyal and dedicated hunting partner that will spot and efficiently chase after any moving object. It is potent enough to tackle both medium and small-sized opponents.
With a savage bark, this small dog is a dedicated hunter that will improve your hunting game significantly. Its origin is North America, like most Terrier breeds, and was introduced to other regions by English settlers. This dog is an extremely helpful partner and makes an excellent watchdog.
Adapts Easily to the Environment
The Manchester Terrier can quickly adapt to its environment. It will perfectly adapt to small spaces like apartments, and taking a few steps outside the room will be enough practice for this breed.
All Round Friendly
One fascinating trait with the Manchester terrier breed is its friendliness towards humans. You can also keep it with other pets.
Easy to Train
When training this dog, even the most straightforward approaches have a significant impact. The dog is intelligent and very eager to learn, making it even easier for the trainer since the dog is fully collaborative.
The dog has a fantastic prey dive, which comes in handy while hunting. Despite its size, the Manchester breed dog can take down opponents like the fox. It is small and fast, making it easier to chase small rodents.
Easy to Groom
When it comes to grooming, this dog does not ask much of you. Regular cleaning of its coating is mandatory to get rid of germs or even parasites that might have found their way around your hunting partner. A thorough wipe twice each week is a good start.
What You Need to Look for in a Hunting Dog.
When it comes to picking the perfect hunting dog partner, you need to put a few factors into consideration. I have explained some areas on which you need to be keen on while choosing a hunting dog.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. This concept also marries our scenario; the puppy follows in their parent’s footsteps. With this knowledge, you can predict a puppy’s performance from the parent’s records.
Before deciding on getting a hunting dog, you will need to consider the complexity of the tasks the dog is to handle. Consider the maintenance expenses of the dog; different breeds require different maintenance approaches. You can also have an outline of the pros and cons of the strains to narrow down your options.
To get a general outlook of your prospect’s health, you can take a closer look at its parent’s health history. An unhealthy animal is also very easily identifiable. A fit dog has clean ears, nose, and mouth, free from redness and traces of irritation.
Male or Female
It is no surprise that gender is in consideration when choosing a hunting dog. Male breeds are more masculine and tend to pick quarrels with other dogs to ascertain dominance. However, a female kind is the opposite of this; it is more affectionate and does not like it if you push it too hard. Females puppies, however, tend to be more expensive.
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A serious hunter knows that a small pet is more efficient as compared to massive dogs. Small dogs are also more playful and intelligent in nature, making them easily trainable.
I was not able to decide on the best breed. However, from the three examples given above, I believe you will find a perfect hunting companion, to tag on those hunting adventures.
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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.