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Perfect Bird Hunting Dog

Aug 28, 2007
Hunting often requires a lot of exercise, for many, this is part of the reason they enjoy the hunt; the act of being out in nature, getting active. But bird hunting is an especially active sport by nature. Especially in marshy areas, it can be difficult to find a felled bird. This is where the bird dog comes in. These dogs are bred and trained for optimum bird hunting ability, and are much more adept at retrieving a felled bird than a hunter.

Bird dogs have many special skills that set them apart from other dogs. A bird dog must be incredibly obedient, and is always very smart. The dog will leave the hunter's sight to search for the downed bird so it's essential that the hunter can trust the dog to come back, with the bird in tow. The bird dog's nose has been trained for an incredible sense of smell. Most dogs play fetch, but their retrieval is based upon their eyesight; a bird dog's retrieval is based nearly entirely on his nose. The bird dog is also bred for improved eyesight too; especially in heavily wooded areas, the dog needs to be quick and alert and able to spot the slightest movement.

Some dogs that aren't well trained have a difficult time giving up the kill. The instinct to survive is present in many dogs today, but the bird dog's training needs to overcome that sense of possession so he'll surrender the bird to the hunter.

A dog that shows any hesitation in giving up the bird isn't a good hunting dog. Another thing to consider in choosing your dog is the environment he'll be in. When not in the field hunting, will the dog be in the house? Many hunters, especially if they have just one dog, choose to keep their dogs in the house. A strong bond is often built this way, and this is the foundation for a successful hunting relationship.

If the dog will be kept in the house, he needs to be family friendly. If there are small children in the household, a hunter needs to have utmost trust in his dog and it's temperament. Some bird dogs are so focused on the need to hunt, sometimes they aren't a very friendly dog. Look for a dog that is trustworthy around children and doesn't show aggression.

When searching for your bird dog, keep these points in mind, and know that while a quality bird dog can be expensive, they are also well worth their investment.
About the Author
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