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Tips For Choosing a Bird Hunting Dog

Sep 1, 2007
Choosing the right bird dog for a hunter's needs is essential. There are many options out there, from a puppy that needs complete training, all the way up to an experienced bird hunting dog. There are also a number of options for how to take care of your dog, the environment he'll live in, and how to train him.

A hunter has a variety of options before him when he begins the search of his perfect bird dog. If a challenge is what the hunter craves, then a puppy might be the right choice. While more work will need to go into them in the beginning, the hunter can be sure that the dog gets trained to the hunter's specific needs; there will be no surprises.

On the other hand, an experienced dog can jump right into the field and hunt. If the hunter doesn't want to be bothered with the time it takes to train a puppy, an older dog may be the right choice, keeping in mind that this dog has been trained for another hunter's needs. You may encounter a few surprises along the way with a new and experienced bird dog.

A compromise between the two is a younger dog with some partial training. This dog still needs work and time put into him, but the hunter can leave his mark on the dog's training. This dog isn't so experienced that he's set in his ways.

The most important thing to look for in a dog is one that meets your specific needs. Keep in mind what type of bird you want to hunt. Another consideration is the type of environment the dog will be in. Will the dog be out in the natural elements? Many hunters prefer their dogs to be acclimated to the same type of environment they'll be hunting in.

There are also a number of options for kennels. The kennel may be heated, and something to consider are other dogs. Does the new bird dog get along with other dogs? Will more than one dog be sharing a kennel and will the kennel be big enough? Will the dog be able to get exercise on it's own, or will it rely on the hunter for an alternative form of exercise? All of these questions need to be asked before purchasing the dog.

Something else to consider is where you'll be hunting. There are many public lands available for hunter's to hunt, but all too often they are overcrowded with other hunters and their dogs. One option is a wild game habitat. These lands are operated by private citizens or groups, and they are maintained just for the hunter. There typically is a fee for use, but this fee goes to maintaining the property, and keeping the game well stocked and healthy.

If a hunter signs up through a commercial outfitter there are often generous bag limits, and a large number of private lands available for use, increasing the chance of success for a hunter and his dog.
About the Author
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