There are a number of different breeds of dogs that can be used for a variety of purposes, especially bird dogs, of which there are some twenty known among hunters, so it is a wide choice that can satisfy the type of hunting and taste of the hunter.
How to train bird dog? However, the choice of a hunting dog should be dictated, less by the breed, though race is important and more by the quality of the individual.
By the quality of a dog I mean that it is the dog that fits the hunter, that is, his affinities, and according to the game he hunts and the terrain in which the game is hunted.
It is also very important that the dog also matches the hunting style that the hunter prefers.
All of these parameters should be taken into account, as there are large and small differences between certain breeds of hunting dogs in the ability of dogs to participate in a particular type of hunting.
Each breed has its own characteristic traits that characterize breed, moral and practical, and within the breed each individual has a different temperament.
According to the above bird birds I would divide first of all into English and continental because in the very description of the breed there are certain easily visible differences.
English bird dogs
English breeds are known for their higher speed of movement in the field and a wider search for a game, but there are slower moving and catching individuals like continental bird dogs.
Another important feature is that these dogs do not have the disadvantage of missing game animals because in the very creation of the breed and the way of hunting, special breeds have been created for them, which specialty is the bringing of game, which is called “retrievers”.
Continental bird dogs breeds
Continental breeds are characterized by somewhat quiet work in the field.
Their movement, unlike the typical English breed, is the half-gallop or fast trot.
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Weimaraners and their characteristic movements are described in this way. In addition to the difference in movement, there are some other features that set them apart from English birders.
First of all, the German race, which includes Weimaraner as the oldest.
In addition to working in the field, they should be extremely fond of water and ready to work in the water as well as work on the blood trail.
They need to be capable of catching large game animals, but unlike English breeders, they are also very keen on predators such as foxes, jackals, raccoons …
A certain number of people are trying to develop in dogs what is not exactly their main breed of race.
Thus, English dogs are required to bring wild animals, which some dogs do very well, but continental dogs are also asked to move around like a point or setter in the field.
In addition, certain breeds of dogs are selected and breeders are controlled and individuals are given the ability to perform such tasks.
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However, it is often the case that other important things for the breed are overlooked, so dogs lose some of the main characteristics that describe the breed.
It is most pronounced in the breed German short-haired bird dog, but also in other breeds.
Weimaraner is not very suitable for this type of selection, but there are individuals who can measure their speed with the fastest English dogs.
In terms of hunters’ needs, it would be smarter and more useful to select dogs according to two current styles, English and Continental.
It should suit the most demanding hunters, all according to their build and their temperament so that in the race itself, one can choose between faster and slower dogs.
It goes without saying that the quality of the nose and other features are at the required level.
The choice of hunting dog should first be in the function of hunting and terrain on which the dog will serve its owner hunter.
Based on the needs, a breed is selected which, according to its basic characteristics, most closely meets the requirements.
After that comes the choice of the individual in the breed. Their breeders have already affirmed that they breed high quality working dogs for the purpose of practical hunting.
Unlike other hunting breeds at Weimaraner, for the sake of beauty, there are a number of breeders who absolutely disregard hunting traits.
Special attention should be paid to those breeders who use only dogs with distinct hunting characteristics for breeding.
Bird dog breeds characteristics
The vast majority of hunters want a dog that is able to hunt for several days in a row, alternating trot, half-gallop, and canter.
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These are the most basic characteristics of continental bird dogs, which does not mean that English breeds are also not capable of galloping for several consecutive days.
This primarily depends on how the breeding dog was selected based on the type of dogs that formed the basis of that selection.
The fact is that a dog will be able to withstand most of its movement is natural despite its anatomy.
Dogs that run games for fifteen minutes at an incomparable speed in relation to their anatomy are not huntable in most cases because they cannot withstand such a running intensity for half a day in hunting.
Only some dogs are able to separate the game from hunting and adjust to whether they are taken to a game or a hunt.
Individual dogs that can do this are valuable because as such they are an ideal specimen of a breed dog.
A number of breeders are aware that dog breeds are evolving. Some of the breeds between them were valued 20 and 30 years ago as perfect.
Now they are no longer fully satisfying all the requirements of hunting, that is, they are increasingly deviating from those basic characteristics of the race itself.
This is especially pronounced in the German short-haired bird dog that has evolved through selection.
One part of this breed has become a dog for show and in the real hunt, they are almost unusable.
If often hunted in wide, open spaces, wildlife is usually rarer and more frightened. This information points us to choosing a dog capable of a wide range of motion. Such a dog will quickly conquer the terrain and discover the game, which will be firmly and safely marked after detection.
This assumes that the dog also has an excellent nose so that it can match the speed of odor reception with the speed of movement.
Such terrains and dog work are more suitable for older hunters with less movement than dogs with restricted movement. The hunter must travel with them along the course of the hunting day, for several miles to find the game.
This is much more tedious. The English breed of dog is somehow more intended for such terrains and hunting methods.
In narrower, more crisscrossed, and covered terrains, the game is usually more abundant (often from cultivation). Dogs with quieter work will be better suited to such conditions. These are usually continental breeds, which is an advantage in such terrains as they more successfully track the trail and find wounded and killed game.
In addition to bird dogs, spaynels can be used very successfully in hunting, and after finding them, the savages do not stop but pick them up immediately.
At first glance, this seems to make it difficult for hunters to hunt because they do not have time to prepare for safe aiming and shooting because the dog does not mark the game.
However, by monitoring the work of this type of dog, one can notice the moment when the dog is close to the game and when it can be expected that the game will move and become a target for the hunter.
Dogs of this type are very useful in most hunting grounds where it is necessary for the dog to have a smaller radius of movement, ie on terrains that are more overgrown with vegetation.
Dogs that are hunted in this way are both retrievers and springers and they are characterized by being very successful and at work after shooting in search of and bringing a shot game.
In addition to the peculiarities and characteristics of the dog breed, a great role in everything is played by the training by which the dog is directed to do exactly what we as hunters want.
At first glance, it seems that forcibly restricting the work of birds is contrary to their nature.
However, with proper training, this limitation should be turned into directing towards the desired way and type of movement so that we have an assistant in the hunt on whom we can rely.
A dog that is a galloper by nature cannot be easily forced to work in a trot way or vice versa, but it can be directed to adapt its movement to the type of terrain and the way the owner moves.
If the whole world were to hunt the same game in the same way, only one breed would suffice, which would possess all the qualities required for a single-use.
However, this is not exactly the case, so among the hunters on the same terrain can be found those who prefer hunting with English breeds, others with continental bird dogs.
They are all right and all are equally successful in hunting which leads to only one possible conclusion that there is no ideal breed of hunting dog but that there are good and bad individuals in every breed intended for hunting.
The hunting culture itself and the affinities vary from territory to territory.
This led to the selection and the creation of a large number of different breeds capable of successfully helping the hunter in the hunt.
At the outset, I said that dogs are first divided into English and continental birders because English and continental hunting cultures differ.
The terrains on which the ace hunts as well as the game itself also differ.
With the modernization of the entire society and the reduction of living space, the space in which there is less and less space for a large number of hunting dogs that are used for various purposes is also reduced.
Accordingly, there are many hunters who would like to have a dog for everyone:
– to mark firmly as a point,
– to work methodically as a setter,
– to bush like a springer,
– to be durable as a Breton,
– to follow the trail like a hound,
– to fetch and work in the water as a Labrador.
Many are inclined to evaluate the qualities and shortcomings of one race according to one or two individuals they had, which is certainly wrong.
This is not easy, as the variations are large within each breed.
Hunting reflexes atrophy the dogs of the most famous hunting breeds, if they do not have a working heritage in several generations.
Following all these needs, breeds have emerged that are classified as versatile hunting dogs, including Weimaraner, German Wirehaired Dog, Little Minsterlender, … which can certainly meet the broadest requirements of most hunters today.
Get a puppy or an adult dog?
A puppy dog
The eternal dilemma of hunters is whether to choose a puppy or an adult trained dog when purchasing?
A puppy is considered to have certain advantages.
The two-to-four-month-old could not acquire bad habits, nor bond with one person, as he usually does in the fifth month.
On the other hand, you can make a puppy what suits you best, so that it gives you pleasure during your entire working life with your concrete behavior at home and in hunting.
The virtues and vices he acquires will depend mostly only on you.
However, no one can guarantee what it will be like when the puppy grows up, but if you have chosen it carefully, it is certain that the risk will be much lower.
Buying a puppy is a lottery, but if it comes from parents who have proven themselves by versatile work in practical hunting, you are almost certain that you have not made a mistake, but you have a chance to draw a prize.
It is known that the characteristics of the parents are passed on to the offspring:
– exterior and
– working, ie hunting
This does not mean that the puppy will be the champion’s parents and will only be the champion.
It takes a lot of luck and work to make it so.
It should be noted that it is a well-established opinion that it is easier to train the descendants of champions in their work, because the selection has done its thing in several generations.
This is not always the case. Extreme things are often done in the selection of “champions”, so it is possible to get extreme offspring in both positive and negative terms.
For choosing a puppy that should become a good hunting dog, the most important thing is to choose a puppy from those parents who have given a large number of good hunting dogs so far.
It should be known that every dog is usable for hunting from the litter, unlike those where there is one “champion” in the litter and the others are unusable for hunting.
The choice of puppies should not be based on the low price of the puppy.
It often turns out to be much more expensive later than those puppies that were much more expensive in the beginning.
The price is never high if the puppy is well and that is a rule that every future owner should follow.
Puppies should not be bought exclusively through advertisements and letters, because you can be deceived.
It is best to go on the spot, study:
– see parents if possible and individuals of previous litters,
– method of cultivation,
– puppy nutrition,
– their appearance
– and state of health
You should choose a happier and livelier puppy, according to which the temperament is assessed.
It is best to give food to the whole litter and notice the one that first arrives on the food bowl, which pushes the others and takes better pieces and more.
First, that the puppy is resourceful, which is a significant quality for hunting.
Then, he shows predation, which is a sign that it will be easier to work with him in training and that it will be easier to master everything that is required of him.
In addition, it will be easier for you to raise and train him, because he will appreciate the reward, which is an important condition in training, more, as greedy.
Choose puppies with wider and deeper breasts, because they will be more durable in hunting. There is a saying, “A dog does not run with its feet, but with its chest.”
Such puppies are stronger, sharper, and more combative. Avoid puppies that are smaller than others in the litter as they usually remain immature.
Clap your hands as they eat to spot what they are afraid of, because they will probably be afraid of being shot and should be avoided, even when they have a nice appearance and hair color.
The purchase of puppies with serious defects that are transmitted as:
– bright or multicolored eyes,
– Predator view
– depigmentation on the eyelids and muzzle,
– one or both testicles invisible,
– pale in color,
– congenital deafness,
– protruding or retracted lower jaw.
You should also look at the temperature in the puppy’s anus, which should be 38.5 to 38.7 degrees C, not to cough and not to have diarrhea.
A bloated belly is a sign that it is uncleaned of worms.
Eyes shiny, expressive, not teary, and stern.
Teeth should be white and without yellow spots, which can be caused by some diseases.
Choose the color at will, but it is better than the cysts are “patterns” because it is easier to notice in nature.
Someone checks the sense of smell by smearing two fingers with sausage and passing them in front of the puppy’s snout. The one who first smells the sausage has a better sense of smell.
If you are getting a young dog, 7 to 12 months old, you know what you have in front of you, because its organism and character are already mostly formed.
If there are flaws, they have already been shown. If all is well you should think about training. Whether it has already been done with him or not.
It is best to start from scratch. It is never too early or too late to approach dog training provided he has not already hunted.
A friend of mine, a hunter, bought a 4-year-old Breton, which was never performed in nature. She quickly woke up hunting, and later she was considered one of the best birds in the region.
It should take at least 2 months before you start working to get to know and love you, and you achieve this by doing it as much as possible, including feeding, walking, playing, and the like.
If there is little time left until the opening of the hunt, increase the number of daily exercises or shorten them to the minimum necessary, which will ensure that you master it as much as possible in the hunt.
Do you buy a trained adult dog?
If you are getting an older, trained dog, you should definitely try it in nature in the presence of its owner.
See for yourself his enterprisingness and other hunting qualities. You should not be satisfied with what is said about him or opinions based on wrong hunting criteria.
You should write down the commands and means of coercion used by his teacher.
In short, you need to completely replace its previous owner, using exactly the same words and procedures that the dog has already adopted.
The dog never forgets but learned. He has an outstanding memory.
Bringing him home should provide him with the best possible conditions of accommodation and food and a very gentle and friendly procedure to gain his trust in you as soon as possible.
You don’t have to go hunting with him until, as they say, you “take him in your arms”. You will achieve this when you ask the dog to perform at your command at least a few important actions that he has already learned.
Of course, you start this only when he is completely free and used to the new environment. You must not be satisfied with half the work of the dog, because this is not allowed in training.
The dog will quickly feel the firmness of your hand and will behave accordingly. Depending on that, he works better and more disciplined by changing owners.
So, in order to master a dog, the most important thing is that he comes to the first call with a voice and a whistle.
He needs to go along with his foot and other things, which he has already learned, and if he is not, you have to start learning at least the most necessary things on your own.
It is very important that in the first outings you guide him with a firm hand in order to master him, to feel that you are the master and that he must act according to your, not his, will.
A dog is not an indestructible machine, but a living being that needs to be mastered before it can be used.
Lifespan of bird dog
Unfortunately, the life of a dog is short, and that of hunting dogs is even shorter.
Rarely does he live longer than 12 years.
Of course, life expectancy is affected by care, nutrition, working conditions, use in breeding, heredity, psychophysical characteristics, etc.
From the point of view of the efficiency of use in hunting, there is a saying: “Three years young, three years old”.
However, this can only be accepted as a rougher orientation. There are breeds that wake up much earlier than others. In my opinion, that can be said for a pointer dog.
Pointers are earlier, probably than all other breeds.
In many cases it depends on the individual and his temperament, both in terms of early awakening and the development of hunting passion, and the length of workability.
It can be said: “Quality does not wait for time”. Of course, the one who has more frequent contact with wild animals will wake up sooner.
Whether to choose a female or a male bird dog
For beginners, without experience in training and guiding dogs in hunting, a female is recommended.
They are calmer, more susceptible to dressage, more affectionate, affectionate and earlier. They are easier to manage in the hunting area and at home.
According to one survey in France, most hunters favor females.
However, twice a year, when in full heat, a female is unusable for hunting unless, as in the world, a belt is put on.
The accident is also that it can get infectious inflammation of the uterus, and in older years, a tumor on the breast.
Males are more beautiful, that is, more typically expressing race, more robust, energetic, courageous, stronger and certainly more capable of overcoming the more difficult obstacles encountered in hunting, dry and water.
However, as a rule, it is more difficult for males to train and guide them in hunting.
As soon as she is fully mature, she will take every opportunity to escape to meet the female sexually impaired, in which case she will leave you, if not in your eye, because the urge to maintain the species is stronger than discipline.
The disease for the male is characterized by “nephritis” that occurs, usually after the age of eight.
If it gets infected with ticks or fleas, it most often becomes infertile, at least one year until full recovery (hair).