What is the most popular breed of gun dogs?
Gun dog breeds are initially bred and developed for hunting purposes. They are used to assist in human activities such as working in the line, retrieving, picking up, and rough-shooting for food. For years, breeders have bred dogs for hunting and related activities. Some are adept in locating or retrieving whilst others are gun-trained (canines that do not get startled with gun sounds).
Although there are many dog breeds that are listed as gun dogs, there are some that became quite popular for having friendly personalities apart from their hunting skills. Some may have already been mentioned in our list of top breeds.
What is the best gun dog breed?
Are you looking for an ideal gun dog as a working dog and also as a family pet? Consider these factors to see if they are suitable as a long-term pet for your family.
- Behaviour – Think about the breed’s behaviour and obedience level, including how well it interacts with other dogs, other pets, and children.
- Energy level – Learn the breed’s endurance to see how much activity it demands. It should be appropriate for both hunting and home life.
- Health concerns – Research potential health concerns of the chosen breed.
- Hunting skills – Consider the breed’s specialities in hunting.
- Size – The breed’s size should be suitable for the type of dwelling.
These popular hunting dogs can be the best family pets when provided with regular exercise and mental stimulation. However, it is still important to do research before buying one to make certain that you have made the right decision.
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The beagle is one of the classic hunting dogs that are popularly praised for its playfulness and intelligence. It is considered as a scent hound but it is also used by gun dog breeders for chasing games. The tri-coloured beagle has strong natural instincts to chase, run, and trail scents. Reward-based training works best for a beagle as it is very eager to please.
Although this large canine has droopy features, the bloodhound finds thrill and excitement during the chase and not on the actual killing of the prey. As such, this breed has been a great hunter companion for years. Further, it is not only a good hunting dog breed but it also has the ability to establish good relationships with children and other dogs.
RELATED: The 10 Best Dog Breeds for Children
3. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
This breed is often referred to as the water-loving dog. The Chesapeake Bay retriever was soon bred as a hunter, particularly of ducks. This type of pooch may develop aggressive behaviours particularly directed at strangers and other dogs. The good thing is that it participates well in training activities.
4. Cocker Spaniel
The cocker spaniel is said to make an excellent family pet. It is intelligent and highly trainable. They are known for their high level of energy which requires a good amount of exercise. On the other hand, because of how extremely energetic this pooch is, close supervision is needed when interacting with small children.
5. English Springer Spaniel
One of the dog breeds that excel at bird hunting is the English springer spaniel. This breed is admired for having a pleasant temperament. It works hard to please its owners.
How is the English springer spaniel as a family pet?
This medium to large dog breed gets along well with children and can easily form a bond with their families. It loves attention and always wants to be included in all family activities.
This type of dog breed is initially bred for hunting foxes. Deer hunters have shown great interest in the foxhound breed because of its great hunting skills. It is enthusiastic to chase down anything upon command.
The foxhound makes for an excellent pet for active family owners. The foxhound needs plenty of exercise and long walks. As such, it is not recommended for city dwellers as it is susceptible to have anxiety issues which may result in loud barks.
7. Irish Setter
One of the gun dogs that are listed that makes a great family pet is the Irish Setter. As the name implies, it is a native of Ireland. There are arguments about its performance as gun dogs. Some say that Irish setter lacks focus as a gun dog because it is inherently playful, friendly, and affectionate. It cooperates more with trainers or owners that have an alpha personality. It demands at least an hour of exercise in a day. As such, it is not an ideal breed for apartment dwellers, unless the owner has enough time to engage in outdoor activities. Shower it with attention and care as it is likely to be destructive when anxious.
8. Labrador Retriever
Initially bred to retrieve prey, the Labrador retriever excels in doing its job. In fact, it is regarded as the best hunting dog, thanks to its versatility. A well-trained Lab can hold an item with its mouth for a period of time without damaging it.
A Labrador retriever is an ideal pet for families because of its sweet demeanour. Because of this, people often forget that Labs are gun dogs. Just make sure that you have acquired a Labrador puppy from a reputable breeder that maintained the quality of the breed.
This is one of the classic hunting dogs that are quick to adapt to working on both land and water. The pointer is known to have a sky-high prey drive and can engage in endless pursuit. As soon as it senses a nearby prey, instead of flushing it out, it shifts into hunting position with its body going towards the prey.
With those characteristics, the pointer as a pet is prone to romping and jumping. If you are planning to keep one, fragile objects should be safely kept out of their reach. The best thing to do is to introduce early crate training to a pointer. This will help avoid future destructive behaviours.
To learn more about dog breeds, see our A-Z dog breed list.