What Breed Makes a Hunting Dog?
The weaknesses and defects of a breed or a dog are normally easy to spot and will be well known to a hunter within a few days but the qualities and virtues of a hunting dog take time to develop and normally until the dog is at least four years old there will be some growing and training that must occur. However the general qualities of a dog can be seen while it is still just a puppy and the reactions and attitudes that the puppy exhibits are powerful indicators of what it will be like once it has matured. If the puppy is lively, alert, quick to spot objects in movement, loves retrieving objects that you have thrown then you can be assured that you have a puppy that can turn into a good hunter as long as you are sure to take advantage of what you have and train it in such a way as to emphasize these qualities. Let us not forget that a hunting dog is only as capable as its master and if the hunting dog has problems it is most often the direct result of problems found in the dog's master. So no matter what the bloodline of the dog or how well its ancestors performed if its master is a weak and incapable hunter, sooner or later the dog will simply become useless. Some training, like basic obedience, is common amongst all breeds and dog types and a hunting dog that is not obedient is of little use, but besides this the training and attention that must be given to a hunting dog differs depending on what type of hunting the dog is intended to perform. There are two basic types of hunters; those that enjoy sharing the work of hunting with a well trained and disciplined dog and those that simply enjoy the shoot and retrieval. If you belong to the first group of hunters then you will most likely be better off with a pedigree but if you are in the second group of hunters then although a purebred dog could be used, you might just that a mixed breed would suit your needs better.