Good hunting dogs come in all different weights, shapes, and breeds. Differentiating what qualities are better than others when looking for the best bird dog breeds can be tedious—but if you know some specific qualities to look for it can make the search much easier. Here are five top qualities of good hunting dogs.
1. Endurance & stamina
Hunting is a hobby that requires both great endurance and stamina for hunter and bird dog. Good hunting dogs should be able to be flexible in the amount of physical activity used in each hunting session as well as be able to endure different weather conditions. These two qualities are possessed by many breed types, but can also be something that a bird dog can learn through sessions with an expert dog trainer.
2. Healthy bones and joints
Having great endurance and stamina can be learned qualities, but in order to maintain these a good hunting dog will also possess healthy bones and joints. As with proper training, proper diet and nutrition is needed in order to maintain healthy bones and joints.
One way you can support your dog’s bone and joint health is with the right nutritional supplements. Alpha Dog Nutrition’s Free Range is a single-capsule supplement that offers joint and paw health. Additionally, it's an anti-inflammatory aid for those days your hunting dog endures harsh terrains.
3. Healthy coat
Besides healthy bones and joints, it is ideal that your hunting dog also maintains a healthy coat. A nice, healthy coat will help with less than ideal weather conditions that may happen during hunting sessions, and also help generally protect them from the atmosphere.
4. Sense of fearlessness
Being out in the field during a hunting session requires fearlessness as you and your gun dog encounter different wild game. This quality helps as your bird dog becomes more familiar with hunting prey as small as rabbits and raccoons, but as big as deer or wild boar. The more fearless your hunting companion, the more likely you are to have a successful hunt.
5. And lastly, good hunting dogs have the right temperament
Temperament is not a quality that can be learned, but it can be a quality you look out for when looking for the right dog breed to be your eventual permanent hunting partner. A good hunting dog will be able to be able to stay calm and learn command from a young pup until their adulthood, and also be able to be a good companion at home. Ideally, you want a bird dog that can be able to adjust behavior to each individual situation for ultimate success.