Bird Hunting Dogs Are A Real Experience
Bird hunting dogs have a job difficult to do! Their job is finding not just one but several “needles in a haystack.”
If we seriously think about what bird hunting dogs do, it is incredible.
They go into a field or marsh area, sometimes on dry land sometimes in or near water, and find small objects less than 5 pounds each.
Hide five playing cards in a one acre field and it begins to become clear what it’s like in a 40 acre or larger area!
The dogs, rely not as much on sight as on smell.
Some dogs are better for waterfowl, such as the retrievers with an ability to get into the water and bring back the downed bird. Others such as setters or pointers are more adept at upland birds, pheasant and quail.
The selection of a good bird hunting dog is as important as selecting the right shotgun.
Sometimes even with the best of breeding there is the occasional dog that just doesn’t have the “heart” to hunt all day. Be it Spaniel, Retriever, Setter or other breed it happens.
These dogs might have some of the instincts but it takes a special dog to maintain the enthusiasm all day long. Those that don’t can still be awesome pets for owners who understand the nature of a bird dog.
The best bird dog is opinion and it’s hard to argue with choosing the one you like.
Author and hunter John Gribb says his money is on a good field bred English Springer Spaniel. Pointers and Setters find birds but can be criticized for the retrieve. Though they are considered the premier versatile hunting dog.
Retrievers are methodical and get the job done. All these dog breeds do their work with gusto!
I have 2 pointing Vizslas, they point, retrieve, and lay on the couch!
Gribb points out his Springers have hunted not only waterfowl and pheasants but squirrel and rabbit. For those who like to hunt multiple choices, make for a longer time in the field, with a variety of cover, you’ll have a lot of choices.
There are three main jobs for bird dogs – retrieving is one. Pointers find and alert on the dogs while those that flush the birds have a different style of working still.
Finding a dog to do all of the above and that you can get along with is a special thing.
That said, there is a preference and a dog for every hunter. Finding yours is important for an enjoyable hunt as well as an easier relationship between dog and owner.