Dogs have been man's best friend for thousands of years and have been used for hunting for just as long. The hunting instinct is deeply rooted in many dog breeds and can sometimes cause problems in everyday life. In this blog we take a closer look at the hunting instinct of dogs and discuss different types of hunting dogs and how best to deal with them.
What is the hunting instinct of dogs?
The hunting instinct is an instinctive behavior that many dogs have. It is the innate urge to search for and catch prey. This behavior is deeply rooted in many dog breeds and can manifest itself in a variety of ways. For example, some dogs have an excellent sense of smell and are able to find and chase prey over long distances, while others specialize in tracking down subterranean game.
Different types of hunting dogs
There are different types of hunting dogs, each with their own specialty. Below we discuss the most common types of hunting dogs:
Pointing dogs specialize in tracking game and marking the location of prey by standing or sitting. These dogs are used for hunting birds and small game such as rabbits and hares. Examples of pointing dogs are the German Pointer and the English Pointer.
Retrievers specialize in retrieving shot game. These dogs have a gentle nature and are very intelligent and obedient. Retrievers are popular with hunters for their ability to find and return game without harming it. Examples of retrievers are the Labrador retriever and the Golden retriever.
Spaniels are small to medium sized dogs that specialize in tracking game and marking the location of prey. They are often used for hunting birds and small game. Spaniels have great stamina and are very obedient. Examples of spaniels are the English Cocker Spaniel and the Clumber Spaniel.
Terriers are small dogs that were originally bred to hunt small game such as rats, mice and rabbits. They have an excellent sense of smell and are very tenacious in pursuing their prey. Terriers are courageous and confident and need lots of exercise and training to release their energy. Examples of terriers are the Jack Russell terrier and the West Highland white terrier.
Dealing with dogs with a strong hunting instinct
It is important to realize that dogs with a strong hunting instinct often need intensive training and supervision. It is important to teach the dog to obey and to stop chasing when necessary. Below are some tips for dealing with dogs with a strong hunting instinct:
Start training early: If you have a puppy that was bred to hunt, start training early. Teach your puppy basic commands and build up the training slowly. Reward good behavior and be consistent in your approach.
Use a long leash: When walking your dog, use a long leash to prevent the dog from running off. This will allow you to correct and recall the dog if necessary.
Keep the dog entertained: Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise and give him toys to play with. Keeping the dog busy will prevent it from getting bored and looking for other entertainment.
Be patient: Training a dog with a strong hunting instinct can take a lot of time and patience. Be patient and consistent in your approach. Reward good behavior and correct bad behavior in a positive way.
Be alert: If you have a dog with a strong hunting instinct, be alert to your surroundings. Make sure the dog does not go after game or other animals and always keep the dog on a lead if necessary.
The hunting instinct is deeply rooted in many dog breeds and can sometimes cause problems in everyday life. By understanding what type of hunting dog you have and how best to handle the dog, you can better control the dog's hunting instinct and prevent the dog from endangering itself or others. Training a dog with a strong hunting instinct can take a lot of time and patience, but with the right approach and training, you can teach the dog to obey and stop chasing when necessary.