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The Many Types of Hunting Dogs


Hunting dogs are here to assist the hunter, and these dogs have slowly evolved into many different types of hunting dogs—such as the general hunting dogs; sporting or gun dogs; or scenthounds. The origin of today's gun dog breeds began back in the 1400s to 1600s in Western Europe. The dogs used during this time were the Pointers, for locating game. And as more and more guns were begun to be used for hunting, other types of hunting dogs that developed were the flushing setter and spaniel breeds.

Over time, especially in England, to go on a hunt may require many different types of hunting dogs—pointing and flushing hunting dogs located game in the surrounding brush; the windhounds coursed it down; terriers went underground after the game if it went into the burrows; and the scenthounds tracked it down if it ran across country. But over time, the hunt simplified itself, with the sporting dogs maintaining a wide tolerance of people and little territoriality due to the fact they are mostly used by non-owners for hunting. A high tolerance for other dogs and people are almost a needed requirement for hunting dogs. If the owner has a hunting lodge or some form of hunting business that hires hunting dogs out, that dog has to obey commands and go hunting for a stranger as if that person is their owner.

These types of hunting dogs to not growl or show signs of aggression toward their hunted prey, because this would be a behavior that would scare the prey away instead of catching it. Instead, the behavior is of silent intenseness, to allow for the catch. Other types of skills and behavior demonstrate what the types of hunting dogs do over another—the scent hounds on their leashes can pick up tracks and scents that other days may miss, one that is many days old. On the other hand, a good pointer can point and freeze birds that assume they are well hidden from view, whole the popular retrievers can retrieve birds in freezing water all day long. This is a lot different than England's many steps of different birds for hunting.

So, the types of hunting dogs have changed a lot over the years and from one country over another. And then, of course, different countries breed different hunting dogs for hunting different types of game birds in their country. Some hunters will travel overseas to hunt, while others prefer to hunt in their back yard, so knowing these differences will make a difference.

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