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The Historical Capers of Squirrel Hunting Dogsfrom:
Hunting dogs and their owners have stronger bonds than most owners and dogs, with the hunting the added adhesive—with squirrel hunting dogs better than most. Breeds that are best for squirrel hunting tend to favor the curs and feists, with some terriers good at it also. The best squirrel dog that is able to track the scent of the squirrel to where it is located, and then notify the remaining pack and hunters, is considered an excellent one at "treeing the squirrel." The squirrel hunters feel if a dog is good with squirrel hunting traits, it really doesn't matter the breed, even though once they find one they stay with it.
Squirrel hunting dogs demonstrate an abundant energy and stamina, an excellent sense of smell, and are able to maintain a highly alert hunt with their eyes and ears. Excellent companions to their owners, they are part of the family, due to their high responsive behavior to commands and their ability to require less discipline than most other breeds. Squirrel hunting dogs are part of a hunting field all its own, with little in common with the other hunting types.
The rule of thumb is hunting dogs that hunt game well, other than squirrel, are usually not as good at squirrel hunting. Once this dog is found, squirrel hunters will breed this dog down for generations to maintain this natural squirrel hunting instinct. The physical characteristics of a feists, one of the best squirrel hunting dog, is a small dog that weighs less than 30 pounds, and stands 10-18 inches at the shoulder. The feists breed is a short-haired type with a variation of solid or mixed and makes a top-notch favorite for squirrel hunting dogs success story.
Another favorite breed for squirrel hunting dogs is the cur, which many non-hunters refer to as a low-class mutt due to their lack of knowledge of hunting dogs. This breed was developed during the medieval times in Europe, and was known as a favorite of the peasant farmer and herders. The dog came to the New World with our settlers, with squirrel hunting as one of its best functions. They have a high sense of smell allowing them to hunt with their head up, and are powerful and courageous fighters, having developed an instinct for family protection. Weighing 40-60 pounds, and standing 17-24 inches at the withers, they are considered a short-haired strong muscular dog in an assortment of colors. This dog also is known as an excellent hunter for bear and wild hogs, but their intelligence is best used for squirrel hunting, instead of brute strength.
Squirrel hunting dogs lasts about two to three hours tops, with an estimate of more than a dozen to two dozen squirrels hunted during that time. But if the squirrels are denned in the trees, the dogs cannot get a scent so the hunt will not be as productive as if they are done. Known as being highly unpredictable, a hunt is always a wild guess. It is one of the few sports when the noise of the hunters and dogs do not deter the hunting of the squirrel.
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