With bird hunting season becoming more and more popular, many hunters will consider getting a new bird dog. And although a puppy won’t be helpful until it is older and trained, it is important to know what you want your dog to do long before you even get them. There are a few different types of bird dogs that you will want to consider, and many different breeds to choose from!
Types of Bird Dogs
There are three basic types of bird dogs, and each one will excel at a certain aspect of bird hunting. First you have pointers. These dogs hunt by “pointing” out where birds are hiding, giving you the opportunity to prepare yourself and get into position to shoot them. The second type of bird dog is a flusher. These hounds will find and flush out hiding birds, allowing you to kill them.
The third type of bird dogs are retrievers. Just like the name sounds, these dogs will retrieve your downed birds. Each type of bird dog generally excels better when hunting different species of bird. For example, a retrieval dog is most commonly used when duck hunting, while a pointer might be better suited for quail who love to hide in long grass and bushes.
Picking a Dog
The first thing that a hunter must decide is what kind of dog that they want. The most common decision is between a pointer and a flusher, as these two types of hunting dogs will generally be used to hunt the same bird species. Each type will also have its own set of breeds that are usually used.
Pointing breeds include various types of setters, shorthairs, longhairs, Brittanys, and English Pointers. Flushers are usually used from retrievers and Spaniels, although some Spaniels are also used as pointers. The two most popular breeds that are used for flushing are the Springer Spaniel and the Labrador retriever.
Which One is Right for You?
The type of dog you choose and the breed you select will largely depend on the type of bird hunting that you do. Different species of birds will be best suited by different types of dogs. The breed of dog that you get will also affect the terrain you hunt in and your personality.
Whichever you choose, whether it is a pointer, flusher, or retriever, only select a pup after you have studied each breed and know what you are looking for. Since you will fall in love with any puppy that you end up choosing, you should strive to choose the type and individual hunting dog that is best suited for you.
Bird hunting continues to grow in popularity, and with it hunting with a bird dog. Owning a bird dog is a big responsibility however, and should not be taken lightly. Adding a hunting bird dog to your family will increase your ability to find more success and be a lot of fun for both of you!
For more great ideas on how to fish and hunt from the experts, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Hunting & Fishing Blog for more great tips & tricks.