Raising a hunting dog is a huge commitment that you cannot step back once you have made your choice. It is not just a temporary desire but something that you have considered about over and over again.
Just like raising a child, you need to make sure that you are qualified and be prepared to what may come.
What’s the bottom line?
In this article, we’ll show you how to pick the right puppy so that one day it can be a hunting companion by your side.
Things to Consider When to Get a Puppy
As mentioned, raising a dog is a total commitment that would take AT LEAST ten years of your life if you take it home since it was still a puppy.
You’ll agree with me that:
Having a dog means that you need to spend time with your dog every day. Walk it around, exercise and bathe it.
…just like having a baby, you need to make sure that you have enough time for your dog every day. Also, you need to be able to afford not only the dog but the cost of food, house every month.
Here’s the kicker:
Your lifestyle is a factor that can also affect your choice of puppy.
If you have an apartment life, then you should choose a breed that is suitable for apartment life (doesn’t bark loudly, likes to stay at home, not so energetic).
On the other hand, if you have a lot of space and a yard then choose a dog that loves being outside.
No matter what your lifestyle may be, you need to be able to raise it, take good care of it and invest your time in it.
Pick a Breeder
Choosing a decent breeder is perhaps the most important step that people tend to skip. How your dog was born and raised can pretty much affect how it would grow up and determine its personalities.
This is crazy:
Currently, there are thousands of different breeders with all types of dog for you to choose.
…the thing is never to stick to those with an unusually low price. Dog breeding is not simple, and a breeder needs to invest a lot of time and money on a newborn.
You always get what you pay for so don’t be afraid to spend a decent amount of money on your puppy.
Also, here are the things that you should look for from a breeder:
- They are specialized in one particular breed only. This means that they would be experienced enough and treat all of their dogs in a firm way.
- They ask for a high price. Of course, not always paying more means that your dog is better but most of the times, it is like that.
The puppies are living close to their parents. This is an IMPORTANT FACTOR when choosing your dog.
Living close to at least one of its parents will make your dog more emotional, and it will develop a sense of attachment at a very young age.
…later on, when it meets you, it would be easier for your dog to develop a bonding with you.
Also, this would help your dog to be more obedient.
As you are searching for a hunting dog, its physical attributes are the most important factor and can affect the progress and outcome of the hunt.
Here are the things that you should look for when selecting a hunting dog:
It should be taller and bigger in size in comparison to other types of puppy.
Some breeds are colossal from an early age. Depends on your kind of hunting game (small game, medium or large game), pick a breed that is compatible for your purpose.
You don’t necessarily pick the biggest one, but go for the most energetic one. An energetic puppy means that you have raised him properly. Also, he is capable of running with you on the hunting grounds all day long.
Choose a puppy that has a strong jaw. A strong jaw would help your dog to retrieve or take down your prey easier.
Choose a breed that is good with smells. These breeds are extremely useful when it comes to hunting raccoons and rabbits. Your dog would be able to track your target easily and help you to spot animals that you can’t see with your eyes.
Your dog SHOULD HAVE a thick layer of fat and have some muscles. Having a good body shape will allow your dog to be more durable. Also, having muscles and a layer of fat can reduce a chance of getting injured by thorns or spikes.
Your dog shouldn’t bark loudly as it will scare off your prey so that it will run away.
Hunting Dog’s Personalities
Besides, from the physical attributes, your dog’s traits need to satisfy the requirements of a hunting dog.
It SHOULD BE obedient and easy to train. It should NOT take you more than half a year to train your dog for hunting.
Choose the one that is happy to see you. Don’t go for the dogs that are bored and show signs of disinterest; pick a puppy that would jump around and lick your finger when you play with it.
Want to know the best part?
Hunting dog needs socialization at an early stage of their lives to grow up to be a well-rounded dog. So choose a dog from a breeder that walks and exercises the dog on a daily basis.
The puppy needs to expose to lights, sounds, scents and people often so that it would develop a better sense of the outside world. This will prevent your dog from shyness and boredom.
Give it a health check
Often, your breeder should have some record to keep track of the dog’s situation. It is also vital that you take the dog to the vet for an overall check. Don’t buy one that doesn’t have any health check record.
Pick your hunting dog with your head and your heart. Feeling hard to make your decision is perfectly normal. Most of the times, people will be overwhelmed with all different puppies.
I understand that all of them are lovely, nice and adorable. However, that is the time for you to be rational. It’s a life-time investment and shouldn’t be solely due to your feelings.