What are Tree Hounds

What are Tree Hounds

A tree hound is a fairly new breed that was developed in the 20th century in the US.  These are large hunting dogs that help hunters go after big game like bears.  They make great companion dogs, they are loyal and hardworking.  Not only are they great hunting dogs but they are friendly and great around kids too.  While they are fearless when it comes to going after big game they are pretty much useless as a guard dog, although the fact that they are huge may scare someone off.  Unless they are properly trained then barking can become a huge problem, they are not ideal for living in an apartment.  They bond with their owners but if you tend to be away from home a lot they do have separation anxiety and can tear your house apart.

Origins of the Breed

The breed is relatively new and it was meant to be a working dog, however the origins of the breeder go all the way back to the 8th century and a French breeder named Francis Hubert.  Referred to as the Saint Hubert Hounds they were used to hunt and protect the area from poachers.  These dogs were bred with other hounds until you had the Talbot Hound, these dogs became known as ‘blooded hounds’ there the term bloodhound came from.

When William the Conqueror invaded England he brought the dogs with them, English nobility started using them on fox hunts.  Once in England the bloodhounds were bred with greyhounds making yet another new breed.  Over the next couple of hundred years breeding and cross breeding continued until we now have the tree hound.  It wasn’t until 1980 that the Majestic Tree Hound was registered with the National Kennel Club.

Their Appearance

The Majestic Tree Hound is a tall and well-built dog, they have long and narrow heads with long and floppy ears.  They have larger noses that allow them to scent prey when they hunt.  They have powerful chests with sturdy legs, this allows them to work in almost any terrain and track prey for hours if they need to.  The dog can come in a variety of colors including white, with red spots or blue ticking.  These dogs also drool so be prepared for that.  Ideal as a hunting dog but they are so friendly and loyal that they make an amazing family pet as well.  If you want a Majestic Tree Hound then always deal with a reputable breeder.

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Hunting Dog Breeds

Hunting Dog Breeds

Hunting dogs are just a type of dog that has been bred to hunt with humans.  Back when people had to hunt in order to eat and it was far more difficult we relied on dogs to help.  The dogs did a variety of things including tracking prey, retrieving, pointing and chasing down prey.  There are several different hunting dog breeds that worked with humans to hunt and each had their own characteristics that made them valuable.  Hunting dogs are smart, highly trainable and love to work with their owners.  Hunting dog breed have their own skill set and different breeds are better with different game.  Let’s look that the different breeds of hunting dogs.

Hunting Hounds

Hounds can be broken down into two categories, those that hunt by smell or those that hunt by sight.  They help their owners with all kinds of game from rabbits to large game.  The hounds that use their sight to hunt tend to be fast and slight (not small) and they can include whippets, greyhounds, Irish wolfhounds and Afghans.  All these dogs are thinner and very fast. Hounds that hunt by scent are thicker and rely on endurance rather than speed.  These kinds of dogs include beagles, basset hounds, blood hounds and fox hounds.

Water Dogs

Water dogs don’t hunt by sight or sound instead they will point or retrieve game that you have already shot.  Most are used with some form of bird hunting and they work well in marshes and near water although they are used in land game.  Setters and pointers are more specialized they are trained to wait until the hunter tells them to stop.  They are great swimmers and can find your game and bring it back to you undamaged. These types of dogs include retrievers, spaniels, setters and pointers.

Terriers

Terriers are much different from hounds or retrievers in that they don’t go hunting with their owner, these dogs were trained to hunt and kill vermin on farms.  These dogs are also much smaller and the breeds include Jack Russells, Boston terrier, and even the tiny little Yorkie.

Hunting dogs make great companions but if you are looking for one that you can train to hunt with you then find a breed that suits the type of hunting you do most.  Talk to vets and breeders to find the right breed of dog for you.  Most of these dogs also make great family pets, they are smart and highly trainable, you don’t need to be a hunter to appreciate these breeds.

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Pheasant Hunting With Your Dog

Pheasant Hunting With Your Dog

Owning a hunting dog is a pretty big responsibility, only do you have all the same care that all dogs need they also need extra training to be able to go hunting with you.  You should get your dog from a reputable breeder, one with experience in hunting dogs and with parents that have been trained to hunt.  Your dog  needs to be a good companion dog, one that takes to commands easily with a good disposition.  Pheasant hunting with your dog should be a pleasant experience not one where you spend all of your time getting your dog to heel.

What Makes a Hunting Dog Different

While hunting dogs can and do make great family pets one thing that sets them apart is their need to hunt.  These dogs have been bred for generations to be good at hunting game.  Most of these dogs are pretty energetic so only using them once a year is a waste of their talents.  Your dog needs plenty of exercise and during the rest of the year when it is not hunting season you might want to take them out in the field.  If you have a water dog then take them swimming on a regular basis.  It will help them stay in shape for when the time comes to go hunting.  If you are a runner then take your dog with you that will also help them stay in shape. Here are some drills you can try with your dog in the off season.

Keeping your Dog Healthy

When you have a hunting dog that you actually use for hunting your dog is going to come into contact with other dogs, viruses and bacteria in the wild.  It may even come into contact with raccoons or foxes that are rabid.  You absolutely need to have your dog vaccinated to protect them.  Your dog is going to need shots against the parvovirus along with giardia along with regular booster shots.  Don’t overlook your dog’s diet either, dogs need high protein diets for health and energy.

Hunting dogs are work dogs their job is to find and retrieve pheasants that have been wounded.  A well trained dog will save you time, energy and be a good companion while you hunt.  They have extremely sensitive noses and can track prey far better than you can.  Dogs have been helping hunters since they were initially domesticated.  Keep your dog in good shape and they will help you through many hunting seasons.

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Tips for Working with Your Hunting Dog

Tips for Working with Your Hunting Dog

If you’re an avid hunter then you know how valuable a hunting dog can be when you go out hunting.  Most people are under the impression that dogs are great for protecting your home and as a companion but dogs have helped hundreds for hundreds of years.  Some breeds went through hundreds of years of selective breeding just to make them the amazing hunters they are today.  Your dog is still going to need some training to be a good hunting dog, here are some tips for working with your hunting dog.

Keep the Dog in Shape

Dogs are not much different from people in that they can become obese too.  It is up to you as the dog’s owner to see that they are fed healthy nutritious food but not overfed.  Make sure that they are the right weight before you take them out hunting.  Speak with your vet if you are unsure of what your dog should weigh.  Commercial dog food is not your best option, they need a diet rich in meat.

Get Regular Exercise

It’s not just you that needs regular exercise your dog is going to need it too.  You want your dog to also listen to you on a regular basis so running through commands along with regular walks can keep your dog in peak physical condition.  Dogs that aren’t exercised regularly won’t have the stamina to keep up with you during your hunting trip.  You also want to make sure they understand and obey commands and don’t scare off your prey.

Regular Vet Visits

Before you take your dog out with you, you will want to make sure they get a checkup to find out if there are any health issues.  Talk to your vet and let them know that you are planning to take your dog hunting, the vet will make sure that they get all their shots and they are protected from fleas and ticks.  Taking your dog out into the woods means plenty of ticks, you will need the right oral medication to prevent them from latching onto your dog.  Make sure the medication works on adult ticks and their eggs.

A good hunting dog can be a tremendous asset to you when you go out hunting not only are they extremely helpful but it is good to have a companion with you when you go on your next hunting trip.  Keep your dog healthy and in great shape and they will be a great hunting dog.

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