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.