Bird dogs, also known as Gun dogs, are owned and trained for hunting down birds by tracking their scent in the air. These breeds have special hunting abilities, and they are also trained to retrieve the birds after hunting them down. Bird dogs are classified into three types - the pointers, the flushers, and the retrievers. This classification is made on the basis of their hunting style and the unique characteristics that they possess. They can be easily trained, and are comfortable in family setups.
Pointers possess a special trait of locating a game. They rate high on discipline levels and display their natural hunting instincts at two months of age. When a game or bird is located, they freeze, stand motionless, and allow the hunter to take position. Thus, they serve as an aid to the hunter. Some of the popular dog breeds within this category are listed below.
Brittany: This is a medium-sized breed that has natural hunting and retrieving skills. It is intelligent, active, alert, and eager to please. It displays high levels of loyalty and obedience and does not tire easily. It makes for a great pet dog as along as it is exercised well and has plenty of activities to indulge in.
English Pointer: This is a muscular, medium to large-sized breed with a strong build and stocky frame. It displays independence, enthusiasm, and alertness while hunting, and can work well with other bird dogs. It is affectionate and loyal as a pet.
Irish Setter: This is a medium to large-sized breed. It is highly-intelligent, and training it is a pleasure. It must be trained at an early age to prevent it from developing bad habits. It has an excellent sense of smell and is very swift. It has a strong build. As a companion dog, it is very affectionate, lovable, and loyal.
Dogs belonging to the category of flushing are mainly of the Spaniel breed. They are trained to stay in close quarters of the hunter so that they can flush the prey. They make good house dogs and are especially good with children. Some of the well-known dog breeds in this category are listed below.
English Cocker Spaniel: This is a medium-sized, compact breed that specializes in the hunting of upland game birds. It is avid, hardworking, and a versatile hunter. As a pet, it is loving and friendly and is known to have a merry nature.
English Springer Spaniel: This is a medium-sized breed popular for its unusual hunting style. It quarters in front of the hunter in a zig-zag manner, then springs and flushes the upland game birds. It is full of energy, and faster as compared to other Spaniel breeds. It adjusts comfortably to family settings and has a playful and active nature.
Boykin Spaniel: This is a medium-sized breed which known to hunt down birds by scent and sight. It has an exceptional sense of smell and is a very versatile hunter. It is also very energetic and enthusiastic. It makes a very good companion, and a lot of daily exercising and walking is required.
Those belonging to this category make very good house dogs, and retrieving the game birds is their forte. They are easy to train and are very good with hand signals, which also makes them good hunters. They have a soft muzzle, and they excel at retrieving to hand. Some of the popular dog breeds within this category are listed below.
Labrador Retriever: The Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog breed in the category of retrievers. It is a medium to large-sized dog. It has a strong, athletic built, and is tough and durable, making it suitable for hunting in extreme conditions. It makes a great companion as it is eager to please and easily-sociable.
Golden Retriever: The Golden Retriever is a large-sized dog known to be suitable to cold climatic conditions. It likes hunting in water, and is graceful and swift while hunting. It is confident, energetic, and full of enthusiasm. As a pet, it is gentle, obedient, and easy to train.
Bird dogs are multipurpose dogs as they make great companions as well as great working dogs. They need to be well taken care of and well-trained so that they can display their abilities to their best.