Hunter and hunting dog have developed over centuries to form a harmonious relationship and strong bond. The groups generally referred to are the general hunting dog, the sporting or gun dog, and the scent hounds. The dogs used at this time were pointers, who located game for their owners. The pointing and flushing dogs located game; the wind hounds coursed it down; terriers went underground after the game; and the scent hounds tracked it down if it ran across country. Because of the fierce loyalty of the these hunting dogs, and their superior and friendly personalities, many dogs in the sporting group today are used at hunting lodges by professional services for hunters.
Important characteristics of these hunting dogs are their high tolerance for all people, including strangers. While hunting dogs are notoriously high energy, many have the ability to focus when on the hunt.
Choosing the right dog for the hunt is important.
The origin of the hunting dog dates back 20,000 years ago when Mesolithic man used early dogs to hunt for food, shelter, and clothing. Early cave paintings from this time show that dogs worked along side hunters, being bred for their specific job.
Hunting dogs were bred for certain types of hunts; the bird dogs were meant to flush fowl and some to retrieve it from the water. Every breed of dog has his purpose. As society advanced and developed though, less reliance was placed upon the hunt and the hunting dog. Many hunters take great pride in this hunting dog ancestry though, studying a breed’s ancient ancestry, and striving to return these dogs to their former purpose and glory.
The hounds are broken up into sight or scent hounds; gun dogs consist of retrievers, setters, spaniels, water dogs, and pointers.