A dog is a man’s best companion and rightly so, for they have been accompanying men in hunting for many millenniums. Read about the different types of hunting dogs to know about what’s left of them.

Types Of Hunting Dogs

The two things that have been around for as long as humans have are hunting and dogs. You heard it! Men hunted and dogs assisted! It is believed that the origin of hunting dogs goes back to 20000 years, when men made use of them in hunting. But over the period of time as men evolved, hunting evolved too, and so did dogs. And nearly 9000 years ago when men began to keep and harvest the livestock, the role of dogs changed too from being a hunter to being a protector. The strong sense of smell which they earlier used for hunting down the animals was now being used to recover the stray flock and locate any predator of the livestock in the vicinity. As documented in many cave paintings, breeds like pointers, shepherds, mastiffs, greyhounds, and wolf dogs were the hunters of that era. Today, although hunting is merely a sport (in some countries), and the number of dog breeds has expanded; there still continues to exist a few hunter breeds of dogs that regularly assist men in hunting. In the following part of the article we’ll read about such remaining descendants of the early hunting dogs.
Hunting Dogs Breeds
Retrievers, as the name suggests, run and retrieve the fallen prey hunted down by their master. They are also known as soft mouths, not because they are mellow barkers or biters but because their soft skills help grab the prey and bring it back to the faithful master, undamaged. Labrador and golden retrievers are known to be the two of the most popular hunting dogs in America. And because of their long attention spans, retrievers are easy to train and are considered to be very intelligent and obedient. Retrievers are also known to have a fondness for water and are used by many hunters for fowl hunting. A breed known as 'water dogs' is a sub-class of retrievers.
Pointers, just like a compass and as the name suggests, point straight towards the game, giving their hunter master the location of the soon-to-be prey. The dedicated dogs of the pointer breeds are known to go ahead of the hunting party to track the game, using their strong sense of smell. Upon locating it, they freeze in place as if pointing towards something, and give an idea to the hunter about the prey’s location. They are known to work well on land and in water and are easy to train due to their intelligence. Breeds like Vizsla, German Shorthair Pointer, American Brittany, and Weimaraner are a few of the Pointers.
Setters, as the name suggests, set up the game for their masters. Their modus operandi is quite similar to that of pointers with only one exception: instead of pointing or attacking, they simply get close to the game and prevent it from escaping. Setters carry the best characteristics of both, the retrievers and the pointers, and were bred for the same. Just like pointers, setters use their excellent smelling capability to track and trap the prey and are known to be very skillful in tracking birds such as quail and pheasants. They are also known to possess the stamina and athleticism when hunting for long periods.
Although they are the smallest of the hunting dogs, this doesn’t compromise their excellent capabilities to hunt. Just like retrievers, spaniels are also known for their soft mouth skills: bringing the fallen prey to the master without damaging it or consuming it all for their own in secret. They specialize in locating the game that’s hidden in the bush.  English Springer Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels are two of the most recognized spaniel breed; categorized as pets and hunting dogs.
Hounds, with their keen sense of smell and sight, have been used by the hunters for many centuries and now are used by the police departments of many countries to track down criminals. The breed of hounds has been split into three: the one that specializes in the sense of smell, the other that have strong eyesight, and the last that makes use of both smell and sight. Apart from strong sense of smell and sight, hounds have a lot of stamina that helps them chase down the prey. And after they’ve located the prey, they begin to draw hunter’s attention, allowing him to make the next move. 
Apart from these hunting dog breeds, there’s one more called Terrier, with a natural instinct to kill smaller animals such as mice, rats, chickens, and foxes, but they aren’t used for the hunting purpose anymore. However, they make very good pets.

How to Cite

More from iloveindia.com